These chemical compounds are generating quite the well deserved buzz. There are several concepts or phrases that are recurring in the discussion of cannabinoids as research progresses. Of the potential 100 or so compounds that may exist there are only a handful that have been identified and studied. They are often called the “Big 6” and refer to THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC and THCV. “Whole Plant Cannabis Medicine” is a term used to describe the ideal approach to medicinal marijuana. It is advocating usage of the entire plant and it’s structures which are more beneficial because the systems naturally work in synergy. This idea also rejects synthetic, isolated compounds substututing for the cannabis plant in research and medicine. A plant’s profile of chemical compounds also includes terpenes, amino acids, proteins, sugars, enzymes, fatty acids and esters. This brings us to the “Entourage Effect” which refers to the fact that the cannabinoids, etc work together and so they should be valued as a group with each one acting out it’s designated role. Finally “Therapeutic Ratios” is this concept that achieving various combinations of cannabinoid ratios can treat certain conditions more specifically.

Cannabigerol (CBG) is considered the stem cell in cannabis because it is the primary precursor to many of the other cannabinoids. As it is meant to be converted it is usually found to be in low quantities. Except industrial hemp has shown it can have as much as 94% CBG with as little as .001% THC. This is likely attributed to the recessive gene which prevents conversion. Breeders have the ability to manipulate plant profiles by adjusting the amounts of synthase produced. CBG attracts to the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and seems to have a synergistic balancing effect.

Cannabichromene (CBC) is rarely mentioned but it reduces inflammation and headaches. It has shown it can stimulate bone growth and inhibit cancerous tumor growth. Smaller concentrations of CBC prohibit uptake of anandamides so it spends more time in the bloodstream.

Cannabinol (CBN) is proving to be the sedative, the sleep aid for insomnia. It is also antibacterial making it useful for treating burns and skin conditions like psoriasis. THC actually deteriorates into CBN over time with exposure to air.

Tetrahydrcannabivarin (THCV) can suppress appetite by antagonizing CB1 & CB2 receptors. So for blocking the reward sensation eating unhealthy comfort foods gives THCV is being viewed as a possible obesity treatment. THC is a kind of cousin to the propyl THCV. They are identical in structure but the process that creates them is different because THCV does not originate as CBG. It also has anticonvulsive and pschoactive properties but is more psychadelic and euphoric. It is fast to affect. Many Sativa African landraces and Haze strains have high numbers of THCV.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) shines at eliminating stress. It significantly reduces inflammation so has proven effective in treating Crohn’s, also Tourette’s, eating disorders, PTSD and phobias. It attaches to the CB1 receptors then acting on the hippocampus it promotes Long Term Potentiation which essentially means it improves learning. It regulates appetite and in small doses can prevent heart attacks. While it has long been used as a treatment for the symptoms of HIV/AIDS (nausea, fatigue, pain) it seems THC may actually be inhibiting progression of the disease. It is often noted that THC without the other cannabinoids to balance it out causes anxiety and rapid heart rate.

We clearly have so much to learn about each cannabinoid individually and as an integral apart of the entourage.


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