The Many Potential Benefits of CBD/CBG/CBN
If you have ever smoked or consumed cannabis products, chances are high (no pun intended) that you have been acquainted with a self-professed expert in the pharmacology and herbology that is marijuana; a veritable virtuoso, if you will. However, to its credit, marijuana is far more complex than its characteristic euphoric high to which we are all familiar. There is a whole uncharted field of science with respect to the cannabinoids marijuana contains and their potential health benefits.
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, chemical components of the Cannabis sativa plant, for which over 100 have been discovered thus far.
Arguably, the most well-defined and characterized cannabinoid is THC for its psychoactive and appetite-stimulating properties or in other words, the capacity for cannabis to make you stoned, happy, and hungry. Basically, the marijuana equivalent of Snow White’s posse of dwarves. However, more attention is being paid to CBD (cannabidiol), and the lesser-known CBN (cannabinol) and CBG (cannabigerol) for various emerging health reasons.
Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of the cannabinoids formed from a chemical precursor CBCGA when the plant is heated. There is much more study that needs to be conducted here as research on this particular cannabinoid is scant, though evidence thus far suggests numerous health benefiting properties including:
- Antibacterial (MRSA- methicillin resistant Staph. aureus)
- Possible therapeutic against colon cancer and colitis
For instance, CBG increases the activity of specific receptors that blunt the effects of stress hormones, which may counter high blood pressure, alter cardiovascular function, and improve various neuropsychiatric disorders.
It also acts on one type of serotonin receptor in the brain, ultimately increasing its quantity and availability which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, showing efficacy against Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and neuronal cell death. It also acts to increase the activity of other receptors in the body (PPAR’s), which may be helpful in metabolic diseases like heart disease and diabetes via its actions on fat and glucose metabolism and storage.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a cannabinoid found more abundantly in Indica cannabis varieties and has amassed more popularity and evidence for its uses in various neuropsychiatric conditions. CBD seems to have some effects in the endocannabinoid system of the brain, though not directly via the CB1 and CB2 receptors that THC and CBN exhibit, as well as other pathways.
CBD has shown efficacy in being an anticonvulsant therapy for epilepsy. Even recently, the FDA approved the use of a CBD-containing medication, Epidiolex, for two extreme and very rare forms of epilepsy.
There is also emerging evidence that CBD has other effects as an:
- Antipsychotic and anxiolytic
Cannabinol (CBN), is produced when THC is oxidized, such as what occurs in aged or partially heated cannabis such as hashish. It is a less potent version of THC, and so has mild psychoactive effects due to its binding affinity in the endocannabinoid receptors of the brain.
CBN also seems to have some health benefits which merit further study, including:
- Anti-nauseant (such as in chemotherapy patients)
In conclusion, cannabis has the potential in an array of medical conditions. Pot smoking has evolved from the quintessential vilified notion of some long-haired hippie in a smoke-filled haze, into a sophisticated realm of health and wellness in the 21st century.
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