When talking about Cannabis, we usually refer to its two main cannabinoids: the cannabidiol (CBD) and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the plant is composed of many other components that contribute to the well-being of the organism and interact with each other creating the well -renowned entourage effect.
For a complete view, here are the cannabinoids present in Cannabis besides CBD and THC.
What are they and which are the cannabinoids present in Cannabis
The cannabinoids are chemical substances of natural origin which, on entering the organism, attach to the cannabinoid receptors.
The latter, in turn, together with enzymes, interact with the endocannabinoid system contributing to the body’s homeostasis.
According to the studies of the last decade, such as the one published in 2012 on Therapeutic Advances in Psycopharamcology and titled “Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals”, Cannabis is an extremely complex plant species which contains over 60 cannabinoid compounds. In the plant, these cannabinoids are synthesized and accumulated as acid cannabinoids, but when the raw material is dried and/or combusted, through the process of decarboxylation, the acids slowly transform into their most popular form, like CBD or THC.
The cannabidiol (CBD) and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main cannabinoids present in Cannabis, but as anticipated, they are not the only ones. To these, in fact, we add also the CBC, the CBN, the CBG and the THCV, just to name a few.
Here in detail.
As explained in the article, the cannabidiol, or CBD is the main non-psychoactive compound of Cannabis.
Mostly, it’s one of the main therapeutic resources of the plant and it’s used in treating a variety of conditions: from anxiety, to insomnia, from Parkinson to the collateral effects of chemotherapy, going through skin conditions, irritations, inflammations and chronic pain.
The tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is instead the main psychoactive component of the plant. Besides it being associated with the recreational use of Cannabis,the THC, such as CBD, is utilised for its therapeutic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective properties and in treating cases of post traumatic syndromes.
For years CBD and THC have been the protagonists of international research, but today scientists are looking into other minor cannabinoids.
Although present in small amounts compared with CBD and THC, the cannabinol, or CBN, by-product of non-enzymatic oxidation of THC, was the first cannabinoid to be identified and isolated by scientific research in 1899.
On a therapeutic level, cannabinol acts as an antibacterial, as an anti-inflammatory,as a pain relief,as an anti-convulsions, and as a molecule capable of fighting lethargy and increasing appetite. In light of this, in 2020 the first clinical study on man had begun in utilising CBN as a pharmaceutical ingredient by itself.
Although cannabichromene, or CBC, is considered a minor cannabinoid, this substance is present in great quantities in Cannabis and can be a strong ally in therapy.
In particular, CBC is renowned for its antibacterial and antifungal, anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. On a psychological level, instead, as proven in a study published on Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, has a significant antidepressant effect and it encourages neurogenesis and cell vitality; an aspect which makes it a valuable resource against Alzheimer.
Equally important is the cannabigerol, or CBG, which, based on a study published in 2020 and titled “The Pharmacological Case for Cannabigerol”, besides being a great antibacterial, it may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of neurological disorders (as for example for Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis) and inflammatory bowel disorders.
Last but not least, the tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, one of the last cannabinoids to attract research attention.
Besides the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antiepileptic and neuroprotective properties, THCV seems to be able to contrast nausea and high cholesterol levels, but also increase bone health, correct sleep-wake cycle and acts as an anti-diabetic.