While cannabis has been around for as long as human history, our understanding of the plant and how it interacts with our bodies is still very much unknown. The vast majority of the studies, anecdotal evidence, and our basic understanding of cannabis centers around two compounds – THC and CBD.
THC and CBD are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis but they’re not the only ones. Cannabis produces over 400 chemical compounds and dozens are cannabinoids. We’re still in the very early stages of understanding these compounds but the initial findings are exciting and promising.
Besides THC and CBD, some of the other cannabinoids humans are starting to study are CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDA, THCV, and THCA. Brands have realized the potential in these compounds and are starting to use these cannabinoids in their products. So as you start to see more products highlighting these compounds, let’s take a dive into the initial findings and believed benefits of each.
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid (it won’t get you high), but there are a lot of other believed benefits of CBG. Like all of these smaller cannabinoids, research is relatively scarce on CBG compared to the wealth of information available on THC and CBD within the cannabis science community. However, there are early studies showing the potential therapeutic uses of CBG, such as:
Social and Open
It’s been said that CBG can increase socialness and openness with others. By combining it with THC and CBD, it can create a more social high.
CBG has been shown to have vasodilator and neuroprotective effects. Both of these properties could benefit glaucoma patients and make CBG a new tool in glaucoma treatment.
CBG has shown to decrease inflammation, as seen in animal models of inflammatory bowel disease. This means CBG could be effective in treating crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and IBS.
CBG has been seen to kill drug-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). As our fight against drug resistant bacteria intensifies, this potential benefit of CBG could prove to be invaluable to our species.
CBG’s neuroprotective effects make it a potentially valuable treatment for Huntingdon’s disease.
In animal models of colorectal cancer, CBG was shown to inhibit tumor growth. Much more research needs to be done but CBG could be a powerful tool in cancer treatments.
CBG has also been observed to work as a buffer to THC’s psycho-activity – alleviating feelings of paranoia and anxiety that sometime come with over consumption of THC. Sounds great right?
Looking to try CBG yourself? Check out Protab CBG sublingual tablets from Level. Each tablet has 25mg of CBG and 0mg THC or CBD. Another great option is Loving vape from LucidMood which combines CBG with THC and CBD for an opening and social experience.
CBN is a non-psychoactive (won’t get you high) compound that is best known as the cannabinoid created when THC ages. It’s usually found in high amounts in older cannabis. While aging cannabis might not sound that appealing, many medical cannabis users seek it out to enjoy the benefits of CBN.
CBN has shown promise in the following areas.
CBN has shown promise as a potent antibacterial agent in lab studies and could prove to be a valuable tool in our fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria in the future. In lab settings, CBN was shown to be effective on strains of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of drug-resistant staph.
While more research still needs to be done, in one rodent study, CBN was shown to reduce arthritis. CBN could prove to be an incredible help to those suffering from this debilitating condition.
In one rodent study, researchers used CBN as a treatment for ALS and found that it was able to delay the onset of the condition. While more studies, including human studies, need to be done, this provides hope that CBN may be a powerful tool in the fight against ALS and other neurodegenerative conditions.
In rodent studies, CBN increased the amount of food that rat subjects ate, suggesting that it could be an effective appetite stimulant, especially for those who want to avoid the psychoactive effects from THC, another well-known appetite stimulant. CBN could potentially offer an alternative for those who suffer from cancer, cystic fibrosis, anorexia, old age, or other conditions that cause the appetite to be suppressed.
CBN may also be helpful for those suffering from glaucoma. One study on rabbits found that CBN (as well as THC) reduces intraocular pressure—the biggest risk factor for glaucoma. CBN hasn’t been shown to be superior to other glaucoma medications and the research is still in the ancient stages. More research is needed to know if cannabinoids could ever effectively replace traditional treatments for glaucoma.
Looking for a great CBN product? Try Mary’s Medicinals CBN Transdermal patch.
CBC is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid that was first discovered in 1966. CBC doesn’t bind with CB1 or CB2 receptors like THC and CBG (link to endocannabinoid blog) but it does bind with other receptors in the body that are linked to pain perception. When CBC activates these receptors, increased levels of the body’s natural endocannabinoids like anandamide are released. CBC also appears to inhibit the uptake of anandamide, allowing it to remain longer in the bloodstream.
A recent study in which tumor growth was initiated in mice (two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis model) showed CBC might be effective in inhibiting both inflammation and tumor growth. Since anandamide has been shown to fight breast cancer in vitro and in vivo, this shows promise that CBC and other cannabinoids might one day be a chemopreventive agent.
CBC as a potential cancer fighter was first published in a 2006 study that looked at cannabinoids other than THC and their possible effects on cancer. While THC is known for its anti-tumor properties for several different forms of cancer, its powerful psychotropic qualities can make it difficult for chemotherapy use. So far, research has found CBC to be the second-most-potent cannabinoid at inhibiting the growth of new cancer cells (CBG was the most potent).
Pain and Inflammation
CBC has been shown to block pain and inflammation associated with collagen-induced osteoarthritis. Cannabinoids like CBC act on inflammation differently than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do, and don’t have the side effects of these medications. In another example of the entourage effect, CBC in combination with THC had significant anti-inflammatory response in a recent animal study; together, the two cannabinoids produced a much greater effect on inflammation than by themselves.
In a 2013 mouse study, CBC had a positive effect on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs), a cell essential to healthy brain function. NSPCs became more viable when in the presence of CBC, and that shows promise because NSPCs differentiate into astroglial cells, the most important cells for maintaining brain homeostasis. The astroglial cells perform a whole host of functions, including neurotransmitter direction and defending against oxidative stress. Astroglia counteract many of these issues—oxidative stress, inflammation, toxicity—that create neurological diseases and brain pathologies like Alzheimer’s disease.
CBC has been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of acne. As a skin disease, acne is characterized by excess sebum production and sebaceous gland inflammation. In studies, CBC exhibited powerful anti-inflammatory properties and also suppressed excessive lipid production in the sebaceous glands. More research is needed, but CBC might just one day become a very powerful anti-acne treatment.
CBC appears to work in conjunction with both THC and CBD to deliver antidepressant properties.
THCV is in a bit of a spotlight right now. It’s been called the skinny cannabinoid for its appetite suppression properties. Enjoy the benefits of THC without the munchies and for the most part, without the high.
The question of whether THCV will get you high is complicated. Initial studies seem to show that in low doses, THCV wont get you high but in large doses, it can. The high appears to be clear-headed and stimulating, comes on quicker, and fades faster. It’s also said to intensify the euphoria of THC when paired together.
The research is still very nascent but initial results suggest that THCV could provide benefits for the following.
In contrast to THC, THCV appears to suppress the appetite. For people worried about getting the munchies, THCV provides benefits of THC without the appetite stimulation. This effect is also why THCV has become known as “skinny weed.”
Initial research shows promise in THCV’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. This has provided initial hope that THCV may be effective in the treatment of diabetes.
Panic Attacks and Anxiety
THCV is thought be effective in curbing anxiety attacks in PTSD patients without suppressing emotion like antidepressants can. Allowing patients to get anxiety relief without the loss of emotions altogether would be a huge breakthrough in the treatment of PTSD.
Initial research has shown THCV to have positive effects on tremors, motor control, and brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease. As scientists continue to search for treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease, THCV could prove to be a tool in their tool chest.
Because it promotes the growth of new bone cells, THCV is being looked at for osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions. It could also play a role in healing after bone breaks and injuries.
Want to explore THCV? Try Protab Stimulate THCV rich sublingual tablets from Level.
THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
There isn’t enough research on THCA to definitively state what it can treat and with what degree of efficacy, but preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggest that THCA may play a pivotal role with the following:
THCA has shown promise in reducing pain. It could prove to be a powerful tool for workout and injury recovery.
THCA has been shown to reduce vomiting, nausea, and appetite loss, potentially making it and important tool for cancer patients.
Not only has THCA shown promise with pain relief, it’s also believed to be effective in redusing inflammation. From minor inflammation to conditions like arthritis and lupus all could benefit from the use of THCA.
THCA has been shown to help with sleep. It’s believed to be a potential treatment for insomnia.
Cancer Cell Growth
In studies around prostate cancer, THCA was shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. While many more studies need to be done, the initial findings are promising.
THCA has been shown to suppress muscle spasms which could prove vital in the treatment of numerous medical conditions.
THCA has been shown to both improve and potentially suppress the immune system functions. This could prove vital in the treatment of autoimmune disorders.
THCA is showing potential to slow damage to the nervous system and brain. This could make THCA a potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Looking for a good THCA product? Try Protab THCA sublingual tablets from Level. Each tablet has 25MG of THCA.
CBDA (cannabidiolic acid)
While most cannabinoids bind directly with either the CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBDA doesn’t work in this way. Instead,
Inflammation and Pain
CBDA interacts with the endocannabinoid system by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. COX-2 enzymes are associated with inflammation after an injury or infection, so by blocking COX-2 enzymes, CBDA can relieve inflammation and associated pain.
In one rodent study, scientists found CBDA affected levels of serotonin, a chemical produced by nerve cells to aid in signaling between cells. Serotonin is vital to core human functions like motor skills, sleeping, eating, digestion, and emotions. Because Serotonin plays such a vital role in so many functions, much more research needs to be done to fully understand the full potential of CBDA on our bodies and daily functions.
Nausea and Vomiting
Radiation and chemotherapy can trigger the body to release excess serotonin, causing nausea and vomiting. While vomiting can typically be controlled with traditional medication, nausea is usually harder to control. Many cancer patients report much more distress from nausea because it is a long-lasting sensation and harder to treat. It’s even said that one in five cancer patients consider discontinuing cancer treatment so as not to experience the nausea.
Scientists have demonstrated that CBDA can affect the body’s 5-HT serotonin-producing receptors, hinting at a potential use for CBDA as a medication for chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting (CINV) and other conditions that induce these symptoms. More research is needed but the initial findings are promising.
Minor cannabinoids show a lot of initial promise in treating a myriad of disorders as well as improving the quality of our everyday lives. While a lot more research needs to be done, the initial findings bring hope and excitement around cannabis and it’s benefits to the human race. If you’re wanting to learn more about cannabinoids, head over to Leafly.com for more great info.
If you’re interested in learning more about products that have these cannabinoids, reach out to us! firstname.lastname@example.org