It isn’t all about the THC, baby

There's so much more to good cannabis than just THC. Meet the whole family: cannabinoids.

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Anyone who tells you that THC percentage is the most important factor to look for when choosing cannabis simply doesn’t have all of the facts.

Sure, THC gets the most attention, but it is by no means the only thing that matters.

THC is a member of a family of chemicals called cannabinoids, which occur in cannabis plants and cause all of those wonderful effects we know and love. Different cannabinoids cause different reactions in different people, so depending on who you are and what you need, you may find that seeking out different cannabinoids – in addition to THC – might work out even better for you than simply seeking out the most THC you can possibly find.

So before you toss aside your current stash in favor of something with a higher THC content, get yourself educated and learn about your cannabis and its chemical makeup. There is so much to know – and the more you know, the better choices you’ll make.

 

Cannabinoids

What are they? Cannabinoids are natural chemical components unique to the cannabis plant that work in synergy with the human body. The human body itself actually creates its own form of cannabinoids too, known as endocannabinoids which are produced in mother’s breast milk and are important building blocks for humans as they grow.

The cannabinoids found in cannabis actually imitate these natural compounds from our bodies, which is why cannabis can have such a profound effect on humans. They help our cells communicate and get what they need, and they can react throughout our body.

THC (one kind of cannabinoid) reacts with our brains, which is why it is associated with the head high of feeling “stoned”; however, other cannabinoids affects us all over our bodies, causing many of the medicinal effects enjoyed by patients who use cannabis to treat their pains and diseases.

It’s the combination of different kinds of cannabinoids that makes individual strains so different and amazing, and that’s why knowing the big ones will help you make better decisions about which strains to use.
 

CBD, CBG, and CBC

CBG, CBC, and CBD are the three most essential cannabinoids in cannabis plants. They all have a wide variety of healing qualities and medical benefits, and although most people don’t know the first thing about any of them, they are some of the most important factors in making cannabis such excellent medicine.

So let’s break these down…first up:

Cannabidiol, CBD

A non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid present amongst 85 other cannabinoids in cannabis, CBD is much better for treating medical patients and relieving pain than THC.

In the medical marijuana world, there isn’t a patient out there who doesn’t know the term CBD.

Although it is usually very rare to find strains that are purely high in CBD, many patients strive for that because CBD relieves some of the most intense and chronic pain that patients experience, without any of the head high associated with THC. It allows you to medicate without feeling high, which many patients prefer.

In the absence of pure CBD strains, “high CBD, low THC” strains usually work the best, and some research even shows that cannabidiol, when combined with THC, can help promote new cell growth in the hippocampus of our brains.

How can cannabidiol benefit you?

– It relieves the most chronic and intense pain
– It is an antioxidant, an anti-depressant, an anti-inflammatory, an anti-pyschotic, an anti-convulsant, and an antiemetic
– It promotes new cell growth

Cannabigerol, CBG

Otherwise known as CBG, cannabigerol is an active compound found in cannabis that is said to contain anti-bacterial effects.

Research shows that cannabigerol may be the stem cell from which THC and CBD come, although the true power of CBG probably hasn’t even been discovered yet. It is the first cannabinoid that is formed in the cannabis plant (CBGA, the acid form of CBG) and is essentially the precursor for all of the other cannabinoids.

How can cannabigerol benefit you?

– It counteracts the “head” high THC gives you
– It can decrease anxiety and muscle tension
– It is an anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory
– It can be helpful for patients with IBD
– It can be useful in treating glaucoma

Cannabichromene, CBC

Cannabichromene is the black sheep of the cannabinoid family. In order for CBC to even exist in cannabis, the cannabis must go through decarboxylation. This particular cannabinoid shows great promise in treating cancer; it is said to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors through anti-proliferative effects. In addition to those astonishing medical benefits, cannabichromene is also believed to stimulate bone growth, and inhibit pain and inflammation.

How can cannabichromene benefit you?

– It inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.
– It stimulates bone growth.

 

THC and THCV

Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC

The most well known and potent chemical existing in cannabis, THC is responsible for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects.

When ingested, THC attaches to the existing cannabinoid receptors concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with pleasure, memory, thinking, and coordination. Hence, the reason many recreational users prefer to buy cannabis with the highest percentage of THC.

And if you’re only interested in intense, total mind and body altering effects, by all means, search for the product with the highest percentage of THC. That is what many people are looking for, and THC is very good for that!

But, if you’re looking for any form of medication from your cannabis including pain relief, something to help you relax or ease tension in your body and or mind, or to replace any brain cells you think may be dying due to consumption of cannabis, THC isn’t the most important component. The medicinal qualities of cannabis are usually found in other cannabinoids, including…

Tetrahydrocannabivarin, THCV

Wait, what? You read that right. THCV is THC’s cousin: almost identical in chemical makeup, but their performance is slightly different.

You’d probably be surprised to learn that one of the main effects of THCV is appetite suppression, since cannabis has the reputation of giving users a case of the “munchies” and working as an appetite stimulant. However, it’s THC that most often increases appetite and gives people the munchies; THCV does the opposite.

THCV can also be used for reducing convulsions in epileptic patients, and is said to have a neuroprotective effect beneficial in treating neurological disorders.

THCV is common mostly in sativa strains, and not as common in indica strains.

The restorative effects of THCV are incredibly broad; it is shown to aid with anxiety, depression, stress, panic attacks, and many other mental troubles. Scientific research also shows the promise of treating issues as widely varied as obesity, diabetes, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and PTSD with THCV.

The benefits of THCV are seemingly endless, when used properly, in correct doses, and for specific needs.

How can tetrahydrocannabivarin benefit you?

– It is an appetite suppressant
– It is an anticonvulsive
– It is an antidepressant
– It reduces panic attacks

 

How about them cannabinoids?

In addition to the chemical compounds listed in this article, there are dozens of other cannabinoids that can affect how cannabis makes you feel, how it heals your pain, and how it treats your ailments.

Yet again, learning to be particular when choosing cannabis is worth your time! Certain compounds, strains, and chemical makeups are better for you than others depending on what exactly you want them to do, and being smart about how you shop will help you to have the best experience.

Whether you want to go on a great hike, treat your anxiety, or finally get an incredible night’s sleep, you can find the right combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes that will do just what you need.

If you do your research and think about what you’re putting into your body, we know that you will find what suits your particular needs, whatever they may be.