The others may be less well-known, but they’re still important to recognize and understand. Let’s take a look at some of the most researched cannabinoids and how they might help you reach a more balanced lifestyle.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that come from two distinct places. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that creates some cannabinoids on its own. But the majority come from hemp plants, which naturally produce phytocannabinoids. There are roughly 100 different cannabinoids found in nature, and research indicates they may have health benefits.
How Do Cannabinoids Work?
Cannabinoids affect our body in different ways depending on how they interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors found in our endocannabinoid system.
CB1 receptors are mostly located in the brain. When THC or THCV interact with these receptors, they can produce a perceived “high.” When other cannabinoids like CBD react with CB1, they may help reduce stress and serve as an antidepressant. With CB2 receptors—which are commonly found on cells throughout the immune system—cannabinoids interact similarly, bonding weakly to the cells but still potentially bringing different forms of physical relief.
But it’s not just individual cannabinoids like CBD or THC that can help the body. It’s a whole host of cannabinoids—known and unknown—alongside terpenes and flavonoids that come together and produce what’s known as the “Entourage Effect.” That’s why full spectrum CBD is considered to be more effective than an isolate. While a CBD isolate relies solely on the cannabinoid itself, full spectrum hemp oil utilizes more of the hemp plant’s natural components that work together to provide the body with more relief.
Known Types of Cannabinoids
To better understand how our bodies are potentially seeing benefits from using different CBD products, it’s important to know what the different types of cannabinoids are. We don’t currently know every single one found in hemp plants, but here are six that are found most often in products containing full spectrum CBD oil.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties, but there is evidence linking it to a number of health advantages. The potential benefits of CBD oil include reduced anxiety, inflammation, and insomnia. Put simply, CBD can help your body do its job more effectively. CBD is legal in 47 states and can be purchased in many forms, most commonly in tinctures, edibles, gummies, and topical creams.
Though commonly associated with CBD, THC is different. THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana and is responsible for the drug’s psychoactive effects. THC can bind directly with the CB1 receptor in our ECS to produce a euphoric high. It may also have medicinal properties, as it has been used to treat appetite loss, epilepsy, muscle spasms, and other afflictions. As of January 2020, it was only fully legal in 11 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia), though it can be used for medicinal purposes in many others.
Unlike most cannabinoids, CBN isn’t immediately present in cannabis flowers. Rather, it is created when THC is oxidized. Though it’s believed that CBN mostly interacts with CB2 receptors, there are preliminary indications that it can interact with CB1 to become a powerful sedative. Studies have shown CBN could be used as an antibiotic, pain reliever, and anti-inflammatory. There’s conflicting evidence whether CBN has psychoactive properties, but they’re minimal if they exist.
Also known as cannabigerol, CBG is believed to have several medical benefits. CBG has been found to slow bacterial growth and combat inflammation. It may also boost anandamide, which is responsible for regulating various health functions, such as mood, sleep, and appetite. Like CBD, it does not have psychoactive properties.
While much is still unknown about CBC, it appears to mostly assist other cannabinoids through the “Entourage Effect” and works particularly well with CBD. There is limited evidence that CBC may reduce inflammation and promote brain health.
Though similar in structure and name to THC, THCV is different. Research indicates that it will not get the user high in low doses, though higher doses may activate psychoactive properties. THCV may act as an appetite suppressant, reduce panic attacks, or even potentially stimulate bone growth.
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