So what are cannabinoids? And what are THC and CBD specifically?

m.coons · Thursday, December 13, 2018

Intro to Cannabinoids

So what are cannabinoids? And what are THC and CBD specifically?

Cannabinoids are the specific components found in cannabis that have a wide range of effects.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive ingredient that gets users high, and it has some medicinal properties as well.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has medicinal and therapeutic properties and no intoxicating/psychoactive effects.

Once President Trump legalized hemp at the federal level last December, hemp-derived CBD exploded on the US market. In fact, the worldwide market for CBD has been estimated to grow over 30% per year over the coming five years. And it has been predicted that in 2024 global sales of CBD hemp oil will reach $760 million, an increase from an estimated $150 million in 2019 (according to a study by Global Info Research).

Interestingly, there are at least 111 other lesser-known cannabinoids that have been identified although practically nobody is talking about them. Here are just a few which show massive potential:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG). This cannabinoid is present in younger cannabis plants. Like CBD, CBG also has therapeutic value and is non-psychoactive. According to initial research, CBG may suppress cancer cell growth, reduce seizures, reduce pain, and help with insomnia. It also seems to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

  • Cannabichromene (CBC). This cannabinoid is thought to be one of the most abundant in the plant. It works best as a “sidekick” to other ones by enhancing their effects – this is part of what is known as the entourage effect. But it has other properties as well. Among them, it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities. It also helps promote neuron production in stem cells, according to a study done in 2013 in Italy. CBC also has the potential to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.

  • Cannabinol (CBN). This compound may suppress the immune response of the body and has anti-inflammatory properties. CBN has sedative effects and can be effective for insomnia. It has shown promise in treating psoriasis and burns and can also be used to help heal broken bones. It also can increase appetite but, unlike THC, which also stimulates appetite, CBN is not psychoactive.

  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA). THCA is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is a precursor to THC. To get from THCA to THC, it must be heated. THCA isn’t psychoactive in its native form, though. THCA can reduce nausea and vomiting and has shown to be nti-inflammatory and give neuroprotective effects.

  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). THCV is like THCA and THC, but it has some unique qualities. First, it seems to suppress appetite, not increase it. Secondly, studies have shown that it could help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. It also appears to stimulate bone growth and is believed to reduce panic attacks.

  • Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA). CBDA is a precursor to CBD. One of the critical features of this cannabinoid is that it is thought to reduce cancer cell growth. It can also help patients suffering from nausea and inflammation.

It is fascinating to think of how big the cannabis boom has been so far… and that’s only with minimal knowledge and understanding of THC and CBD. Imagine the potential once research is completed on all of the cannabinoids and we fully understand their potential as medicines.

And that is why cannabis extracts are so crucial in this industry right now. These extracts are what allow us to isolate and study each of these 113 chemical compounds, and the combinations using them.

It is that potential of all 113 cannabinoids that have been isolated thus far – and the tens of thousands of combinations using them – that is truly mind-boggling. The implications for cannabis extracts and the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids are clear. While the demand for oils and other extracts is growing, production capacity is still catching up. It is very exciting as we look forward to having data and studies of outcomes, and knowing just how this plant will yield medical promise.



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