Cannabinoids. The new up and coming word that you have probably heard when looking into the new Hemp laws the United States has approved December 2018, called the 2018 Farm Bill. Find my previous article about Marijuana & Hemp where I discuss this in a little more detail. One of the biggest discoveries, I believe, is the fact that our body naturally produces cannabinoids via our cannabinoid receptors in our EndoCannabinoid System (ECS)! Yes, you have Cannabinoids in your body. “We have them (ECS receptors) in our brains, eyes, reproductive systems, immune systems, but we likely have them in other places, as well,” (Rosad0, 2019). The only way you can even receive cannabinoids into your body is via the Cannabis plant, and most people today are cannabinoid deficient.
“So, Morgan, why do I need cannabinoids in my body? I lived this long without them. What is the big deal?” You may ask. Well, let’s get into it. What are cannabinoids, what are they responsible for, and what do they do?
Cannabinoids are the compounds that make up the Cannabis plants; Hemp and Marijuana. They come in many different names, and scientists believe we still have many yet to discover. Every plant strain, the decarboxylation process it is put through via manufacturer, and extraction methods will produce different quantities of different cannabinoids and terpene profiles. That is also why I tell people using CBD and cannabis, in general, is a very personal experience. Everyone has different body chemistry, different cannabinoids they are deficient in, and different way our bodies are wired. So not all CBD is created equal. Also if the company has higher levels of heavy metals, microbials, pesticides, or residual solvents; that can also effect people in different ways (article on that coming soon!)
Cannabinoids have been proven to have these following properties and what they each have been shown to help with:
*CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid)– Antibiotic
*CBG (Cannabigerol) – Antibiotic, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic
***CBGV (Cannabigerivarin)– Anti-inflammatory, Helps Combata Dry Skin, observe to be cytostatic in leukemic cells (Robbins,2019).
*CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid)– Antibiotic
***CBDV (Cannabidivarin)– Reduces frequency and Severity of Seizures; reduces/eliminates nausea; Anti-inflammatory; beneficial in the treatment of pain and mood disorders; Provides symptom relief for Crohn’s, seizures, HIV/AIDS, and Multiple Sclerosis (CRESCOLabs, 2010).
*CBC (Cannabichromene)– Antibiotic, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, (weak) Analgesic
**CBCV (Cannabichromevarin)- Assuming it has similar properties to CBC Possible Appetite Suppressant, Anandamide (AEA) reuptake inhibitor, Anti-inflammatory, Antidepressant, Antibiotic, Analgesic, Antifungal (Rosado, 2019).
*CBD (Cannabidiol)– Anxiolytic, Antipsychotic, Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antispasmodic, Anti-emetic, Antifungal, Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant, and more we are still discovering.
*CBN (cannbinol)– Sedative Antibiotic, Anticonvulsant, Anti-inflammatory, and more.
***THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid)– Non psychoactive compound in raw form, Once decarboxylated (applied heat via smoking or vaping) it turns to THC, shows promise in treating epilepsy, anti-inflammatory, reduce Nausea, and more (Devitt-Lee, 2017).
*THC (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol)- Psychoactive compound from decarboxylation of THCA, Euphoriant, Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiemetic, Antipruritic, Bronchodilator, Sedative/Energy Increase (depends on strain), Appetite enhancer/Suppressant (depends on strain) and more.
*THCV (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabivarin)- Analgesic, Euphoriant, Anti-convulsant
So let’s talk about the most common word seen throughout all of these different cannabinoids, Anti-inflammatory is one major one that stands out. According to many recent studies, Inflammation causes a number of medical problems that could be easily treated with some nature’s own cannibinoids, instead of a pleathra of pills to keep track of for multiple issues that all may be linked right back to inflammation. Crazy right? Well, how does inflammation effect our bodies?
Amanda MacMillan with Health.com wrote “13 Ways Inflammation Can Affect Your Health” this January (https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20898778,00.html) and explains it this way, “In a healthy situation, inflammation serves as a good friend to our body,” says Mansour Mohamadzadeh, PhD, director of the Center for Inflammation and Mucosal Immunology at the University of Florida.” “But if immune cells start to overreact, that inflammation can be totally directed against us.” This type of harmful, chronic inflammation can have a number of causes, including a virus or bacteria, an autoimmune disorder, sugary and fatty foods, or the way you handle stress. Here are a few ways it can affect your health, both short-term and long.”
When your body isn’t fighting a wound or a virus or anything else harmful to you, it should shut the anti-inflammation off. But, in some people, this is not always the case. Some people experience Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Ulcerative Colitis and Chron’s disease, when the immune cells attack the digestive tract, so having help with anti-inflammation could help in this instance. Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis experience problems with inflammation of the joints with painful and stiff joints as symptoms. Inflammation is also linked to heart disease in people with chronic inflammation. (MacMillan, 2019).
So you can see how inflammation is interconnected to many different symptoms that many experience everyday. If the entire Cannabis plant, basically, is an anti-inflammatory and we can only receive that nutrient from cannabis, then it seems to be a no brainer as to why including cannabis products in your daily diet would be a good strategy for long term and overall health.
It has been a common theme to want a CBD only product in terms of drug testing for employers. This is why Hemp CBD is making such a name for itself because it naturally only has .03% of THC or less. You need at least 7% THC to feel any psychoactive effects and is the least likely to appear in urine. Most employment agencies have a “second hand smoke” level of THC they set for their standards, and I believe that is why Hemp CBD companies can claim that it is safe for people who need to take drug tests. But check with your employer’s standards of levels allowed if you are worried. Remember, Always do your own research. Don’t trust anything anyone writes, including me! Just read all you can and make your own educated guess and decision on the matter. That is what I do!
However, the real benefits will be seen from a full spectrum oil. That is a tincture or oil that has all of the cannabinoids that strain has in it. Including different Terpenes (the science-y word for a compound that gives fruits and flowers their smells and tastes) and those even have medicinal benefits, much like essential oils are used for today. That will be another article though! There are also products called RSO/RSHO that is a very concentrated form of cannabis oil and is an ENTIRE PLANT extract. Many say this is the best way to get the most out of a cannabis plant because you get all of the cannabinoids from the stalk, leaves, and flowers. You also only start dosing with the size of a grain of rice. So small amounts and work up to larger doses. I usually would get people coming to buy from the dispensary I worked at (when we visited Washington a few months I got to dive right into the industry!) who had cancer or other chronic illnesses who would use this. But people with common colds and who just wanted a boost of cannabinoids would purchase this, much like taking a high dose of vitamin C or something comparable because of all of the antibiotic properties. A Full spectrum oil or tincture will be a lot of cannabinoids, just not as concentrated like it’s syrupy counterpart RSO/RSHO.
Although we are still studying the benefits and effects Cannabis has our bodies, having as many cannabinoids in one vial is better than just the CBD. But having JUST CBD is still more beneficial than many of the pills prescribed today, with no reported negative side effects, if dosed correctly. Because we are all different, the more we learn about the different cannabinoids the more we will be able to distinctively tell people which strain/product is best for their specific body and cannabinoid receptors.
Stay Tuned for another article on CB1 and CB2 receptors in your body!
*Substance. (2014 July 27). “Cannabinoid Breakdown”. https://www.substancemarket.com/cannabinoid-breakdown/
**Jikomes, Nick. (No Date). Leafly. “List of Major Cannabinoids in Cannabis and Their Effects”. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/list-major-cannabinoids-cannabis-effects.
*** Robbins, Curt. (2019 February 6). Cannabis Aficionado. “CBGV: The Cannabinoid that Increases the Effects of Medical Marijuana. https://cannabisaficionado.com/cbgv/.
*** CRESCOLabs. (2010). “CBDV”. https://www.crescolabs.com/cannabinoids/cbdv/.
***Rosado, Joseph, M.D. (2019 January 30). Marijuana Doctors. “Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)”. https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/resources/cannabinoids/cannabichromevarin-cbcv/
*** Devitt-Lee, Adrain. (2017 May 31). Project CBD. “Dosing THCA: Less is More”. https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/dosing-thca-less-more.
MacMilan, Amanda. (2019 January 28). Health. “13 Ways Inflammation Can Affect Your Health. https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20898778,00.html