THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis's psychological effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. THC attaches to these receptors and activates them and affects a person's memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception, according to NIDA.
THC is one of many compounds found in the resin secreted by glands of the cannabis plant. More of these glands are found around the reproductive organs of the plant than on any other area of the plant. Other compounds unique to cannabis, called cannabinoids, are present in this resin. One cannabinoid, CBD is nonpsychoactive, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and actually blocks the high associated with THC. Effects on the body,
THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria, according to NIDA. On average, the effects last about two hours, and kick in 10 to 30 minutes after ingestion. it has been found that other types of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes (compounds that produce flavor and fragrance in plants), can modulate and reduce negative effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated THC, is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. With chemical name,-trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol, the term THC also refers to cannabinoid
Cannabidiol is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract. CBD does not appear to have any psychoactive effects such as those caused by tetrahydrocannabinol. It may have a downregulating impact on disordered thinking and anxiety. Potential uses are the subject of ongoing research.
CBD is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD rich is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, sezuires, spasms and other conditions, without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.
CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic resistant infections, epilepsy and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and it's anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated. "CBD rich" vs "CBD dominant" By “CBD-rich,” it is meant a cannabis strain or product that has equal amounts of CBD and THC, or more CBD than THC (usually at least 4 percent CBD by dry weight.). By “CBD-dominant,” is meant, strains or products that are CBD -rich but have very little THC content.
Over the years, more and more clinical studies have been done on the effects of cannabis on the body, with specific emphasis put on the potential health benefits of the plant’s natural compounds. Essentially, scientists want to answer the question, “what does each cannabinoid in the cannabis plant do?” This is a rather complex field of study, and to really understand the cannabinoid profiles and complete biochemistry of the plant, one would have to dedicate themselves to years and years of advanced research.
In order to make things a whole lot easier on you, we have put together this simple, complete beginner’s guide to all things cannabinoids, what they are, what they do, and the health benefits of each.
What Is a Cannabinoid?
Most people may not realize that the cannabis plant holds over 480 natural components, and within this can be found a complex and varying group of molecules known as cannabinoids. There have been around 113 natural cannabinoids discovered thus far, with the most researched and well known ones of course being THC and CBD.
In recent years, though, more and more light has been shed on some of the lesser known cannabinoids. These are active compounds just like THC and CBD, and scientists want to know just what effects they may be having on our health. Following the huge success of the use of CBD oil for medical purposes, it’s only natural that more research should be put into other aspects of the plant to see what else it can do!
Where do Cannabinoids come from?
There are a lot of compounds that make up the cannabis plant, from terpenes that create the distinctive aroma that people are so familiar with, to chlorophyll, which gives the plant it’s vibrant green color. However, most scientists would agree (from a health perspective at least) that the most important part of the plant is, without question, the cannabinoids. As of now, the majority of all of research done on the cannabis plant has pointed to cannabinoids as being the “root” of the plant’s vast assortment of health benefits.
Most people are aware that THC gets you high, and they know that CBD can provide a long list of medicinal benefits, but aside from that, very few know anything more about the benefits of the plant’s other cannabinoids or even how many more there actually are.
To really appreciate the cannabis plant, it’s important to understand the other elements that make up it’s functional biochemistry.
Here are the top 10 cannabinoids, from the most famous to the lesser known compounds, what they do and how they could benefit our health.
THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol
Relieves chronic pain and inflammation (THC actually has twenty times the anti-inflammatory strength of aspirin!)