The cannabis plant has 480 natural compounds of which roughly 85 are cannabinoids. The most well-known is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Ever since Hebrew University first described THC in hashish in 1964, hundreds of research papers worldwide have attested to the 5 million year old plant’s medicinal value. Many know these compounds work best in concert and not in isolation.
United Patients Group is a cannabis information resource for patients, caregivers and newcomers. In September they published an overview of the “five most important cannabinoids” and what they do.
As the post explains, the human body has a built-in system, known as the endocannabinoid system that works to maintain stability in the body. Receptors in the immune and nervous systems, CB1 and CB2, bind with chemicals produced inside the body, but they also bind with cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. When the body is out of balance due to any number of ailments, cannabis encourages healing by stimulating these receptors.
United Patients Group discusses the top five important cannabinoids:
- ∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): In addition to its psychoactive effects, THC increases appetite and eases pain. It is used to treat cancer, side effects from HIV/AIDS treatment, chronic pain, MS, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, Huntingtonʹs disease, ALS, Touretteʹs syndrome, pruritus, and sleep apnea.
- Cannibidiol (CBD): This chemical has been in the news lately because of its ability to help children with severe epileptic fits. CBD helps with epilepsy, seizure disorders, nerve pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, anxiety, diabetes, arthritis, dystonia, Crohn’s and colitis disease, and inflammation.
- Cannabinol (CBN): In combination with THC, CBN produces that notorious “couch lock” feeling, which is not helpful for daytime use, but works well for sleep disorders. CBN is also an antiemetic and an anticonvulsant.
- Cannabigerol (CBG): CBG has antibacterial and anti-tumor properties, and it helps reduce intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients, reduce nausea, temper anxiety, and relieve inflammatory bowel disease.
- Cannabichromene (CBC): CBC has no psychoactive effects, but it eases pain, arrests tumor growth, regenerates bones and brain cells, and puts patients in a better mood. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
“These cannabinoids all have important medicinal value on their own, but research shows that together they have an ‘entourage effect’ that amplifies their healing power. Finding the right proportion of cannabinoids in your medicine can help you target your particular ailments effectively,” said United Patients Group founder John Malanca.
For more information about how cannabinoids work, go to http://www.UnitedPatientsGroup.com. They also have an app in iTunes.
Hector Cross is a blogger for 420PR Group, a member of the Cannabis Society of Mass and a student at the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis.