Cannabinoids are plant compounds found within the cannabis plant that interact with the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for many different processes in the human body, both psychological and cognitive.
More than 60 different cannabinoids have been identified, including the two most well-known compounds, CBD and THC. In this article, we’re going to look more closely at what the different cannabinoids do, how they interact with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), and what benefits they could have for your health.
What Are The Different Cannabinoids?
As we know, the two main cannabinoids found in cannabis plants are THC and CBD, however, there are a number of different subclasses of cannabinoids. These include minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, and CBN. The cannabis plant also contains cannabinoid acids, like THCA which are thought to be non-psychoactive plant compounds.
While CBG, CBC, and CBD are not known to be psychologically active agents, THC and other cannabinoids can have different psychoactive effects on the body. In countries where the recreational use of the cannabis plant is illegal, dietary supplements containing CBD cannot contain THC due to the psychoactive effects. THC is also a substance thought to cause addiction and lead to marijuana use disorders.
CBD is currently being researched in clinical trials for its anti-anxiety effects and many products are already on the market that claims to help people relax, beat insomnia, and de-stress containing this cannabinoid.
It is important to note that there are types of cannabis Sativa plants that contain very little THC. these plants are thus known as industrial hemp and can be used in various skincare products.
What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?
Synthetic cannabinoids are synthetic versions of plant cannabinoids. Many cannabinoids can be replicated and created synthetically to have the same chemical structure as endogenous cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa).
In Canada, it is illegal for products to contain synthetic cannabinoids. Each synthetic cannabinoid is regulated as a controlled substance and can have severe adverse effects on the human body. It is important to be aware of synthetic cannabinoid use when buying cannabinoid-containing products.
What do the Different Cannabinoids do?
All cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system in the body, but they can have different effects. The two main cannabinoids have an almost balancing effect on each other. While THC is known as the compound that gives the ‘high’ when inhaled, CBD is thought to moderate this high.
In addition, some people can experience anxiety and paranoia caused by THC. CBA is thought to have anti-anxiety effects and may help to alleviate some of these feelings in those who are susceptible to them.
Benefits of Different Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids have a number of really useful health benefits, and medical cannabis is even prescribed to people with certain conditions. Below, we have explored all of the benefits of cannabis use so you can get to know this plant a little better.
For Pain Relief
Medical marijuana is often prescribed to people with chronic pain who have struggled to find relief with prescription medications. Cannabinoid research has shown that cannabinoid agonists and Phyto-cannabinoids both have benefits for pain and THC may be able to alter the way the brain responds to pain, helping people with chronic conditions ease their discomfort.
To Decrease Opioid Use
For people taking opioid medication for pain, a plant cannabinoid could be a useful replacement. This could also help limit drug abuse of opioid medicines.
The recent influx of CBD-containing supplements on the market is a direct response to research suggesting that the CBD cannabinoid can help to ease anxiety. It is thought that CBD cannabinoids interact with the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and the brain’s amygdala. Blocked receptors in this part of the brain can lead to increased feelings of anxiety, but CBD helps to activate them, soothing anxious thoughts.
For people with anxiety, many strains of cannabis have much higher CBD levels and lower THC levels, which can help to soothe the symptoms of the mental disorder.
For a Range of Illnesses
Cannabis use has been explored for a number of illnesses, including IBD and IBS, HIV/AIDS symptoms, glaucoma, movement disorders, and multiple sclerosis, and to reduce nausea and vomiting during cancer chemotherapy and cancer pain.
There is evidence that the use of cannabinoids (particularly CBD) can have a positive effect on sleep quality, sleep duration, and restlessness. Many CBD products are marketed to people who suffer from sleep disruption and insomnia.
There are more than 60 different cannabinoids. Cannabinoids produce their effects by binding with and activating receptors in the body. They can have many benefits for the body and are even used in medicinal settings.
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