Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring active constituents found in the cannabis plant. These chemical compounds (think THC and CBD) interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis within the body. Depending on what receptors the cannabinoids bind to within the ECS, can provide relief from an array of symptoms which include pain, anxiety, inflammation, nausea and insomnia (just to name a few).
While THC and CBD tend to get the most notoriety, did you know that there are at least 100+ different cannabinoids? Each of these cannabinoids bind to different receptors and can produce a wide array of relief in various systems in the body including the immune, neurological and gastro-intestinal.
Here are some of the different cannabinoids and their benefits:
THC – This is the most abundant cannabinoid within cannabis and produces psychoactivity. It can help with pain relief, relieve muscle spasms, reduce nausea, increase appetite, and provide antioxidants.
CBD – Non-psychoactive. It can help reduce anxiety, increase appetite, decrease occurrence of seizures, relax muscles, aid pain relief, reduce inflammation, and provide antioxidants. CBD is also an antagonist at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the ECS, which means it can be used to mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBN – THC converts to CBN when oxidized. CBN has little to no intoxicating effects and is best known for its sedating effects. It can help relieve spasms and pain. CBN is also an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsive.
CBG – Non-psychoactive, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Can also stimulant bone growth and help to lower blood pressure.
THCV – Can help to decrease seizures, suppress appetite, stimulant bone growth, and relieve anxiety.
CBC – Non-intoxicating and can provide antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Can help with pain and inflammation and stimulate bone growth. Can also help alleviate depression.
THCa – Acidic form of THC. Non-psychoactive and can provide neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Can also help alleviate pain, insomnia and muscle spasms.
CBDa – Acidic form of CBD. Non-psychoactive and has potential to help reduce inflammation, and act as an anti-nausea, analgesic and anticonvulsant.
courtesy of leafly.com
Consuming cannabis in its whole form can provide a variety of these different cannabinoids. This variety (along with terpenes, flavonoids and other constituents) is called the entourage effect. All these cannabis compounds can influence each other and produce synergistic effects; which is just one explanation as to why cannabis can aid in a bunch of different ailments.
As cannabis continues to expand and more research can be conducted, we are very excited to learn more about all these amazing chemical constituents and how they can benefit us.