Cannabinoids. They’re the bridge, the structural support and beams, of our cannabis highway to peace. While the cannabis plant blossoms and flowers, hundreds of terpenes and cannabinoids are produced throughout its trichomes. However, if you’ve read our previous article, where we went over the entourage effect and terpenes, this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. This week, we’re going over the other piece of the cannabis pie: cannabinoids—specifically, the top two found in cannabis: THC and CBD.
So, cannabinoids. What are they?
For starters, they’re organic chemical compounds found either in the plant itself (phytocannabinoids) or in the human body (endocannabinoids). This serves as an important aspect as it’s the phytocannabinoids in the plant that directly interact with the part of our body that regulates itself to survive and function correctly, (otherwise known as our endocannabinoid system). The main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (and ones you most likely have come across) are THC (aka Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (aka Cannabidiol) – I know, what a mouthful!
As you may know, THC is the key cannabinoid responsible for the euphoric, relaxed high we experience with cannabis. It’s THC that triggers the psychoactive effect of cannabis, which is due to its ability to activate our CB1 receptors – a feature of our endocannabinoid system located in our brain. This is how we, as humans, reap the psychological and physical health benefits that have been increasingly associated with consuming cannabis. During a high, a smoker’s sensory perception, sense of time, and appetite may be enhanced or distorted because of THC. Other effects (that many folks with chronic health conditions find beneficial) are benefits to mood, sleep, and pain relief. However, not all bodies respond well to THC. Due to the interaction of cannabinoids on the CB1 receptors, THC can also trigger an anxious or paranoid feeling that can cause distress.
It’s pretty well known that cannabis, despite anecdotal evidence from the cannabis community and preliminary scientific research, still sits in a gray area as far as the impact it can have on the consumer. Anyone who’s had a poor first-time experience or reacted poorly to a particular strain can attest to this. While it can be argued that there’s a unique combination of terpenes and cannabinoids specific to each strain that can bring about a particular effect –and that for the ideal high to be discovered, one might have to explore different strains similar to how one partakes in different wines –due to our body’s natural predisposition or propensity towards anxiety, there’s also really no telling when cannabis will prove beneficial to someone outside of giving it a go.
Another cannabinoid you may have heard of (found in cannabis as well as hemp) is CBD. CBD is the other common cannabinoid and can actually help in counteracting the adverse effects of THC. It’s the only cannabinoid to have one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products approved by the FDA. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which, technically speaking, also has psychoactive effects, but not in the way we think.
Psychoactive drugs, as defined by the World Health Organization, “are substances that, when taken in or administered into one’s system, affect mental processes, e.g., perception, consciousness, cognition or mood and emotions.” CBD effects do just that; however, instead of giving us the intoxicating, euphoric, or relaxed high we typically associate with THC, CBD’s effects work a little differently. CBD interacts with both our ECS (by encouraging endocannabinoid production) and our opioid, dopamine, and serotonin receptors. It’s actually because of this interaction that CBD has been beneficial for substance abuse, depression, epilepsy, and anxiety (just to name a few).
Together, these cannabinoids come into a partnership that gives us a more soothing high and, depending on the other terps and cannabinoids present and the ratios present, depends on the type of effect we’ll experience.
COW has plenty of CBD and/or THC products available for you, including CBD ONLY flower from Strawberryhill Farm (Sour Electra, Sour Brulee, and Cakeberry Brulee). If you’re interested in seeing what we have to offer, feel free to click here, and enter “CBD” in the search bar at the top of the page for the full array.
Next week, we’ll go over the remaining top cannabinoids found in cannabis such as THCV, CBG, and CBN.
Written by Coralys De Jesus
Edited by Laura Ellis
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