Whole Plant Research

November 15th, 2018 by Cara Oorbeck

Whole Plant Research

By Cara Oorbeck Green Wellness Life Operations Guru

Advances In Scientific Research

Western science has made so many advances in medicine since the nineteenth century through its methods of scientific research. By carefully isolating and excluding variables that might impact the result, science has been able to find the very chemical compound that has an effect at a particular amount, in a particular group of people. However, some researchers are beginning to see a limitation in the current methods. This is in part due to limitations in knowing how complex systems behave. For whole hemp cannabidiol (CBD) research and other new phytotherapeutics research, this is called therapeutic synergy.Whole Plant Image

Entourage Effect: Whole Plant Therapeutics

When whole plant (sometimes referred to as full-spectrum) CBD hemp oil is used for a specific condition it creates what is known as an entourage effect. This therapeutic synergy means that the various chemicals in the whole plant oil impact each other and improve the outcomes. There are a number of active compounds in whole plant CBD hemp oil–various fatty acids, terpenes, precursor chemicals, naturally occurring Vitamin E–and these compounds can improve the efficacy of the CBD by the way that they work together.

But developing a clinical trial that studies and accounts for the broader effects of therapeutic synergy is difficult, as it will be next to impossible to isolate the specific effects of a single element in a compound. Peer-reviewed scientific research works like a series of stepping stones. One study is used to build on the next. Everyone involved follows the same rules and protocols to ensure that the building blocks they are using are scientifically sound. This way of working has been the standard for many years. Due to the nature of systems and the complexity of the ways that whole plant therapeutics work, It is going to require a new way of doing phytopharmacology research.

New Research Methods

We do have some of these new methods already being used today. These methods include

These methods and others are becoming increasingly available for clinical research studies. Modern medical research is going to use as many bio-statisticians and computer scientists as research and laboratory assistants. As these new ways of working become more accepted, the ability for clinical research studies, to understand the impacts of whole plant CBD will change.

More Is Not Always Better

Several properties of CBD will need new models of clinical research. There are some challenging factors when testing CBD. The CBD compound can have a narrow band of effective serving size for different conditions. The effective serving may be small, with smaller and larger servings being less effective. If the right serving is not easily determined, often people will give up and stop taking CBD because they are not noticing a benefit. This is something we often hear at Green Wellness Life. We always try to coach our customers to stay the course and find their own best fit.

One Size Does Not Fit Everyone

To make it more challenging, this narrow band of effective serving size may be different for different conditions and individual’s genetic makeup. No one person or condition is exactly the same. “The concentration of CBD, the weight of the individual, the individual’s body chemistry and the severity of the condition being treated can all play a factor.” There is not a “one size fits all” serving, and there will be some trial and error while gauging your best fit. This can be challenging when setting standards that are effective for each condition. The hope is that as we begin to study and understand more about the benefits of using CBD for a variety of inflammatory conditions, neuroprotective and regenerative applications, and using the compound as an adjunct to other therapies the public will become more open and believing of its healing properties. Activists, such as parent groups for children with autism spectrum disorder and families of those challenged by Parkinson’s Disease are leading the way to encourage and support new methods of scientific research. Their encouragement has been critical for funding several new clinical trials.

CBD is being used as a therapy or adjunct therapy in the US for a group of refractory seizure disorders in children. In the EU and Canada, there is more acceptance by the medical community. CBD is being used as an actual treatment for conditions, rather than the current practice of using the compounds as nutritional supplements. However, the real breakthrough in both our acceptance and understanding of the wide range of therapeutic benefits in whole plant CBD will come from a broader application of research practices that study the synergistic effects of the numerous elements and compounds in the whole plant, hemp-based CBD compounds.

Information On Current Studies

If you are interested in more information on current clinical studies, The National Institute of Health maintains a database of clinical studies, a clearinghouse of sorts so studies can find participants and people can read and participate in ongoing clinical research. The database details if the studies are currently recruiting participants, are running, or have been completed. Completed studies publish the research results.