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.

Cannabigerol (CBG): Another Miracle Cannabinoid

There’s a new marshal in town and its name is CBG, otherwise known as cannabigerol. We’ve heard a lot about several of the more famous of the 80 or so other cannabinoids found in marijuana, but we seldom, if ever hear about CBG. That’s because THC and CBD have taken and maintained their positioning in the spotlight of the pantheon of healing cannabinoids found naturally in the cannabis plant.

THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol) of course, is the main psychoactive element in the pot plant and it has some enormous medical benefits, including pain relief, relieving PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks, emotional turmoil and nightmares. CBD, (cannabidiol), the most widely studied and reviewed cannabinoid, has surprised the world with its fantastic and almost unbelievable effects on epileptic patients and the amazing reduction of seizures in those sufferers. CBD also has been shown to have great anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety properties along with being quite useful in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and the lessening of cancer pain.

CBG, although it is found in lower concentrations in the marijuana plant than its cousins THC and CBD, it is much more plentiful in the hemp plant. Growers have  discovered, however, that if they harvest the marijuana buds earlier than usual the THC and CBD concentrations will be lower and the CBG extracts will be much greater. Don’t you just love those marijuana growers and their inquisitive minds and sense of experimentation?

CBG has been studied by a number of researchers including an Italian team in 2013 that identified several ways this cannabinoid can be helpful in the medical world. One major discovery was its anti-inflammatory effects, especially on patients afflicted with inflammatory bowel syndrome. They found that CBG markedly reduced the inflammation of the intestine and thus reduced the discomfort and pain of the person who was distressed by the malady. Another research project involving CBG was published in the Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics journal demonstrated stunning benefits for glaucoma sufferers. The CBG reduced internal pressure on the eye and allowed increased eye fluid drainage, which eased the symptoms and the pain of glaucoma.

CBG has also been found to reduce nausea and have anti-emetic effects, that is, it stops a person from vomiting. Research has also demonstrated that CBG can actually slow the growth and spread of skin tumor cells and the Italian researchers have seen indications that CBG could suppress the progression of colon cancer. Other studies on CBG reveal that it is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, pain reliever, stimulates the growth of brain cells and promotes bone growth.

CBG will soon have the ability and the clout to take center stage as far as medical applications go in the cannabis plant. It has been ignored long enough and is on its way to being on an equal footing with THC and CBD. Its reputation as one of the most important curative ingredients in this most wonderful of all natural herbs is growing rapidly, to say the least. Keep your eyes peeled for more information and new findings on this awesome cannabinoid, CBG

Cannabinoids Explained (Part 3): Cannabigerol (CBG)