Besides tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, there are more than 100 cannabinoids in hemp. Here are the most common cannabinoids in hemp and their possible uses.
Cannabinoids in Hemp | Types, and Uses
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most well-known cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Most people know THC for its psychoactive effects and giving its users a “high” feeling. CBD, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly popular because it may provide a wide range of health effects (though the FDA has not yet verified CBD’s ability to treat any condition).
The cannabis plant contains almost 500 chemical compounds, at least 113 of which are cannabinoids. In this post, we’ll look at the most common ones.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds that occur naturally in cannabis plants. It produces various effects when it binds to cannabinoids in the brain and body. The human body has an endocannabinoid system that produces its own endogenous cannabinoids, such as anandamide.
When consuming cannabis products, phytocannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the body and trigger them to affect several bodily processes, such as:
- Immune response
CBD, one of the cannabinoids in hemp, has been the center of recent research because of its potential medicinal value in alleviating pain, inflammation, and other symptoms, without the psychoactive effects traditionally associated with cannabis.
Recently, CBD received FDA approval for use in the anti-seizure medication Epidiolex®. There is ongoing research on how effective CBD can be in managing pain, anxiety and depression, cognition, and other conditions.
Other potential benefits of CBD that are being researched include:
- Help in relieving pain
- Help in managing anxiety and depression
- Reducing symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting.
- Reducing acne by inhibiting the production of sebum.
- Help in managing neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy by acting on the endocannabinoid system.
- Promoting heart health by helping to reduce blood pressure.
- Help to manage withdrawal symptoms from people recovering from drug addiction.
- Countering the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD has very few side effects and those that exist mostly arise from consuming too much CBD or from reactions to other medications. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor before starting a CBD program.
Unlike CBD, THC is more known for its psychoactive effects. THC is mostly extracted from the marijuana plant.
There are two types of THC: Delta-8-THC (D8-THC) and Delta-9-THC (D9-THC). D9-THC is the more potent of the two, whereas D8-THC is more effective in anti-nausea treatment.
Research is ongoing concerning THC effectiveness as an analgesic, and whether THC may help to manage the following conditions:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle spasms
THC has numerous side effects that can last up to a few hours. Some of these temporary side effects include:
- Loss of memory
- Slow reaction time
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty in coordinating movement
- Increased heart rate
Prolonged use of THC may result in negative psychiatric effects including the development of disorders such as schizophrenia. Younger people are more likely to experience negative effects.
Fat cells store THC, so drug tests may return a positive result even weeks after using THC.
Among cannabinoids in hemp, CBN was one of the first ones identified. It’s not as readily available as CBD or THC.
CBN is mildly psychoactive. To produce it, THC is oxidized by first exposing dried cannabis flowers to oxygen. Next, the CBN is extracted.
One of the major perceived benefits of CBN is its ability to help prolong sleep. Research is underway to determine if CBN could help with the following conditions:
- Anti-bacterial treatment option for people who have developed resistance to traditional antibiotics.
- Managing Lou Gehrig’s disease and other conditions caused by neurodegeneration.
- As an appetite stimulant for people suffering from the loss of appetite.
- Help in managing glaucoma.
- Reduce symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation.
Even though there are few known side effects, consuming too much CBN could result in the following:
- Loss of appetite
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
CBDA is one of the abundant cannabinoids in hemp plants. It is non-psychotropic, and decarboxylation usually converts it into CBD. Just like CBD, CBDA is non-psychoactive.
While CBDA doesn’t directly bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system to inhibit the production of the COX-2 enzyme.
This suggests that CBDA could be key to reducing inflammation in the body. CBDA also enhances the ability of the 5-HT receptor to produce serotonin.
Though initial results are very promising, research is still ongoing to determine whether CBDA can be used effectively in any of the following capacities:
- Anti-nausea and vomiting agent
CBG stems from cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) which is the primary cannabinoid. It’s considered a chemical precursor to other cannabinoids because it can change into the other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD as the plant grows.
CBG is also non-psychoactive and has no known adverse effects on users.
As a result, low levels of THC in a cannabis plant means high levels of CBG and vice versa. The optimal time to extract CBG from the cannabis plant is usually between six to eight weeks from when CBG levels are the highest.
Some of the possible benefits of CBG that are being researched include:
- Anti-fungal properties
- Boost to memory and cognition
- Antibiotic properties that are effective even against antibiotic-resistant infections.
- Help in stimulating the growth of new brain cells.
- Managing bladder dysfunction
Until recently, CBC didn’t receive much attention from cannabis plant researchers. It is most common in tropical cannabis plants and is very prevalent in psychoactive strains.
CBC inhibits the absorption of anandamide, the neurotransmitter that binds to cannabinoid receptors. CBC doesn’t, however, actively bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Both THC and CBC have a synergistic relationship where THC enhances the medicinal value of CBC, while CBC increases the levels of THC in the brain. The two cannabinoids are usually used in combination to enhance the antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving qualities of CBC.
The relationship between the two is still being investigated, as is their medicinal value.
Despite being isolated in 1969, there has been very little research on CBDV since then. However, recent studies indicate that this little-known cannabinoid could offer a wide variety of therapeutic benefits to humans.
Clinical trials are also being conducted to determine how CBDV may help manage conditions such as encephalopathy, schizophrenia, Type 2 diabetes, and glioma.
Additionally, initial studies show that CBDV could produce anti-epileptic and anticonvulsant effects by activating transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Further investigation is underway to determine how effective CBDV could be in the management of epilepsy.
THCV is a CB1 receptor antagonist and a CB2 receptor partial agonist. In other words, it activates the CB2 receptors while inhibiting the CB1 receptors.
THVC has the same molecular structure as that of the THC molecule. But, its effects are different and more pronounced than those of THC. It also has a higher boiling point (220 °C) than THC.
Because you can only find THVC in some strains of the cannabis plant, it’s not as widespread. Cannabis Sativa strains in Africa contain THVC. Some of the potential benefits of THCV being investigated include:
- Managing diabetes by contributing to the regulation of blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance.
- Reducing the frequency and intensity of panic attacks in patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Initial tests have shown that THCV helps in curbing anxiety without suppressing the emotions of the patient.
- Assisting with the management of tremors, brain lesions, and motor control in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Stimulating the growth of bones, and helping in the management of bone-related conditions such as osteoporosis.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
Research on THCA is in the initial stages, and there is optimism that this cannabis compound will offer therapeutic potential for human health.
Live and raw cannabis plants contain THCA but convert to THC in dried plants.
THCA doesn’t have the intoxicating effect associated with THC. Since THCA turns to THC when allowed to dry, it is mostly harvested while still fresh to make THCA juices.
While research on the health benefits of THCA is still inconclusive, researchers are investigating these potential benefits:
- Reducing inflammation during the treatment of lupus and arthritis among other conditions.
- Minimizing neurodegeneration by providing neuroprotective properties that may lead to assisting in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Contributing to the treatment of appetite loss and nausea by providing antiemetic properties to the body.
- Managing prostate cancer by providing antiproliferative properties to the body.
- Treatment of conditions such as muscle spasms, insomnia, and pain.
THCA will only become part of cannabinoid-based medications once there is conclusive evidence of its uses.
CBCV was among the most recently discovered cannabinoids in hemp. So, there’s not a lot of research available. CBCV has a very similar molecular structure to that of CBC, and the two compounds may share some of the same benefits. CBCV does not create psychoactive effects.
Cannabis and Cannabinoids | What You Need to Know
There are three main strain varieties of the cannabis plant: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and hybrid. Different strains have different effects on users.
For example, the Sativa strain has an energizing effect. So, it’s better suited for daytime use.
On the other hand, Indica strains are more suited for use when relaxing because they create a sedative effect that may result in feelings of tiredness and unclear thinking.
Lastly, the hybrid strain is a combination of the first two strains. Furthermore, one strain is usually more dominant. The hybrid strain is the most common in the cannabis market.
Using cannabis products is a personal experience and won’t be the same as someone else’s. The effects of cannabis products depend on your body’s biology and tolerance to cannabis, the chemical profile of the cannabis product you are using, the dosage that is taken, and the method of consumption.
It is important to have in-depth knowledge of the various cannabis strains and the composition of the different cannabinoids so you can find the right fit for your needs, whether recreational or medicinal.
Remember, it is always important and advisable to consult your doctor before you start taking cannabis medication for any condition you have.
Here are some of the possible effects of the different strains of the cannabis plant:
- Muscle relaxation
- May reduce pain, spasms, and inflammation
- Improve sleep habits
- Reduce anxiety
- Relieve nausea
- Stimulate appetite
- Relaxes the eyes by reducing pressure
- Elevates moods
- Increases energy levels
- Increases focus
- Enhances creativity in a person
- May also act as an appetite stimulant
The effect of hybrid strains depends on which of the first two strains is dominant in the plant.
Most cannabinoids in hemp don’t have a psychoactive effect and therefore won’t give you a high feeling. THC is the only cannabinoid that creates an intoxicating effect on users. However, THC isn’t found naturally in the raw cannabis plant and THCA (which is non-psychoactive) must be decarboxylated to create THC.
The presence of the other cannabinoids in cannabis products influences how THC affects you. For example, the presence of CBD in a cannabis product influences the interaction of THC with CB1 receptors in the ECS and counters the psychoactive effects of THC. The presence of CBD, therefore, reduces how high you can get from THC.
Cannabinoids in Hemp | Safety Precautions
Although is generally safe to consume cannabinoids, using them in the following situations may be dangerous:
- Taken with alcohol, stimulants, or other drugs such as ecstasy.
- When operating heavy machinery or driving.
- In situations where good motor coordination or judgment is required.
- Consumed by persons with mental health problems.
- In situations where medical assistance might be needed, yet the user is alone.
- Consumed by persons with pre-existing heart conditions.
- Consumed by pregnant or lactating mothers.
It is always advisable to exercise caution when it comes to the usage of cannabinoids and, if possible, to consult your doctor first even if you are just using them for recreational purposes.
Regular usage could also result in tolerance and dependence, especially in young people who use cannabinoids for recreational purposes.
Most Common Cannabinoids In Hemp | Final Thoughts
Since there are well over one hundred cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, it would be impossible to discuss all of them in detail in a single article.
However, by learning about some of the most common cannabinoids you can begin to make informed decisions when shopping for cannabis products for different purposes.
At BuyCBDProducts, we strive to provide as much accurate information about our products as possible. Each of our products is labeled with detailed information that specifies the potential benefits you may obtain, so take a look today and see what CBD has to offer!
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