The Top Seven Cannabinoids and Their Health Benefits

Cannabinoids, as we’ve discussed in some of our previous blogs, are chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. They are not just ordinary chemical compounds, (there are over 400 chemical compounds in the marijuana plant) but ones that interact with receptors in the body to produce specific effects in your physical, mental and emotional being. How many cannabinoids are there in marijuana? Well, the numbers vary from 80 to over a hundred, depending on which article you read and who is doing the counting.

Since legal medical and scientific research is limited because marijuana is still listed on the dangerous drug schedule of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) not all of the identified cannabinoids, whether the number is 80 or 110, have been thoroughly analyzed for the health benefits they may provide. Some cannabinoids, however, have been researched much more than others and have been found to contain very practical and remarkable healing properties. We have listed the top seven cannabinoids below, along with their medicinal characteristics in no particular order. We’ve left it for you to decide what order of importance they should be in.

THC Delta 9

 (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

This is the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana and it is the element that gets people high. Amazingly, this fundamental component of cannabis is also a real medicinal miracle worker. Some of the benefits and maladies this cannabinoid has been useful for over the last few decades are:

• Pain reliever

• Crohn’s Disease

• PTSD

• Multiple Sclerosis

• Parkinson’s Disease

• Neuropathic pain

• Cancer

• Alzheimer’s Disease

• Appetite stimulator

• Anti-nausea

CBC

(Cannabichromene) 

This cannabinoid is definitely not psychoactive and won’t get anyone high. It is a common element in cannabis and besides showing signs that it can help brain cells grow it has also been shown to be:

• Anti-depressant

• Anti-tumor

• Anti-inflammatory

• Anti-fungal

CBG

(Cannabigerol) 

Even though this non-psychoactive element in marijuana is found in small quantities it is becoming more and more popular with research scientists for its potential medicinal abilities. It has many great qualities and some of them are:

• Anti-fungal

• Anti-microbial

• Pain reliever

• Anti-tumor

• Anti-psoriasis

• Anti-depressant

• Mood stabilizer

THC Delta 8

This cannabinoid is similar to THC Delta (9) but is less psychoactive. Its healing properties include:

• Anti-anxiety

• Neuroprotective abilities

• Appetite stimulant

• Anti-nausea

CBD 

(Cannabidiol)

This cannabinoid is the one that has changed the most minds about marijuana being legalized for medical purposes. It is not psychoactive and can be isolated and refined from the marijuana or the hemp plant and its most famous use is that of stopping and/or greatly reducing epileptic seizures. This is the element in cannabis that influenced Dr. Sanjay Gupta, of CNN News to change his mind about the legalization of medical marijuana. Before he saw clear proof that CBD reduced Gran Mal seizures in a six-year old girl from 300 per week to 3 to 4 a month, Dr. Gupta was absolutely against any kind of marijuana legalization. CBD was hailed as a medical break through by many and now several companies have isolated this cannabinoid and are marketing it as an anti-seizure drug.

Other wonderful medicinal benefits from CBD are:

• Anti-emetic and anti nausea

• Anti-psychotic

• Anti-inflammatory

• Anti-oxidant

• Anti-cancer

• Anti-depressant

• Reduces the effects of the THC high

CBN

(Cannabinol) 

When the marijuana’s dried buds or flowers sit out in the air for a period of time, the THCa breaks down and becomes another cannabinoid altogether: CBN.

This newly transformed cannabinoid has the following medicinal properties:

• Antibiotic

• Appetite stimulant

• Pain reliever

• Anti-asthmatic

• Sedative

• Anti-glaucoma

THCv

(tetrahydrocannabivarin) 

This is another cannabinoid that is similar to THC Delta (9) but it is about 1/5 a psychoactive as its counterpart and namesake THC. It is one of the many cannabinoids that work best when they are paired with other cannabinoids, creating an entourage or synergistic effect. THCv also mitigates some of the more negative effects of THC, which, many times is very useful to the user. This cannabinoid has many healing properties, some of which are:

• Anti-convulsive

• Neuroprotective

• Helps with weight loss

• Promotes Bone Growth

• Reduces symptoms of PTSD

The cannabinoids are obviously very important elements in the medicinal world. More research is opening up even though cannabis is still listed a schedule one drug, and as more research is done on marijuana the more positive benefits will be discovered, which will ultimately be good for all of us.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

CBC (Cannabichromene): Emerging from the Shadows Into the Spotlight of Science

The more research that’s done on marijuana, the more interesting this wonderful plant becomes. We’ve all heard of the chemical compounds in cannabis known as cannabinoids, the therapeutic miracle workers, and we’ve also known that the two most talked about and most thoroughly studied cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). Well, it appears it’s time for these two stars to move over and share the spotlight with another cannabinoid that is fast becoming the toast of the marijuana research laboratories: Cannabichromene, or CBC.

While there have been over a hundred cannabinoids isolated in the marijuana plant so far, many of their individual functions are still unknown to scientists. Cannabichromene, however, has demonstrated several distinctive traits that indicate potential medicinal properties.

One of the benefits cannabichromene has exhibited, is its ability (and perhaps its fundamental purpose) to augment and even intensify the effects of THC. Some researchers have theorized that higher levels of CBC can boost the potency of a dominant THC strain of cannabis. Since CBC isn’t psychoactive like its cousin cannabinoid THC, it acts in conjunction with the THC to enhance its overall effect. This synergistic bonding of the two cannabinoids (along with other cannabinoids and terpenes) is important medicinally because it creates an even more vigorous pain reliever than either one could produce on their own without the aid or the entourage effect of its helper.

CBC is also being looked at quite seriously in regard to cancer research. The way it interacts with anandamide, which is a naturally occurring chemical neurotransmitter or messenger in the brain, shows great promise in the battle against cancer because it increases the ability of the immune system to use its own chemical compounds (like anandamide) to fight cancer.

CBC is one of those cannabinoids that acts as a catalyst when it is combined with other cannabinoids. When it mixes with other compounds an entourage effect or synergistic effect takes place. Synergy and the entourage effect are extremely important concepts when dealing with the medicinal effects of marijuana because researchers are noticing more and more that the way to get the most out of one cannabinoid is to blend it with another, different cannabinoid. The terms synergy and entourage effect basically mean that when you combine two or more components together, the resulting effect is more than the sum of their individual effects. In general, cannabinoids need other cannabinoids to bring out their full potential and the full range of medicinal healing powers.

Besides being a helper of sorts with other cannabinoids, CBC has also been shown to be able to galvanize bone growth and decrease inflammation. However, its real value apparently lies in its potential to fight cancer. And that in itself is bringing this hitherto unknown cannabinoid out of the shadows and into the limelight of marijuana research. CBC may one day outshine both THC and CBD – if we’re lucky.