Cannabinoids: What You Need to Know
People use medical cannabis for many types of health issues, both physical and mental health. Some of the most common reasons people use cannabis are to combat pain, insomnia, lack of appetite, chronic stress, spasm conditions like epilepsy and digestive disorders. The first step in understanding how cannabis works is to understand the cannabinoid system. In short, cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced in the cannabis flower that work with other compounds called terpenes and your body chemistry to produce therapeutic effects. Cannabinoids work with our body by mimicking compounds we produce naturally, called endocannabinoids.
When you consume cannabis, these chemicals bind with receptors in your brain. Certain cannabinoids prefer certain areas. THC is the main cannabinoid that people are familiar with, but there are many. Each cannabinoid has unique medical properties and has preferred receptor types it likes to bind with. Through breeding and science, cannabinoid profiles can be manipulated to create strains that produce specific results.
There are more than 100 types of cannabinoids in marijuana. Knowing which ones work best for your symptoms will lead to better results than just trying cannabis strains indiscriminately. The primary cannabinoids are:
- THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
- CBD (Cannabidiol)
- CBG (Cannabigerol)
- CBC (Cannabichromene)
- CBL (Cannabicyclol)
- CBV (Cannabivarin)
While all provide medical benefits, not all of them are psychoactive. CBD strains tend to be low in THC and vice-versa. CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC and produces no psychoactive effects on its own. Other ones that don’t create psychoactive effects include CBG and CBC.
THC, CBN, CBDL and some other cannabinoids do.
The more you understand the science behind cannabis, the more effectively you can use it to treat health conditions.