10 Cannabinoids and What They Do
There are more than 85 different cannabinoids that have been identified as being ‘active’ in the cannabis plant. Each of these has a different chemical structure and serves a different purpose. One of the main differences between these cannabinoids is how psychologically active they are. For example, CBG, CBD and CBC are not psychologically active, and therefore do not “get you high”. Meanwhile, THC does, as does CBN and CBDL. Some compounds are just mildly psychoactive, whereas others are much more potent in their effects. Some compounds can actually help to mitigate some of the cognitive impairment that is associated with being very high.
There are a handful of cannabinoids that are particularly well-known for having beneficial effects on the body, and these are the ones that people are turning to now when they want healing and recovery, or they are looking to treat conditions that do not respond to conventional medicine.
People who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, cancer, Chron’s disease, and even PTSD all find that CBD and other cannabinoids can help them to enjoy a better feeling of wellbeing. While the substance may not actually cure people, it does go a long way towards reducing pain and can help to fight the inflammation that is aggravating a person’s symptoms. It can promote healing, and help to fight against bacteria. There is some evidence to suggest cancer-fighting properties as well, but these are not completely clear.
10 – CBD – Promotes the growth of bones, reduces blood sugar levels, helps to soothe nausea and reduce vomiting. Works as a painkiller helps to combat inflammation, and also helps to reduce seizures and convulsions. CBD is the most well-known of the cannabinoids, and the most readily available in stores and online.
9 – CBDA– Helps to fight inflammation, and there is some evidence that it may also inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells. This particular compound is found in marijuana that has not been ‘decarbed’ yet. This means raw cannabis. It is interesting because it can be applied topically or eaten, but it cannot be inhaled or smoked, because when it is heated up, it breaks down into something that is less effective. Raw CBDA is anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant, and it has been found to offer improvements in intestinal function, and also improvements in neural function.
8 – CBG – Is often used as a sleep aid. Helps to promote bone growth. This cannabinoid has also been found to slow the growth of bacteria and is thought to inhibit the growth of some kinds of cancer cells. This particular cannabinoid is one that is found in the plant during the early part of the growth cycle. This means that it is hard to get large quantities of it. It is a non-psychoactive substance, and it can be cultivated in hemp. Because it is non-psychoactive, scientists are doing a lot of research on its healing properties. It has been found to be a good antibiotic, and it has been found to be antimicrobial and anti-fungal as well. There is some evidence to suggest that it could be used as a treatment for certain skin conditions such as psoriasis. It has also been found to be a stronger pain reliever than THC, as well as a mood stabilizer.
7 – CBGA – This is another cannabinoid that helps to reduce inflammation and also soothe the pain. It has been found to slow the growth of bacteria.
6 – CBC – Like many other cannabinoids, CBC is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It is also effective for pain relief and reduces inflammation, which means it is good for treating injuries and many chronic pain conditions. It has also been found to help promote bone growth. CBC is the third most common of the cannabinoids in the plant, and it is, in some strains, dominant over CBD. It is non-psychoactive, and the health benefits are clear. Interestingly enough, a 2010 study found that CBC’s anti-inflammatory properties are at their greatest when it is taken alongside THC. Now, this may not be what someone wants to hear if they are taking cannabinoids in order to recover from a condition, but they don’t want the psychoactive effects.
Those findings, however, do suggest that the different cannabinoids work together in a way that we do not fully understand, and that there could be synergies with other cannabinoids that could be beneficial for the making of medication. CBC has been found to be beneficial as an antidepressant.
5 – CBCA – This is often used to treat fungal infections and also to reduce inflammation.
4 – 9-THCA – This particular cannabinoid is one that has gotten a lot of media coverage for its ability to suppress muscle spasms. It has also been found to be helpful in aiding sleep, and it may help to inhibit cancer cell growth.
3 – 9-THC – Another THC-based cannabinoid, this particular one has been found to help reduce nausea and vomiting. It is also an effective pain reliever, and it can help to improve a person’s appetite – perhaps why cannabis users often report feeling “the munchies”. In addition, it can help to suppress muscle spasms.
2 – 8-THC – The primary benefit of this particular cannabinoid is pain relief.
1 – THCV – This cannabinoid is used to reduce seizures and convulsions, and it also has the benefit of helping to promote bone growth. What makes THCV interesting is that while it works alongside THC, it only has about one-fifth of THC’s psychoactive properties. In fact, some research shows that it can help to mitigate some of the problems associated with THC.
The power of THCV as an anti-epileptic is something that excites researchers. In addition, it has been found to help people to mitigate the effects of high THC marijuana, reducing speech impairment and slowness that comes with being very high. There is also some evidence to show that it helps to promote weight loss.
Issues With Cannabinoids
The issue with cannabinoids is that there is a lot of misinformation about how they work, how they are taken, their benefits, and the effects that they have on the body. In most countries, cannabis itself is a controlled substance, but that is because of the THC – which is the compound that gets people high. Taking CBD, or some of the low – THC substances, is not the same. CBD will not get you high. Therefore you can take it by itself – in oil form, for example – then you will enjoy the health benefits without anything that could impair your cognitive function.
It’s this that is making so many people consider CBD and other cannabinoids. They can be highly beneficial for people who want relief from chronic pain but cannot use cannabis because of the psychoactive effect. People in drug-tested professions, people who find that marijuana makes them paranoid, and people who live in states or countries where medical marijuana is not an option all benefit from cannabinoids that do not have psychoactive properties.
Cannabis is a true gold mine in terms of medicine. The above are just a handful of the compounds that scientists are researching. There are many others, and some of them are equally promising. But what does all this mean for a normal person? Well, if you’re looking to experiment with the healing properties of cannabinoids, then the first thing that you should do is familiarise yourself with the laws in your area, and then look into what sellers have to offer that is legal, but effective. Be aware that a lot of high street retailers are selling hemp oil that does not have a good concentration of CBD in it, or selling CBD that is so low in potency that it is simply a highly expensive, but virtually inert, liquid.
Bioavailability and potency vary massively, so it’s important to research the strain that the oil comes from, and the strength of it. Be aware that THC is psychoactive, and if you buy oils that contain that, with the intent of vaping them, then you could be putting your job at risk if you work somewhere that performs regular drug tests. Not all employers do. THC is legal in some parts of the world, but not everywhere.
If you’re looking to benefit from medical marijuana, then talk to your doctor. Work with them to find something that will suit you, and be aware of the differences in strains and the cannabinoids that they contain. The scientific community is getting behind cannabinoids, but it will be a long time before society catches up and before the government starts to truly accept how beneficial it can be. While we wait, all we can do is try to operate within the letter of the law. If that means sticking to a limited selection of non-psychoactive cannabinoids in the meantime, then that is all that we can do.