Hemp plant is made up of hundreds of active chemical compounds, over 100 of which are cannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemical ingredients that are found in the highest concentration in the female buds of the cannabis plant. These chemical compounds play an important role. They interact directly with the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the human endocannabinoid system. The medicinal benefits of cannabis can be attributed to the phenomenon of cannabinoids activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds derived from hemp that interact directly with the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the human endocannabinoid system. The medicinal benefits of cannabis can be attributed to the phenomenon of cannabinoids activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body. When CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, we can improve how our body’s different systems and organs function.
Cannabinoids and terpenes develop in the resin glands, or trichomes, on the flower and leaves of cannabis plants. Many other plants produce cannabinoids, but they are found in the highest concentration in cannabis. The different compounds interact synergistically to amplify the benefits of the plant’s individual components. Essentially, the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.
How do Cannabinoids work in the body?
The majority of medical cannabis research focuses on the study of cannabinoids. They are similar in structure to the neurotransmitters in our peripheral and central nervous system. When we consume cannabis, these compounds can communicate on a cellular level with these neurotransmitters, which we call “endocannabinoids”. The network of these endocannabinoids in our bodies is called the endocannabinoid system. When this nervous system falters, the compounds derived from cannabis can help our bodies regain their natural balance and stability. This concept is the foundation of cannabis as medicine.
You might have heard of the young girl named Charlotte who suffered from Dravet’s syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. A tincture derived from this strain helped reduce the hundreds of weekly seizures Charlotte endured to only a few. This was an unbelievable feat that catalyzed the medical cannabis movement. It is also a prime example of how impactful cannabinoid therapy can be.
Most common types of Cannabinoids
Different types of cannabinoids have different effects. Certain ones can provide pain relief while others have anticonvulsant properties. The benefits of these chemical compounds are diverse, but more scientific research is needed to truly understand their versatility and therapeutic effects.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a versatile cannabinoid with multiple therapeutic effects. The properties make it more applicable to those who need and want to stay clear-minded. CBD has antispasmodic and antiseizure properties, along with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It may have anxiolytic-like (anxiety-reducing) properties.
CBN (cannabinol) helps to regulate the immune system and works to relieve the pain and inflammation.
CBG (cannabigerol) helps to support focus, healthy metabolism process, eye health. Also it has indicated potential in chronic pain management and neuroprotectant.
CBD-V (cannabidivarin) has significant anticonvulsant and anti-seizure effects. It is being researched for its potential in treating epilepsy.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid and the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Understanding the different types of cannabinoids is essential to using cannabis as a treatment. Scientific research shows that the current proven medical benefits are vast. From pain relief to anti-inflammation to antispasmodic, it’s clear that the hemp plant has many properties that can help alleviate a range of symptoms.