Cannabinoids are the chemicals which give the cannabis plant its medicinal properties and there are well over 100 that can be present. All cannabinoids are psychoactive as they work on the brain, but very few are intoxicating.
They work by interacting with different receptors (part of the Endocannabiniod System/ECS) in the body to produce a wide range of effects such as feelings of euphoria, calmness, happy, focused, etc. Most can bind to receptors like a key fits into a lock. By unlocking these receptors, changes in cell functions occurring that will lead to different effects in the body.
Delta 9 THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid most people think of when talking about cannabis. When people refer to “getting high” they are referring to the experience of the intoxicating effects of THC.
THC begins as THCA, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, which is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis. THCA converts from its acidic form either by heat or time and then turned into THC. The THC then binds to CB1 receptors in the brain producing intoxicating effects
Cannabidolic acid (CBDA), is the most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis sativa plant. CBDA converts into CBD when heated or over time. CBDA is has been shown promising results as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and anti-nausea. It is non-intoxicating.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming an extremely popular cannabinoid. This cannabinoid is the first to be approved by the FDA and is used for seizures from epilepsy. CBD is non-intoxicating and is being researched for: Anti-inflammation, analgesic properties, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and anti-psychotic properties.
Check out our FAQ page for more on the basics of CBD!
Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA) is considered the “parent” for all cannabinoids. It is the precursor for THCA, CBDA and CBCA, which then can convert to THC, CBD, & CBC.
Different enzymes dictate on which cannabinoid the CBGA will convert to. CBGA can help as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Cannabigerol is the conversion from CBGA. CBG is beneficial as a vasodilator in the eyes and can aide in glaucoma and ocular migraines. Some possible benefits from CBG are neuroprotectant, antibacterial and anti-tumor. It is also being looked into for digestive issues such as diverticulitis and IBS.
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Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA) is the precursor for CBC. It is a phyotocannabinoid that shows promise for anti-inflammation, antimicrobial and analgesic properties.
Cannabichromene (CBC) binds well with pain-related receptors and helps to increase the body’s levels of natural endocannabinoids. CBC has also been shown to slow and stop the inflammation of acne. Through the entourage effect, CBC also appears to have antidepressant properties.
THCA/THC can turn into cannabinol (CBN) via UV Light exposure, heat and/or oxidation. CBN has been shown to delay symptom onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease in mice indicating that it may help with motor neural diseases.
This cannabinoid also aides as a bronchial dilator and is also known for anti-inflammation, anti-anxiety and as a sedative. According to Steep Hill Laboratories 5mg of CBN is equal to 10mg of Diazepam.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin(THCV), THCV is similar to THC, but with a few less carbon atoms. This cannabinoid shows promise for anticonvulsant and neuroprotective properties. It may also be an appetite suppressant, good for weight loss and diabetes.
Although we’ve only named a few here, there are many more cannabinoids than the popular CBD and THC. Each one offers its own set of characteristics and benefits, and when utilized properly can have great potential in helping us achieve healthier lives. We hope that as cannabis research advances, we will learn more about the ways phytocannabinoids can help improve mind and body wellness!