Most Americans know about CBD and our body’s endocannabinoid system by now, but the cannabis plant actually produces a wide array of compounds known as cannabinoids, and they all have many different effects on our bodies! Many of these cannabinoids have just recently been found, and some are hard to precisely detect, but at present, we know of over 100 cannabinoids, and many only stemming from the cannabis plant!
When our body’s endocannabinoid system that regulates an assortment of physiological processes (such as appetite, mood, etc.) is not functioning normally, the chance of disease increases. But when we integrate cannabinoids into our system, they bind to our cannabinoid receptors (found in the brain and immune system) and can have a variety of positive effects on the body’s systems, specific to the receptors to which they bind. So, understanding cannabinoids, and the research to specific physiological processes, is important to H2C in providing YOU!
Which is why you can trust H2C’s work with curated, craft cannabinoid and hemp producers, brands and specialists to bring you the top cannabinoid products for your wellness lifestyle!
And with that, let’s learn!
There are currently eight major cannabinoid acids that are produced by the cannabis plant. CBD is not directly derived from the plant, it is actually “activated” through the synthesis of multiple cannabinoid acids (decarboxylation), which then provides the compounds in most CBD products.
There are many cannabinoid acids that are produced by the cannabis plant, many with antibiotic or insecticidal properties, such as...
From these, a couple of the more highly-known cannabinoid acids, and their effects are...
CBDA, similar to THCA, is the main constituent in cannabis with elevated CBD levels. CBDA selectively inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, contributing to cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects.
THCA is the main constituent in raw cannabis. THCA converts to Δ9-THC when heated at a certain temperature. THCA, CBDA, CBGA, and other acidic cannabinoids hold the most COX-1 and COX-2 inhibition, contributing to cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects. This cannabinoid also acts as an antiproliferative and antispasmodic.
THCV is a minor cannabinoid found in only some strains of cannabis. The only structural difference between THCV and THC is the presence of a propyl (3 carbon) group, rather than a pentyl (5 carbon) group, on the molecule. Though this variation may seem subtle, it causes THCV to produce very different effects than THC. These effects include a reduction in panic attacks, suppression of appetite, and the promotion of bone growth. THCV acts as an antagonist at the CB1 receptor and a partial agonist at the CB2 receptor.
Once the cannabinoid acids are activated, each of the cannabinoid acids produces a cannabinoid compound. Below are some of the more prevalent cannabinoid compounds, and a list of ailments under each that are usually known to assist our physiological systems with...
From those, below are some of the most known cannabinoid compounds, in, or being introduced to the cannabinoid market in the near future, such as...
As you can see, CBD has tremendous medical potential! This is particularly true when the correct ratio of CBD to THC is applied to treat a particular condition. CBD acts as an antagonist at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, yet it has a low binding affinity for both. This suggests that CBD’s mechanism of action is mediated by other receptors in the brain and body.
A non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBG’s antibacterial effects can alter the overall effects of cannabis. CBG is thought to kill or slow bacterial growth, reduce inflammation, (particularly in its acidic CBGA form,) inhibit cell growth in tumor/cancer cells, and promote bone growth. It acts as a low-affinity antagonist at the CB1 receptor. CBG pharmacological activity at the CB2 receptor is currently unknown.
CBC is most frequently found in tropical cannabis varieties. CBC is known to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, inhibit cell growth in tumor/cancer cells, and promote bone growth. The effects of CBC appear to be mediated through non-cannabinoid receptor interactions.
CBN has been observed to have anticonvulsant (anti-seizure), anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic properties. However, this is another example of understudied plant cannabinoid, and more work needs to be done before we can be confident in its precise effects. Cannabinol (CBN)
CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is produced from the degradation of THC. There is usually very little to no CBN in a fresh plant. CBN acts as a weak agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with greater affinity for CB2 receptors than CB1. The degradation of THC into CBN is often described as creating a sedative effect.
Like THCV, CBDV differs from CBD only by the substitution of a pentyl (5 carbon) for a propyl (3 carbon) sidechain. Although research on CBDV is still in its initial stages, recent studies have shown promise for its use in the management of epilepsy. This is due to its action at TRPV1 receptors and modulation of gene expression.
The most abundant cannabinoid present in marijuana, THC is responsible for cannabis’ most well-known psychoactive effects. THC acts as a partial agonist at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The compound is a mild analgesic, or painkiller, and cellular research has shown that it has antioxidant activity.
SC Labs. Online. Found at: https://www.sclabs.com/cannabinoids/
Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-64. PDF