Cannabinoids are a class of compounds found in hemp and cannabis-plants - with CBD being one of the best known. While there are hundreds of these substances identified by science; it is believed this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Though cannabinoids do not only exist in plants. As we humans are able to produce our own ‘endocannabinoids’, too. So, how exactly do these cannabinoids work and what is the difference between CBD, CBG and THC for example?
Our body’s own ‘endocannabinoids’
You might already know that the cannabinoids presented in our products come from hemp plants. These substances, like Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG), appear to have a very positive impact on our well-being when consumed. Though this is not a coincidence at all, judging from the fact that our bodies can produce their own cannabinoids called ‘endocannabinoids’. With ‘endo’ meaning ‘body’s own’. Examples of these body’s own cannabinoids are anandamide en 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG).
These endocannabinoids are extremely important neurotransmitters; used in our body’s communication network known as our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is responsible for regulating almost every process in the body needed to survive. Ranging from our mental state to the digestive system - and from the way we process pain to the way our body makes or breaks down cells. With the goal to bring the body into ‘homeostasis’: the ideal balance in which we feel and function perfectly fine.
So these cannabinoids are responsible for your happiness and a comfortable physical state. Though in some cases, we’re not able to produce or process the body’s own cannabinoids properly. Resulting in a cannabinoid deficiency; which might bring discomfort and could sometimes even be the cause of disease, according to some scientists. That’s where hemp joins the stage - with vegetal cannabinoids, able to aid your body in reaching the perfect balance for it to thrive.
These phytocannabinoids (phyto = vegetal) act on the same ECS-receptors as our body’s own cannabinoids do. Explaining why hemp extracts and tinctures like our CBD oil can work wonders on our physical and mental well-being. Though despite the fact that Cannabidiol is the best-known cannabinoid of the bunch, it is certainly not the only one found in our hemp extracts.
In fact, it is a combination of ingredients that make our CBD products some of the most effective on the market. This phenomenon is known as the entourage-effect; a synergy between all the cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp. And while we’ll dive into the science of terpenes in another article - these are some of the most important cannabinoids you should know about:
CBD - Cannabidiol
How could we talk about cannabinoids and leave Cannabidiol (CBD) out? We couldn’t! Obviously, this is one of the most popular cannabinoids identified to date. CBD is a non-psychoactive substance, meaning it will not cause a high or stoned feeling. It is the main active ingredient in our wide range of CBD oils and cosmetics - and is known for its amazing effects on both body and mind.
As it is believed to help battle (chronic) pain and other physical discomfort, caused by inflammation or nerve damage for example. While it also positively impacts our mental state, lifting spirits and battling anxiety and stress-related disorders; according to consumers and preliminary research. What benefits do you get from the use of CBD? Let us know or try CBD oil to find out how it could help you!
THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol
Another well-known cannabinoid is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which in contrast to CBD does have psychoactive properties. Meaning that consuming this cannabinoid in certain doses could cause a ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ feeling. Obviously, this isn’t the case when you ingest small amounts of the substance. In fact, trace amounts of THC are a great support to the entourage-effect. Therefore they’re considered a welcome ingredient in so called ‘full-spectrum’ hemp extracts.
Obviously, these products still have to comply to EU-regulations. Meaning that while a hemp oil like our CBD oil may contain trace amounts of the cannabinoid, it can not contain more than the ‘detectable’ limit of 0,2%. This guarantees that our products are safe for human consumption and will not cause any unwanted side-effects.
CBG - Cannabigerol
One of the most important, if not the single most important cannabinoid in hemp is Cannabigerol (CBG). Sometimes dubbed ‘the stem cell’ of cannabinoids, this substance is responsible for the existence of multiple cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. As their precursor, CBG or its acid form CBGA, might change into THC(a) or CBD(a) in the last weeks before harvest. Accordingly, the cannabinoid is more present in hemp plants that are harvested early - rather than late-harvest plants.
CBG, the main compound in our CBG oil, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid like Cannabidiol. But where it differs from CBD, is that it interacts with our ECS differently - causing other effects than CBD alone. Cannabigerol is mainly believed to offer a calming effect, as it relaxes the nerves in the body. Moreover, consumers report CBG oil helps them sleep better, providing realistic and positive dreams. In that perspective, CBG might also help people battle nightmares, for example.
CBN - Cannabinol
Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid which occurs after the oxidation of Tetrahydrocannabinol. A very sedative compound, known for it’s pain-killing properties. Accordingly, the substance is also known to be a great sleeping-aid, amongst other things. This cannabinoid is found in late-harvest plants or ‘old stashes’, where the present THC in the plant material has had the time to oxide. Like THC, CBN is an important ingredient in full spectrum hemp oils and extracts - highly increasing the product’s entourage effect; even in small doses.
CBC - Cannabichromene
Just like CBD and THC, Cannabichromene (CBC) starts off in the hemp plant as CBG(a). And like all the other cannabinoids, CBC is an important ingredient in support of hemp’s entourage effect on the ECS. CBC on its own is not psychoactive, but is known to slow down the process in which THC is broken down in the body. Though this also applies to your body’s own THC (anandamide) which is responsible for our happiness, for example. Meaning that CBC helps prolong the effects of our body’s own ‘happiness molecule’, proving strong anti-depressant effects.
Though CBC is also researched for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, neuroregeneration and anti-inflammatory qualities and pain-killing effects. Making it an important ingredient in any full-spectrum CBD oil.