A Guide to Cannabinoids
A lot of people have wondered what actually happens once you take Cannabis. Sure enough, we know it contains a lot of compounds but then what are these compounds, and how do they interact with the human body?
The human body is filled with various receptors that can interact with the compounds found in Cannabis, these interactions bring about various feelings and sensations after the use of cannabis. The compounds are known as Cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are compounds that can interact directly or indirectly with the respective receptors ( Cannabinoid receptors ) to help the body regain or maintain stability and health. Cannabinoids are produced naturally in the human body system, they are found in minute quantities and are referred to as 'Endocannabinoids', they stimulate the various Cannabinoid receptors.
However, cannabinoids can also be found outside the human body, they are found in a lot of plants particularly in cannabis, and in this case, they are referred to as 'Phytocannabinoids.'
Phytocannabinoids are not the only active compounds in the cannabis plant, it also contains compounds like Terpenes and Flavonoids that play various roles in providing the end effects when cannabis is administered.
There are quite a large number of phytocannabinoids in existence; various researchers have estimated the figures to be about 85 to 100 separate compounds! All these compounds, even though minimalistic in some cases, all play active roles when interacting with cannabinoid receptors.
In this blog, we will be considering seven Cannabinoids that have been duly studied and documented. They can easily be referred to as the major cannabinoids, two of these are without a doubt THC and CBD
1. THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is arguably the most famous of all cannabinoids, it is best known for its psychoactive effects. Although the several cognitive effects of THC could be beneficiary or otherwise based on a lot of other factors, THC is known to offer a lot of health benefits that cannot be overlooked.
THC is very valuable when it comes to managing inflammation and reducing pain, the compound directly interacts with the causes of such pain and inflammatory disorder.
THC has been known to come through when dealing with nausea, the compound prevents vomiting, and on the other hand boosts appetite when needed.
The medical applications of the compound simply goes on:
• They are known to help in inducing sleep
• They protect the nervous system; this has made them effective when treating symptoms of autism, ADHD and stroke.
• Aid in treating glaucoma
• and managing muscle spasms.
THC does have a couple side effects, especially when too much of it is taken. The side effects can include mild anxiety, drowsiness, increased appetite, forgetfulness, dizziness, reduced blood pressure and even hallucinations once consumed in very large quantities.
Most of these unwanted side effects arise when a user has taken a dose higher than their tolerance range, this is particularly so for new users. Getting the right dosage can help the user make the most out of THC while avoiding the side effects. The effects only last for a while, often shortly before the compound disappears from the bloodstream.
Finally, it has been observed that most of the side effects users associated with THC are also the advantages derived from using the compound. This is because THC is a personalized medicine and its effects can only be considered beneficiary or otherwise based on the user and the dosage involved.
2. CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD) wasn't always as popular as THC , especially in medical prescriptions, but research over the years has shown that the compound is just as effective as THC.
Unlike THC, CBD doesn't provide the euphoric head high feeling while effecting its medical advantages, this has often caused it to be favored by some users who intend to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD has been known to effectively aid in the treatment of epilepsy, it combats tumors, seizures and fight the growth of cancer cells.
The compound also helps in treating anxiety, and has a lot of antipsychotic properties. Contrary to normal belief, CBD is a very effective tool in managing mental illness.
Research has shown that CBD is more efficient in protecting the central nervous system than any other known cannabinoid. This makes them extremely useful when managing dementia and Parkinson's, they effectively treat symptoms of autism and stroke.
Other medical applications include:
• Anti-inflammatory properties and chronic pain treatment
• Helps to treat muscle spasms
• Further enhance the major medical effects of THC.
Although it is much more tolerable, CBD comes with its own side effects when taken in very high doses. The effects are very similar to that of THC and often wears off after a short period of time, it could be dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, mild anxiety and low appetite.
Finally, CBD is known to reduce the undesired effects of THC, the two compounds when used side by side at the appropriate dosages can form a very effective drug.
3. THCA: Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid Is the precursor of THC. During prolonged exposure to heat or the sun, THCA is converted to THC. The acid lacks psychoactive effects and is particularly useful for battling nausea, seizures, cancer and muscle spasms.
4. CBDA: The acidic parent of CBD also present in the cannabis plant. It is also converted to CBD when heated or through prolonged exposure to the sun. Not psychoactive and possessing similar medical qualities to CBD.
5. CBN: Cannabinol (CBN) is a major product of THC. THC is gradually converted to CBN. It is often used to treat insomnia.
6. CBG: Cannabigerol (CBG) is a powerful antidepressant found in cannabis. It is known for its relaxation properties, and is also an effective antibacterial/antifungal agent.
7. CBC: Cannabichromene (CBC) is a compound found in trace quantities within the cannabis plant. It has antibiotics, antifungal, pain reducing and anti-cancer effects.