5 Different Cannabinoids Found in Cannabis
If you are reading this, you probably know that cannabis is the superhero of the modern world rather than the villain it is often portrayed as. And if cannabis is a superhero, cannabinoids are its superpower.
Scientists have discovered that there are over 114 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Each of these cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, has a different effect on the human body and can play a different role in various healing processes.
While we still have plenty to learn about cannabinoids, there are a few we know more about than others: THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC.
But before we can talk about what every single one of them can do for you, let’s talk about how cannabinoids interact with our bodies.
Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids, And an Endocannabinoid System
Terms such as ‘cannabinoids,’ ‘endocannabinoids,’ and ‘the endocannabinoid system’ were not a part of our vocabulary 20 years ago. Now, they are everywhere.
Until as recently as 1992, we had no idea what an endocannabinoid system was.
Today we know that every single human being has a so-called endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a set of receptors that are spread throughout our entire body. The receptors are involved in regulating multiple vital processes, such as appetite, pain, mood, and memory.
Our bodies produce endocannabinoids. These cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptor receptors and, as a result, interact with our endocannabinoid system. Through these interactions, our endocannabinoid system knows when to start and stop the vital processes mentioned above.
The same receptors that respond to endocannabinoids also respond to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. What that means is that when you consume cannabis, the cannabinoids travel to the receptors in your endocannabinoid system and then bind to them. The type of reactions triggered depends on which cannabinoids we expose our endocannabinoid system to.
Now that you know what the endocannabinoid system is and what cannabinoids do, it is time to familiarize yourself with some of them.
While we are still learning about cannabinoids and their potential health benefits, THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN are the ones that probably popped up in your conversations.
Let’s try to get to know them a bit better.
We will start with the fun one! While we know by now that there are two types of THC cannabinoids, Delta-8 and Delta-9, we are still not really sure what it is Delta-8 does.
What we do know is that Delta-9 THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of consuming cannabis. THC is the reason why consuming cannabis can give us a feeling of euphoria. While some users love it (guilty as charged), some people avoid it due to the side effects such as interruption of short-term memory (sounds familiar) and loss of balance (in our case, from laughing too hard).
No matter if you’re a fan of the euphoric high THC produces or not, one thing is for sure – more and more research shows that THC can have outstanding medicinal properties. Early research suggests that THC can have anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, and antitumor applications. This means that THC can be helpful for people who have Multiple Sclerosis, Tourette’s Syndrome, or Epilepsy, making it one of the most powerful cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you must have heard of CBD. CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in both marijuana and hemp (Cannabis Sativa plant with low THC levels), can be found in oils, pills, beauty products, pain-relief products, edibles, and drinks.
The whole world is talking about CBD. Why? Because CBD managed to hit the sweet spot of having health benefits while still being removed from the negative stigma associated with cannabis.
Because CBD can’t get you high, most governments accept it, even though it derives from the cannabis plant. Surprisingly, this even applies to quite conservative governments of countries with strict anti-THC policies. And that is because CBD does one thing that THC can not do. It keeps you sober.
Early research suggests CBD has potential anti-inflammatory, pain-managing, and sleep-improving properties.
While CBD has helped many people manage the stress and hurdles of everyday life, its healing properties are not as strong as THC. When isolated, CBD does not have that many significant effects on people with severe conditions.
What many cannabis specialists agree on is that both THC and CBD work best when their powers are combined. When paired up, CBD can focus on assisting in calming down all the possible THC side effects. They make a fabulous duo.
CBG is the third most prevalent cannabinoid found in the Cannabis Sativa plant.
We know much less about CBG than we do about CBD or THC, but we have explored it enough to know it has the potential to be a great appetite stimulation. Preclinical research has shown that CBG could be used as a treatment for IBD (irritable bowel disease), as well as extreme weight loss and muscle wasting induced by chemotherapy.
Early research also suggests it could also be used as an antiseptic or an antibiotic or even support patients fighting a battle with tumors.
Its antiseptic and antibiotic properties are the inspiration for some researchers focusing on exploring the potential use of cannabis in our fight with the Coronavirus pandemic.
CBC is interesting because it develops at the early stages of the flowering process of the cannabis plant. Therefore, if growers want to make sure they end up with high CBC content products, they need to harvest their plants before they manage to fully mature.
All this hassle is worth it if early research on CBC is accurate. What we know now is that CBC has the potential to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and pain-decreasing properties. But surprisingly, that’s not what it’s famous for.
One of the most prominent qualities of CBC is its potential ability to support people who suffer from depression. While we do not suggest replacing prescribed antidepressants with a joint or products containing CBC, it is worth keeping a close eye on future research related to the power of CBC and its impact on mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety.
CBN is a cannabinoid that isn’t produced during the cannabis growing stages. It is a byproduct of the mishandling of harvested cannabis. Isn’t that crazy?
It is fair to say that the worse the handling of cannabis is, the more CBN you can expect to find in the product. While we are used to thinking that byproducts are not great, CBN proves us wrong.
You might be interested to know that consuming cannabis with high CBN content makes the ‘high’ from THC stronger. CBN is very sedative, and it can create a ‘couch-lock’ effect that, while not enjoyed by all, is often sought out by people who use cannabis as a sleep aid.
The most interesting thing about CBN is that some early research suggests it can change how we perceive the feeling of heat on our skin. Because of that, it might be a great tool to use for patients suffering from painful burns.
Cannabis is a great plant.
We can not wait for more research to discover the cannabinoids that are still hiding in the plant and to learn more about their properties of the ones we know about. While we are still waiting for science to confirm the anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, antibacterial and antitumor properties of various cannabinoids, we can focus on the remarkable qualities of cannabis that we already know about.
Every single one of the cannabinoids that we are aware of has its own properties and works in a unique way.
While we are still a long way from knowing everything we need to know about cannabis and cannabinoids, we know that THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN are worth the hype.