When we talk about hemp and cannabinoids these days, we almost exclusively talk about CBD (cannabidiol). And, while CBD brings numerous health benefits to its users, it’s not the only cannabinoid that deserves a mention. To be fair, it’s not even the only compound - the hemp plant is rich in plant-based terpenes, which also show a potential to benefit our health and treat certain conditions.
Currently, researchers have been able to isolate 113 different cannabinoids in the cannabis genus, which are spread out between 8 major cannabinoid groups. Cannabinoids are specific chemical compounds that link to cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system (to learn more about it, check out our post on frequently asked questions about CBD). In this post, we will discuss 4 of them - CBG (cannabigerol), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), CBN (cannabinol), and CBC (cannabichromene). On the side of the terpenes, we will again take a look at the 4 of them - myrcene, humulene, limonene, and pinene.
Read on to find out how each of these cannabinoids and terpenes can affect your health, or help you treat certain conditions that you might be suffering from. Keep in mind that cannabinoid and terpene research is still at its starting point - where possible, we will point to studies and ongoing research. Where not, we’ll discuss in more general terms, relying on anecdotal evidence and the experience of thousands of happy hemp CBD users.
Cannabigerol is a rarely-mentioned cannabinoid but the fact remains, without it, most popular cannabinoids wouldn’t exist. THC and CBD are both byproducts of cannabigerol acid that is broken down in the plant to make THCa and CBDa.
However, in its pure form, CBG is a highly useful cannabinoid. It works by increasing the levels of anandamide - an endocannabinoid that is found in our bodies. Anandamide is extremely important for homeostasis and regulates things like memory, sleep, and appetite.
Studies into cannabigerol are currently ongoing, but the results seem to be promising:
Although extremely similar to THC in chemical structure, THCV has very different properties to it. The compound’s lack of two carbons (which is the only difference to THC) nonetheless makes it an appetite suppressant, which is the total opposite of THC.
THCV can also help with diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and regulating blood sugar. It also reduces panic attacks by acting as a mild anxiolytic. People affected by osteoporosis can benefit from potential drugs that have THCV as an ingredient since it has been shown that it stimulates bone growth.
Some THCV benefits include:
Cannabichromene is another of the non-intoxicating cannabinoids, similar in its feel and effect to CBD. However, while CBC does not bind well to CB1 brain receptors to produce a high, it does bind to other receptors like the TRPA1 and TRPV1. These specific receptors are linked to pain perception, which makes researchers speculate that CBC might hold the key to producing truly effective pain management drugs that do not have dangerous side-effects.
Through its interactions in the endocannabinoid system, CBC increases the levels of our own, inherent cannabinoids, which are then released in abundance. One specific endocannabinoid that is triggered by the presence of CBC is anandamide, which is also linked to pain suppression.
Some speculated health benefits of CBC are:
The last cannabinoid in hemp we want to share with you is cannabinol, or CBN for short. Cannabinol (CBN) is an interesting cannabinoid because it’s only created after THC degenerates. This means you’ll only find high quantities of CBN on plants that have been exposed to oxygen for longer periods of time. This fact alone was enough to make CBN undesirable to farmers, retailers and consumers alike. However, recent findings have sparked a new discussion about this mysterious cannabinoid.
The content of CBN in most hemp plants is less than 1%. However, that’s more than enough to make it useful, as researchers believe that it has powerful sedative properties, and that it might be used as a sleep aid.
Some of cannabinol’s benefits are:
In addition to various cannabinoids, the hemp plant is also rich in terpenes. Terpenes are essential oils that are not only responsible for the various ways a hemp (or a marijuana) plant can smell, but also have healing properties of their own. We’ll take a look at 4 different terpenes that make the most of the terpene profile of every hemp strain - they are myrcene, humulene, limonene, and pinene.
The most common terpene found in the hemp plant is myrcene, and it gives that nice peppery flavor that’s pretty similar to what you’d see in hops or beer. The abundance of myrcene in hemp is so high that it actually accounts for around 20% of terpene profile in almost every cannabis plant.
While more research is needed into myrcene, there is some evidence that it has powerful medicinal properties. It’s been used in Brazilian folk medicine for centuries, and it’s the Brazilian scientists who first did a study on it. They found that myrcene reduces pain by increasing the body’s own pain-killers but their findings are still debated. (Source: Leafy)
Humulene is one of the first terpenes ever identified. It was originally found in hops but there’s an abundance of it in cannabis plants, as well as other plants and flowers. It gives the hemp its somewhat earthy aroma and notes.
Early research has shown humulene to be anti-proliferative, meaning it prevents cancer cells from growing. Also, it proved to be effective in suppressing appetite, making it a potential weight-loss tool. Furthermore, like many other terpenes in hemp, it also reduces inflammation, relieves pain and fights bacterial infections.
This second most abundant terpene in nature can be found in citrus and various other fruits. While most hemp strains will have some percentage of it, it’s not so prevalent. It gives the plants their lemony smell and aroma, which is not surprising considering the name.
Limonene has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and research is currently underway to determine its usefulness as a mood-enhancer. It reduces stress and studies have even found that inhibits the growth of tumor cells.
Pinene has a strong pine aroma and is more abundant in marijuana plants than in hemp. Still, it’s pretty common to find some traces of pinene in almost every strain of hemp.
Pinene is, perhaps, the most researched terpene out of the bunch. Because it’s so abundant in nature, its effects have been guessed at for a long time - pine needles have been used for making asthma remedies for centuries. Additionally, studies have shown that pinene slows down cancer growth, and acts anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Also, it seems to boost energy and focus so it can potentially be used as a remedy for lethargy or attention disorders.
While these are not all cannabinoids and terpenes that can be found in the hemp plant, they are the ones that have proven medicinal properties. In order to reap the benefits of those properties, make sure to only use CBD oil that full-spectrum (as opposed to isolate). That way, those additional hemp cannabinoids and terpenes are not filtered out.
If you need a supplier that you can trust, check out The Kind Kart products. Our team is always ready to help out and answer any and all questions about CBD vaping that you might have!