Health Benefits of Cannabinoids
With a massive surge in the popularity of CBD as a natural alternative treatment, it seems as though every day we learn something new about cannabinoids and their potential health applications. You may be familiar with well-known cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, but have you heard about CBN, THCV, and CBG? In this article, we’ll introduce you to the potential health benefits of cannabinoids of all types.
WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds produced by both hemp and cannabis plants. There are 113 currently identified cannabinoids to date, many of which have been attributed with therapeutic properties due to their interactions with our endogenous (internal) endocannabinoid system. Cannabidiol (CBD), is accredited with most of the plant’s therapeutic properties and potential health applications. Other prominent cannabinoids include CBN, THCV, and CBG.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular and well-known cannabinoids. It is a non-psychoactive ingredient found in Cannabis Hemp. There have been many studies suggesting that CBD can be used to safely treat a range of common health issues.
- Pain management: The analgesic, or pain-relieving qualities of CBD is perhaps the compound’s most celebrated trait. Shop CBD For Pain.
- Anti-anxiety: Studies show that CBD can potentially aid in anxiety reduction by calming overly active brain neurons and changing the way our bodies respond to stress. Shop CBD For Anxiety.
- Potential sleep aid: Pain, anxiety, and stress could each be underlying symptoms contributing to a sleep disorder. Shop CBD For Sleep Aid.
- Anti-depressive: Studies demonstrate CBD’s ability to encourage serotonin production. Higher serotonin levels are known to effectively combat depressive symptoms by enhancing mood regulation directly.
- Anti-seizure: Research analyzing CBD’s effect on a group of young adults diagnosed with Dravet’s syndrome concluded that patients experienced a decline in monthly seizure frequency from 12.4 to 5.9 after undergoing CBD treatment.
- Cancer: Despite cancer-focused studies still being in preclinical stages, CBD has demonstrated anti-tumor capabilities, as well as an ability to slow the spread of cancer cells and even naturally encourage their destruction.
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Next up is an exciting and unique cannabinoid that can only be produced when THC is exposed to either oxygen or heat. Unlike THC, however, cannabinol (CBN) doesn’t bind well with (thus activating), the CB1 and CB2 receptors. It is not an abundant cannabinoid, with active content in the cannabis plant averaging less than 1%. Additionally, researchers have identified CBN to be a non-intoxicating compound despite attributing it with a profoundly relaxing or sedating effect.
- Aids in bone tissue growth: Studies demonstrate that CBN indirectly causes deployment of mesenchymal stem cells. These specific cells surround bone marrow and are capable of transforming themselves into bone tissue. This makes CBN a potential candidate for helping heal bone fractures and similar injuries.
- Analgesic: Despite being a weak CB1 receptor agonist, CBN has been accredited with pain-relieving qualities, potentially making it an adequate and far safer alternative pain-management treatment.
- Anti-inflammatory: Cannabinoids such as CBN could be considered a potential treatment for inflammation and inflammatory disease due to their ability to modulate the secretion and function of cytokines from immune cells.
- Anti-bacterial: All five essential cannabinoids, including CBN, possess potent antibacterial properties that have demonstrated efficiency in the treatment of a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) diagnoses.
- Appetite stimulant: In rodent trials, CBN has shown to cause a significant increase in appetitive behaviors that include meal size and overall feeding duration.
The next cannabinoid up for discussion is delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Discovered in 1973, the chemical makeup of this cannabinoid is remarkably similar to that of THC. However, its effect on the body is vastly different. While both compounds are considered psychoactive and capable of inducing an intoxicating effect, THCV binds poorly to CB1 receptors and is typically only able to activate CB2 receptors—unlike THC, which binds to and activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Keep in mind that at higher doses, THCV is capable of activating CB1 receptors, which will then produce a psychoactive “buzz.” However, the effects produced by THCV appear to take effect and diminish far more quickly than those of THC.
- Anti-inflammatory: Due to its ability to activate CB2 and potentially even CB1 receptors, THCV is capable of decreasing symptoms of inflammatory pain and general inflammation in mice models.
- Anti-convulsant: After acute application, THCV demonstrated a significant reduction in both seizure frequency and intensity. Learn more
- Neuroprotectant: Ongoing research suggests that THCV could be a potential treatment option for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s due to its ability to improve motor control, tremors, and brain lesions in animal models.
- Improve insulin sensitivity: While THCV has not demonstrated any significant effect on body weight or food intake, it was found to increase insulin sensitivity and improve glucose tolerance. These findings suggest it to be a potential treatment for Type-2 Diabetes.
- Anti-psychotic: Certain test results demonstrate THCV’s ability to improve some symptoms of schizophrenia by enhancing the activation of the 5-HT1A receptor.
The final cannabinoid we’re taking a look at is cannabigerol (CBG). Similar to CBD, CBG does not induce an intoxicating effect like that of THC or THCV. Instead, it works by raising anandamide levels—an endocannabinoid primarily responsible for regulating critical biological functions such as memory, sleep, and appetite.
Interestingly enough, CBD and THC both initially begin as CBG. The cannabis plant produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), and then specific enzymes break the chemical compound down into the acidic forms of both CBD and THC (known as CBDA/THCA). Finally, CBD and THC take shape after a process known as decarboxylation.
- Glaucoma treatment: CBG is a potent vasodilator that is theorized to be particularly useful as a treatment for glaucoma due to its ability to reduce intraocular pressure
- Anti-inflammatory: In an animal model, CBG demonstrated effectiveness in reducing inflammation that is directly associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Neuroprotectant: Recent testing conducted on mice diagnosed with Huntington’s disease demonstrates CBG’s ability to protect neurons and prevent nerve cell degeneration within the brain.
- Antibacterial: According to European research, CBG has proved to be a powerful antibacterial agent that is particularly effective as a treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
- Cancer-fighting: CBG has demonstrated great promise in its potential as an effective cancer treatment, precisely due to its ability to block receptors that are responsible for the spread and growth of cancerous cells.
To date, there have been 113 different chemical compounds identified within the cannabis sativa L genus. However, research into their individual therapeutic properties is still a relatively new area of study. Researchers have already made great strides and groundbreaking discoveries that have drawn some pretty astonishing conclusions, though there is still much left to learn. As research intensifies and the popularity of cannabinoids continues to grow, so does America’s perception and final acceptance of medical cannabis.
ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF CBD
While we do not provide access to other cannabinoids, the CBD products here at Hempindica offer a wide range of methods for enjoying the benefits of CBD. Explore our site to find your favorite intake methods!