Cannabinoids are a diverse subset of naturally present chemical compounds named after the cannabinoid receptors in the body with which they interact. The body naturally produces many of these compounds while others can be produced synthetically. Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body, primarily in the endocannabinoid system. They regulate how the body metabolizes food, regulates psychological mood and processes pain synapses. There are over 112 known cannabinoids; all with different properties. The most widely known is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) but perhaps more notable in the medical field is CBD (cannabidiol) and increasingly CBN (cannabinol) and CBG (cannabigerols).
What are the different cannabinoids?
Let’s explore some of the most useful cannabinoids and their applications.
THC is the most widely known cannabinoid due to its appearance in the marijuana (cannabis) plant. It’s the primary psychoactive component in the marijuana and it’s the chemical compound responsible for the effects associated with a “high”; increased appetite, euphoria, increased anxiety and acute discernment of differential factors in ones surroundings. THC, like all of the cannabinoids we’ll cover, induces these effects by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in brain.
CBD has taken the medical community by storm in recent years as its effects to treat cancer and cancer recovery, epilepsy and general pain have been studied with ever-increasing frequency and vigor. It is highly sought after because of its relative ease of extraction from the industrial hemp and the cannabis plant. Additionally, CBD has been noted to reduce pain and increase general psychological calmness in the body without the increased effects of paranoia that some users report when consuming marijuana. CBD remains one of the most likely compounds to see widespread medical adoption.
CBG is not nearly as prevalent in the medical community or in the cannabis plant itself as THC and CBD (CBG only constitutes ~1% of the plant, by mass). Despite this, it is increasingly being studied for its uses to clock receptors that are known to cause cancer growth. These studies are in the very early preliminary stages, but in studies with mice, CBG was proven to “potentially block transient receptor(s)” associated with Colon carcinogenics. Additionally, in recent studies, it has been shown to be better at inhibiting muscle contractions than any other cannabinoid. This has many applications, but is currently being studies as a drug to fight involuntary bladder contractions.
Cannabinol (yes, cannabinol is different than cannabidiol, those chemists are a confusing bunch) is another one of the less prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Unlike CBG, CBN is actually derived from THCA (the more acidic THC compound). CBN has been cited as “the next big thing in sleep therapy” because of its ability to interact with specific endocannabinoid synapses known to regulate sleep function and overall mood. We see that CBN is currently being sold in oil form. Like the other cannabinoids we’ve been looking at, research remains in the preliminary stages for CBN.
The final cannabinoid we’re going to explore today is CBC. CBC is a cannabinoid that has been closely monitored for its ability to provide relief to sysmptoms of Chron’s disease, neuropathy, chronic pain and irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, CBC is being studied for its ability to stop cancerous cells. CBC works best in combination with other cannbinoids, known as the entourage effect. Singularily, CBC is noteworthy because of its ability to potentially slow inflammation and growth of tumors.
How do the different cannabinoids work together?
One thing you’ll notice as you research the specific benefits of different cannabinoids, is that although many of them have spectacular individual uses, most experts agree that they’re most effective when used in combination with one another. This combination of different cannabinoids has been pegged the entourage effect.
What is the entourage effect?
The phrase “entourage effect” was coined as far back as 1998, but has been mostly accepted and further studied since that time. Essentially, the entourage effect works on the premise that the subsidiary cannabinoids (mainly the other 108 we didn’t talk about above) increase the effects of CBD. The other cannabinoids can make the health benefits of CBD flourish. This is why the rise of “full spectrum” CBD has been so prevalent. Full spectrum simply means that the product contains near-trace amounts of the other cannabinoids in addition to CBD. Let’s take a look at the below expert from a study out of the British Journal of Pharmacology:
“Considered ensemble, the preceding body of information supports the concept that selective breeding of cannabis chemotypes rich in ameliorative phytocannabinoid and terpenoid content offer complementary pharmacological activities that may strengthen and broaden clinical applications and improve the therapeutic index of cannabis extracts containing THC, or other base phytocannabinoids. Psychopharmacological and dermatological indications show the greatest promise”
The study thus concluded that the cannabinoids and terpenoids worked in a symbiotic relationship to increase the effectiveness of the medical applications of CBD. Terpenoids are hydrocarbons, organic compounds that often provide many of the recognizable smells, flavors and qualities of different cannabinoid strains.
The entourage effect forces cultivators and manufacturers to constantly consider the ratio with which they’re combining different cannabinoids. In addition to needing to adhere to the legal limit of 0.3% THC or less, chemists must constantly consider the best quantities of each cannabinoid to create the desired effect. This is another reason that we here at Hemp Crate believe that the best combination of cannabinoids is there one that works best for you! There is no perfect combination of cannabinoids. There is only the solution that works best for you.
Conclusions: What cannabinoid is the best?
Answer: the one (or combination) that works best for you. We’ve now covered 5 different essential cannabinoids; THC, CBD, CBG, CBN and CBC. They have diverse and wide applications. These chemical compounds can be used to help relieve pain, induce sleep, fight cancer causing cells, reduce anxiety and relax muscles. Despite each of the individual compounds having powerful effects, we looked into studies that showed how, through the entourage effect, the combination of these cannabinoids can be used to compound on the desired effects.
There’s no better way to discover exactly which cannabinoid combinations work well for you than trying different manufacturers and products. That’s where Hemp Crate comes in. Hemp Crate curates products from different brands each month. We only work with brands who have their products 3rd party tested and who use 100% organic hemp. We’re launching soon so drop your name and email into the box below to be entered to win one of the 10 free hemp crates we’re giving away when we launch. We promise it’ll be filled with all the powerful cannabinoids we can find.