The Cannabinoids and Terpenes That Make CBD Work Better
CBD gets a lot of attention. It’s in the spotlight, and for good reason. The cannabinoid has a lot of benefits - it may reduce anxiety, help you to get better sleep, fight certain diseases, and much more. Lots of research is being done on CBD all the time, and more and more promising benefits are being discovered every day.
However, although CBD is a fantastic cannabinoid, there are lots of other compounds that help it to perform as well as it does. Did you know that CBD is only one of over one hundred different cannabinoids found in marijuana plants? And did you know that there are also compounds called terpenes that help CBD to work so well?
We need to give credit where credit is due and talk about the other compounds in full-spectrum CBD products that can help make CBD work so well. Learn all about them below!
You’ve probably heard of both CBD and THC. They are two of the most popular cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. While CBD is non-intoxicating, THC is known to cause a head high, so it is not found in most CBD products. In fact, THC is only legal in certain states, whereas CBD is legal throughout the United States. Products must contain no more than 0.3% THC content in order to be sold legally, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
Although those two cannabinoids are abundant in most cannabis strains, they are not the only ones present. At this time, we know of about 113 different cannabinoids that are found in marijuana. In regards to CBD products, they all work together to make the CBD perform as well as it does.
While a CBD isolate product (a product with only CBD, and no other cannabinoids) can still provide many great benefits, scientists have discovered that products that contain a variety of naturally-occurring compounds are likely to work better.
This is thanks to something called the entourage effect. It’s a theory that when the different cannabinoids work together, they are able to provide a more balanced and overall more effective experience.
Because of the entourage effect, it’s important to talk about some of the major cannabinoids found in marijuana. More and more of these are popping up on the market today, so it’s a good idea to become more familiar with what they are and how they work. Although there are over one hundred different cannabinoids, there are a few that are more prevalent than others. A few of these major cannabinoids include:
Yes, I know, I said we’d be talking about the other cannabinoids besides CBD. But before we dive into the other cannabinoids, let's briefly review some of the basics about CBD. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of the most abundant compounds in cannabis.
It is completely non-psychoactive and is known for providing a variety of different health benefits. It interacts with a system in your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote balance and improve your overall health.
CBD has been found to potentially fight insomnia, reduce anxiety, manage nausea, reduce pain, and much more. Many people choose to use CBD for those common effects, although it may also help treat conditions like epilepsy, prevent cancer cell growth, and even manage psoriasis.
Another one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis is cannabigerol (CBG). It is not as abundant as CBD, but it is present in smaller quantities in many different strains of cannabis.
CBG is similar to CBD in many ways. One example is that, like CBD, it is completely non-psychoactive. CBG does not cause any type of high. In fact, CBG can even act as a type of buffer to the psychoactive activity of THC and can potentially alleviate any feelings of paranoia that may be experienced by ingesting high levels of THC.
Benefits of CBG
Although more research needs to be done on CBG before we have a better picture, studies have shown that CBG holds many different health benefits. A few of the most common effects of cannabigerol may include:
- Pain relief
- Nausea relief
- Antibacterial properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Early research has also shown that CBG may hold certain anti-tumor properties as well. In this study, both CBG and CBC (cannabichromene) were shown to be effective in killing cancer cells in the intestines.
As more research is completed on CBG, scientists are beginning to discover that cannabigerol is responsible for a variety of different benefits.
Just like CBD, CBG works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding to its receptors. The ECS is responsible for managing physiological processes in the body like mood, appetite, pain response, and metabolism. When a cannabinoid like CBG interacts with the ECS, it causes a response, or change, in the body. This may potentially lead to improved mood, pain reduction, better appetite, and more.
Another popular cannabinoid nowadays is CBN. CBN stands for cannabinol, and it was one of the first cannabinoids to be isolated into its pure form back in the 1890s. In fact, scientists originally thought that CBN was responsible for causing the intoxicating effects of cannabis, although we now know that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound responsible for causing a head high.
CBN is produced when THC oxidizes. Simply put, this means that old cannabis that is left unrefrigerated or left out in the sunlight will have a higher level of CBN present. Although CBN is created from THC that ages, it is non-intoxicating by itself.
Because the level of CBN is controlled by environmental factors and not genetic factors of the plant, there aren’t any strains of cannabis that naturally have high levels of the cannabinoid present.
Benefits of CBN
One of the reasons that CBN is becoming more popular is because of the many great benefits that it holds. Early research has shown that CBN can improve your health in many ways. A few of the best-known potential benefits of cannabinol include the following:
- Appetite stimulation
- Antibacterial properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Pain reduction (when used with CBD)
Some studies have also found that when CBN is taken alongside THC, they produce sedative effects in many people. This may help anyone who struggles with insomnia.
Every day, more research is being conducted on CBN and its benefits. We are just beginning to get a better understanding of how this cannabinoid benefits humans.
Just like CBD and CBG, CBN works by interacting with a system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Once it links up with the receptors in the system, CBN is able to do things like manage your appetite and even reduce pain.
Terpenes are naturally-occurring chemicals that are found in nearly all plants. There are hundreds of them in various plants and fruits, and over two hundred of them are also found in cannabis as well.
Terpenes are responsible for creating the distinctive scents of many different plants. As an example, both the citrusy smell of a lemon and the fragrance of lavender, are caused by terpenes. This makes them an essential ingredient in many perfumes and cleaning products.
There’s much more to terpenes than the scent, however. They are responsible for also causing many different therapeutic effects thanks to their scents and their chemical makeup.
If you’ve ever benefited from the use of essential oils, you have terpenes to thank. They are the primary ingredient in nearly every essential oil, which makes them very popular in holistic and natural healing practices. They promote the effects you feel when you add essential oils to a diffuser or rub them onto your skin.
For example, the terpene ‘linalool’ is found in both cannabis and lavender essential oil and is responsible for promoting relaxation. Terpenes are used by many people nearly every day because of their therapeutic benefits.
A few of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, and their effects, include:
This terpene is one of the main components in lavender and it is responsible for the stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects that lavender holds. Many CBD products add linalool in order to promote stronger relaxing effects.
Myrcene has a variety of potential medical uses, and it is also known to produce a sedative effect that can help you to fall asleep. It’s also known to promote a sense of calm which can help reduce anxiety, and it may even have antibacterial and pain-relieving effects as well. Although it is one of the smallest terpenes in terms of molecular size, it packs a powerful punch in many CBD products thanks to its many benefits.
The name of this terpene can give you a pretty good idea of where it is commonly found: citrus fruits like limes and lemons. In addition to its refreshing scent, it is also found to potentially have anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties.
Pinene is another terpene with a name that gives you a good idea of where it’s commonly found: pine needles! It’s responsible for the characteristic scent of pine and has been shown to help open your airways (working as a bronchodilator), reduce pain, and reduce inflammation as well.
Overall, when CBD is extracted from cannabis, and the naturally-occurring terpenes and cannabinoids are extracted as well, they all work together to help CBD be more effective. When you use a product that has CBD and a variety of other cannabinoids and terpenes, you may experience more powerful and beneficial effects.