Cannabinoids refer to a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. There are more than 120 known cannabinoids, and all react with our bodies differently to yield different results.
Differences between Cannabinoids
As mentioned above, all the cannabinoids are different and unique in their own way. However, the main difference between these chemical compounds is their psychoactivity.
For instance, while THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is known to be highly psychoactive, CBD (Cannabidiol) is not psychoactive at all.
How Cannabinoids Works
These chemical compounds work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system popularly known as the ECS. The ECS can be described as a network or system of receptors that react with these chemical compounds to bring about the various health benefits.
They are two commonly known cannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2 receptors. While CB1 receptors are more concentrated in the brain, the cb2 receptors are distributed throughout the immune and central nervous system.
By interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, cannabinoids such as CBD are able to yield health benefits such as pain and anxiety relief, mood control, etc.
In this post, we will talk about the five most popular cannabinoids to let you know what they are and how they react with our bodies to bring about the various effects.
Popularly known as THC, this is the most well known of the cannabinoids. It is famous for its mind-altering effects and hence very popular among recreational marijuana users.
According to research, however, THC can also help in alleviating pain and reducing inflammation. According to experts, THC can also work great in eliminating nausea and vomiting especially in people undergoing cancer treatments.
To achieve its effects, THC attaches itself to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Although its presence can be detected in our bodies for an extended period of time than most drugs, its ‘high’ effects only last for several hours.
According to experts, THC can also help in eliminating muscle spasms, treating glaucoma, and stimulating the appetite. It is also believed that THC can help protect the nervous system, hence making it an ideal option for people suffering from autism, post-stroke symptoms, and ADHD.
Popularly known as CBD, Cannabidiol is probably the main reason why hemp has become so famous and popular among medical marijuana patients.
CBD is known for its health benefits, and the fact that it is not psychoactive makes it a darling among medical marijuana patients.
According to recent publications, CBD is slowly transforming almost every sector of the health and wellness industry. Walk into coffee shops today, and you will get CBD-infused lattes. Walk into beauty parlours, and you will come across CBD facials, etc. Such is the influence of this super-beneficial compound.
However, it is not up to 2018 that the FDA approved the first CBD-based medication. The drug, known as Epidiolex has proved to be useful in the fight against some types of epilepsy.
According to Farma.Health, a wellness company specializing in medical marijuana, CBD can help the body in different ways and can be an effective treatment against chronic pain, cancer symptoms, seizures, anxiety, and depression.
CBD also boats of antipsychotic properties and hence can be useful in treating cases of mental health. Other common uses of Cannabidiol include treating muscle spasms and reducing inflammation.
- CBN (Cannabinol)
Another popular cannabinoid is CBN or cannabinol. Although most people confuse CBN with CBD, it is crucial to note that this compound is unique and benefits the body differently.
The research carried on this compound so far indicates that it can be a useful pain relieving agent, has anti-bacterial, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory and anti-insomnia properties. It is also believed that the compound can boost the development of bone cells in addition to stimulating the appetite.
Also, researchers claim that cannabinol can be an excellent sedative agent. According to reports, about 5mg of cannabinol can yield the same results as 10mg of diazepam (a pharmaceutical sedating agent)
According to research, CBN is a product of THC oxidation. This means that when tetrahydrocannabinol is exposed to heat or oxygen, CBN is created.
The best thing about CBN is that, unlike THC, this compound won’t make you high.
- CBDa (Cannabidiolic acid)
CBDa is another popular cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. According to research, CBD exists as CBDa during plant growth. CBD is created after cutting, drying and heating the hemp plant.
Unlike most other cannabinoids, this compound does not work by interacting directly with the CB2 and CB1 receptors. Instead, it works with the endocannabinoid system inhibiting the production of COX-2 enzyme. Through this, this compound is able to reduce inflammation in our bodies.
Although more research is still needed, preliminary studies have found CBDa useful in eliminating vomiting or nausea, psychosis and can also inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
- CBGa (Cannabigerol)
Although THC and CBD are the most known cannabinoids, Cannabigerol is the most important chemical compounds, as none of all the other cannabinoids would exist without it.
As the hemp plant grows, it produces CBGa. As the plant matures, the compound converts itself into other cannabinoids such as CBDa, CBCa, THCa, etc. For this reason, the compound is referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids.
The ratio at which Cannabigerol is converted into each of the cannabinoids is determined by factors such as the growing formula or conditions and the genetic composition of the plant. For instance, the hemp plant will convert to more CBD than THC.
According to research, Cannabigerol boasts of excellent anti-proliferative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.
As you can see, each of the cannabinoids benefits our bodies differently, and while some are psychoactive, some are not.
Other popular cannabinoids include cannabinodol (CBDL), Cannabicyclol (CBL), and Cannabitriol (CBT).
Thinking of turning to marijuana for your underlying health condition or just for an improved quality of life? It is crucial to understand how the various cannabinoids benefit our bodies and the best way to consume them. It is also crucial that you get the dosage right.