Hemp Basics : Cannabinoids
CBD is one of at least 113 chemical compounds naturally produced by the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. These compounds are known collectively as phytocannabinoids or “cannabinoids”. All mammals (that includes us!) have a biological structure, called the Endocannabinoid System, to receive and process these compounds for their therapeutic effects. The many cannabinoids are found in varying concentrations in hemp flowers and the hemp distillates used to produce nutritional and topical hemp products.
The main cannabinoid players and their benefits are:
CBD (Cannabidiol) – the main constituent in CBD products. It is used to help manage pain, inflammation, muscle spasms and convulsions (seizures), anxiety and depression, as well as other types of neurological and psychological imbalances. It has been shown to promote restful sleep, increase appetite, support immune function, and inhibit the growth of some types of cancer cells.
CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid) – a precursor to CBD which converts to CBD when heated. Lab results report CBD + CBDa as “Total CBD”.
CBC (Cannabichromene) – less studied than CBD, but has been shown to be effective in reducing some kinds of pain, controlling acne, promoting bone cell growth and inhibiting cancer cell growth. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
CBG (Cannabigerol) – like CBC, CBG has been found to be effective in reducing some kinds of pain, controlling acne, promoting bone cell growth and inhibiting cancer cell growth. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
CBN (Cannabinol) – helps reduce pain, aids restful sleep and may assist in increasing appetite. Along with CBD and THC, CBN helps to reduce spasms and convulsions (seizures). It also has antibacterial properties.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – the main psychoactive compound in a specific type of hemp, called marijuana. It is also found in very small quantities (<0.3%), only in our Full Spectrum CBD products. The reported therapeutic properties of THC include antioxidant, immune stimulant, anticonvulsant (reduces seizures), muscle relaxant, cancer cell growth inhibitor and appetite stimulant.
THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) – a precursor to THC found mostly in fresh hemp tissue. It will be converted to THC as the plant is dried or dried hemp is heated. Lab testing reports THC + THCa as “Total THC”.
DeAngelo, Steve, The Cannabis Manifesto : A New Paradigm for Wellness (2015), North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA.
Sweet, Tami, The Wholistic Healing Guide to Cannabis (2020), Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.