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The many miraculous health benefits stemmed from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) are a very hot topic right now. With this huge surge of popularity of CBD oil as a natural treatment and remedy for a wide variety of common health conditions and ailments also comes a new stream of information about the numerous health benefits associated with other cannabinoids.
Most people are aware of the health benefits derived from CBD oil and CBD-infused products, though not enough people are informed about other cannabinoids that also possess health benefits. Cannabinoids such as THC, CBG, CBN, CBC and THCv offer tremendous healing and therapeutic benefits that have been scientifically proven to work wonders for those suffering from chronic pain, epilepsy and certain mental conditions. Considering that their full-spectrum properties work best synergistically, as opposed to individually, it’s super important to understand the ways that these different compounds work together.
The three main cannabinoids that we will discuss in this article are cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) and cannabigerol (CBG). Although the research is still in its infancy, the results have proved to be quite promising.
Cannabinol (CBN) is produced when tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is exposed to either heat or oxygen. CBN doesn’t bind like THC does, which results in the activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors. With its active content in the cannabis plant being less than 1 percent, on average, CBN is not the most abundant cannabinoid; it’s also nonpsychoactive, so it doesn’t produce the euphoric high most commonly associated with the THC compound.
There are numerous health benefits derived from CBN. The best-known currently is bone regeneration: It causes the employment of mesenchymal stem cells that surround the bone marrow. These stem cells are capable of turning into bone and other similar tissues, thus making CBN a potential candidate for helping to heal broken and fractured bones.
CBN also has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that have been effective in helping to heal severe rashes and skin burns. In its most preliminary stages, research has demonstrated that CBN has worked very well as a natural sedative and has even been proven to be just as effective as many pharmaceutical sedatives without that “drugged-out” effect.
Scientists who are currently studying the effects of CBN as a possible sleep aid also have looked into using it as a substitute for appetite stimulation and anti-convulsive agents for those dealing with epileptic seizures.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) has a chemical makeup that is very similar to that of THC; however, THCv has a different effect on the body. Both THCv and THC are psychoactive compounds, and they both induce an intoxicating effect when consumed. THCv also binds to the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, as THC does, but it doesn’t activate them like THC. At increased doses, THCv is capable of activating the CB1 receptor, which then produces a psychoactive high.
THCv's psychoactive effects appear more quickly than those of THC but they tend to fade out faster as well. Those who have consumed THCv claim to have a more clear-headed high than with THC, which made them more drowsy and spaced out.
Because of THCv’s anticonvulsive properties, which can potentially heighten the threshold for those who have been diagnosed with a form of epilepsy or experience chronic seizures, consuming THCv can help to reduce the frequency of seizures. Scientists also are studying THCv’s potential as a treatment for bone loss or osteoporosis due to its innate ability to stimulate bone growth.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very common psychiatric disorder experienced by millions of people from all walks of life. The mentally healing properties accompanied by THCv have been proven to counteract the symptoms associated with PTSD, including insomnia, night terrors, depression and social anxiety. More evidence of this is being revealed throughout various research and experiments currently taking place.
Along with bone regeneration and other significant effects that come with consuming THCv, it also contributes greatly to the reduction of tremors, improves motor control and even lessens the effects of brain lesions caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
For those in need of a change in their diet, THCv has been used become it blocks the reward sensation in the brain associated primarily when eating comforting, unhealthy foods. It’s been theorized that if we don’t associate the sense of pleasure with eating certain unhealthy foods (i.e., bread, sugar, fried food, etc.), then we won’t develop as many cravings and, therefore, may be more willing and open to eating healthy.
Like CBN and unlike THC or THCv, cannabigerol (CBG) does not have an intoxicating effect. CBG is produced when the cannabis plant produces cannabigerol acid (CBGA) and specific enzymes break the CBGA down into two acidic forms, which are CBD and THC. From there, the CBD and THC take shape once the acid burns off during the decarboxylation process. This ultimately results in what we now as CBG.
Through raising the anandamide levels — an endocannabinoid that our body naturally produces to regulate biological functions such as sleep, appetite and memory — CBG binds to specific cells in the body that can be highly beneficial in terms of bone healing and formation.
According to a published study, age-related osteoporosis is primarily characterized by reduced bone formation in the body and accumulation of fatty tissue in the bone marrow compartment. Added fat in the bone marrow can be very dangerous and can result in a significant decrease in bone growth and regeneration. Here, it’s been reported that the type 1 cannabinoid receptor, or CB1, is the main factor that regulates the process of bone regeneration.
CBG, CBC and CBD all have been shown to slow the progression and growth of certain cancerous cells, as well as tumor cells. This helps to slow down the growth of the cells, which can prevent the development of a cancerous tumor in any area of the body.
Another little-known fact: CBG has been shown to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which makes it an excellent candidate for various antifungal and antibacterial treatments. Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA), a common bacteria strain that is resistant to antibiotics, is not resistant to CBG, which can be an effective treatment in fighting the spreading bacteria.
Lastly, CBG shows pretty promising results in treating glaucoma, overactive bladder disorder, anxiety, depression and psoriasis along with its many neuroprotective effects. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of researching and developing new and improved ways that these compounds can be used to our benefit.
Industrial hemp vs. psychoactive cannabis
It’s very important to understand the different profiles between cannabis and industrial hemp. Both originate from the cannabis plant but they have very different growing methods and varieties. Cannabis generally has a very high THC content and is grown to produce flowers or buds.
On the other hand, industrial hemp is grown based on the emphasis on stalk development and is virtually THC-free. Certain cannabinoids and terpenes are present in both plants and can be extracted from either source. With all of that being said, the differences between the two are abundantly clear. So if you’re looking for a good time, then THC is probably what you want.
The two most prominent active cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant are CBD and THC. Together they share a unique synergy that directly contributes to some of the awesome new developments in how cannabis can work to our advantage. While many consumers report a plethora of health benefits from hemp-derived, low-THC extracts and full-spectrum hemp oils, others have found that they tend to require some form of THC in order to achieve maximum therapeutic effect.