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Let's Talk About Cannabinoids

Let's Talk About Cannabinoids

Posted by The Green Team on Jul 31st 2021

There’s a lot of talk and banter around CBD and THC these days. But what exactly are they? And why are they getting so much attention? CBD or ‘cannabidiol’ and THC or ‘tetrahydrocannabinol’ are two naturally occurring molecules in Cannabis. They are also found in a handful of other plants, like Echinacea, and interact in the body with the endocannabinoid system. This body system was only discovered in 1992 and consists of the CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor. CBD and THC are the most prominent cannabinoids and tend to get the majority of attention but there are more than 140 currently known, and more being discovered all the time. More on the research aspect later, but for now, let’s talk more about these amazing little molecules.

To understand cannabinoids, first we must understand a little about our internal system that uses them. Every animal on Earth that possesses a spinal cord, also has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS can be traced far, far down the evolutionary ladder to the lowly, but no less important, little sea squirt. A major player in the evolution of the nervous system that every living thing employs today.

As we mentioned above, the ECS consists of just two types of receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptor. The CB1 receptor is generally found in the brain and spinal cord while CB2 receptors are found in the periphery like your arms and legs. Different cannabinoids interact with one or the other receptor and each cannabinoid has its own little super power. We carry around with us the building blocks to make our own endocannabinoids all the time and will build and break down these molecules at a moment’s notice. Plants have also evolved their own similar molecule, phyto-cannabinoids, and these can interact with our endocannabinoid systems just like the endocannabinoids we create.

While CBD and THC tend to be the most abundant phyto-cannabinoids and therefore get all the attention, their pals, CBC, CBG, CBN, THCv and many more, are just as beneficial. These “minor cannabinoids” are found in smaller quantities but have many of the same healing benefits that CBD and THC have as well as other properties and help compliment the work that the major cannabinoids accomplish. CBD is most well-known for its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, which as we all know, is the root of many, many illnesses. Everyone knows THC for its euphoric effect but did you know its the cannabinoid that is prominently helpful in controlling ocular pressure in glaucoma, helping to increase appetite in chemo patients as well as a reliever of pain.

It’s important to note that many of the inherent gifts of each cannabinoid overlap and many do more than one duty. While they do their jobs just fine on their own they work best as a team. This is why the federal government allows a fractionated amount of THC in full spectrum preparations. Not enough to create the euphoric effect, but enough to give the other cannabinoids the oomph they need to do their best. Cannabinoids have been found to possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal properties. While helpful to us, they most likely evolved to help the plant protect itself. Cannabinoids have also been found to have anti-cancer and anti-spasmodic properties as well as help to relieve pain and nausea, promote bone growth, abate seizures and tics and so much more. Cannabis is such a potent remedy due to its rich variety of cannabinoids and their amazing properties. Couple this with the other important phyto-chemicals like flavonoids and terpenes and you’ve got yourself one powerhouse of a plant for health and wellness.

Speaking of research, due to the nature that any cannabis plant with a THC level of greater than .03% is still federally illegal, and cannabis of this caliber is still listed as a schedule 1 drug in the Controlled Substances Act, studies and research on these amazing plants and their super powers is still slow going. With the advent of the 2018 Farm Bill and regulations relaxing around the nation, and the world, research will expand exponentially. Considering homo-sapiens have been using cannabis in its many preparations for thousands of years and its prohibition has been merely a generation, we should hope to learn all we can about this amazing, healing plant given to us by Nature. Our ancestors are trying to tell us something.