There are over one hundred cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds present in the cannabis plant. This guide explains the six all-star cannabinoids: CBD, THC, CBN, CBC, CBGV, and CBG.
The cannabis plant has several chemical compounds referred to as cannabinoids; most of them have not yet been discovered in other plants. There are over one hundred and forty cannabinoids, and most are available at low levels. Due to their low availability, scientists are unable to detect several cannabinoids. If you are familiar with the cannabis industry, you have probably heard of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They are the two most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. However, other lesser-known cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidivarin (CBDV). Though they are from the same plant, their effects vary from each other, which we are going to discuss further in this article how.
Cannabinoids are naturally existing chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They interact with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for managing various physiological processes. Each cannabinoid has its unique properties. Examples include CBD, CBN, CBG, and THC, to mention a few.
Since 2900 B.C, cannabis has been used as an analgesic. Recently, scientists and researchers have discovered that CBD and other cannabis contain pain-relieving effects. Your body has a specialized system, the endocannabinoid system, responsible for various functions like pain sensation and sleep. According to Eskander et al. (2020), CBD helps alleviate pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity and decreasing inflammation. White et al. (2019) stated that other research confirms that it may help in various types of pain, such as back pain. Combined with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD may treat arthritis and multiple sclerosis pain.
Reduces Various Mental Health Disorders Symptoms
Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression can take a toll on our lives since they affect our overall well-being. Normally, mental health disorders are treated with pharmaceutical medication. However, most people dislike them since it causes various side effects like agitation and headache. To make matters worse, some drugs lead to dependence and, in turn, may cause substance abuse. CBD has shown potential in treating various mental health disorders; hence people with these conditions are becoming interested in it since it is a natural approach hence rarely has any side effects. All these are possible since CBD interacts with the serotonin receptors responsible for mood boosting.
THC also referred to as tetrahydrocannabinol, is another abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, making it popular. Casajuana et al. (2018) noted that the high effect a user experience is due to THC since it produces psychoactive effects. When inhaled, THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream and finally to the brain, whereby one gets to experience its effects. With THC, the user gets to feel a sense of calmness and euphoric feeling. Its other effects include; uncontrollable laughter, increased appetite, and altered time perception. However, for some individuals, instead of experiencing a pleasant effect, they may experience panic or anxiety. It is more common for users to feel so if they overdose on THC or it is highly potent. Large doses of THC also lead to hallucinations, delusions, and other signs of psychosis.
IBD is a condition that causes chronic bowel inflammation. A study on animals showed that CBG is effective in treating IBD since it is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and reduces nitric oxide production.
According to Zagozen et al. (2021), CBG contains anti-bacterial properties that fight against MRSA (methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus). This bacterium is drug-resistant and leads to staph infection too.
Fights Cancer Cells
According to research on rats with colon cancer, CBG showed promising results in blocking receptors that lead to cancer cell growth. Researchers suggested that CBG should be considered in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer.
CBN is also a lesser-known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. It is a result of THC degradation when exposed to heat or air. It is the reason a high CBN amount is present in dry and aged cannabis. It is also non-psychoactive, unlike THC. Even though research on CBN is scarce, the following have been proven to be some of its effects:
Reduces Effects and Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes vision loss and blindness by destroying the optic nerve. It leads to high eye pressure. Therefore, one of the ways to deal with this condition is by alleviating the pressure. CBN application increased cell survival rate when cells were exposed to high-pressure conditions. CBN also has neuroprotective properties that protect the nervous system by alleviating natural cell death.
Relieve Muscle Pain
A study on rats showed that CBN alleviated muscle sensitization. Wong et al. (2019)noted that CBN provided relief for muscle pain disorders such as jaw muscle pain and joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, more research is needed to back up this claim.
Side Effects of CBN
Even though CBC does not get the needed attention and praise, it contains profound effects. Some of its positive effects include but are not limited to:
Contains Antimicrobial Properties
CBC is a strong antimicrobial agent that fights against multiple bacteria and fungi. It shows potent antimicrobial effects on gram-positive acid-fast and gram-negative bacteria. It also exhibits mild-moderate activities against various fungi types.
Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Being a strong anti-inflammatory agent, CBC can help reduce inflammation and swelling of the intestinal tract. Unlike other cannabinoids like CBD that activate cannabinoid receptors, CBC fights inflammation without activating these receptors.
It Contains Analgesic Properties
CBC helps alleviate pain, though it is not as strong as THC or CBD. It helps reduce pain by interacting with receptors that help manage pain. Since it is non-psychoactive, scientists hope it will be used as a pain reliever soon.
CBGV is derived from cannabigerol. Like most cannabinoids, it does not produce psychoactive effects when consumed. CBGV helps boost the cellular receptor's ability making it easy for the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to bind efficiently to THC. Combined with CBD, it enhances potency since it boosts metabolism in the body. Some of its effects include:
CBGV has shown promising results in cancer treatment, specifically for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. It prevents the growth of cancer cells.
The cannabis plant contains more than one hundred and twenty cannabinoids. The two most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD. However, other lesser-known cannabinoids are CBN and CBG. Each cannabinoid contains unique properties hence providing varying effects. Some effects of CBD include pain and anxiety relief. On the other hand, THC is known for producing psychoactive effects and may lead to psychotic symptoms like hallucinations. Before using any cannabinoid, do your research and know the effects it provides to help you deal with your current condition. Also, you should talk to your doctor to help you know the ideal dosage for your body.
Casajuana Kögel, C., López-Pelayo, H., Balcells-Olivero, M. M., Colom, J., & Gual, A. (2018). Psychoactive constituents of cannabis and their clinical implications: a systematic review. Adicciones, 30(2).
Eskander, J. P., Spall, J., Spall, A., Shah, R. V., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review. J Opioid Manag, 16(3), 215-8.
White, C. M. (2019). A review of human studies assessing cannabidiol's (CBD) therapeutic actions and potential. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 59(7), 923-934.
Wong, H., & Cairns, B. E. (2019). Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. Archives of oral biology, 104, 33-39.
Zagožen, M., Čerenak, A., & Kreft, S. (2021). Cannabigerol and cannabichromene in Cannabis sativa L. Acta Pharmaceutica, 71(3), 355-364.