The term "cannabinoids" is sure to come up in conversations about hemp and marijuana products. But just what are cannabinoids anyway?
What Are Cannabinoids?
If you've heard of CBD, you've most likely heard of the term "cannabinoids” but you may still be wondering, “What are cannabinoids exactly?”. Well, cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds that help maintain balance in the body. They can be found in our bodies and in plants like hemp.
The hemp plant alone has over 100 cannabinoids, including CBD, and they mimic the effects of the cannabinoids found in our bodies, called endocannabinoids. They work together with other active ingredients in the plant to produce a variety of effects ranging from joint relief to sleep support. Research seems to show that cannabinoids such as CBD can provide loads of benefits for the user.
Curious? Before we answer the question “what are cannabinoids?” further, here's a video that might help you out:
How do cannabinoids work in the body?
When there are stressful changes in the body’s external environment, our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the part responsible for maintaining harmony. This adaptation to keep the right biological balance is a process known as homeostasis.
Many cannabinoid receptors exist in the human body. They’re attached to the cell membranes of our organs, central nervous system, and immune system. Similar to our skin's receptors that initiate sweat release when the temperature is too hot, cannabinoids interact with our ECS's receptors and influence them to create balance in a variety of bodily functions.
What are cannabinoids used for?
There are numerous cannabinoids found within the hemp plant and seemingly endless ways that they can affect our health and wellness. The most well known and studied cannabinoids are CBD and THC. However, there are over 100 others that we’re still learning more about.
THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is a compound found in higher dosage in the marijuana plant and is responsible for its intoxicating effects or high. Preliminary non-clinical studies have show it may also be used to relieve nausea, pain and help to stimulate appetite. THC is also found in the hemp plant but by law, it must be under 0.3 percent, which is not enough to have an intoxicating effect.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the most widely used and researched compounds in the hemp plant and is what we at Anavii Market specialize in. It is considered to be one of the wonders of holistic medicine, and once separated from the plant can be purchased in various forms; ranging from capsules to topicals. Unlike other cannabinoids like THC, CBD does not have any intoxicating effects. Its primary function is to help regulate your endocannabinoid system to maintain harmony within the body.
CBD’s therapeutic benefits may be linked to anandamide, also known as the "bliss molecule". This substance acts as your body’s natural antidepressant. Studies have shown that the consumption of CBD is directly correlated with higher levels of anandamide. They discovered that CBD helps to prevent the breakdown of anandamide, allowing the body to maintain its levels and further support actions related to joint relief, mood and stress.
As it turns out, chocolate also contains anandamide, as well as compounds to slow its breakdown. This explains the noticeable boost in mood and stress relief when you eat some!
Apart from the commonly known uses for CBD, it is being researched for potential use in treating conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, cancer, insomnia and many more. This research is still in pre-clinical and some clinical research trials, and more research is needed to fully understand the efficacy of CBD for these issues. However, the FDA has already approved a CBD product named Epidiolex, which is quite effective in reducing seizures. As more studies are conducted, we can expect to see further applications of CBD within the medical field.
What are cannabinoids that may be less common?
THCA is a cannabinoid that is abundant in the raw cannabis plant, including hemp, and converts to THC when exposed to high temperatures during extraction or under heat or sunlight. Unlike THC, it has no intoxicating effects, and can help with nausea and muscle spasms. In 2014 scientists consolidated positive research that highlighted the potential for THCA to fighting cancerous cells. While this data is important to consider, the research does not provide clear evidence that is supported in the scientific community.
CBDA is a cannabinoid that also comes from the raw hemp plant and converts to CBD when exposed to heat or sunlight. It also has no intoxicating effects. A 2008 study indicated the effectiveness of CBDA in inhibiting COX-2 activity which often relates to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition a 2013 study supported the benefits of CBDA in helping to reduce nausea; however, it is important to not this study was performed on rodents and was not a human clinical trial.
CBN is a cannabinoid that forms when THC breaks down. It has mild mind-altering effects and mostly supports sleep because of its sedative qualities.
CBG is a non intoxicating cannabinoid that is usually found in minute amounts within the hemp plant. Studies conducted in 2008 revealed its potential to act as an effective antibacterial agent. Additionally, 2013 experiments on rodents highlighted properties which may be effective in reducing inflammation.
Though similarly named to THC, THCV is a compound that possesses much different qualities. A 2009 study, revealed the capability of THCV to reduce signs of inflammation and pain in mice. Quite notably, the rodents did not appear to build up a tolerance for the cannabinoid. In 2007, scientists were able to link THCV to the stimulation of bone growth in rodents, mediated through their CB1 receptors .
CBDV is a cannabinoid that is still in the early stages of research. However, it already shows the potential to aid epilepsy treatment. According to GW, they were able to suppress seizures across six experimental models, during Phase I testing of their CBDV derived drug GWP42006.
It is important to remember that, although we cannot confirm the effects of these cannabinoids in the body just yet, research looks promising towards promotion of overall health and wellness.
What are Cannabinoids? Let's Recap!
- Cannabinoids are natural compounds found within the cannabis plant.
- Cannabinoids mimic similar compounds found within our body.
- Cannabinoids interact with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to maintain balance
- Cannabinoids are numerous in variety! There are over 120 in the hemp plant. CBD and THC are the most well known.
- Cannabinoids are being researched nationally, internationally, and even in space!
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We hope this “What are Cannabinoids?” guide has helped you understand the micro world that goes on within our body and within the hemp plant. If you have any questions, which most do, we're here for you! We're happy to discuss any of your CBD questions more in depth so feel free to contact us!.
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