Cannabinoids 101

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds, produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. What’s amazing, is they are exclusive to cannabis and have not been detected in any other plant. They bond with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), causing a therapeutic effect. With ECS receptors all over our body, benefits from cannabinoids are typically varied & widespread. There are more than 100 confirmed cannabinoids – not just THC & CBD. We also are starting to see specific cannabinoids be isolated for particular health benefits.

That being said, first and foremost, it is important to understand that consuming the plant as a whole is, and likely always will be, the best way to obtain health benefits from cannabis. Enter the entourage effect, which says the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work together to create a synergistic effect.  However, for certain ailments or conditions, a concentration of a particular cannabinoid might be the piece of the health puzzle you’ve been searching for and a way to get an added boost from your cannabis medicine. Second, there are no human studies on cannabinoids.  Due to federal restrictions, cannabinoids are just starting to be researched, and information is limited.  Therefore, all medical statements are promising, but nothing is proved.  Finally, always ask to see the COA, or Certificate of Analysis if you are not buying from a medically licensed dispensary.  It is important to know exactly what is in the products you are consuming.

Now, on to some cannabinoids beyond THC and CBD you might see more of in 2020.

CBN (Cannabinol) – Created as THC ages & breaks down. No euphoric effect when isolated, but can increase the euphoric feelings of THC. Very sedative when combined with THC, making it good for insomnia. Potential as a neuroprotectant, delaying neurodegenerative conditions like ALS. May also be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory & for glaucoma. CBN products currently sold at Liberty Health.

CBG – (Cannabigerols) – No euphoric effect. Shows promise in decreasing inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. May also be a good neuroprotective, specifically benefiting Huntington’s disease. Possible cancer fighter shown to block receptors & inhibit tumor growth associated with colorectal cancer.

THCA – (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) – Found in raw, live cannabis. As cannabis dries, or is burned, vaporized, or heated, THCA converts to THC. No euphoric effect. Possible anti-inflammatory properties for treatment of arthritis, lupus & Crohn’s. Anti-proliferative properties noted in studies of prostate cancer. To consume THCA, juice raw parts of cannabis. Mary’s Medicianals also makes THCA patches.

THCV – (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) – Euphoric feeling like THC, but offers a unique variety of effects & medical benefits that set it apart. May dull appetite. Promising for diabetics in its ability to regulate blood sugar levels & reduce insulin resistance. Seems to improve tremors, motor control, & brain lesions from Alzheimer’s disease. Appears to curb anxiety attacks without suppressing emotion. Strains typically higher in THCV: Durban Poison, Pineapple Purps, Jack the Ripper.