What is CBD? Effects and Types of Cannabinoids
What is CBD? Effects and Types of Cannabinoids
What is CBD? Effects and Types of Cannabinoids.
The cryptic 3-letter abbreviation has become a household name for millions of Americans in recent years. We keep hearing about a great many benefits it can bring, but what is CBD? CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids, or molecules, produced by the cannabis plant.
CBD is non-psychoactive meaning it does not have a strong effect on cognitive brain function, so it does not produce the "high" associated with marijuana. CBD’s beneficial properties are one of the main reasons for the recent legalization of medical marijuana in many states, as the current evidence for its efficacy is very promising. Many types and forms of cannabis oil and/or CBD products, formulations and delivery methods exist:
Hemp Seed Oil
This product does not contain any cannabinoids or CBD, hemp oil is derived from the seeds of hemp plant via a cold-pressing process.
To create CBD isolate the extract is purified and only the CBD molecule is extracted. It is the purest form of CBD on the market and does not contain other cannabinoids. It is legal across the United States.
The entire cannabis plant is used in the making of Full Spectrum CBD. As the name suggests the extract contains CBD, but also many other cannabinoids such as THC, CBC, CBN, CBG, enzymes, and terpenes. It is the most complete CBD containing formulation possible, but due to the presence of THC, it is not universally legal across the United States.
Broad Spectrum CBD extract can be viewed as the best of both worlds and contains all that full-spectrum would, but 0% or just the trace amounts of THC, making completely legal in most States.
Nano CBD is a formula where cannabinoid molecules are made to be extremely small and can, therefore, be easily dissolved in water, which is most often used in CBD topical solutions due to its ability to cross through the skin easily.
ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND CANNABINOIDS
Cannabinoids are derived from cannabis and are the chemical compounds that occur naturally and are the main reason for a multitude of wellness supporting and some psychoactive effects of cannabis. Current research has discovered 110 of known cannabinoids thus far, and as the science delves deeper into the complex molecular structures of the cannabis plant, further discoveries in this field are guaranteed.
Human physiology possesses a set of receptors that are responsible for keeping the body's internal balance. These are the endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors, which are implicated in the benefits we receive from their interaction with the cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and enzymes - specific chemicals that act within that system to metabolize the substances involved and help create other useful compounds.
That system has two main receptors, the CB1, which affects the central nervous system, including the brain and CB2, which is known to interact with our immune system, as well as various organs and glands, while Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, both lipid-based molecules, are the two major agonist endocannabinoids interacting with those receptors, causing a body-wide response. Anandamide is known to directly act on our perception of wellness, memory, sleep and is implicated in being at least partially responsible in peaceful and invigorated feeling we experienced following physical activity, we also sometimes call the “runner’s high”.
Most phytocannabinoids are known to act on the specific chemical in our body in such a way as to allow for more of the Anandamide to remain in our bodies longer. That chemical is one of the two endocannabinoid system enzymes called FAAH or Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, which is responsible for the breakdown of Anandamide. The other enzyme is Monoacylglyceride, and it is known to be used by our bodies to break down the endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, responsible for the regulation of our immune system.
To produce the variety of potential effects we desire, the cannabinoid molecules act on these receptors by binding to them. Each cannabinoid holds the characteristics of its own, allowing each individual to customize the desired effects. Due to the growing interest on the subject, more and more of the scientific focus is being placed on the ability to manipulate the endocannabinoid system and harness its restorative and balancing prowess in order to assist with the relief of certain health issues by more natural means quicker. It is important to understand the inner-workings of our internal cannabinoid system as it is certain to provide us with a glimpse of the many potential benefits of cannabinoids.
Thus far research findings have established that the endocannabinoid system is implicated in such important biopsychological processes and reactions such as pain, inflammation, memory, appetite, reproduction, cell regeneration, and sleep-wake cycle. Ongoing research is being undertaken to clarify the exact mechanism by which those processes are being affected by our ECS.
CBD is one of the most abundant, non-psychoactive, essential ingredients of cannabis. Its full name is cannabidiol. It is, however, most frequently being made from industrial hemp, a non-medicinal, but rather an agricultural variation of the plant. The World Health Organization reports it not to possess any dependence or abuse potential as well as no “negative health effects” associated with its use.
CBD is currently available online without any medical marijuana license and in almost any corner of the United States. Moreover, most states have some type of laws regulating or legalizing CBD to varying degrees. CBD is still residing in the same class as does marijuana, according to the Federal Government, but they tend to not enforce the restriction.
Active CBD trials have been conducted since 2015 when the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow for such. CBD can be derived from industrial (agricultural) hemp or marijuana plant, and that informs the federal and state laws of its legality. However, once the latter will be made federally legal, due to bipartisan efforts, it will be virtually impossible to prohibit CBD.
Epidiolex, a cannabinoid containing medication was recently approved by the FDA for treatment of the most medication-resistant childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut. It does it by reducing the number of seizures or stopping them altogether. Its’ immediate and strong effect is evident in various relevant studies or even in more anecdotal but personal accounts in many readily available Youtube Videos.
One study has found the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, the transient receptor potential (TRP), vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor and glycine receptors being implicated in anxiolytic responses in human beings as well as being sensitive to phytocannabinoid effects of potentially promoting a greater feeling of wellbeing and peace.
Cannabinoids have been found in another study, to induce the cell-removal process in our body called apoptosis, as well as inhibit unwanted cell proliferation, suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines production and increase T-regulatory cells within the body, all of which is correlated with positive, renewing, balancing, and wellness supporting effects.
It is also suggested by some studies that Cannabidiol may be able to block the undesirable effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when consumed together.
CANNABIDIOLIC ACID (CBDA)
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the precursor to cannabidiol (CBD) and is concentrated in the trichomes (the resin glands) of raw - unheated and uncured cannabis plants. Once the time and heat act on CBDA molecule it begins to break down into CBD, and this process is called decarboxylation, or some also call it “decarbing” leaving only the “activated” CBD. Decarbing is used in the making of THC, CBD, CBC, and CBG.
CBDA is very abundant in the high-CBD strains of cannabis, which are fairly rare in comparison to those high in TCH, but it can also be extracted from a variety of cannabis classified as ‘hemp’. While CBD and CBDA do not have a psychoactive high, their benefits are often reported as ease and comfort inducing leading to a greater sense of wellbeing. Several research studies have shown CBDA to have inhibitory effects on various pathogenic microorganisms as well.
By consuming raw cannabis, as some enthusiasts do, such as using cannabis leaves in salads or in smoothies and juices, one may be able to reap the CDBA benefits.
While THC and CBD are the primary ingredients in cannabis, there are hundreds of other cannabinoids present in this potent plant. As researches are further learning about the benefits of each individual cannabinoid, they focus more and more on the lesser-known compound of the cannabis plant – like CBN.
What we have discovered is CBN and CBD sharing many of the same effects and their molecules are very similar, yet CBN is not as abundant in cannabis flower. We also now know that Indica-dominant strains usually contain more cannabinol rather than Sativas, yet it is still less than 1% compared to the other chemical constituents of the plant’s flower.
Cannabinol is known to be oxidized from THC, which requires prolonged contact with the air often seen in poorly stored cannabis. Research on CBN is still scarce in comparison to those on THC and CBD. However, even thus far CBN has shown itself as a strong contender when it comes to wellbeing supporting effects.
While one study suggests that CBN is psychoactive, it is yet still not fully known. That is because another study indicates that it may produce just a very mild psychoactive effect, and only further research will be able to settle this argument.
CANNABICHROMENIC ACID (CBCA) AND CANNABICHROMENE (CBC)
Cannabichromenic Acid (CBCA)?
Cannabichromene acid (CBCA) is present in most strains but is most abundant in the tropical marijuana plant strains and is considered to be the fourth key cannabinoid discovered in the cannabis plant. Recently medical marijuana researchers have been developing the strains with higher levels of CBCA.
Cannabichromenic acid can be found in the cannabis plant as early as its’ seedling stage. In fact, CBC-a begins being produced in the young plant before tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBC-a, is non-psychoactive and is often converted into cannabichromene (CBC) during an aging and heating process, which can be subsequently used by the human body’s C-receptors.
CBC is the third non-psychoactive cannabinoid and has shown itself as a strong competitor among beneficial cannabinoids, it was synthesized in the 1960’s in Hebrew University via carboxylation from CBC-a derived from cannabis. It is commonly found in tropical strains but at lower than 1%. Yet it is known to not only possess its own benefits it also works with other cannabinoids to produce a “synergistic effect”. That effect is also sometimes called an 'entourage effect' and can be explained by a saying that each constituent strengthens the effects of all others.
To this day, there is a significant lack of research on CBC. However, it did not appear to be a deterrent to receiving multiple patents harnessing its amazing range of wellness inducing properties akin to THC and CBD.
CANNABIGEROLIC ACID (CBGA) AND CANNABIGEROL (CBG)
Cannabigerol (CBG) was developed in Israel in the mid-’60s and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), its’ precursor, subsequently produced in Japan, are just two of the several secondary phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. CBG belongs to a group of most common cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBC, and CBN.
THC, CBD, CBG, and CBC are derived from CBGA when it undergoes numerous changes during the plant’s flower maturation and acts as a precursor to other cannabinoids. This process transpires with the use of different enzymes in the plant, each of which may be genetically predisposed to be present at different concentrations in different strains. CBGA is converted to THCA with the use of enzyme THCA synthase. CBGA becomes CBDA after its acted upon with the enzyme CBDA synthase. CBCA derived from CBGA with the enzyme CBCA synthase.
There is insufficient data on the full benefits of CBGA, however, it is known to provide an insecticidal defense mechanism within the plant itself. CBGA acts on the CB1 receptor in a way that makes cannabinoids be more bioavailable. It is not fully known if it acts on CB2 receptors yet.
CBG is much more abundant in “hemp” extracts. Some experimental strains of fiber variety cannabis from Europe have been found to contain over 80% of this cannabinoid.
We hope you were able to learn about what is CBD and many other amazing cannabinoids in the hemp plant, and the benefits they can provide you. But if you still hungry for more knowledge please check out the links below!