What’s in Your Weed?
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 06/29/2011 in Medical Marijuana
We all know marijuana is an effective medicine for pain, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and countless other symptoms of serious medical conditions. But what is it about weed that makes you feel so good? It all comes down to cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are essentially the active compounds in cannabis. But they’re not just in cannabis: they are in every living animal on the planet. Cannabinoids become “activated” through a cannabinoid receptor system that’s ingrained throughout the immune, digestive, reproductive, central and peripheral nervous system of humans and animals. One could argue then that the human body is hard-wired to use marijuana as a medicine.
There are 85 known cannabinoids in cannabis, but THC, CBD and CBN are reputed to be the most medicinal. And they’re also the most prevalent natural cannabinoids in cannabis.
Here’s a breakdown of the most medicinal cannabinoids:
THC: (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol)
THC is the most psychologically active compound in cannabis, and it is also one of the most therapeutic. THC has analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anti-tremor, anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulant and anti-emetic properties that are used for a variety of ailments such as: eating disorders, side effects of chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, seizures and more. Additionally, THC has been found to reduce tumor growth and reduce the progression of atherosclerosis in mice.
Unlike straight THC, the cannabinoid THCV does not activate CB1 receptors in your endocannbinoid regulatory system – which means it has no psychoactive qualities. In fact, THCV blocks the activation of the CB1 system, which means it could lessen the “high” associated with THC. THCV does bind with and activate CB2 receptors, which means it may have beneficial effects on some autoimmune disorders. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that can kill free radicals. Research shows that it has great potential for treating Parkinson’s disease, and it will likely play a major role in future treatments of cardiometabolic diseases and obesity. In 2007, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it will continue to research THCV as a potential cannabinoid treatment for type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders.
CBD is a non-psychoctive component of marijuana, which means it is not intoxicating. It is believed that the presence of CBD in cannabis may moderate the euphoric effects of THC. CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-oxidant, sedative, and immunomodulatory properties, and appears to relieve convulsions, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea. It also works in conjunction with THC to treat chronic pain. In 2001, GW Pharmaceuticals found that only a combination of CBD and THC offered analgesic effects for MS patients. Taken alone, neither CBD nor THC was as effective in treating chronic pain as they were in combination.
Cannabigerol is the first cannabinoid produced in the plant. It is the biogenetic precursor of all the other cannabinoids. It has sedative effects and antimicrobial properties, and it will induce drowsiness and makes one sleepy. Studies suggest that CBG may reduce intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients and contribute to marijuana’s antibiotic properties. CBG has also been shown to have greater pain-relieving and anti-depressant effects than THC.
CBN is a physiologically inactive crystalline cannabinoid that turns into non- tetrahydrocanabinol (THC), the most psychoactive element in cannabis. It’s also produced as THC ages and breaks down, in a process called oxidization. It’s reported that high levels of CBN can make the user feel “messed up” rather than high. So store your medicine in a dark, cool, airtight environment to keep CBN levels to a minimum.
Oftentimes, cannabinoids work together to create the healing properties of pot. CBC is a good example of this, as it promotes the effects of THC. CBC also has sedative and analgesic effects.
(E)-BCP is a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory component that is also found in food items like black pepper, oregano, basil, lime, cinnamon, carrots, and celery. Unlike THC, this cannabnoid does not affect the brain, meaning it will not produce psychotropic effects. Researchers say (E)-BCP could be an effective treatment for pain, arthritis, cirrhosis, nausea, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and other ailments without getting patients high.