What Are Marijuana Cannabinoids and Their Benefits?
Terpenes and cannabinoids are the primary compounds found in marijuana that provide the medical benefits and effects experienced when consuming different marijuana products and strains.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms. Cannabinoids work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. There are dozens - and potentially more than 100 cannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant!
THC has a variety of short-term effects that may or may not be experienced as it depends on the individual. For example, some may find that THC provides strong peaceful and calming effects, while others may experience an increase in anxiety and uneasiness. Each of our body's chemistry is different and will not react all the same to marijuana, but certain strains and of THC can also create different outcomes in how an individual will feel.
THC can produce many psychoactive effects, including relaxation, euphoria, relaxation, appetite stimulation, creativity, and energy boosts. Opposed effects can include redness of the eyes, dizziness, paranoid anxiety or dry mouth.
THC also carries numerous medicinal benefits for a variety of medical symptoms and conditions. This includes anti-inflammation insomnia, pain relief, autoimmune disorders, nausea, anxiety, stress and depression. THC has also shown the potential to be a possible anti-cancer agent, antioxidant and neuroprotectant.
CBD has grown in popularity due to its incredible versatility in the treatment of a variety of medical symptoms and conditions. Unlike THC, CBD is known for its non-intoxicating relief, including the ability to counteract the psychoactive effects or the 'high' of THC.
CBD has been shown to provide a wide range of medical benefits including anxiety, inflammation, seizures and chronic pain. CBD initially gained a large recognition for its strong anticonvulsant properties, creating an increase in use for treatment in epileptic patients, including children.
In addition to being a powerful anticonvulsant, CBD also has shown neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and has been used for treatments in conditions such as addiction, anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative diseases and even cancer.
CBD has also been studied to help additional disorders including opioid dependence, neuropathic pain, nausea and vomiting (from chemotherapy), depression and anxiety, and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
Cannabinol is considered a mild psychoactive cannabinoid and is known for its powerful calming properties. CBN is a byproduct of THC and can usually be found in small amounts in most cannabis strains. However, many cannabis-based products such as edibles, capsules, topicals, tinctures and vape cartridges may contain higher levels of CBN.
CBN offers a unique profile of effects and medicinal benefits that have researchers seeking more information about this cannabinoid. CBN is particularly known to be a favorable sleep aid, and it is also good for reducing muscle spasms and pain. So far, CBN’s studied benefits have said to include pain relief, antibacterial, appetite stimulant, anti-inflammatory and assist with insomnia.
CBN’s most pronounced, characterizing attribute is its sedative effect. Unlike THC, CBN induces little to no intoxicating effects. This is great news for patients needing to medicate with a clear head, but you should note that most flowers contain only trace amounts of CBN. Where THC contents can hit a high watermark of over 30%, CBN rarely exceeds 1% in dried flower.
As THC oxidizes (i.e. exposure to oxygen over time), it converts to CBN. This is why aged, poorly stored cannabis is likely to have higher levels of CBN than fresh flower in an air-tight container.
CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which means that it does not produce a 'high' that is usually associated with THC. In most cannabis strains, there is a very low level of CBG that is present, usually less than 1%. Astoundingly, THC and CBD begin as CBG as it is the chemical parent of both components!
CBG can provide a wide variety of health benefits which include the following:
Works as an antibacterial and antifungal agent
Contains antioxidant properties
Helps fight cancer and block receptors that cause growth in cancer cells
Lowers intraocular pressure (good for patients suffering from glaucoma)
Works as a neuroprotectant
Decreases the inflammation characteristic of IBD
Because CBG is non-psychotropic, it has the potential to not only help with the medical problems that are mentioned above, but it can also assist with pain management, therapy for psoriasis, and act as an antidepressant.
Cannabichromene is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that contains properties such as pain relief, anti-inflammatory, help with gastrointestinal and digestive issues and acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. CBC also has the potential to contribute to the revitalization of brain cells that can potentially help with treatments of Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, dementia, and multiple sclerosis.
It has also been said that CBC works well in conjunction with THC and CBD to help with depression.
CBC has also appeared to prevent the uptake of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid found in our body, which allows it to remain the bloodstream longer. Research has stated that behind CBG, Cannabichromene is the second most potent cannabinoid in helping to prevent the growth of new cancer cells.
Although their names may sound similar and have similar molecular structures, THCV provides a multitude of different effects than THC. Tetrahydrocannabivarin supplies a wide potential of psychoactive effects and medicinal benefits.
Cannabis strains or products that are high in THCV can result in a stimulating and cerebral type of high that may provide a psychedelic and energetic energetic experience. This high is usually shorter in duration.
Most strains only contain a small, undetectable amount of THCV, which can make it difficult to achieve its desired effects. Compared to THC, THCV is an appetite suppressant. THCV has the potential to help with weight loss, however, it should be avoided by patients who are seeking treatment for either anorexia or appetite loss.
THCV could also help with osteoporosis as it can play a part in stimulating bone health. THCV also provides anticonvulsant properties that may help with muscle spasms, neurodegenerative, and seizures. THCV can also be ideal in the treatment of PTSD as it can help with anxiety and panic attacks.
Research has shown that THCV can help with the treatment of diabetic patients as the cannabinoid can regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. THCV can also help with Alzheimer’s patients and serve as an aid for symptoms such as tremors, motor control, and brain lesions.
THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid)
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid and one of the primary components of live cannabis. When in its raw form from cannabis, THCA may have a number of therapeutic applications due to its non-psychoactive nature.
THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a cannabis compound that is beginning to demonstrate therapeutic potential despite the infancy of its research. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. THCA slowly converts to THC when the plant is dried or exposed to heat.
While THCA is the more accurate label for flower that hasn’t been decarboxylated, they essentially mean the same thing if you assume the consumer intends on vaporizing or heating the product in some way.
THCA still holds a variety of beneficial properties if it is not converted to THC. This includes anti-inflammatory properties, neuroprotective properties for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and anti-emetic properties for the treatment of nausea and appetite loss.
Because acidic forms can be consumed at significantly higher levels, THCA may potentially act as an effective neuroprotectant, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, appetite stimulant, pain reliever, and anti-proliferative agent. THCA may be found in topicals, tinctures, capsules and raw cannabis juice.