Beyond CBD And THC: Understanding the Lesser-Known Cannabinoids - February 19, 2022

Cannabis has quickly gained steam across the country and in particular, there are two terms that seem to constantly hog the spotlight. THC and CBD. Well, considering that there are the two that are present in the largest quantities in the plant it is natural that the conversation often is situated around these as well.

But, one thing to note is that the cannabis plant produces hundreds of different cannabinoids. So, with every cannabinoid, you get the opportunity to look at a multitude of potential benefits as well.

As research increases so does the potential to truly understand the scope of ailments that cannabis can help manage.

Then there is also the entourage effect, which frankly won’t be possible without these lesser-known cannabinoids like THCA, CBDA, Delta 8 THC, CBN, CBG, and CBT.

So, today let’s understand these lesser-known cannabinoids of the cannabis plant.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)

Before there is CBD, there is CBDA. The compound that is freshly embedded in the trichomes of raw and uncured cannabis is referred to as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). This is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.

CBDA turns into CBD when it undergoes a process called decarboxylation. This is the chemical reaction that takes place when a cannabinoid is exposed to heat or light.

CBDA can be found in various tinctures, topicals, capsules, or even consumed by juicing raw cannabis.

Preliminary research has shown that CBDA has the potential to display similar properties to that of CBD. These include anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antiemetic (stops nausea and vomiting), and analgesics.

A 2012 study out of Hokuriku University cited that they had found evidence that CBDA has the ability to halt the cellular migration of highly aggressive human breast cancer cells. On the other hand, another study by the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics states that CBD would be a more potent solution in comparison to CBDA.

Cannabinol (CBN)

Now this one you must have heard about at some time or the other. Whenever THC is exposed to heat or any of the natural elements for a long time, it breaks down into CBN> Now this cannabinoid is shrouded in mystery as it is supposed to have sedative effects.

This lends itself well to products designed to help people sleep. There is research that has shown that this relatively unknown cannabinoid can help people suffering from sleep disorders, pain relief, and even inflammation.

According to research by Steep Hill Labs, researchers found that 2.5mg to 5mg was as effective as what people feel when they have a 5mg-10mg dose of diazepam. This was not a peer-reviewed study so there is a possibility that the sedative properties of aged dried cannabis might be a result of terpenes that have a low molecular weight and not the amount of CBN that a strain has managed to develop over a period of time.

You will also find plenty of tinctures and gummies that contain CBN in the market at this time.

Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

This particular cannabinoid has a molecular structure that is very similar to THC. But it acts very very differently than THC. For starters, this is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid molecule that interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors present in our endocannabinoid system. B

At low doses THCV seems to negate the effects of THC, lowering the psychoactive effects. But at larger doses, it seems to have similar effects as that of THC.

There seem to be some incredible benefits that have come to the forefront when this cannabinoid has been put under the microscope.

A 2016 study showed that THCV can help in glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Another 2015 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology examined the effects that THCV had on rats, leading to the conclusion that THCV has the potential to help people who suffer from schizophrenia.

A different study conducted in 2011 pointed in the direction that THCV has antioxidant properties that can help alleviate the symptoms and also delay the neurodegeneration that takes place in Parkinson’s disease.

THCV also has anti-epileptic properties. This has led to the belief that it can reduce seizures in epilepsy patients.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

Also known as the mother of all cannabinoids, the acidic form of this cannabinoid called Cannabigerolic acid is where all the other cannabinoids including CBD and THC are derived.
The endocannabinoid system is where CBG is processed.

Some early studies have shown promise that CBG might be a successful antibiotic against MRSA. Additionally, there were also some signs that CBG is helpful in the management of pain and inflammation and also stopping the growth of cancer cells. All of these studies have not been carried out in adults so there is still a long way to go before we know if it actually works.

Other conditions that it seems to help include:

  • IBS like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Movement disorders( multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease)
  • Anxiety

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