Top 6 Cannabinoids and How they Work in our Bodies

Find out the top 6 cannabinoids and how they work in our bodies.

Top 6 Cannabinoids and How they Work in our Bodies

Top 6 Cannabinoids and How they Work in our Bodies 700 467 Dawna

Cannabis is a very beneficial plant that was used by our ancestors for medicine, fiber, and for recreational purposes. 

This useful plant resulted in the finding of the neurotransmitter system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for maintaining and regulating health throughout the body. 

The cannabis plant contains numerous cannabinoids that directly interact with the ECS. Cannabinoids are organic chemical compounds located within the stalk, seed, and flowers of the marijuana plant. There are many cannabinoids found in the plant but there are the main ones that are considered to bring many health benefits. 

Below we will explore the Top 6 Cannabinoids and how they work in our bodies, but first, let’s explore how they work with the endocannabinoid system. 

According to scientists, there are more than 480 cannabis compounds in which about 85 of them have already been identified. [1]  When cannabis is ingested into the system, the various cannabinoids communicate with your body’s endocannabinoid system, inducing multiple kinds of effects.

Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System

cannabinoids and neuroreceptors

image source: mindfulhappiness.org (Receptor neurons)

 

According to reports from scientists, cannabinoids are responsible for inducing different types of effects when they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

The endocannabinoid system plays a role in controlling different aspects of the body which are pain, appetite, memory, mood, cellular life and death cycles. The receptors of the ECS, called CB1 and CB2, are located within the brain and all over the central nervous system of the body. [2]

When a person consumes cannabis, the cannabinoids that are ingested interact with these CB1 and CB2 receptors, which as a result aid the endocannabinoid system in its process of adequately regulating and optimizing the body.

The cannabinoids received from the marijuana plant are called phytocannabinoids, which signifies that they originate from plant life. When the ECS functions appropriately, it organically emits endocannabinoids. 

When an individual consumes cannabis, the cannabinoids ingested will nourish what the body lacks so that the ECS can properly manage the overall body process and prepare it for healing. 

The Top 6 Cannabinoids and How they Work in our Bodies

 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC amongst the popular cannabinoid in the cannabis plant due to its psychotropic compound that induces the “high” which is loved by most recreational cannabis users. However, THC comes with different adverse side effects if it is consumed in large doses.

During the ingestion of tetrahydrocannabinol, the receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) located within the brain, nervous system, and other essential bodily systems are activated. Mainly, THC is a potent agonist for the CB1 receptor in which it merges and ‘over activates’ this system responsible for regulating mood, appetite, cognition, and perception. This short term overstimulation induces the ‘high.’

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD has highly risen in popularity over the last couple of years because of monumental findings on the potential therapeutic benefits of the non-psychoactive compound.

According to research studies, CBD can safely and efficiently treat conditions including nausea and vomiting, seizures, psychosis disorders, inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, tumor and cancer cells, and anxiety and depression disorders. [3]

Due to this essential effects, CBD has been proven to be a potential treatment option for neuroinflammation disorders, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, and anxiety and schizophrenia.

Cannabinol (CBN)

Scientists are still beginning to research cannabinol or CBN. According to research studies, CBN offers numerous therapeutic benefits to the body including its ability to serve as an effective sleep aid.

CBN is produced from the degradation, or oxidation, of THC. If THC is exposed to air and heat for an extended period, it breaks down to CBN, which is only partially psychoactive.

Although there is still need for scientific research on CBD and other significant cannabinoids, studies suggest that CBN provides numerous therapeutic benefits, such as its ability to promote sleep, stimulate appetite, encourage bone development, prevent glaucoma, and offer antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. 

Cannabichromene (CBC)

Cannabichromene (CBC) is a frequently underrated cannabinoid located within the cannabis plant. Due to the lack of scientific research on CBC, it has no proven groundbreaking therapeutic benefits as compared to other compounds like THC or CBD.

However, there are preliminary studies that show that it’s an effective antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anti-anxiety, and bone and brain cell-stimulating effects that can play a role in the treatment of different conditions such as pain.

Unlike other cannabinoids, CBC functions by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce its effects. Cannabichromene does not activate the cannabinoid receptors in your ECS like most other cannabinoids. 

Since CBC does not interact with the basic CB1 and CB2 receptors, this compound is non-psychoactive. 

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabivarin otherwise called THCV is the propyl homolog of Δ9-THC. This cannabinoid is generated in small amounts in the cannabis plant. The compound is donated with the “varin” suffix because it’s among the propyl group of cannabinoids in the CBGVA line. THCV has the same molecular structure as THC, yet the compound provides a diverse set of effects and medicinal benefits.

When THCV is consumed at small doses, it functions as a CB1 antagonist, meaning the compound does not activate the receptor but instead prevents the impacts of CB1 agonists. Therefore, when THCV is consumed in low doses, it tends to be non-psychoactive and further reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. On the other hand, high doses of THCV tend to be an agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors and can induce a very strong and quick high.

CBG (Cannabigerol)

Cannabigerol or CBG is among the overlooked phytocannabinoids located within the cannabis plant. In contrast to THC, this cannabis compound is non-psychoactive and does not generate the high that comes from smoking marijuana. When this non-psychoactive cannabinoid is ingested, it binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, and block CB1 receptors. There are findings that CBG can be potentially effective in treating cancer patients. [5]

Below is a graphic that sums up how each cannabinoid affects the body.

cannabinoids and how they work in the body

 

 

Conclusion

 
We are just scratching the surface of the potential this plant holds. As it becomes more widely accepted by the government and the barriers are removed we are able to discover more about this plant. There is so much more that needs to be studied and thankfully times are changing so we will continue to have more findings. 

 

 

 

References:

[1] Cannabis. Wikipedia. Retrieved at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug) on Feb. 20, 2019

[2] A Look at the Major and Minor Cannabinoids. Echo Connection. Retrieved at: https://echoconnection.org/a-look-at-the-major-and-minor-cannabinoids-found-in-cannabis/ on Feb. 15, 2019 

[3] Cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in cancer: current status and future implications. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Retrieved at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171598/ on Feb. 18, 2019

[4] Cannabinoids in health and disease. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Retrieved at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202504/ on Feb. 10th, 2019

[5] Cannabinoids: New Promising Agents in the Treatment of Neurological Diseases.  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Retrieved at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6271458/ on Feb. 16, 2019

 
 
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Dawna

Passionate about holistic living. Cannabis advocate, hippie at heart.

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