The cannabis plant contains Cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors in our brain. These receptors are involved in a number of physiological process and help control memory, pain sensation, appetite, and mood. Receptor proteins are naturally produced by the body, manufactured with chemicals, and are found in cannabis plants (phytocannabinoids).
Cannabinoids are produced within the trichomes of the cannabis plant. To date, over 80 distinct cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis plants. The most common natural plant cannabinoids are: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN). THC is the most commonly-known cannabinoid as it produces the psychoactive component typically associated with cannabis consumption. However, there are many other cannabinoids that have been shown been shown to have even greater medicinal benefits. Every day, scientists and doctors are discovering new ways in which these cannabinoids can be used to treat various conditions. Below, we have included information on some the more common cannabinoids and conditions/symptoms that they have been shown to cure and/or alleviate.
As noted, THC is the principal psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. A majority of strains are bred to have a high THC content. Studies have shown that THC has vast medicinal value, including: reducing risk of nerve damage, slowing inflammation, stimulating appetite, reducing pain, minimizing nausea, relieving eye pressure, suppressing muscle spasms and convulsions, and treating depression.
CBD is another major phytocannabinoid and has a much greater scope of medicinal applications than does THC. CBD has been shown to help control epileptic seizures, decrease pressure in the blood vessel walls, stimulate bone growth, control growth of bacteria, reduce pain, slows inflammation, reduce cramping, and alleviating headaches.
CBG is a phytocannabinoid that is typically found in higher concentrations in hemp than in medicinal cannabis. Nevertheless, it has been shown to stop bacterial growth, stimulate bone growth, and relieve interocular pressure.
CBC typically occurs in trace amounts in cannabis. Some studies have shown that it is exponentially more effective in treating anxiety and stress than CBD, however. It has also shown therapeutic benefits by way of encouraging cell growth, stimulating bone growth, slowing inflammation, stopping fungi growth, and providing anti-viral effects.
CBN also occurs in trace amounts in cannabis plants and has weak pyschoactive affects. CBN acts as a sleep aid, helps control pain, and also slows inflammation.
As a medical cannabis patient, it is imperative to understand the cannabinoid profiles of different strains to determine which medicine is most effective at treating specific conditions or symptoms. It should be noted that cannabis plants from the same harvest can have different cannabinoid profiles. In fact, flowers taken from the same plant and analyzed can yield different results. Therefore, it is important for a laboratory to ensure that homogeneous sample has been collected for testing. This is the only way to obtain an accurate profile for a particular harvest.