In the rapidly expanding world of cannabis/THC products, it can get a little confusing to understand the benefits, risks, and difference between them. Acronyms like THC and CBD may be familiar, but what do they mean and what are all the new ones popping up? Let's jump in and find out.
What are Cannabinoids Anyway?
The word Cannabinoid refers to every chemical, substance, or compound created by the Cannabis sativa L plant (or through a synthetic process) that can attach to the cannabinoid receptors in the human body/brain.
Once attached to the receptors, cannabinoids can create a wide range of effects.
One of the most well-known effects is the psychoactive "high" feeling that many people experience after smoking and/or ingesting the cannabinoid known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
While THC may be one of the most popular cannabinoids, it isn't the only one out there. In fact, research suggests that the Cannabis sativa L plant creates over 100 different cannabinoids, each with their own effects and benefits.
Fun Fact: Cannabis (aka marijuana) and hemp are both species of the Cannabis sativa L plant. If you want to know the difference between hemp and cannabis, check out this infographic
Now, Let's get familiar with a few of the cannabinoids you'll find in our edible products
How Do Cannabinoids Work?
The short answer is, we're still figuring this out. With the Cannabis Sativa L plant now legal in more than 23 states, we are learning more each day.
Here's what we know so far- our brains & bodies have two known cannabinoid receptors:
CB1 receptors, found in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs.
CB2 receptors, found in the immune system and its associated structures.
Fun Fact: Many human tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors. This means that receptors in different parts of our bodies can connect with the same cannabinoid to produce different effects!
Common Cannabinoids & their Effects:
Studies have shown, of the 100 or so known cannabinoids, most produce little or no psychoactive effects. However, these cannabinoids can still impact our bodies to reduce chronic pain, lessen anxiety, treat eating disorders, help treat neurological conditions like seizures and Parkinson's Disease, and more.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is another well known cannabinoid. CBD is thought to have an anti-psychoactive effect that controls or moderates the ‘high’ caused by THC. CBD is also thought to reduce some of the other negative effects that people can experience from THC, such as anxiety
Fun Fact: CBD is the most prevalent cannabinoid in the hemp plant, and the second most prevalent cannabinoid in the cannabis/marijuana plant. Find out more here.
While scientific research on CBG is in preliminary stages, Cannabigerol, also known as CBG has been called "the mother of all cannabinoids", because many cannabinoids (including CBD) start out as CBG.
Scientists hoping to use CBG's anti-inflammatory properties to help with chronic pain. CBG can also increase appetite, which may be helpful for people who've lose their appetites while undergoing cancer treatments. Researchers are also exploring whether CBG can help protect against certain types of cancer, especially when combined with CBD.
Cannabinol, also known as CBN is another cannabinoid that has grown in popularity over the last few years. CBN has been called "a weaker version of THC". CBN research is primarily focused on the cannabinoid's potential medicinal benefits. However, unlike CBD, (which is entirely non-psychoactive), CBN in larger doses can produce mild psychoactive reactions.
Among hundreds of cannabinoids, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as Delta-8 THC) has rapidly risen in popularity. You can think of Delta-8 as Delta-9's younger, less aggressive sibling. Both cannabinoids have a similar molecular makeup, but have a different molecular structure. In other words, they're made of the same elements, but they're shaped differently.
Fun Fact: Due to its altered structure, Delta-8-THC has a weaker bond with our CB1 receptors, which creates a lower psychoactive effect than delta-9 THC for most consumers.
By far, the most commonly known cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC or Delta-9 THC. This is the chemical responsible for the strong psychoactive effects of cannabis plant. This cannabinoid is the most active element in the cannabis/marijuana plant. It's also found in the hemp plant, but at significantly lower levels.
Sources & Such:
There over 100 cannabinoids in existence, we just wanted to provide a overview of the 5 cannabinoids you're most likely to find in our edible-THC products. If you're looking for more in-depth explanations, feel free to check out the links below or email us at Service@QueensbridgeApothecary.com
National Library of Medicine: What is Delta-8?
The NORML Foundation: Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System
Nutritional Outlook: Beyond CBD: Other cannabinoids in hemp and their exciting potential as ingredients
Forbes Health: What Is CBG? Benefits, Risks And More