The hemp or Cannabis sativa plant contains over 500 distinct compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and omega fatty acids. Cannabinoids are the primary active compound of the plant. While THC and CBD have become household names, scientists have identified more than 100 other beneficial cannabinoids, each with their unique profile of biomechanisms and impacts on our human systems.
Cannabinoids that come from plants are classified more specifically as phytocannabinoids. Interestingly, our bodies also naturally produce similar cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. In fact, scientists have found that human breast milk itself is a rich source of endocannabinoids 2-AG and anandamide.
Humans have relied upon hemp as a traditional medicine, nutrient-dense crop, and raw material for thousands of years. Its benefits are widely known, but modern science is finally able to decode why our bodies interact so well with its active compounds.
All humans and mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that interacts with endocannabinoids produced by your own body, and phytocannabinoids that come from plants.
The main function of the ECS is to maintain bodily homeostasis, which can be understood as biological harmony and balance in response to changes in the environment. The myriad of health benefits attributed to cannabis are due to the fact that ECS is involved in a wide variety of processes, including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function. If all these various processes work together like different instruments in an orchestra, the ECS plays the critical role of the conductor, making sure everything is playing in tune.
Most people have heard about the major cannabionids of CBD and THC, but researchers are increasingly discovering the benefits of other minor cannabionids like cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabichromene (CBC). These other compounds were grossly overlooked until the agricultural production of hemp, which is distinguished by law as a Cannabis sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, was federally legalized in 2018 and the public began to gain exposure and access to the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Furthermore, the scientific research and development of legal cannabinoids other than THC could began to thrive.
The Polite team has unique clinical and research-based experience with the applications of these newer, emergent cannabinoids and how they interact with our human system. Our proprietary formulations are anchored in purposeful concentrations of CBD, CBG, CBN. Our concentrations have been developed to give you maximum benefit, with the minimal amount. Too many products either don’t provide potent enough concentrations to deliver any significant health benefits, or mistakenly assume that more is always better. We also integrate specific traditional and Ayurvedic herbs that work synergistically with cannabinoids to deliver optimal results.
We use full spectrum hemp extract and organic hempseed oil as a carrier agent, which preserves the integrity and naturally occurring, rich cannabinoid profile of the plant. This can includes trace amounts of minor cannabionoids such as THCa, CBDa, CBC, and also other beneficial compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. Many products are processed in a way that strips out much of these whole-plant compounds, giving you only CBD in isolation. We believe in holding on to the good stuff, and that the sum is worth greater than the parts when it comes to cannabinoids.
From a therapeutic standpoint, full spectrum extracts are more beneficial because the various components of the plant work synergistically to enhance the action of the main active compounds, such as CBD. Think of them as an orchestra or backup singers, versus a one-man-band if you will. This phenomena is scientifically referred to as the “entourage effect”. Research has shown that when consumed together, CBD actually counteracts some of the negative side effects of THC, so there are dynamic relationships between cannabinoids that are critical to preserve if you are consuming for health and wellness.
Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve been there.
Everyone starts as a novice, so here are simple steps to help you begin your cannabinoid wellness journey.
If you are newbie, consider what your main concerns and confusions are and what you need to know before you feel comfortable enough to try. If you have prior experience, consider how your body has responded to CBD at various concentrations.
Educate yourself on the science, practical application, and differences and relationships between THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. You're in luck. The Polite cannabinoid therapy experts have created a free online course that covers foundational knowledge.
Articulate your wellness goals, what you hope to get out of consuming cannabinoids, and then explore what forms of consumption will be the best match for your comfort level and lifestyle. Identify retailers that have a good reputation for knowledgable support and vetted quality products. Polite offers tinctures and topicals, all of which have been designed to be user-friendly, even for beginners.
You want to find the minimal amount of cannabinoids that provide maximum benefit. More is not always better, and can actually be counterproductive.
Every product should have a suggested serving amount. If you are worried about how you may react, start with half the suggested serving to test the waters. Otherwise take 1 serving to gauge how the standard recommendation works with your body. Be conservative. Clinicians always recommend starting low, gradually increasing servings as you determine how your body reacts, until you find your optimal amount. Everyone metabolizes cannabinoids differently. In general, cannabinoids can be taken any time of day. Ideally, taken after a meal for optimal bioavailability, which means the degree that they can be absorbed and delivered to the bloodstream where they can interact with your body's systems. Note that different formulations and amounts may have energizing or relaxing effects. Be aware of how your body is affected, and avoid any negative or unsafe impacts to your routine (i.e. you don't want to feel sleepy if you have to drive, or energized before bedtime). Also, be aware that cannabinoids can potentiate the effects of other things you consume such as medications or alcohol. If you take any medications or have any medical conditions, consult your doctor before using cannabinoids.
Stay consistent and start a daily regimen, but listen to your body and adjust the servings or frequency accordingly. As a rule of thumb when trying new cannabinoid products, give it at least two weeks to determine whether you are getting any benefits. Typically, people may take 1-3 servings spread throughout the day, depending on their needs. For example, taking 1 serving of Polite's Power Up or Relief Aid formulation after breakfast, and one serving of Rest Well before bedtime. Cannabinoids have a cumulative effect, meaning that your body may experience greater impact over time with extended, consistent use. Or course, if you feel any unwanted effects, it may be a sign that you need to reduce your servings amount. If you experience any negative effects discontinue use right away and seek expert consultation.
From Day 1, it is good practice to document and track basic details about your cannabinoid consumption, what specific amounts, brands, and types you used, and any reactions or effects experienced over short and long periods of time. While it may seem tedious, it is the best way to see if you are getting any benefit. After you've established your routine and optimal servings, it may no longer be necessary, but it is an essential tool when you are still figuring it out. Try not to change or introduce other new elements or supplements during any phases of experimentation, so you can judge if it's the cannabinoids or something else at play. Ask yourself: How is your mind and body responding to cannabinoids? Are you getting any positive or negative effects or has nothing changed? What happens when you increase or decrease servings? To help you get started, download a free daily tracker template here, or check out some other nifty options: Goldleaf CBD Jotter - Beautifully designed paper journal Releaf App - Digital journal
The best way to protect yourself as a consumer is to stay informed. The research, product, and regulatory landscape of cannabinoids is constantly evolving. We are living in an unprecedented era where clinical research is quickly expanding, thanks to the increasing legalization of medical and recreational use of cannabis and the federal legalization of hemp cultivation in America. It is important to note that some of the most impactful public health systems in the U.S., such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the VA, have funded cannabinoid research that is currently in progress. Thankfully, this is also a global evolution, with many countries such as Israel, the Netherlands, and Canada being more advanced in terms of implementing large scale human studies of the phyto-therapeutic value of cannabinoids. At Polite, we are optimistic that the best is yet to come and we hope you will join our movement to create safe, effective, and affordable access to whole-plant cannabinoids. It's why we get up in the morning, and we hope it helps you do the same.