Better Together: 6 Unique Cannabinoids and Their Benefits
You’ve probably seen the popular Leafly chart listing all the different cannabinoids in a wheel-shaped table.
As you can see, there are numerous cannabinoids and they all have been scientifically proven to assist different maladies such as asthma, anxiety, ALS, and arthritis.
Each cannabinoid is unique, but they possess many of the same properties. For example, all current studies point toward cannabinoids being anti-inflammatory.
But some of the molecules bring different qualities to the table such as antioxidant and antidepressant effects.
This is why the entourage effect is so important! The entourage effect is when a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds of the hemp plant are present in a single formula. When the compounds can interact with one another, they enhance the properties of each other (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidepressant…) and can address more issues in the body.
For example, THC alone would cause strong psychoactive effects. But when combined with CBD, the results can completely change and present a more calming experience for the user.
Full spectrum formulas will add low concentrations of THC to the mix. But broad spectrum formulas still provide the entourage effect without any THC.
Currently, the cannabinoids below are the most extensively studied. As more research surfaces, we will be able to grasp a better understanding of how each cannabinoid works individually, as well as combined.
CBDA is the raw acidic form of CBD found in hemp flowers. It converts to CBD when heated. This can be done by vaping, smoking, or decarboxylation. The body also has the ability to convert CBDA into CBD. Cannabinoids with an “A” at the end are the acidic form found naturally in cultivated hemp. When exposed to heat, the cannabinoids lose acidity and become neutral.
CBDA block COX-2 enzymes from causing inflammation in the body. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen also inhibit COX-2 receptors. CBDA has a greater bioavailability than CBD (easier to metabolize), so many users consume the cannabinoid in capsules and juice.
Just like CBDA, THCA is more abundant in hemp and cannabis flower. Once heated, it will convert to THC. Unlike THC, THCA does not have psychoactive effects. This is why eating raw cannabis would not get you high unless the molecule is heated or converted into an oil for edibles. Among the qualities listed in the chart above, THCA is also anti-spasmodic (reduces muscle spasms) and neuroprotective (safeguards nervous system cells).
CBD is hemp’s most common cannabinoid. If you are a user of CBD Livity products, you’re familiar with its wide range of benefits including anti-spasmodic, neuroprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-psoriatic, and more. The molecule can also convert white fat to brown fat and improve the collagen profile. Its diverse properties make it ideal for maintaining and supporting every part of the human body from skin concerns to mood.
THC oftentimes receives a bad reputation due to its euphoric effects. In some users, these psychoactive effects can cause anxiety. But in many others, it has been a natural antidepressant and mood stimulator. Aside from psychoactive qualities, THC is also neuroprotective, anxiolytic (inhibits anxiety), anti-epileptic, and hedonic (promoting pleasant sensations). For those wishing to consume THC without getting high, there are low dose options in full spectrum CBD oils.
CBG is the phytocannabinoid precursor (or stem cell) used to produce THC and CBD. It is more common in the earlier stages of hemp growth before the molecule CBGA converts to CBDA and THCA. But small traces do remain in mature plants. In fact, CBG is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in our broad spectrum formula. CBG attaches to both CB1 and CB2 receptors (just like CBD) but prefers CB1. CBG is a strong antibacterial fighter, especially in its neutral state versus the acidic CBGA form. Studies show the cannabinoid may also lower blood pressure, promote bone growth, and reduce depression.
CBN can be thought of as having the opposite properties of CBG. While CBG is more common in the early stages of plant growth, CBN is more prevalent in older strains of cannabis. THC breaks down into CBN slowly overtime when oxidized. In addition, it attaches to CB1 and CB2 receptors but prefers CB2. The molecule is often used as a sleep aid or sedative.
There are over 100 proven cannabinoids identified in the Cannabis species, including the most recently discovered THCP and CBDP. While some cannabinoids have been more extensively studied than others, new benefits are being discovered every day from the numerous cannabis derived molecules. In the coming years, we anticipate learning more about how the components of cannabis help facilitate health and wellness in our every day lives.