Cannabinoids Explained - Guest Post
We are truly living in a surprising, modern era. Who would have thought that a plant that was previously labeled as dangerous and illegal is now one of the best medicine for providing relief on a wide variety of debilitating conditions? Cannabis strains have proven that they can do so much in terms of medicinal aspects. The only concern is, how much does one need, and when does it become too much?
We attempt to answer these important questions by outlining the basic facts of cannabis chemistry, and how marijuana affects the body and our brains.
Cannabinoids that are used for medicinal effects are mainly extracted from the cannabis flower. It brings about a wide variety of medicinal benefits such as appetite stimulation, anti-inflammatory properties and extensive chronic pain relief.
Why is cannabis so effective on many medicinal levels? Why are they superior to most modern drugs and treatment? The reason for this is that the cannabis plant has some pharmacological components that closely mimic our human body's internal reduction system on a chemical level. These components are quite similar to what keeps our health in equilibrium, and it is called the ECS, or the Endocannabinoid System.
We have inside our systems endogenous cannabinoid systems. These can be found almost everywhere- from our glands, connective tissues, organs, to the brain and the immune cells. One basic function of cannabinoid systems is to bring internal balance and harmony to our bodies. In short, cannabinoids promote homeostasis, to which the body produces them as essential endocannabinoids.
In short, the endocannabinoid system is what brings total health equilibrium in individuals. When this complex system is disrupted or becomes unbalanced, physical complications and poor health symptoms start to appear.
There are currently 2 cannabinoid receptor sites, named the CB1 and the CB2. The CB1 can mainly be found in our nervous systems, our organs, glands, gonads and the connective tissues, while the CB2 are mainly located within the immune system and the connecting structures. It is important to note that our body produces its own endocannabinoids. The cannabis flower's cannabinoids act as a helpful resource which help stimulate the cannabinoid receptor sites. Stimulation of these receptor sites bring about great physiological effects such as sleep aid and chronic pain relief. At the opposing end, the lack of endocannabinoids may bring about unpleasant physiological symptoms.
There are so many cannabinoid components that produce different effects, mainly depending on which receptor site they bind to. For example, cannabinol, or CBN is known to connect to the CB2 receptors found all over the body, while THC is known to connect directly with the brain's receptor sites. Targeting different receptor sites and infusing them with cannabinoid can produce different kinds of relief.
The healing effects of cannabinoids is what puts them in the same category as medicines. The results have shown to be so promising that cannabinoids are now being synthesized for medicinal production. They are now being made for legal use. Some of the cannabis-based medications such as Rimonabant, Nabilone and Marinol are now available. As effective as these synthesized forms are, the consumption of herbal cannabis is shown to have a greater effect with its extensive amount of therapeutic compounds.
Researchers have found over 85 unique cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis plant. Crossbreeding and designer plants are now being cultivated to produce or create new, better strains of different cannabinoid compounds. Now, there are sub-categories of cannabinoids due to these processes.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is a compound which is mainly responsible for cannabis' psychoactive effects. THC is also the most researched and the most prominent among cannabis components. Without THC, achieving a high is simply impossible. The higher its concentration, the more pronounced the psychoactive experience.
THC has also been discovered as a potent pain killer and an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Furthermore, it has been shown to reduce amyloid plaques which are known to cause Alzheimer's. On some pre-clinical tests, THC was shown to reduce VEGF, or vascular endothelial growth factor levels on brain cancer cells. The significant reduction of VEGF components in the brain means the brain tumor cells are halted and their ability to grow, spread and sustain becomes severely limited. This medical breakthrough can mean a potentially new, groundbreaking treatment of brain cancer cells and its effects.
THC is an antioxidant, a neuroprotectant, a muscle relaxant, an anti-spasmodic and a bronchodilator. It has twice the power of hydrocortisone and 20x the power of aspirin when it comes to anti-inflammatory aspects. The effects of THC can be utilized to treat depression and insomnia. It can bring unparalleled relaxation and effective pain relief.
Cannabidiol, or CBD is second to THC when it comes to being a common component in many hemp plants and in cannabis. CBD is no less as effective as THC in being a versatile and beneficial medicine for treating difficult medical conditions such as neurological disorders, PSTD, alcoholism, infections, epilepsy, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. One of the main beneficial components of CBD is its abundance of anxiolytic, which helps reduce anxiety in patients. Furthermore, it has more antioxidant properties than vitamins C and E, and is known to have anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic and anti-convulsant properties.
The potent combination of neuro-protective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients make CBD a strong candidate against Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. It fights off cancer cells, is cytotoxic when it comes to breast cancer while shielding your healthy cells from harm.
Here are the health effects of CBD:
- Inhibits cancerous cell growth
- Brings about relief from anxiety
- Excellent anti-inflammatory properties
- Brings about relief from fibromyalgia, epilepsy and MS
Cannabinol, or CBN is an oxidative by-product of THC. It is formed when the component THC is exposed to oxygen and light in a certain period of time. This component mainly has a sedative effect and is generally non-psychoactive. In cannabis, the presence of CBN is lesser than 1 percent.
As a sedative agent, CBN is especially helpful against dizziness and insomnia episodes. It can reduce the heart rate and counter the effects of being disoriented.
Cannabichromene, or CBC is a rare component of cannabis. The compound is non-psychoactive in pure form. Like CBN, the presence of cannabichromene is minimal. Combined with THC though, and it amplifies the psychoactive effects of a cannabis high. Studies are still finding out the overall potency of this component, and as of now it is one of the least understood compound in cannabis. Currently, CBC is found to have great anti-inflammatory properties, ward off depression, bring about pain relief, eliminate harmful bacteria and stimulate bone growth.
The effects are beneficial in that it can be a reliable relaxant, an anti-depressant medication and used as a potent sedative.
Cannabigerol, or CBG is a non-psychoactive agent found at low levels. It has been found to be very effective when treating against IBS. Early research has found that cannabigerol can be used against bacterial infections such as MRSA, inflamed bowels and help delay early glaucoma symptoms. As an anti-insomnia and anti-bacterial medicine, CBG has been proven to be potent.
CBG may be used as an antibiotic. It can help with intraocular pressure reduction, and like most cannabis components, is an anti-inflammatory medicine that can help with relief from chronic pain.
The world of cannabinoids and their profound effect on one's health is so exciting that you need to brush up on the different kinds to discover which one can help you the most. Knowledge on what can specifically treat your condition is especially handy as you visit a wholesale head shop distributor. Aside from being able to understand cannabis better, you can also answer questions and concerns as to why cannabis is a safe and effective remedy for most debilitating health conditions.