Cannabis has become the talk of the town ever since its many cannabinoids have made headlines in the health and wellness sector. You will be amazed to know that the cannabinoids of Cannabis plants have become so popular due to the therapeutic properties that they are used to manage many health concerns.
Cannabinoids are small compounds that the Cannabis plant produces. They can interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for many cognitive and physiological processes. Cannabis contains a variety of cannabinoids, each having its unique set of properties.
In this blog, we will discuss the therapeutic cannabinoids of the cannabis plant that have the ability to offer many helpful benefits to its users.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are of three types: Phyto-cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids. Phyto-cannabinoids are produced by plants, while the human body produces endocannabinoids. As the name indicates, synthetic cannabinoids are created in the lab.
phyto- cannabinoids are microscopic compounds that are found in the Cannabis plant, and they can produce a variety of effects. The plant contains hundreds of cannabinoids, but only a handful of cannabinoids are known to provide enough medicinal benefits. These cannabinoids include CBN, CBC, CBG and CBD, and many more.
Cannabinoids can interact with various receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the human body to produce their medicinal effects. They may help regulate many body functions, such as memory, mood, pain perception, and inflammation. For example, CBD is a well-known cannabinoid that is famously used for treating neurological disorders and epilepsies in children. THC is a psychoactive compound that helps manage nausea and pain.
The endocannabinoid system of the human body is linked to maintaining homeostasis in the body, which is why it is involved in regulating essential body functions such as
• Fertility and hormone levels
• Digestion and hunger
• Immune function
• Heart rate
• Mood body
• Memory and concentration
• Motor control
The endocannabinoids in our body communicate with the central nervous system to keep all the parameters within the range. The difference between exo-cannabinoids such as CBD and endocannabinoids is that they work in precise coordination with the body’s systems. When phytocannabinoids are consumed, they flood the body and may simultaneously make undesirable and desirable changes.
Cannabinoids are also used for recreational purposes; for instance, THC is the major psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant because it produces a significant high when it is consumed.
Medicinal benefits of cannabinoids
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for many years in the past. The plant and its compounds have faced many strict regulations and bans over the years. However, despite the strict environment, few cannabinoids have been studied comprehensively, and researchers have found that they have many medicinal properties that can be helpful in managing many other concerns in humans.
Research has indicated many positive benefits of cannabinoids and different preparations of THC, CBD, and their mixture. They are currently used for many problems, and scientists are hopeful that more possible uses will surface soon.
Some of the uses of turn include:
• Cannabinoids are famous for managing information and pain especially chronic types linked with diseases such as glaucoma, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and neuropathy.
• They are also famous for their possible impacts on improving muscle control and decreasing plasticity in health conditions like Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s.
• Scientist also believes that they may help improve appetite and prevent weight loss related to many health consents.
• Cannabinoids such as CBD are very famous for managing epileptic seizures in children.
• They are also helpful in managing stress and anxiety disorders.
These uses of cannabinoids have varying levels of backing with scientific proof. So far FDA has not approved any of the uses of the Cannabis plant; however, it has approved some pharmaceutical products that contain different amounts of cannabinoids.
Possible future uses
Early studies indicate that Cannabis maybe helpful in fighting cancer by reducing the size of cancers or helping kill cancer cells. They may also impact the growth of cancer cells and decrease nausea due to chemotherapy.
More studies are also conducted to investigate the use of cannabinoids as a treatment for autoimmune diseases such as AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
Let’s take a look at each of these medicinal cannabinoids of the Cannabis plant separately.
Cannabinoids are classified as major and minor cannabinoids. THC, CBD, and CBN are the major cannabinoids that are extensively studied. Other minor cannabinoids are:
• CBG Cannabigerol
• CBV Cannabivarin
• THCV Tetrahydrocannabivarin
• CBDV Cannabidivarin
• CBC Cannabichromene
• CBN Cannabinol
• CBL Cannabicyclol
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the major sedating compound of the Cannabis plant. It is the most well-known and abundant mole in the Cannabis plant. It is known to successfully manage a variety of health concerns such as anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea, pain, and improving appetite. Research also indicates that it can act as a neuroprotectant that may protect neural pathways in the nervous system and brain, making it a very promising option for managing the neurodegenerative disease. THC has an equal affinity to bind the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, of the endocannabinoid system.
The sedative effects produced by THC are associated with its binding to CB 1 receptors in the brain.
CBD is becoming increasingly popular, and understandably so. We adore this cannabinoid since it offers a variety of advantages without getting us high. Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating. Children, elders, and even animals use CBD to manage some health concerns.
Research shows that CBD may help manage anxiety and sleep difficulties because of its mild anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and muscle-relaxing qualities. Additionally, it has been found that it may help manage tumors and related nausea. It is a cannabinoid with analgesic, anti-psychotic and anti-convulsing properties that effectively treat seizure disorders.
The CB2 receptor is more responsive to CBD than the CB1 receptor, which is why it has a greater impact on the body.
Like THC, THCV is an intoxicating compound that is mostly present in cannabis Sativa strains. This cannabinoid is famous for enhancing energy, sharpening attention, and reducing hunger. The euphoric effects of THCV may be useful in avoiding panic attacks and lowering anxiety, making it a good option for managing anxiety disorders.
Anecdotal pieces of evidence suggest that when THCv is used in combination with THC, it can reduce the intoxicating properties of THC. Scientists believe that THCv may not be intoxicating atall if it is isolated and purified because currently, whenever it is used, it is always present alongside THC in the Cannabis plant.
CBG, the precursor of all other cannabinoids found in Cannabis, is referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that has medicinal uses as an antibacterial, antifungal, blood pressure reducer, and muscle relaxant. Additionally, it is believed to be helpful in bone formation and hinder the growth of tumor cells.
The cannabinoid CBN is increasingly becoming known as a sleep-inducing compound. When THCA degrades over time, CBN is produced; new Cannabis normally doesn’t have any amount of CBN. CBN is a minimally sedative that is frequently combined with other cannabinoids for optimum efficacy. Research on glaucoma patients shows that CBN may be able to decrease intraocular eye pressure and provide relief. Additionally, CBN functions as an anticonvulsant, preventing or lessening seizures in people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. It may also offer potent antibacterial properties.
CBC was discovered by scientists 50 years ago, and it is believed that its therapeutic properties are very promising. It is a non-psychoactive compound that binds to the receptors in the brain. Scientists believe that it has potent analgesic properties because it can actively bind with when vanilloid receptor one and TRPA1. Interaction of these receptors with CBC increases the concentration of anandamide in the body, decreasing pain. Studies also show that it can positively affect inflammation in the body, especially when it is combined with THC.
Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDa, is the precursor of the famous CBD. Initially, this CBDa was consumed raw in the form of juice, but this trend brought CBDa into the mainstream.
Unlike other compounds of the Cannabis plant, CBDa does not interact directly with the endocannabinoid receptors. It works by inhibiting COX-2 enzymes linked with the onset of inflammation after an injury or infection. Since CBDa blocks the COX-2 enzyme, it may help manage pain and inflammation in the body. It is also found that CBDa can alter the levels of serotonin in the body, which can help manage nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy. Compared to CBD, CBDahas 100 times more affinity for 5 -HT receptors, making it very powerful anti-convulsing and may also manage depression.
Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid of Cannabis with very little euphoric effects. It differs from delta 9 THC because delta 9 produces potent psychoactive effects. It is known for its mild analgesic properties like Delta 9, but still, no studies are there to confirm any of the benefits of Delta 8.
It is strictly advised to consult your health care practitioner before using any of the above mention canons for any health concern. The reason is the lack of research studies on human participants that used cannabinoids for any issues. Moreover, due to the ever-changing regulatory framework of Cannabis and its compounds, the market may be flooded with various compounds and products. Still, they may not be of good quality. Consuming such products can be more harmful to you. All these compounds are not just about the benefits they provide; some also show side effects.
Side effects of cannabinoids
As compared to over-the-counter drugs, cannabinoids may also offer a few mild side effects. Don’t be fooled by thinking that natural products cannot give you side effects because they don’t pose any risk to your health. Most of the time, cannabinoids can cause the following side effects.
• Impaired memory
• Rapid heart rate
• Red eyes
• Dry mouth
Interaction of cannabinoids in our body may also result in increased levels of drug-processing enzymes. They can also interact with many drugs you may be consuming, such as anti-depressants and blood-thinning drugs.
So before choosing any cannabinoids for medicinal purposes, it would be best to consult your doctor and be sure about its safety.
Cannabis has become very popular over the past decade because of the discovery of the many therapeutic compounds of this plant. Over the years, many research studies have been conducted to carefully analyze the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids of the Cannabis plant. Research has found that many of these cannabinoids offer many health benefits and some side effects. If you plan to use any of the cannabinoids, be vigilant and only buy products from reputable brands. You should consider using cannabinoids for any health concern after discussing your condition with your doctor.