Cannabinoid Research

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Of over 480 different compounds present in the plant, only around 66 are termed cannabinoids.

The most well known among these compounds is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another important component, which makes up about 40% of the plant resin extract.

Cannabinoids: Beyond THC and CBD - Encore Labs

Effects of cannabinoids

Cannabinoids exert their effects by interacting with specific cannabinoid receptors present on the surface of cells.

These receptors are found in different parts of the central nervous system and the two main types of cannabinoid receptors in the body are CB1 and CB2.

In 1992, a naturally occurring substance in the brain that binds to CB1 was discovered, called anandamide. This cannabinoid-like chemical and others that were later discovered are referred to as endocannabinoids.

The effects of cannabinoids depends on the brain area involved. Effects on the limbic system may alter the memory, cognition and psychomotor performance; effects on the mesolimbic pathway may affect the reward and pleasure responses and pain perception may also be altered.

Differences between cannabinoids

The main way in which the cannabinoids are differentiated is based on their degree of psychoactivity.

For example, CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to be psycholgically active agents whereas THC, CBN and CBDL along with some other cannabinoids are known to have varying degrees of psychoactivity.

The most abundant of the cannabinoids is CBD, which is thought to have anti-anxiety effects, possibly counteracting the psychoactive effects of THC.

When THC is exposed to the air, it becomes oxidized and forms CBN which also interacts with THC to lessen its impact.

Cannabinoid List

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. With the chemical name tetrahydrocannabinol, the term THC also refers to cannabinoid isomers. Psychoactive effects, which may vary dramatically among different people, include heightened sensory perception, laughter, altered perception of time, increased appetite, pleasant euphoria, and sense of relaxation.

CBD: Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). This Phytocannabinoid was discovered in 1940 and is an essential component of medical marijuana. CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant itself. Out of the 100 different components in marijuana, CBD does not cause  “high” by itself.

CBN: Cannabinol (CBN) is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found only in trace amounts in Cannabis. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBN does not stem directly from cannabigerol (CBG) or cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), but rather is the degraded product of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). CBN works as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever as well as an anti-insomnia agent, and an anti-convulsive agent.

CBG: Cannabigerol (CBG) is the parent molecule from which other cannabinoids are synthesized and is considered to be a minor constituent of cannabis. CBG works to fight inflammation, pain, nausea and works to slow the proliferation of cancer cells. Research also shows it significantly reduces intraocular eye pressure caused by glaucoma. Strains high in CBG will be beneficial in treating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and cancer.

CBC: Cannabichromene (CBC) also called cannabichrome, cannanbichromene, pentylcannabichromene or cannabinochromene and is therefore considered a phytocannabinoid. It bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids and its derivatives are as abundant as CBN in cannabis. It is one of the 113 cannabinoids we are identifying in cannabis. CBC has many benefits that include antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-proliferative, stimulates brain growth, analgesic, and helps with migraines.

CBL: Cannabicyclol (CBL) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis. CBL is a degradative product like CBD), and produced from the natural irradiation of CBC. While recent studies show the possibility of positive effects in using CBL to treat inflammation and possible tumors, information is still limited, and results are inconclusive at this time.

CBT: Cannabicitran (CBT) is biosynthesized from CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). It was first synthesized in 1971 and it was called Cyrildene Cannabis. CBT is also considered a minor cannabinoid and therefore, there are not that many studies about it. CBT is likely a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that, when present alongside THC, can lessen THC’s myriad psychoactive effects. It is speculated that this cannabinoid contributes to the entourage effect. Some older studies have found that it helps in reducing eye pressure and hence it could be a potential treatment for glaucoma.

CBE: Cannabielsoin (CBE) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. Scientists first discovered CBE in the early 1970s. They discovered that CBE is a metabolite of CBD, the primary cannabinoid in most types of hemp. Even though there is no research available to give the medical benefit of CBE in the human body, researchers propose what is known as the “entourage effect“. Like consuming CBE with CBD, the therapeutic benefits of CBD will be provided. Some include anti-psychotic effects, anti-tumor effects and can help with treating substance use disorders.

CBDv: Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is a homolog of CBD, with the side-chain shortened by two methylene bridges (CH2 units). It is one of the 113 cannabinoids we are identifying in cannabis. CBDV is approved for use as a medicine in Europe for treating two rare conditions. It’s not approved for use as a medicine in the U.S. or Canada. CBDV is used for seizure disorder, nausea, long-term swelling (inflammation) in the digestive tract, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

THCv: Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a cannabis-derived compound with unique properties that set it apart from the more common cannabinoids, such as THC. THCV is used to assist with diabetes, pain, swelling, and inflammation, psychosis, obesity, and a few other conditions. Although, there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. THCV seems to affect certain nerve cells in the brain. These effects may help to reduce seizures, regulate emotional reactions to food, and reduce cravings for addictive substances.

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