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What Are Cannabinoids?

What Are Cannabinoids?

Current research demonstrates that there are approximately 400 different naturally occurring chemical compounds in the Cannabis plant. These compounds are a mix of Cannabinoids, chlorophyll, plant fats, waxes, terpenes, and flavonoids. 

Research has found that the cannabis plant produces between 80 and 100 Cannabinoids and about 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals. The two most commonly known Cannabinoids are Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).  

Cannabinoids produce their effects by interacting with specific receptors located within different parts of the central nervous system. Cannabinoids regulate how cells communicate - how they send, receive, or process messages with each other and the rest of the body. This system is referred to as the Endocannabinoid system or sometimes called ECS. Cannabinoid compounds are absorbed and transported via CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body. 

Below is a breakdown and general overview of some of the most common Cannabinoids, many of which you will find in our products depending on if they are Full Spectrum CBD or Broad Spectrum CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) — CBD is typically sourced from industrial hemp plants. The non-psychoactive compound has been touted for its myriad of potential wellness benefits, including its abilities to ease anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Most notably, CBD has shown great efficacy at reducing seizure activity with the FDA approving the first cannabidiol-based medication, Epidiolex, in 2018 which is used to treat two forms of severe childhood-onset epilepsy. The cannabinoid can be found in virtually any form: smokable flower, gummies, salves, tinctures and bath products.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) — Similar to THCA, CBDA is the precursor to CBD in strains with high amounts of the cannabinoid (mostly hemp). Like its cousin THCA, CBDA transforms to CBD when exposed to heat. It’s thought to contribute to hemp’s anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its ability to inhibit enzymes called COX-2, which the body produces after injury. Research also shows CBDA may help ease nausea and depression. 

Cannabigerol (CBG) — CBG has been growing in popularity as of late thanks to its different potential benefits. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is known as an antibacterial, a blood pressure regulator, an anti-inflammatory, and a sleep aid. While only accounting for about 1% of the average cannabis plant’s cannabinoid makeup, breeders have been honing in on developing strains with higher CBG content. Its precursor, CBGA, is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids,” as it is responsible for generating THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. 

Cannabinol (CBN) — Another minor cannabinoid gaining momentum, CBN is mildly psychoactive and mostly used as a dose-dependent sedative. It is produced via the degradation of THC, tending to turn up in older cannabis. However, outdoor grows will produce plants with higher CBN content as a result of their exposure to natural light. Like many of the other cannabinoids, CBN is also showing efficacy as an anti-inflammatory while also being researched as a treatment for epilepsy, osteoporosis, cancer, bacterial infections, glaucoma, and nausea.

Cannabichromene (CBC) — CBC is the third most prevalent cannabinoid but the non-psychoactive compound is still somewhat of a rarity. It comes from the CBDA, giving it anti-inflammatory properties. CBC has also been researched as a potential neuroprotectant, pain reducer, and tumor inhibitor; it has shown promise as a treatment for Crohn’s and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) — Like THCV, CBDV differs from its cousin CBD ever so slightly in the molecular structure. While little is known about this non-psychoactive cannabinoid, it is being examined as a possible treatment for epilepsy. It has also been known to be effective at reducing nausea and inflammation.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) — THCV is extremely close to THC, with only a slight molecular difference. However, this mild variation leads to some major differences. Most notably, THCV is known as an appetite suppressant, the complete opposite of its more psychoactive relative THC. The cannabinoid is additionally touted for its anti-anxiety potential as well as its ability to promote bone growth.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — THC is the most plentiful cannabinoid and arguably the most famous. It is responsible for the psychoactive “high” associated with consuming cannabis. In addition to its psychoactivity, this cannabinoid has also been shown to have analgesic and pain-killing properties. The easiest way to deliver THC to the bloodstream would be via smoking or vaping cannabis bud, but a wide range of THC products from concentrates to edibles to tinctures to topicals exist in legal markets. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid (THCA) — THCA is the precursor to THC and a slew of other cannabinoids. It is found in raw cannabis and converts to THC when heated, however, it’s far less psychoactive on its own. This cannabinoid has been studied for a variety of uses, including as an anti-inflammatory, neuroprotectant, anti-convulsant, nausea reducer, and anti-proliferative.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/cannabinoids

https://news.green-flower.com/what-are-the-key-compounds-in-cannabis/