At a minimum, there are 113 types of cannabinoids that have been isolated from the cannabis plant. Here we will look at six of the major classes of cannabinoids that can be derived. Although there has not been enough testing to make proven claims, this will explain some of their potential benefits.
CBD (cannabidiol) C21H30O2
First approved by the FDA in 2018 under the trade name Epidiolex to treat two types of epilepsy, CBD is also being researched for several other neurological disorders. Through research it seems that CBD binds to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, blocking the bodies own cannabinoids from binding. The binding of these receptors by CBD may also have stimulating effects on them. Through this binding it seems CBD may affect mental function as well as altering pain and mood. Research is being conducted to understand the therapeutic effects of CBD in patients with conditions such as chronic pain, schizophrenia, Crohn’s disease as well as dystonia and Parkinson’s disease, just to name a few.
CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) C22H30O4
While it still works with the endocannabinoid system in the brain, it seems CBDA does not bind to the same receptors as CBD. Studies have found that CBDA inhibits an enzyme connected to inflammation called cyclooxygenase-2 as well as affecting certain receptors that produce serotonin called 5-HT, possibly decreasing nausea. While possibly working similarly to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, CBDA may have the benefit of reducing inflammation while avoiding some side effects such as kidney damage, ulcers, high blood pressure and blood-thinning associated with other drugs. The same pharmaceutical company that produced Epidiolex also researched CBDA and its effects on a treatment for seizures, possibly being more effective than CBD.
CBDV (cannabidivarin) C19H26O2
Though there has not been as much research done on CBDV as other cannabinoids, the studies that have been done show promise in its ability to treat nausea and seizures. Having the ability to bind to pain receptors like CBD could also mean it could work for pain relief.
CBC (cannabichromene) C21H30O2
There have been numerous studies done concerning CBC due to the many potential therapeutic properties it holds. Like CBD, it has the potential for pain relief because of similar receptor bindings, yet it also has anti-inflammatory promise especially when combined with other cannabinoids. Studies have shown anti-depressant effects, even more so when combined with other cannabinoids, as well as stress reduction in mice. Another hope for CBC is its effects on promoting brain growth, possibly offering help to those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. CBC can also have antibacterial and some anti-fungal properties as found in studies with E.coli and staph colonies.
CBN (cannabinol) C21H26O2
CBN has a large range of possible benefits including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain relief and appetite stimulation. One study found it may be possible for CBN to help with getting better sleep at night as well as promoting wakefulness during the day, however, more research would be needed to determine its effects. Like some other cannabinoids it may help with inflammation and pain, but it also may increase blood flow around the eyes helping with glaucoma.
CBG (cannabigerol) C21H32O2
With it working on different receptors than other cannabinoids, CBG may decrease stress, anger and anxiety. Its effect of blocking the 5HT1A receptor could help to improve learning and memory, which is why it is being studied for Alzheimer’s disease. A study done in 2015 examined the effects of CBG and its neuroprotective properties in Huntington’s disease.
With the many types of cannabinoids and their individual effects, it would seem that by combining different cannabinoids you may get many benefits. This “entourage effect” as its known, of combining cannabinoids can not only give many different benefits, but also combines effectiveness for more potent results.
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