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Cannabinoids: The Basics

Cannabinoids: The Basics

Cannabinoids: The Basics

The cannabis and hemp plants contain hundreds of natural cannabinoid compounds, though not all of them are well known. 


CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is one of the two main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, other than THC. In hemp, CBD is the main cannabinoid present. CBD does not cause the same high that THC does. CBD interacts with both CB receptors, and research has shown it to have some great potential benefits.

  • Pain Relief – Research has shown CBD to be an effective treatment for pain relief. It can help with inflammation, nerve pain, and even chronic pain.
  • Reduces Anxiety – Anxiety is a mental health disorder that affects the quality of life of those impacted by it. CBD interacts with serotonin receptors in the body, which regulate mood and social behavior, and has been considered a potential treatment for different anxiety disorders.
  • Seizure – Studies and trials have shown CBD can help significantly reduce the frequency of seizures.
  • Neuroprotectant – CBD has shown the potential to help with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and ALS.


Cannabinol (CBN) is thought of as a weaker version of THC. When THC ages, it breaks down; this breakdown leads to the formation of CBN, which is about 25% as effective as THC. In larger doses, CBN can produce mild psychoactive reactions. 

CBN is not as widely known or studied as other cannabinoids, but there have been studies that have shown the potential uses and benefits of the compound. 

  • Sleep Aid: CBN has shown sedative properties, which may be helpful in relieving sleep conditions and disorders. 
  • Pain Relief: In studies, CBN helped relieve muscle and joint pain conditions, and the results were better when CBN was paired with CBD.
  • Neuroprotectant: CBN has shown potential for delaying the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

More research is needed to confirm these benefits, but CBN as a whole has shown great potential in the medical community. 


CBG is short for cannabigerol, a cannabinoid found in both marijuana and hemp. All cannabis plants produce CBG, but each plant processes the compound differently. Marijuana plants synthesize more enzymes to convert CBG to THC, and hemp has more enzymes that convert the compound to CBD.

Every cannabinoid comes from CBGA, the acidic form of CBG. The compound is extracted from younger cannabis plants before their enzymes can convert it.

CBG binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it doesn’t activate them. It is not psychoactive, so it will not produce a high, but it can help you focus and tune in without overstimulation. 


Cannabichromene, known as CBC, is a legal cannabinoid present in marijuana and hemp. Its name is not commonly known, but it has existed in the research community for 55 years.

Along with CBD, CBC is one of the major phytocannabinoids, and it naturally develops from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) in the hemp plant. As with other cannabinoids, CBC can be used in tinctures, cartridges, and edibles. 

Most cannabinoids interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors; CB1 mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids, while CB2 receptors are involved with inflammation and immunosuppression. CBC mostly interacts with TRVP1 and TRPA1, which are the receptors for inflammation and pain response. With this interaction, CBC can potentially be an effective analgesic.

CBC is thought to have potential benefits for:

  • Mood – CBC binds with receptors that can elevate mood without the risk of intoxication.
  • Inflammation and Pain – CBC promotes the production of endocannabinoids along with the reduction of inflammatory substances, which can help with moderating pain.
  • Skin – CBC shows the potential to soothe inflammation in sebaceous glands and help control acne.
  • Neuroprotection – CBC may have neuroprotective properties that may help stimulate the production of new neurons in the brain, which may help with preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Per the 2018 Farm Bill, all of the above cannabinoids are federally legal as long as they meet the requirement of less than 0.3% THC. Many companies now offer cannabinoid products for a variety of uses including pain management, anxiety relief, wellness, skincare and more.

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