It’s not just a myth anymore — marijuana is a very powerful and helpful herb for a wide range of medical conditions and science keeps proving that more and more by the day.
What makes marijuana so unique as a medicine is its chemical compound, which is made almost entirely out of cannabinoids and terpenes.
While terpenes are in charge of marijuana’s pleasant aroma and taste, cannabinoids operate more “behind the curtain” and provide cannabis users with pain relief, appetite boost, nausea reduction and a whole lot more of benefits.
There are about 113 cannabinoids inside the cannabis plant and they all have some kind of medicinal properties. Depending on the levels of each cannabinoid, they come together to create a unique chemical profile of every strain.
When we consume marijuana in some form (by smoking or eating) cannabinoids enter our system and bind to the receptors in our brain (CB1 and CB2 receptors). The endocannabinoid system, also known as “the body’s own cannabinoid system”, is responsible for regulating hundreds of bodily processes, like appetite, mood, immune system response, memory, and pain perception.
To find out more about these interesting substances, here are the benefits of the 5 most important cannabinoids.
THC and CBD – What’s the Difference?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the “celebrities” in the world of cannabis.
These two compounds have been studied the most for their medical benefits, but they also serve recreational users extremely well.
THC is usually the most prominent compound in the herb and is the only chemical that makes users high. On the other hand, CBD has become more and more popular among medicinal users recently, since it does not make users high but still provides relief.
THC and CBD are different in so many ways, but also have a few things in common. The infographic below explains it all.
CBC – the “Upcoming Star”
Cannabichromene (CBC) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s been attracting even more attention recently and scientists are still immersed in exploring its medical properties.
Here’s what we know about CBC so far:
As it turns out, CBC improves brain cell function and stimulates neurogenesis (growth of brain cells). This means that this cannabinoid has a great potential in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, the group researchers showed that CBC increased the viability of stem cells in mice.
CBC is also proved to have many more health benefits. The studies on mice showed that it is a very effective stress reliever and antidepressant, with anti inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and painkilling properties.
The New Discovery – CBN
CBN is short for cannabinol, and it is another non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant and the one we are still getting to know better.
CBN is essentially a product of THC oxidation. So, if marijuana is not stored properly or stays too long exposed to the air, it’s most likely that THC would turn into CBN.
Anyway, CBN has a lot to offer to patients looking for organic solution to insomnia or pain relief. It is a good “clear-mind” choice for patients who suffer from inflammations or bacterial infections, too.
Unfortunately, it’s still hard to find a strain rich in CBN. Hopefully, as this cannabinoid becomes more known to the public it will become more available in local dispensaries.
CBG – the New Hope
Cannabigerol or CBG is (again) a non-psychoactive chemical found in the early stages of the plant’s development. It looks like CBG has various health benefits and because of that it’s becoming the main focus of many clinical trials.
Back in 1982, when the research on marijuana begun, the researchers looked into the isolated CBG and found its multiple antibacterial properties. Since it kills bacteria and fungus, it was tested on the MRSA virus, too.
It turned out to be very effective in treating skin conditions such as psoriasis, since it prevents the redness and moisturizes the skin, thus reducing its dryness.
Most importantly, CBG could play a very important role as a potential treatment for skin cancer.
All cannabinoids found in marijuana “work” in harmony, giving us hope for the next generation of medical treatments. With legal systems changing around the world making marijuana ever so available, the herb never stops surprising us with the new health discoveries.
If you would prefer a natural medication for your medical problems or a supplement for your conventional therapy, consult your cannabis doctor for the best results.
Helena Miles is a content manager at Greencamp and has been writing and researching about health benefits of marijuana for several years. In her spare time, she is taking dance classes and reading as much as possible.