Monday, 21 January 2019

Understanding cannabinoids

Cannabis is a medicinal plant with several proven benefits. Applied with expert supervision, it is a completely natural and safe remedy for a wide range of conditions. In your analysis, you will come across the term ‘cannabinoids’. You may also learn about terms such as THC and CBD, which are varieties of cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are the artificial composites in cannabis flowers (the plant) which imitate compounds that our bodies produce naturally, called endocannabinoids – read more about the endocannabinoid system here. These compounds, if stimulated, maintain internal stability and health; in other words, they help with the communication between cells. When there is a problem in our endocannabinoid system, then you will experience repulsive symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, pain and depression.

Types of cannabinoids

All classes derive from cannabigerol-type composites and differ mainly in the way this precursor is cyclised. The classical cannabinoids are derived from their respective 2-carboxylic acids (2-COOH) by decarboxylation (catalyzed by radiation, brightness or alkaline circumstances).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the original psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC, THC) and delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), mimic the action of anandamide, a neurotransmitter generated naturally in the body.

These two THCs produce the impacts associated with cannabis by binding to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. THC appears to relieve moderate pain (analgesic) and to be neuroprotective, while also offering the potential to diminish neuroinflammation and to stimulate neurogenesis. THC has approximately equal sympathy for the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not psychoactive and was considered not to affect the psychoactivity of THC. Though, recent evidence shows that smokers of cannabis with a higher CBD/THC ratio were less likely to encounter schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Cannabidiol has a limited affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors but acts as an indirect antagonist of cannabinoid agonists. Lately, it was found to be an antagonist at the putative new cannabinoid receptor, GPR55, a GPCR expressed in the caudate nucleus and putamen. Cannabidiol has also been shown to act as a 5-HT1A receptor agonist. It appears to ease convulsion, inflammation, anxiety and nausea.  CBD has a higher sympathy for the CB2 receptor than for the CB1 receptor.

CBD assigns a precursor with THC and is the main cannabinoid in low-THC Cannabis strains. CBD seemingly plays a role in preventing the short-term memory loss associated with THC in mammals.
Some experimentation suggests that the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially represent a novel mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia. Researchers at California Pacific Medical Center recognised CBD’s ability to ‘turn off’ the activity of ID1, the gene responsible for metastasis in breast and other types of cancers, including the particularly threatening triple negative breast cancer.

Cannabinol (CBN)
Cannabinol (CBN) is the initial product of  THC degradation and there is usually little of it in a fresh plant. CBN content increases as THC degenerates in storage and with exposure to light and air. It is only moderately psychoactive. Its similarity to the CB2 receptor is higher than for the CB1 receptor.

Cannabigerol (CBG)
Cannabigerol (CBG) is non-psychotomimetic although still affects the overall effects of cannabis. It appears as an α2-adrenergic receptor agonist, 5-HT1A receptor antagonist and CB1 receptor antagonist. It also connects to the CB2 receptor.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is widespread in certain central Asian and southern African strains of cannabis. It is an antagonist of THC at CB1 receptors and attenuates the psychoactive impacts of THC.

Cannabidivarin (CBCV)
However, Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is usually a minor component of the cannabinoid profile, enhanced levels of CBDV have been reported in feral cannabis plants from the northwest Himalayas and in hashish from Nepal.

Cannabichromene (CBC)
Cannabichromene (CBC) is non-psychoactive and appears not to affect the psychoactivity of THC. More prevalent in tropical cannabis species. Effects include anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Medicinal properties of cannabinoids

This table harmonises each cannabinoid with the medical value that it has.
This will help you work out which cannabinoids are best at treating which symptoms, e.g. eating/gastrointestinal disorders, pain, sleep disorders and more.

 Disclaimer: the principles contained here is not designed nor meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is only achieved for educational confidences only. You should recognise full responsibility for the way you decide on to use this information.

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