Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found within cannabis flowers that have been linked to a variety of therapeutic benefits, from pain and anxiety to inflammation and nausea.¹
Cannabinoids create these therapeutic effects by directly or indirectly influencing our endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for a number of processes in the human body, including pain regulation and mood.²
Throughout this article, we’re going to observe the most common cannabinoids and discuss their therapeutic benefits. It’s important to note that there are over 100 cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. With that, it’s important to keep in mind this list is only a basic analysis of some cannabinoids.
Cannabichromine is one of the less known and less active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Yet, it’s potential ability to inhibit cancer cell growth is currently a topic of discussion amongst scientists.³
This means CBC won’t have the ability to cure cancer. Rather, it may have the ability to stop cancer from spreading throughout other areas of the body.
CBC has also been found to be particularly helpful with pain relief and promoting healthy bone growth.
Cannabidiol is currently one of the most popular cannabinoids and for good reason. It’s non-psychoactive effects and long list of health benefits make it one of the most therapeutic cannabinoids.
Recent research has linked CBD to as a(n):⁴
- Anxiety reliever
- Immune system inhibitor
- Inhibitor of bacterial growth
- Inhibitor of cancer cell growth
- Pain reliever
- Promoter of bone growth
- Reducer of blood sugar levels
- Reducer of chances with artery blockage
- Reducer of inflammation
- Reducer of nausea and vomiting
- Reducer of seizures
- Suppressor of muscle spasms
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
Cannabidiolic acid is what CBD starts out as before developing into the cannabinoid we know it for. CBDA is also a precursor to other cannabinoids on this list.
In and of itself, CBDA is believed to be able to impede on cancer cell growth and decrease inflammation.
Similar to CBD, cannabigerol is its own class of cannabinoid with its own set of similar therapeutic benefits. Currently, there’s only so much research that’s gone into CBG.
However, what we do know is CBG can help with sleeping problems (such as insomnia) and slow bacterial growth.
Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA)
Cannabigerolic acid is the precursor for the cannabinoid CBG and has been linked to pain relief and decreased inflammation.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the other most popular cannabinoid as it’s the main chemical ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” effects. However, THC has also been found to stimulate the appetite while relieving nausea, vomiting, and pain.⁵
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (Δ9-THCA)
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is the precursor to THC and is believed to help those with sleep problems and reduce muscle spasms.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin is apart of another class of cannabinoids but remains similar to tetrahydrocannabinol. It has been found to reduce the risks of convulsions and seizures while promoting healthy bone growth.
The Importance of Understanding Cannabinoids
By understanding cannabinoids, we’re allowing ourselves to better comprehend the cannabis plant as a whole. Public perception surrounding cannabis is unfortunately still stigmatized solely to marijuana and its psychoactive effects. Leaving many unaware of the many, non-psychoactive benefits the cannabis plant has to offer.
Furthermore, through an understanding of cannabinoids, medical professionals may have the ability to one day create proper medicine for specific diseases and illnesses. For example, since tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is better at curing nausea in comparison to other cannabinoids, a medical professional or scientist may one day be able to use the cannabinoid to one day create a promising medicine.
¹ Dialogues in clinical neuroscience: Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health
⁴ Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol
⁵ NCCIH: Marijuana and Cannabinoids