CannPal is also researching phytonutrients which science is now showing us to be “Cannabimimetic” compounds which are reported as having similar pharmacological effects to those of cannabis; applied to various cannabinoid receptor types including the most commonly known cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, along with the less known TRPV family and GRP55.
There are several common plants that contain cannabimimetic compounds which can mimick the biological activity of the classical cannabinoids, despite not sharing their structure. Cannabimimetics are of increasing importance within medicinal cannabinoid research and human/animal nutrition.
While cannabis has been an important tool in the herbalist’s arsenal and the medical pharmacopoeia for millennia, it has only been in the past twenty-five years that science has provided a better understanding of its myriad of benefits. Through the identification of the receptors and cannabinoids, and a better understanding of how they interact, researchers are learning more about these other potential plants and cannabimimetic compounds that have similar effects to cannabis which can be leverage in the diet or through the development of new and novel therapeutic products.
As an example of cannabimimetic compounds, the most well-known include Coneflower (Echinacea), Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) and Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Cannabimimetic compounds aren’t the same as those found in Cannabis, yet they have positive effects on the endocannabinoid system and CannPal is seeking to leverage its growing knowledge of these compounds to develop new and innovative plant derived compounds that are shared with cannabis that can provide optimal health and wellbeing in animals via the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
As our understanding of the ECS has grown, so too has the number and type of different compounds that act on the receptors. Other compounds thought to be cannabmimimetic include
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to balance the omega-6 fats so the ECS can function properly. These fatty acids are much harder to come by in the diet, and are also proven to have cardiovascular and neurological health benefits. An ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the diet is 1:1, and the typical western diet often has a 1:10 ratio. Animal sources of omega-3 are the most potent, but the vegetarian sources tend to provide other excellent health benefits.
Sources of endocannabinoid-enhancing fatty acids:
– Hemp seeds and hemp oil
– Flax seeds (grind at home in a coffee grinder) and flax oil
– Chia seeds
– Sardines and anchovies
– Eggs (pasture-fed or omega-3 enriched only)
– Echinacea, often used by herbalists for up to two weeks to stimulate the immune system during infections, also contains CB2 agonists.
– Camelia sinensis, commonly known as “tea,” contains a compound that prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids, and another compound that may stimulate the cannabinoid receptors.
– Turmeric, the yellow spice in curry powder, contains curcumin, which also raises endocannabinoid levels amongst numerous other health benefits.
The sedative effects of Myrcene-containing plants such as Hops and Verbena (officinalis) have been knownfile_thymus-vulgare for millennia and it is now thought the sedative effect is due to Myrcene’s ability to agonise (activate) the opioid receptors and studies have shown the opioid antagonist naxalone blocks Myrcene’s effects, suggesting Myrcene is an agonist. Thus, although Myrcene isn’t typically classed as a cannabinoid in the currently existing scientific literature, it certainly is cannabimimetic. Myrcene is found in extremely high concentrations in Hop oil, almost 80% in some varieties and found in high levels in Mangoes (Mangifera), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon), Thyme (Thymus vulgare) and Verbena