Cannabinoids Explained: What are CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDA and CBDV?
Acronym overload! The hemp plant is extremely complex – scientists have identified more than 100 therapeutic cannabinoids inside its leaves, flowers, and stalk. You’ve probably heard people talk about CBD benefits like CBD for inflammation and anxiety relief. With an excess of information, rumor and advice floating around the internet, we know it can be hard to find credible and useful information, so we’re here to simplify and explain several of the main cannabinoids and their potential health benefits.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring, chemical compounds found in cannabis plants that interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which affects everything from pain to memory. Much of modern research has focused on THC (the cannabinoid in marijuana) and CBD, but scientists are learning more and more about the chemical structure of hemp and its many minor cannabinoids, each of which has therapeutic uses.
THC and CBD are considered major cannabinoids, while minor cannabinoids include CBG, CBC, CBN.
How does the body use cannabinoids?
Cannabinoid receptors regulate your body’s processes like mood, memory, cognitive and immune functions, body temperature, appetite, fertility and neuroprotection. These receptors are located throughout your body, from your brain to spinal cord, to gastrointestinal tract to your immune system. Most cannabinoids do not have intoxicating effects.
As research grows along with the industry, we’re finding out that different cannabinoids have their own benefits but they also create harmonies when combined in various ways. Think of how we’ve learned that you should always take calcium and magnesium in tandem because you need both for them to be effective. Similarly, combining multiple types of cannabinoids makes them work synergistically. This is often referred to as “the entourage effect.” Understanding various cannabinoids AND the ways they work together can help you personalize your cannabinoid intake and tailor it to your own health and wellness goals.
Canna-what? Here’s your cheat sheet.
Everyone reacts to cannabinoids in their own unique way, because every body is different. Speak with your doctor about specific health concerns, but arm yourself with the basics, below.
The most popular and most researched cannabinoid is CBD, which, among other numerous other health benefits, is known to reduce anxiety and help manage pain, inflammation, nausea, skin conditions and more. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive and will not make you high. You can find CBD in various forms, from CBD tinctures or gummies to CBD muscle rubs.
Another non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBG accelerates the effects of other cannabinoids, creating what we referred to earlier as the entourage effect. It interacts with your endocannabinoid system to affect sleep, mood, improved metabolism and bladder function. CBG is thought to be antibacterial. CBG has appeared in scientific literature as being effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, MRSA infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and glaucoma.
CBN is known for having a sedative effect. Exposing THC to heat, oxygen or aging converts it to CBN. CBN can weaken intoxication from THC. It can prolong sleep and affect your sleep cycles. It may also have anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory and antibiotics properties. Early research has shown that CBN can possibly help treat degenerative bone disorders as well.
CBC is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid. It interacts with our pain receptors and has been shown to work in similar ways to traditional NSAID pain killers but without their potentially harmful side effects. While more research needs to be done on CBC, some studies show its ability to prevent acne and even inhibit tumor cell growth.
CBDA (cannabidiol acid)
CBDA is a cannabinoid that’s found in raw hemp plants and is often extracted by juicing the hemp plant and adding the juice to food and drinks. When the acid is removed using heat from CBDA, CBD is activated, so CBDA is considered CBD’s precursor. CBDA inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, which gives it anti-inflammatory effects. Early research is exploring CBDA as a treatment for nausea and some cancers.
Treating epilepsy and similar conditions is currently the most well-known use of the cannabinoid CBDV. CBDV’s anticonvulsant properties could potentially help with symptoms of Parkinson’s, seizures, tremors, Crohn’s and MS.
Each of these cannabinoids has its own set of health benefits that can be magnified and made more efficient when properly combined, which is why full-spectrum extracts are often preferable. Knowledge is power, and we hope learning more about these cannabinoids can help you better control your health and wellness.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Sage Street Trading Co. products are not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition.