The cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana, contains more than 480 different “natural compounds.” Approximately, 66 of those compounds fall into the category of cannabinoids (Cannabinoids). Despite restricted access for scientific studies, the therapeutic benefit of cannabis is hard to ignore. From pain and hunger control to Parkinson’s, cannabinoid research will lead the way for quality health products and properly refined CBD and THC products.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with our endocannabinoid system, which controls our “emotional, cognitive, neurovegetative and motivational processes” (Matthew N. Hill). Cannabinoids interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in our brains to induce therapeutic effects. Cannabis sativa L has a documented history of use for medicinal purposes. Researching the origins of medical cannabis use, led back to the mid-19th century. After a major shift pushed chemical research into natural over refined products, numerous alkaloids were isolated in pure form; e.g. morphine and cocaine. However, most terpenoids –to which plant cannabinoids belong – were not isolated until much later.
What Are the Differences Between Cannabinoids?
Each cannabinoid has a unique chemical compound, thus having different interaction within our body. This ultimately leads to specific qualities for each cannabinoid, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, or increased appetite. Following is a list of cannabinoids and pertinent information for each.
a. Chemical Name: Delta(9)- tetrahydrocannabinol
b. Therapeutic Effects: This is the compound that produces the “high” like effect that marijuana is most commonly known for. It also has many other beneficial properties, including alleviation of pain and inflammation, nausea relief, increasing appetite, calming drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and many more.
Chronic Talk: Did you know . . . that in the 2Pac song “Black Jesus”, Tupac Shakur includes the line, “Cremated, last wishes niggas smoke my ashes.” While this does sound like braggadocio, according to Tupac’s old crew “Outlawz” they in fact rolled a joint with his ashes and proceeded to smoke it after the legends funeral service.
a. Chemical Name: Cannabidiol
b. Therapeutic Effects: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the more popular and most used cannabinoids due to the characteristics it processes. Some of which include alleviation of pain and inflammation, reducing the occurrence of seizures in epileptics, enhancement in heart function, and improvement in patients with anxiety and depression.
Similar to This: CBD: a drug or dietary supplement?
a. Chemical Name: Cannabinol
b. Therapeutic Effects: Cannabinol (CBN) is different than other compounds found in cannabis, as it is not naturally occurring. After THC is exposed to heat for some time, it reacts and yields CBN. One of the main benefits of CBN is its impact on patients with insomnia. It also can help increase appetite and relieve.
a. Chemical Name: Cannabinolic Acid
b. Therapeutic Effects: Cannabinol acid (CBN-A) is very similar to CBN, as it is formed from the same reaction. The main benefits that are seen from CBN-A are its anti-inflammatory properties.
a. Chemical Name: Cannabigerol
b. Therapeutic Effects: The quantity of CBG found in cannabis is typically less than 1%, but it is essential for the production of cannabinoids. Cannabigerol (CBG) carries health benefits unlike some of the other compounds, like treating neurological disorders, improving psoriasis, and antifungal qualities. This compound was by far the most intriguing compound to me, as it aids in “growth of new brain cells.”
Chronic Talk: Did you know . . .that CBD products are federally legal? CBD comes from either medical cannabis or industrial plants. Due to its low count of THC– (>.3%)– industrial hemp does not fall under the same regulations as medicinal cannabis. Consumers can actively pursue CBD as a natural supplement without legal repercussions.
a. Chemical Name: Cannabidivarin
b. Therapeutic Effects: Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is similar to the CBD in regards to its benefits. Some of which include, halting convulsions, decreasing the occurrence of seizures, and reducing inflammation.
a. Chemical Name: Cannabichromene
b. Therapeutic Effect: The cannabinoid, CBC, was identified over 50 years ago. It has been known to present effects, such as the reduction in pain and inflammation, and increase the “anandamide release in the body, which has been shown to fight against breast cancer”
There are many more cannabinoids that have been discovered in marijuana that encompass different therapeutic effects. The use of cannabinoids to treat a vast array of conditions, such as tumors, neurological disorders, and treatment of phycological diseases may be pivotal to our health care system moving forward. With an increasing amount of evidence becoming public, it seems like common sense to support the use of cannabinoids in our society. Personally, I believe that cannabinoid research is a turning point for our corrupted health care system, and it is a movement that will appear stronger than ever in the near future.
Chronic Talk: Did you know . . .that at least 113 cannabinoids have been isolated from the cannabis plant? The most commonly studied are THC(tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD(cannabidiol), and CBN(cannabinol)