Cannabinoids Explained: What are they and how do they affect the body?
Cannabinoids: What Are They?
Let’s talk cannabinoids— One of the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the hemp plant, Cannabinoids are bioactive, meaning they have an effect on the human body.
Scientists believe hemp plants contain over 100 unique variants of cannabinoids and, through research, are still finding more variants today. There are eight main cannabinoids— the most well known being CBD and THC. A few lesser known cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, are becoming increasingly popular as scientists explore potential benefits on the human body.
Cannabinoids, The Endocannabinoid System & Homeostasis
Now that we’re up to speed on what cannabinoids are, let’s take a look at how they interact with your body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates nervous system functions like mood, sleep, stress and memory and plays a major role in balancing the body with the goal to achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis is key to your overall wellness; it is our body’s way of regulating its most important functions to keep us running at peak performance and feeling our best. One example of homeostasis in action is keeping a 98.6-degree body temp or maintaining fluid levels to prevent dehydration, all essential functions that keep you at your best every day.
The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids (endo meaning originating from the body) to aid the functions related to our ECS. Amazingly, cannabinoids from the hemp plant are biologically similar to those produced by the human body allowing them to achieve similar results when interacting with ECS receptors. This means when the body is off-balance, cannabinoids from the hemp plant have the ability to support the body’s return back to homeostasis.
Now, let’s talk about the power of a plant.
Types of Cannabinoids - Non-Psychoactive VS Psychoactive
As we talked about earlier, cannabinoids come in a variety of subclasses that have different effects on the ECS system based on the type and location of the receptor they interact with. Some cannabinoids (like THC or CBN) have psychoactive effects – meaning they can get you high or make you feel intoxicated or euphoric. Other cannabinoids do not have an intoxicating effect (like CBD or CBG) but still have an incredible effect on the body’s ECS system. Let’s dive deeper into the specific cannabinoids and their perceived effects on the body.
CBD is the most bioavailable cannabinoid found in the hemp plant and has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its powerful properties and lack of psychoactive effects. Medical studies support the impact CBD can have on improving the body’s response to stress as well as the role it plays in regulating our natural sleep cycles. The FDA has approved drugs that contain CBD such as Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures and other conditions.
Unlike CBD, CBG is present at very low levels in hemp plants -- typically 1%. Despite being considered the “mother of all cannabinoids” and the precursor of all other cannabinoids (meaning CBG transforms into other cannabinoids as the hemp plant matures) CBG is lesser known and not as widely available today. Studies speak to CBG’s impacts on the body including but are not limited to: having neuroprotective benefits, supporting memory function, reducing oxidative stress, and stimulating appetite.
THC, most commonly associated with marijuana and its euphoric ‘high’, exists at very low levels in the hemp plant, with less than 0.3%. Beyond its euphoric ‘high’, synthetic THC has been used in FDA drugs such as Marinol, Cesamet, and Sydros for its ability to combat nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss. Other studies conducted about THC show how the compound can help with other health conditions related to chronic pain, mood stability, and appetite.
CBN is shown to improve the body’s natural sleep cycles as well as help regulate the immune system and support physical recovery. Scientists have identified CBN as a mild psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t produce the same caliber of euphoric ‘high’ as you would find from THC, but it does have an intoxicating effect. This rare cannabinoid exists at very low levels in hemp plants, and is typically found only in more mature plants produced from the degradation of THC through exposure to light or heat.
Looking to add cannabinoids to your daily routine? We have simple and effective CBD and CBG solutions for you. Whether you are looking for a wellness solution to support your sleep habits or keep you feeling balanced- cannabinoids boast plant powered health benefits. Check out our CBG and CBD drops or our full line of CBD products.