Phytocannabinoids are cannabis plant compounds that contain medicinal properties which have the potential to improve the health of the body and mind. There are six known cannabinoids that produce considerable positive results for people looking for natural treatment alternatives.
Phytocannabinoids: The Highlights
- Phytocannabinoids are plant compounds found within the cannabis plant that have various medicinal properties.
- Although there are only 113 phytocannabinoids within the cannabis plant, there are six cannabinoids which have become major players in the game of healing and wellness.
- The six phytocannabinoids help with chronic inflammation, chronic pain, mood and brain disorders, autoimmune disorders, and many other health ailments.
- In order to access phytocannabinoids, you must consume cannabis or related products containing Sativa cannabinoids.
- There are things to consider when choosing to consume cannabis, including whether or not the product contains THC, which strain or cannabis-derived product to choose, and the dosage you need.
What Are Phytocannabinoids?
The word phytocannabinoid is a more generalized term for the more specific term cannabinoids. All cannabinoids found within the cannabis sativa plant compromise what is termed phytocannabinoids. “Phyto” means “of a plant.” Therefore, phytocannabinoids are plant cannabinoids.
The collective population of natural cannabinoids is created within the trichome glands through the decarboxylation process, where they are then stored within the resins of the cannabis plant.
Out of the 545 plant compounds found within the cannabis plant including fatty acids, terpenes, and health-supporting flavonoids, there are 113 different types of phytocannabinoids that have been discovered and researched by scientists.
These precious chemical compounds have been known to have many different medicinal properties that highly benefit the cells of the human body and brain.
Consequently, as more knowledge is unearthed about the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, varying strains of the cannabis plant are cultivated to produce high concentrations of a certain desired cannabinoid.
These various cannabinoid concentrations can then treat specific diseases and disorder ailments as well as improve general health.
Through this meticulous cultivation and harvesting process, as well as through the increased research of these different phytocannabinoids, millions of people are now able to benefit from their healing powers.
Popular Phytocannabinoids And Their Effects
Out of the 113 different types of phytocannabinoids, there are six prominent ones that have revealed medicinal and healing effects. Below is a detailed description of each and what they can be best used for.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is a psychoactive cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant that has neuroprotective, neuro-corrective, and pain-relieving properties. THC is the most well-known cannabinoid, due to the decades-old popularity of marijuana and its famous “high”.
The reason THC can make a person high is that it has a binding affinity for the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor, which is found throughout the cells of the central nervous system and in the brain.
When the CB1 receptor is activated strongly enough by THC, it stimulates the dopamine neurotransmitters causing high dopamine concentrations in the brain, which then produces a quick intoxicating effect.
Although the THC-rich marijuana plant has had many decades of slander as a forbidden and illegal schedule one drug due to its potent psychoactive qualities, studies are now showing that THC can be a great natural resource for people who need acute medicinal therapy for such things as:
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms (muscle relaxer)
- Degenerative brain disease
- Mood disorders, particularly PTSD
- Appetite loss (acts as an appetite stimulant)
- Chronic inflammation
The second most well-researched and well-known cannabinoid is cannabidiol or CBD. Unlike THC, cannabidiol interacts mostly with the CB2 receptor.
This means that it influences other parts of the body, namely the cells in the immune system and gastrointestinal tract, and does not interact with the brain’s CB1 receptors.
Hence, cannabidiol does not result in a psychoactive high. However, it does benefit the body in many of the same ways that THC does.
Many clinical trials have found that CBD, like THC, has many medicinal properties that can improve overall health as well as certain diseases and disorders. CBD can improve the following:
- Many types of chronic pain
- Autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis
- Brain disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or Huntington’s disease
- Neurological diseases
- Both adult and childhood seizure disorders
- Cancer growth
- Nausea and vomiting
These positive effects include pain relief, lowered inflammation, reduction in muscle spasms, and fewer sleep disturbances.
Cannabichromene, or CBC, is a phytocannabinoid that is not as well known or well-researched. However, the few studies that have been presented on these molecules suggest that this cannabinoid has many therapeutic effects.
Unlike THC and CBD, it does not bind well with either the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Rather, it interacts well with the TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors.
This means that while it does not directly influence the activation of the endocannabinoid system, it indirectly does so by aiding in the production of endocannabinoids than do directly influence the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, cannabichromene give medicinal relief, potentially acting as a:
- Anti-inflammatory agent
- Anti-anxiety aid
Another cannabinoid that is just now coming to the research spotlight, cannabinol, or CBN, is the product of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid broken down by oxygen and heat over time; hence, this process heavily weakens the THC-high potential.
Therefore, because CBN is directly related to THC, it can have the same therapeutic effects as THC without most of the psychoactive potency.
However, it is well to note that CBN does contain trace amounts of THC. Consequently, it can potentially cause minor psychoactive effects.
Cannabinol has the potential to relieve, improve, or encourage the following:
- Chronic pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Lack of appetite
- Bone growth
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is actually the precursor compound, or chemical parent, to THC and CBD. Cannabigerol constitutes less than one percent of the cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant.
It is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Once cannabigerol acids, or CBGA, are exposed to heat or sunlight, along with enzyme activity directing how they manifest, they then become either THC or CBD.
Therefore, because CBG is directly tied in with THC and CBD, it has the potential for many of the same health benefits, including treating or improving certain health conditions:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Inhibiting colon cancer growth
- Overgrowth of bacteria
- Appetite loss
Cannabitriol, although isolated and confirmed as an existing phytocannabinoid, is the least well-known. This is because no research has been performed as of yet to demonstrate whether or not it has any medicinal value.
All that is known about this phytocannabinoid is that it has the same structure as THC. This might mean that it can potentially have the same therapeutic value as THC.
However, research must be performed to confirm this assumption.
How Can You Access Phytocannabinoids?
In order to access phytocannabinoids, you have to consume cannabis or cannabis-derived products that contain them.
Things to consider when consuming cannabis products are the following:
- Do you want a cannabis product that contains THC or do you wish to use a product that will not produce any psychoactive effects?
- Certain types of CBD do not contain any THC such as pure hemp extract that comes from the hemp plant. This is a good option for people who do not wish to consume THC.
- Which strains of cannabis do you wish to consume?
- Different plant strains have various concentration levels of cannabinoids that help with various ailments
- It is important to know that different cannabis products have varying doses.
- Make sure to not only research which type of cannabis product to get, but also to check the dosage recommendations for the ailment or health condition you wish to treat.
- There are many different types of cannabis products that offer more comfortable ways to take cannabis.
- Do you wish to consume cannabis by vaping or smoking it?
- Do you want to eat it through edibles?
- Do you want a liquid option such as a quality hemp oil?
- There are many different ways to consume cannabis phytocannabinoids.
Advantages of Phytocannabinoids
The advantages of phytocannabinoids are obvious.
Although there is much more research that needs to be done surrounding the topic of phytocannabinoids, it is obvious that many of them can play a key role in treating many diseases and disorders as well as improving the overall health of the masses.
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