PCR Hemp Oil Products

When Heidi, her clients, friends and associates saw dramatic benefits after using phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp and mushrooms on their pets, she set out to create a line of special and distinct products. Heidi gave PCR hemp bites to Pearl every day for most of her final year and is convinced that they minimized her discomfort and allowed her to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Combining her existing knowledge of animals and the pet industry with her found passion for the healing power of PCR and fungi, Heidi formulated the idea for a supplement with the potential to help a large number of people and their animals. She worked with veterinarians and experts in the field to create these high-quality products that reflect our values and philosophy while also providing a positive, functional contribution to the health of animals, people and the environment.

Reported Health Benefits of PCR Hemp Oil

  • Helps maintain normal emotional balance and calmness
  • Supports immune system function
  • Supports a healthy inflammatory response
  • Helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract

Benefits of our Hemp/Mushroom bites include:

  • Each bite is infused with a minimum of either 3 mg or 7.5 mg of full spectrum phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp oil (containing whole plant constituents such as terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) derived from hemp that is organically grown in Colorado
  • Each batch of bites is third-party tested to confirm potency and to ensure the product is free from pesticides as well as residual solvents
  • Made with organic pasture raised chicken from family farms in Wisconsin or New Zealand grass-fed lamb liver
  • Includes certified organic blend of five mushrooms: Reishi, Shiitake, Mesima, Poria & Turkey Tail
    PCR hemp oil is available in three potencies (100, 250 & 500 mg) and unflavored for easy administration to dogs and cats
  • Formulated by Heidi Hill, homeopath and owner of Holistic Hound in Berkeley, California who has 15 years of knowledge and experience in animal nutrition and health

The Science Behind PCR Hemp

Inside all mammals is an intricate network of receptors that play important roles in health, healing, and homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in the early 1990s, but evolutionary evidence indicates that some version of an ECS has existed in all vertebrates (as well as sea squirts and nematodes) for at least 600 million years, suggesting that these receptors and the substances that bind to them play a crucial role in the functioning of life.  There are three main receptors associated with the ECS: CB1, CB2, and TRPV1. According to Raphael Mechoulam, the chemist who first isolated THC in the 1960s, these receptors are most abundant in the brain and they are not found everywhere – they persist in specific areas that are involved in important bodily processes like coordination & movement, emotions, memory, reduction of pain, and reproduction.  CB1 was discovered in 1990 and is cited as one of the most common receptors found in the brain, again a testament to this system’s key role in neurological processes. CB2 was the second receptor to be discovered. It is largely found in immune cells, although it can be found in other parts of the body including the digestive system and peripheral nervous system. TRPV1 is involved in pain response, inflammation, and regulation of body temperature. It is known as the attachment site for capsaicin – the compound responsible for the burning sensation we associate with chili peppers.

The receptors mentioned above are nothing without the substances that attach to and activate them – the endogenous cannabinoids that our bodies produce. The most studied of these endocannabinoids are AEA (nicknamed anandamide after the Sanskrit word for “bliss”) and 2-AG. Both can attach to CB1 and CB2, although AEA prefers CB1 and 2-AG prefers CB2. Dustin Sulak, an Osteopath who uses cannabis in his practice, describes these endocannabinoids as keys that open the same locks (receptors). Depending on which keys are used, the locks will open to different doors. This system, which is responsible for maintaining various bodily processes, can become imbalanced in various ways: receptors can be over or under active, and endocannabinoid levels can be too low or too high.

The Science Behind PCR Hemp

Inside all mammals is an intricate network of receptors that play important roles in health, healing, and homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in the early 1990s, but evolutionary evidence indicates that some version of an ECS has existed in all vertebrates (as well as sea squirts and nematodes) for at least 600 million years, suggesting that these receptors and the substances that bind to them play a crucial role in the functioning of life.  There are three main receptors associated with the ECS: CB1, CB2, and TRPV1. According to Raphael Mechoulam, the chemist who first isolated THC in the 1960s, these receptors are most abundant in the brain and they are not found everywhere – they persist in specific areas that are involved in important bodily processes like coordination & movement, emotions, memory, reduction of pain, and reproduction.  CB1 was discovered in 1990 and is cited as one of the most common receptors found in the brain, again a testament to this system’s key role in neurological processes. CB2 was the second receptor to be discovered. It is largely found in immune cells, although it can be found in other parts of the body including the digestive system and peripheral nervous system. TRPV1 is involved in pain response, inflammation, and regulation of body temperature. It is known as the attachment site for capsaicin – the compound responsible for the burning sensation we associate with chili peppers.

The receptors mentioned above are nothing without the substances that attach to and activate them – the endogenous cannabinoids that our bodies produce. The most studied of these endocannabinoids are AEA (nicknamed anandamide after the Sanskrit word for “bliss”) and 2-AG. Both can attach to CB1 and CB2, although AEA prefers CB1 and 2-AG prefers CB2. Dustin Sulak, an Osteopath who uses cannabis in his practice, describes these endocannabinoids as keys that open the same locks (receptors). Depending on which keys are used, the locks will open to different doors. This system, which is responsible for maintaining various bodily processes, can become imbalanced in various ways: receptors can be over or under active, and endocannabinoid levels can be too low or too high.

In 1991, Harvey et al. compared the metabolism of CBD in rats, dogs, and humans (1). While they did find that CBD is metabolized differently among these animals, they concluded that overall, the way these animals metabolized the CBD showed the same trends.  The human and canine CBD metabolic process may vary, but this has not stopped pet owners from using hemp products in an attempt to combat the symptoms and ailments that both species seem to share.

In the Spring of 2016, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) published a study that investigated the growing trend of pet owners who use hemp products on their pets. What they found suggests that some pet owners believe that hemp products help alleviate discomfort and promote calmness with minimal side effects.

The authors of this study conducted a survey of visitors to one hemp product company website for one month in 2015.  Of the 631 respondents who said they use hemp products on their dogs, the majority indicated that they use them for conditions diagnosed by their veterinarian. They also reported that these products were moderate to very helpful in improving their pet’s well-being and that they had a positive impact in relieving discomfort, promoting calm, and helping with sleep. Side effects reported were minimal: sedation and over-active appetite.

Overall, owners seem to be using hemp because they either prefer “natural products” and want to supplement conventional therapies.  While this study group was limited and subject to the biases of each individual pet owner, the findings bring to light some interesting trends and reinforce much of the anecdotal evidence reported by media outlets of cannabis’ ability to promote overall physical and mental well-being.

References

[1] Harvey, D. J., Samara, E., & Mechoulam, R. (1991). Comparative metabolism of cannabidiol in dog, rat and man. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 40(3), 523-532.

Phytocannabinoids are substances found in plants (most notably in Cannabis sativa) that are able to stimulate the same ECS receptors mentioned previously. There are at least 113 known phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant; the most well-known and studied of these phytocannabinoids is THC but in recent years, this molecule’s non-psychoactive counterpart, CBD, has received much media attention.  CBD or cannabidiol was first isolated in 1963 by Raphael Mechoulam – one year before the chemist elucidated the structure of THC.  Both substances can modulate the ECS, but CBD does not alter the mind or behavior in the same way THC does. THC attaches directly to CB1 and CB2, much like the endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG. CBD’s effects are achieved in a different manner: the molecule affects these receptors, but not by directly attaching to them in the same way as THC and AEA.

Newer research indicates that CBD does attach to CB1—just not at the same receptor site as THC or AEA. By attaching to a different area, it is thought that CBD can change the shape of the receptor and thus influence how this receptor will interact with the other substances that bind to it.  CBD can also influence the ECS in other ways: it can suppress the enzyme that breaks down AEA, thereby prolonging the endocannabinoid’s effects. It can also directly attach to TRPV1 and other receptors that play roles in the cardiovascular and neurological systems.