Part of what makes the hemp plant unique resides in a natural family of compounds produced inside it: cannabinoids. For many consumers, hemp becomes more familiar when it's attached to its most known extract in conversation, CBD. When talking about hemp and cannabis in general, people like to refer to the plant's two most known compounds, CBD and THC.
The truth is that these two are part of a much larger group of compounds found in the hemp and cannabis plants. These are called cannabinoids ad there are more than two; to be precise, researchers have discovered around 110 of them.
Despite being very similar, each of these cannabinoids has its own unique characteristics. In this article, you'll find six of the most popular of them, how they affect the human body and their health benefits.
It is rare to find someone who hasn't heard about CBD these days, thanks to its boom in the well-being and alternative markets. The three letters are an abbreviation of its real name, cannabidiol, a compound that's been touted for its incredible health benefits.Research has revealed that CBD helps treat pain and anxiety, as well as reducing inflammation.
CBD is one of the two major cannabinoids in hemp, the other being THC. Yet, unlike THC, CBD doesn't have any psychoactive effects, which is why more mainstream markets have embraced it.
CBG stands for cannabigerol, and it's a precursor to CBD and THC. Being a precursor only means that the compound transforms itself into one of the major cannabinoids in specific environmental conditions. However, CBG, on its own, has proven to be pretty exciting and useful.
Recent scientific literature has indicated that CBG is beneficial for cancer, glaucoma, and MRSA treatments, and can naturally increase dopamine levels, and support sleep, mood, and appetite.
CBDA is another precursor, specifically of CBD. It stands for cannabidiolic acid, and it usually goes under a decarboxylation process in order to turn it into the most known cannabinoid. Since its chemical structure is very similar to CBD, few studies have been done on the compound. However, the rare studies that exist have pointed to CBDA as a potential aid for treating symptoms of nausea and certain types of cancer.
Since CBDA has to undergo a process to become regular CBD, it's also possible to consume it in its raw form; by extracting the cannabinoid from the unprocessed hemp plant, people can put it in foods and beverages.
CBN is the abbreviation for cannabinol, and it's known for being the first cannabinoid to be isolated and synthesized in a lab. This precedent is probably one reason why it has also been one of the most studied cannabinoids. Produced from THC's degradation, CBN doesn't share most of its parent component's effect, except for one: helping with sleeping difficulty. Scientists have documented its efficacy in battling insomnia, and some have praised it as a powerful sedative, describing it as potent as diazepam.
Other studies indicate that CBN is also helpful in regenerating bone tissue thanks to its interaction with stem cells, making it a candidate to help bone degenerative disorders' treatments.
Cannabichromene is the unabbreviated version of CBC, and, like CBD, it comes from CBDA degradation. It's non-psychoactive, and its effects haven't been studied at large. Nonetheless, as with other compounds, CBC has significantly reduced inflammation in treatments for diseases such as osteoarthritis, based on the few studies there are. Another beneficial aspect of CBC is its apparent potential as an anti-cancer agent since its molecular structure blocks cancer cell growth. However, its application in this field needs more research to be conclusive.
As with CBDA, CBDV is a precursor to CBD, and research on this cannabinoid has been scarce. Yet, some scientists have pointed out its ability to help people with neurological disorders. Some preliminary studies in animals show that cannabidivarin—as it's known unabbreviated—is remarkable in treating symptoms of Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, and other convulsion-provoker disorders.
The Entourage Effect
Although all of these cannabinoids can be identified separately, they often work together to generate the effects for which cannabis and hemp are sought off. This phenomenon is called the entourage effect and is why some connoisseurs prefer to buy products labeled as "full-spectrum," meaning that no single cannabinoid is left behind in production. Cannabinoids seem to work better with other cannabinoids. While not all percentages work for everybody, it seems you may be missing some of the benefits that don't come in isolated CBD extract.