Curcumin is popularly known for its multiple health benefits. It is often combined with several other agents to deliver its best bio-availability. What is the science behind this?
The five elements of nature: Water, Earth, Fire, Air, and Ether has bestowed us with endless gifts that not only support life but also inspire us every moment in a special way.
It’s the right time that we contemplate conscious actions to become agents of change to protect and conserve nature. Sharing and spreading good thoughts can help build communities that can contribute to as well as inculcate sustainable living.
In this blog, I would like to talk to you about two simple but precious gifts picked from mother nature’s basket. Cannabis and Curcumin.
What is Cannabis
Cannabis or marijuana comes from the cannabis plant used for medical, recreational, Industrial, and spiritual purposes. Cannabis is one of the species among the 170 species of the Cannabaceae plant family. The Cannabis plant divides itself into three broad types which are Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Thousands of hybrids are derived from the combination of these.
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Breeders of Cannabis breed more customized varieties of cannabis for therapeutic and medicinal usage.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are the main chemical compounds found in cannabis. The fluctuating levels of these constituents determine its psychotropic levels and are put to use appropriately.
Cannabis is available in various forms such as extracts, oils, smoking, vaping, creams, topical application, or may also be infused in food.
Does Cannabis get you high?
The Cannabis plant is psychoactive in nature and gives euphoric effects when consumed that predominantly depends on the dosage.
As pointed earlier, THC and CBD are the two major chemical compounds present in Cannabis. THC is the ingredient that is psychotropic and CBD is not.
The present-day developments in science and technology have opened avenues for an alternative approach to disease treatment.
Extensive research and scientific evidence-based reports on plant-based medicine is the need of the hour that can alter the pharmacological approach to treating diseases.
Thanks to the growth of several Institutions that are focussed on Cannabis research. Some of them to point out in this context are: UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the first academic programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis, ICRS– International Cannabinoid Research Society, Society of Cannabis Clinicians, and International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines.
Also, independent researchers, and medical professionals, are enthusiastically involving themselves in peer-reviewed studies, double-blind studies, clinical tests, etc that are leading to a much broader outlook on cannabis use. The outcomes of this research are bent towards proving the therapeutic potential as well as enhancing scientific understanding of cannabis and hemp on the body, brain, mind, and society.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is a chemical component present in turmeric. Also known as Curcuma longa it belongs to the ginger family. Categorized under the spice family, since time immemorial turmeric has occupied prime importance in the culinary, cosmetic, medicinal, religious, spiritual, and areas of applicability. Its origin can be traced around Southeast Asia, Vietnam, China, and Western India.
Curcumin with its distinct color and flavor gets liberally used as a spice in curries and mustard. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, wound healing, properties benefits for a wide range of medicinal applicability in day to day life. For example, it is a handy home remedy ingredient for treating wounds, bruises, insect bites, etc.
Curcumin’s applicability varies in different forms in different cultures around the world. It can be used for processing food, or while cooking or can also be consumed in several forms including capsules, tablets, ointments, energy drinks, and cosmetic applications including soaps, and creams.
Chemical Properties of Curcumin
Although Curcumin is popularly known for its multiple health benefits, it is often combined with several other agents that its best potential is achieved. What is the science behind this?
This question arises because some literature points out that its medical use lacks clinical research and according to a 2017 study many clinical trials have not been successful. Although Curcumin’s historical relevance and usage can be traced in the Indian Ayurvedic medicine, its potential medicinal properties remain unproven when used orally.
The counter-argument to this comes from another study. Curcumin, when combined with other components, delivers its potential benefits better. This is due to the fact that curcumins’ poor bioavailability leads to poor absorption. At this point, several other components that combine with it perfectly to best deliver its bioavailability.
For example, piperine, the major active component of black pepper combines with curcumin enhances its bioavailability by 2000% and delivers multiple health benefits.
Research suggests that curcumin can help in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia.
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