Cannabinoids 101: Going Beyond CBD & THC

The cannabis and hemp plant produces a variety of compounds which are collectively known as cannabinoids. Many of these compounds are unique to cannabis, accounting for their unique medicinal as well as recreational characteristics.

There are over 110 different types of cannabinoids but most of these are in such low concentrations, that they do not have much of an effect on consumers in addition to being difficult to detect.

But of the 110+ cannabinoids identified so far, there are 8 cannabinoids (5 major and 3 minor) that have higher concentrations than the others. They each have a different set of characteristics and benefits.  So let’s take a look at them...

 

The 3 Major Cannabinoids 

There are 3 major cannabinoids in cannabis, found at higher concentrations than the 5 minor cannabinoids described below.   

 

 1. Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Arguably the most well-known and infamous of all the cannabinoids, THC is what gives cannabis its psychoactive, euphoric, and intoxicating effects.  The reason for this is the unique way in which THC activates the CB1 receptors in the brain which are thought to be involved with feelings of intoxication.

Because THC makes you feel high, most people think of it as a recreational substance.  But THC also has several medical benefits as well. 

 

Beneficial Properties:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-emetic
  • Neuroprotectant
  • Neuroregenaritive
  • Sedative 

2. Cannabidiol (CBD)

The other best known cannabinoid is cannabidiol, THC’s non-psychoactive cousin better known as simply CBD.  As one of the most researched and best understood of all the cannabinoids, it is no wonder that CBD has had a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years as a natural, versatile and safe supplement and remedy.

The reason why CBD shows such promise as being an effective treatment for so many different types of illnesses and conditions is because of the way it interacts with our bodies.  Unlike all the other cannabinoids studies so far, CBD does not only interact with cannabinoid receptors but also other types of receptors and genes within the body, modulating and balancing virtually every biological system in the body.  

 

Beneficial Properties:

  • Analgesic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antidepressant
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anxiolytic
  • Anti-convulsive
  • Anti-cancer & Tumorous cell growth inhibitor



3. Cannabichromene (CBC)

Just like CBD, CBD is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid and is thought to work synergistically with the other cannabinoids, helping them to do their job better.  CBD is also thought to activate vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), both of which are linked to pain perception.  CBD is also thought to have several other benefits.


Beneficial Properties

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-cancer & Tumorous cell growth inhibitor
  • Bone growth promoter
  • Anti-depressant
  • Neuroregenaritive 

 


The 5 Minor Cannabinoids 

In addition to the 3 major cannabinoids mentioned above, there are five minor cannabinoids in cannabis present, but in smaller amounts than the three main cannabinoids.


1. Cannabigerol (CBG)

Considered as being a minor cannabinoid, typically, there is only around 1% CBG in most cannabis strains because CBG is actually the precursor of THC, CBD and CBC.  CBG’s beneficial properties include:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-cancer & Tumorous cell growth inhibitor 
  • Bone growth promoter
  • Intra-ocular pressure reduction aid (Glaucoma) 
  • Neuroprotectant (Huntingdon’s disease)


2. Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

THCV is structurally it is very similar to THC, but with very different effects and has been shown to have the following beneficial properties:

  • Anxiolytic
  • Appetite suppression
  • Bone growth promoter 


3.  Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

CBDV is structurally very similar to CBD and although not researched as much, the available evidence suggests that CBDV has the following beneficial properties:

  • Anti-convulsive
  • Bone growth promoter


4.  Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)

Related to CBC, CBCV is similar to, but shorter in structure. CBCV is thought to have similar beneficial properties to CBC including:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-depressant


5.  Cannabichromevarin (CBN)

Mildly psychoactive, CBD comes from degraded THC.  Because of this there is usually very little CBN found in the fresh plant.  CBN’s beneficial properties include:

  • Analgesic 
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticonvulsant


All these different cannabinoids in cannabis are thought to have their various benefits because of the way they mimic our own naturally occurring endocannabinoids.  What’s more is that scientists also believe that they tend to work better together in something known as the entourage effect.  That is why all our Otherside CBD oils are full-spectrum, ensuring that you get the best the whole hemp plant has to offer.




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