A Brief Introduction to Cannabinoids

While medical cannabis or marijuana is nothing new, it is a plant that was illegal for years that carried an extremely negative stigmatism held by many. Interestingly enough, this plant that has been deemed dangerous for so long is now saving people’s lives.

While most people by now know that marijuana is a huge medical benefit, many are still aware of exactly how it works as medicine. Welcome to the world of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds of cannabis that are responsible for its medicinal make-up.

What are Cannabinoids?

You’re probably most familiar with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and perhaps have heard a thing or two about CBD (cannabidiol). These are the two major cannabinoids found in marijuana that are responsible for the amazing medical benefits the plant contains. How exactly do these two cannabinoids work as medicine, though?

It’s all about a harmonious synergy that takes place within your body and mind when you medicate with marijuana. Our bodies naturally produce compounds called endocannabinoids which help us maintain health and stability. When there’s a problem with these endocannabinoid compounds, we experience internal instability, sickness, and disease. The cannabinoids found in marijuana (namely THC and CBD) do an excellent job at replicating the compounds our bodies produce and help to bring back our health to a natural balance.

When we ingest cannabis, the cannabinoids it contains bind to different receptor sites within our body. In our brains they bind to receptors CB-1 and in our bodies to receptors CB-2. Different cannabinoids have shown to attach themselves to different receptor sites. THC reacts with the CB-1 receptors in our brains, while CBD binds with the CB-2 receptors found in our body.

If you’re familiar with medical marijuana, you’re well aware that there are certain strains that are higher in THC while some contain a higher amount of CBD. When you know what cannabinoid helps with what medical condition, you’re able to target the right receptor with the right cannabinoid and easily find the relief you seek.

There are over 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis, and it’s not just THC and CBD that show promise as medicine. THCa, CBG, CBN, THCv, and CBDa are all other cannabinoids that have shown to help with various medical conditions.

 

What Cannabinoid is Best for What Condition?

THC and CBD are the most widely known and are both used at medical marijuana dispensaries pretty much everywhere. Knowing what cannabinoid treats what is an awesome way to become familiar with what would be best to treat your own unique medical needs and take control of how you medicate. Before your next trip to the dispensary don’t forget that you can find tons of strains that will deliver different dosages of each. Knowing whether a THC or CBD strain is best for your condition is something you definitely want to know.

THC

As the most well-known cannabinoids of all, THC is the one responsible for the psychoactive state of mind experienced when consuming cannabis. It’s amazing for a host of various health conditions including:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Anorexia
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • PTSD
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • ALS
  • Asthma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hypertension
  • Glaucoma
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cancer
  • Migraines
  • Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Phantom Limb
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic Pain

 

CBD

For those who don’t like to feel “stoned” but still are still interested in the medical benefits of cannabis, there is CBD. CBD actually counteracts the psychoactive properties of THC, making it an excellent choice for those who don’t wish to “get high.” CBD is beneficial for the following conditions:

  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypertension
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cancer
  • Spinal Injury
  • Cramps
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Chronic Pain
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Stress
  • Spasticity

While CBD and THC treat many of the same conditions, CBD-rich strains provide an alternative for those who don’t wish to experience the psychoactive effects that THC induces. It’s also been extremely popular amongst parents whose children suffer from seizures at its shown to completely eliminate them without the need for any additional medication.

If you’re going to medicate yourself, be sure to educate yourself. Knowing what makes medical marijuana actually medicine will help you to better understand why this increasingly popular plant works so well…to make you well.

 

Works Cited

https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/cannabinoids-101-what-makes-cannabis-medicine

http://www.projectcbd.org/

 

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