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By now everyone has heard of CBD, there are literally hundreds of different products from lip balm to infused bedsheets, but CBD is only one of the over 200 know chemical compounds in cannabis. The latest cannabinoids to draw attention are CBG, CBDA, and CBN because of their unique properties and reported benefits.
What Are Cannabinoids?
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids. While they are similar chemical compounds, each offer very different results. Cannabis has been used in medicine for thousands of years but until recently we didn’t really understand this incredible plant. These cannabinoids react with our bodies because we possess an endocannabinoid system consisting of nerve receptors and cannabinoids produced by our bodies. THC users experience a ‘high’ because when the chemical enters the blood stream our bodies recognize the chemical makeup and can bind with nerve receptors. Other cannabinoids work the same way but have different reported benefits.
Cannabinoids were first extracted from cannabis in the 1940s. Since then, the research has increased but because of the ‘high’ created by THC, this cannabinoid has taken most of the attention and research dollars. Now that CBD has gone mainstream, more cannabinoids will come out and be used for their unique benefits.
CBN or Cannabinol is known as the cannabinoid produced from old weed. CBN can be created by aging THC, some people prefer marijuana that has aged to enjoy the benefits of CBN. Like CBD, CBN oil is non-psychoactive. As other cannabinoids are gaining popularity, CBN is available in sublingual deliver methods just like CBD oil.
The researchers have reported that CBN has multiple benefits. Perhaps its most promising benefit is its sedative properties. While the research is preliminary, and much more needs to be done, CBN is showing promise as a sleep aid, especially when paired with THC.
Unlike CBD, CBN acts more like THC in regard to the user’s appetite. CBN is an appetite stimulant while CBD acts as an appetite suppressant.
CBDA or Cannabolic Acid is CBD in raw form. When extracting CBD, the cannabis is heated causing decarboxylation, this converts CBDA into CBD. Experts believe this cannabinoid to have many of the same benefits as CBD, however our bodies process each differently. CBDA is unique because it reacts with the endocannabinoid system by blocking an enzyme that is associated with creating inflammation.
A study done by world renowned cannabis researcher Ethan B. Russo found that CBDA has ‘100 times the affinity’ to the 5-HT pain receptors than CBD. Meaning when reacting to the receptors CBDA has more bioavailability. This relationship is important because the 5-HT receptors are responsible for balancing the amount of serotonin our brains produce. This offers a potential alternative to SSRIs in helping patients fight mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
CBG or Cannabigerol, reacts and has similar benefits to CBD. When administered into the body, CBG reacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and potentially affecting physiological processes like appetite, inflammation, and mood.
The two important differences between CBG and CBD are the amount of research and the cost to produce. While we have been lucky to see an influx of CBD research, CBG oil hasn’t gone mainstream. Producing CBG takes much more plant mass than CBD because hemp and marijuana plants only have trace amounts of CBG making CBG oil much more expensive than CBD oil.
Cannabinoids of the Future
Cannabis is ancient medicine, sadly we are just beginning to understand its potential. As more research is done, there is no doubt that more cannabinoids will come to light and we will understand more about these three unique cannabis compounds.
Sourceshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1760722/ https://www.newswise.com/articles/the-discovery-of-the-endocannabinoid-system-centuries-in-the-making https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbn-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1221432/ https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/what-is-cbda-cannabidiolic-acid-marijuana-cannabinoid https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200872/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/janellelassalle/2019/09/11/why-cbg-cannabigerol-expensive-produce/#34d4cbd92f77