Cannabinoids are dominating the wellness scape of retail, with the global total cannabis market estimated to be worth around $344 billion; as per a report by Geneva Business News. Newbies entering this scene of remedial therapy ought to learn a few things about the plant’s primary components before they become best friends with them.
On that cliffhanger, let’s avoid the gibberish and get down to business here. Let’s face it — cannabis is one potential antidote we’re all seeking to prevent the mind from wandering where it shouldn’t, right? Science is cool, but when things get too technical, the mind can wander. This is why we will make it simple for you.
OK, here goes… The humble hemp plant grows with an abundance of goodness, or “cannabinoid acids”, as the goggle-donning scientists like to call them. Once heated, they become active – what scientists like to call “decarboxylation” – and next comes the magic.
Activated cannabinoid acids transform into highly sought-after compounds that can transport you to a new realm of health, happiness and overall well-being. The scientific reason for this is their interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors in the body, but what this really translates to is; these plant components work with your body’s own system to heal, stabilize, and improve both mind and body. This is a journey you most certainly want to be a part of; so gear up for the cannabinoid express that’s coming your way right now.
Which cannabinoids are produced by the all-wielding cannabis plant?
Everybody has a preference when it comes to cannabis and with scientific discoveries unlocking the true potential of this miraculous plant’s properties, consumers are becoming more eager than ever to learn more about cannabinoids and their effects. The more you know, the more you can gain from this plant, which naturally contains the following elements:
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) – Raw cannabis is laden with this bad boy. THCA constitutes around 10-20% of the plant and has demonstrated promise as a treatment for numerous health disorders, including epilepsy. Moreover, THCA has grasped attention for its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antiemetic properties; the latter of which is basically an anti-vomit remedy. THCA doesn’t stop at that, what with this cannabinoid proving its powers are capable of shielding the leaves from harmful UV-B light radiation and protecting the plant itself from microbial pathogens.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – The world-famous cannabinoid THC hasproven useful for stimulating appetite in anorexia and cachexia patients, relieving the side effects of nausea and vomiting, easing spasticity in multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury sufferers, as well as for movement disorders, pain, glaucoma, asthma, dependency and withdrawal, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and psychiatric symptoms. However, consumers should be aware that this is the most psychoactive cannabinoid of them all and so you might not want to use it before operating heavy machinery or engaging in “risky” hands-on duties; depending on your tolerance.
- Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) – Produced by both cannabis and hemp, CBDA is the raw form of CBD; until it is heated and becomes CBD. In one particular rodent study, scientists determined that CBDA impacted levels of serotonin in the body – a chemical produced by nerve cells to encourage better cell-to-cell signaling. Some of the core bodily functions closely affected by serotonin include digestion, eating, sleeping, emotions and motor skills. When CBDA is consumed, the body’s 5-HT serotonin-producing receptors can be impacted and potentially ease chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting (CINV); say scientists.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – Initially discovered back in 1940 and first synthesized in 1963, CBD is the up-and-coming cannabinoid that everybody’s talking about. It might not get you “high”, but it can do a whole lot to relieve pain, reduce acne, enhance heart health and even alleviate cancer-related symptoms. Some scientists go as far as to say that CBD boasts neuroprotective properties. CBD has exploded in popularity in recent years, second only to its more risqué cousin, THC.
- Cannabinol (CBN) – Despite being a rare cannabinoid that is produced by cannabis in small amounts, CBN is a degradant of THC. What this means is that when THC has been blasted by the elements – e.g. air, heat and light – it leaves CBN in its wake. This cannabinoid is mildly psychoactive and has even shown promise as an appetite stimulant, anti-epileptic remedy and anti-inflammatory.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) – Research remains in its infancy for CBG, but what exists is a smorgasbord of proof that this cannabinoid possesses potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Further insights into its overall adaptability with the human body are being prompted by the US government; in 2018, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) declared its intent to investigate minor cannabinoids like CBG for pain management.
- Cannabichromene (CBC) – Enter the world of CBD and you’ll be overwhelmed by its antiviral, analgesic and antidepressant properties. A potential migraine remedy and brain growth stimulant, this cannabinoid is non-psychoactive and so it will not send consumers on a whirlwind of psychotropic bliss. Since it is a minor cannabinoid, obtaining it in large quantities can be a tricky feat. As technology advances further down the line, there’s a good chance that manufacturers will be able to obtain more of it.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) – While its molecular structure – its
“body” if you will – is similar to THC, THCV’s effects are very different. More research is needed, but scientists point to the benefits of using this cannabinoid as a bone-growth stimulant, appetite suppressant and anxiolytic. Slightly psychoactive, THCV could also help with Alzheimer’s and diabetes according to some preliminary studies.
Can other chemicals influence the effects of CBD?
The things you expose your body to will ultimately influence how powerful the effects of certain cannabinoids are. For this reason, it is crucial that you carefully contemplate what other ingredients/chemicals you combine with your CBD in order to improve bioavailability.
High-fat (the healthy kind) foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, avocado, fish, nuts and emulsified fats will act as a turbocharger for your CBD. With that being said, why wouldn’t you want to get the most bang for your buck by boosting bioavailability?
In a nutshell, the term “bioavailability” refers to the availability of the cannabinoid for your body to absorb. Another term worth mentioning here is the “entourage effect“. This occurs when cannabinoids are influenced by other cannabinoids and terpenes, such as caryophyllene.
Since terpenes are contained in many foods, herbs and spices – e.g. turmeric, ginger and lemon – opportunity abounds for you to get creative with your cannabinoid consumption habits.
How do cannabinoids work with the human body?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cannabinoids work in a similar way to the chemicals naturally produced by the body, A.K.A. “endocannabinoids”. Receptors – which can be found sprinkled around the brain and central nervous system (CNS) – team up with these chemicals to deliver the body a wave of therapeutic goodness.
When those receptors are triggered, an individual’s time perception, sensory perception, coordination, concentration, mood and thinking can be affected. In simple terms, cannabinoids are the missing puzzle piece for your body’s intricate endocannabinoid system (ECS).
How can cannabinoids be enjoyed?
Patients and everyday consumers who wish to try one (or more) of the aforementioned cannabinoids can do so by adding their desired dosage to food and drink. For example, cannabinoids can be integrated into one’s diet by mixing them with raw salads, smoothies, juices, sauces, vegetables, condiments, salad dressings and more.
It is important to consider bioavailability again at this stage, since your method of administration will influence how you feel. Aside from ingesting cannabinoids, you may also want to inhale them with a vaporizer device of some kind or, alternatively, allow the cannabinoids to absorb directly into the bloodstream with an oral solution; e.g. tinctures. Topical solutions can also be applied to the skin for localized relief from widespread ailments, such as eczema, dry skin and inflammation.
Getting the Most out of Cannabinoid-containing Products
Should you choose CBD isolate or distillate for your vaporizer? This is a question asked by many people who consider introducing the wonders of the cannabis plant into their life for health reasons rather than intoxication goals. Although both CBD isolate and CBD distillate contain zero traces of the psychoactive, mind-bending compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), these products will lack all the other minor cannabinoids we have been discussing, because they tend to “isolate” just one particular helpful cannabinoid.
While pure CBD has its purposes, wouldn’t you prefer to have it blended with all these other minor cannabinoids that can interact across a wider spectrum of issues? Of course you do, which is why full-spectrum CBD oil is typically preferable to just taking “isolated” CBD alone.
Full-spectrum CBD products like CBDPure seek to use the “whole plant”, and all the phytonutrients and minor cannabinoids that naturally occur in nature, to “supercharge” the health effects of the CBD. While CBD may show promise for one particular health concern, combining it with another cannabinoid like CBC or CBG can lend greater effects that it could ever have alone.
Compounds like CBD do not isolate themselves in the plant at any time in nature, so you shouldn’t try to do it and expect the same results as you’d get from using all the natural components synergistically in a full-spectrum oil.