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What are Cannabinoids?

10/5/2017 cannabinoids

There are a number of elements to the Marijuana plant that provide various sorts of relief. Gone are the days where cannabis was sought out solely for its psychoactive purposes. Today’s science has proven numerous health benefits related to the marijuana plant, based off of different cannabinoids, all of which have no psychoactive effect save for THC. In fact, the Cannabis Cannabinoid System has the closest chemical makeup to the human Endocannabinoid System than anything else on the planet. There are over 10,000 cannabinoids in the Marijuana plant. Below you will find a brief definition of the six cannabinoids that are regularly tested for in Colorado and their health benefits.

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid (THCa) 

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid is a primary cannabinoid within the marijuana plant. THCa, in its natural state, is non-psychoactive. Only when heat is applied, does the THCa convert THC. This process is called decarboxylation. Direct contact with the plant and flowers will not have an intoxicating effect. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is produced when THCa is decarboxylated. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in the Marijuana plant. The benefits of THC are shown on the next page. Direct physical contact with this cannabinoid will not have a psychoactive effect. THC must enter the bloodstream for its effects to be felt. 

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) 

Like THCa, Cannabidiolic Acid or CBDa, is the raw form of the cannabinoid more commonly known as CBD. CBDa must also be heated to increase the CBD potency level. CBDa’s most notorious medicinal quality is its anti-microbial benefits. 

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD, can be found in both Hemp and Marijuana. While the Hemp plant produces primarily CBD and virtually no THC, scientists are finding that if treatments include a balance of CBD and THC, the results are much more successful. The reason for this is that THC helps open up the cannabinoid receptors in the human body, helping to absorb the CBD.

When CBD is consumed prior to consuming THC, the THC effects are amplified. On the other hand, if a person has ingested too much THC and feels too high or paranoid, they can consume pure CBD as it will reduce the psychoactive effect of the THC within 20 minutes.

Cannabinol (CBN) 

Cannabinol, or CBN, is not usually found on fresh plant material. The reason for this is CBN is created as the THC decomposes. CBN has mild psychoactive affects and is often sought after to relieve those that suffer from insomnia. 

Cannabigerol (CBG) 

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is known as the stem cell of the cannabis plant. All cannabinoids begin as CBG and are converted to other well-known cannabinoids as the plant matures. Though CBG is rarely found in cannabis (testing at less than 10%), hemp has shown to have results with up to 94% CBG. The reason for this is believed to be that the recessive gene found in hemp reduces the plant’s ability to convert CBG into other cannabinoids. 

CBG is in its earliest stages of research, but is already proving to be one of the most beneficial cannabinoids discovered so far. Below are the scientific molecule images of previously discussed cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids image.png

Sample Potency Test

Below you will find a sample Potency test result. This result shows the potency breakdown of the six cannabinoids that are currently required for testing in the state of Colorado. 

Sample potency test.png



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