Colorado is among the few states in the United States to have legalized the medical use of marijuana (or pot as it is commonly known). Eric Hesch, who is physician in Echo Colorado, has a keen interest in the topic, seeing as recent medical research has pointed to cannabinoids – the active natural components of marijuana – having some health benefits.
The most well-known of cannabinoids is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the psychoactive effect of marijuana. Other cannabinoids are cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiols (CBD), cannabinodiol (CBDL), and cannabinol (CBN).
What do they do?
Cannabinoids interact with specific receptors in the central nervous system (CNS), thus producing specific effects. The actual effects reflect the parts of the brain they interact with. Specifically, they interact with the areas that control cognition, memory, psychomotor performance, areas of pain perception, and the mesolimbic pathway (where feelings of reward stem from).
While much is yet to be learned about the various cannabinoids, what has been gathered so far points to the potential medical uses.
Are there differences between cannabinoids?
The difference between cannabinoids stems by their ability to be psychologically active. CBG, CBD, and CBC are not known to produce psychological effects, while THC and CBN are known to have varying levels of psychological “activeness.”
CBD makes up 40% of a cannabis resin, making it the most abundant cannabinoid. It has been seen to have anti-anxiety effects and reduces the psychoactive effect of THC. This means a plant with more CBD content is less psychologically potent, and vice versa.
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