Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with and influences the endocannabinoid system. CBD is the most researched phytocannabinoid (other than THC), but there are many other cannabinoids in hemp that contribute to the entourage effect. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known cannabinoids present in your full-spectrum CBD products.
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a chemical parent of CBD, but it likely accounts for only 1% of the cannabinoids in the hemp plant . It is a partial agonist of CB2 receptors, but its mechanism on CB1receptors is unclear .
Early studies indicated that CBG reduced intraocular pressure without adverse side effects . CBG has been shown to reduce murine colitis, indicating relevance for inflammatory bowel disease . It has also shown promise in animal studies as an anti-depressant .
Cannabidavarin (CBDV) is a homolog of CBD; its chemical structure is only slightly dissimilar (two CH2 groups).
CBDV has received considerable attention for its anti-convulsant properties; it appears to improve seizure and convulsion activity in a novel way compared to CBD . The effects of co-administration are reported to be linearly additive . Researchers have speculated that CBDV improves epilepsy symptoms by modulating GABA in the brain . GW Pharmaceuticals was issued a patent in 2015 for CBDV as epilepsy medication .
Cannabichromene (CBC) is a structural analog to CBD that is relatively abundant among phytocannabinoid constituents. It demonstrates anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties .
CBC does not appear to interact with the cannabinoid receptors . In one study, CBC was found to boost neural stem progenitor cell viability and brain health, possibly through upregulation of adenosine signaling. CBD and CBG, however, did not demonstrate this effect .
Cannabinol (CBN) comes from cannabinolic acid (CBNA) under heat. It was the first isolated cannabinoid, an event that occurred in 1899 . CBN shows weak agonist activity at CB1 receptors and acts on transient receptor potential (TRP) channels .
CBN significantly delayed the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in mice . However, studies are still scarce for CBN.
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the direct precursor to CBD. Despite heat (which transforms it into CBD), quantities of CBDA remain in full and broad-spectrum products.
CBDA is a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, an enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandins and thereby inflammation . In mice, CBDA was shown to activate serotonin receptors, reducing nausea and preventing vomiting . In cell cultures, CBDA inhibited breast cancer cell migration .
There are many other phytocannabinoids — at least 113. That is too many to cover here! Many have only just been identified, and research into possible benefits awaits. Fortunately, with full spectrum CBD, you receive the complete range of cannabinoids.
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