The Importance of Cannabinoids
The marijuana plant contains many chemical elements that create various components of the plant. These include terpenes which provide aromas. Chlorophyll for green colour and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the chemical components which are responsible for the recreational and medicinal attributes. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have interaction with different receptors in your brain and body. These receptors are key in the interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
Endocannabinoids are natural occurring cannabinoids produced by the body. These produce similar effects and properties like the ones in marijuana. The marijuana plant has as many as 113 various cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the most predominant and studied cannabinoids. Also, these are the most understood. The trichomes that coat the flowers of the female marijuana plant that give the plant a shiny and sparkling appearance. Most important, trichomes are where the cannabinoids are stored. Most marijuana flowers at this time have a high ratio of THC that produces the well known high. CBD is the male non-psychoactive compound that can actually counteract the effects of THC.
There are as many as 113 cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. CBD is well known for various medicinal treatments, especially for anti-inflammatory conditions. THC’s known to treat psychological conditions and pain among others. Some of the main lesser known cannabinoids are (CBG) cannabigerol, (CBN) cannabinol and (CBC) and cannabichromene.
Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring cannabinoids. These cannabinoids have many of the same attributes and effects of marijuana. They utilize the same routeways in the body and brain as their marijuana cannabinoid receptor counterparts. The most studied of these receptors are 2-AG and anandamide. Also, others include noladin ether, N-arachidonyl dopamine (NADA) and virodhamine. The main functions of these endocannabinoids are to promote homeostasis.
The Functions Of Cannabinoids
The endocannabinoid system is a system which incorporates the cannabinoids plus the cannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoid receptors have the capability to receive the cannabinoids like a hand fits a glove. This unlocks the receptor producing changes on the cellular level throughout the body. There are 2 types of receptors, CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain. Where they facilitate THC to produce the psychoactive effects (high) of marijuana. The CB2 receptors are mostly found in other parts of the body and are involved in physiological aspects.
Types of Cannabinoids
The 2 main cannabinoids are found in the plant and the body. The endocannabinoids are produced within the body. The others are exogenous which are found in marijuana. Let’s take a look at the various cannabinoids.
THC is the compound that is most associated with marijuana. THC is what produces the high. This psychoactive high incorporates feelings of calmness, euphoria and relaxation. As well as increased sensory perception, increased appetite and time distortion. There are however important physiological benefits of THC. These include nausea reduction and vomiting.
CBD has a lack of psychoactive which makes CBD treatments much more conducive for treating medical conditions. Some of the treatments include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia. Also, CBD has shown great promise in the treatment of epilepsy and other types of seizures. However, the most significant strides have been made in the treatment of pain.
CBC is sometimes overlooked, however, this cannabinoid is the second most commonly found cannabinoid in various strains. Like CBD the CBC cannabinoid does not connect well to the CB1 receptors in the brain. Therefore CBC does not produce a high. The health benefits include treatments for depression, pain, antifungal, acne and diarrhea.
2-AG is the endocannabinoid is the main component that triggers the CB1 receptors in the brain. 2-AG is thought to be helpful for brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. With increased levels of 2-AG in brains of stroke and Alzheimer’s patients. It is also believed that 2-AG produces natural barrier protection for the brain.
This endocannabinoid is mainly found in the body, but also present in small amounts in the brain. This is said to play a part in the release of euphoric effects which induce what is commonly referred to as “runner’s high”. Some of the other effects of anandamide include improvements with pain, mood, inflammation and stress.
All 113 or more cannabinoids share common characteristics. THC and CBD are the most well known but all the others are relevant in their own special way. Legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical use has thrust the benefits into the spotlight. Research is ongoing with new discoveries in different cannabinoids on an almost weekly basis. Also, healthier delivery systems such as edibles, vaporizers and e-Liquids are now readily available.