Note: This blog was repurposed from the National Hemp Association.
Even if you know nothing about the world of hemp, you’ve probably heard of CBD oil. Since the laws surrounding hemp cultivation were relaxed on the 2018 Farm Bill, the marketplace for this non-psychoactive cannabinoid has gone parabolic. Some researchers estimate CBD oil sales could go over the $20 billion mark within a few years.
Although more research needs to be done, scientists have already discovered many fascinating properties associated with a few of cannabis’ most abundant cannabinoids. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the exciting research on some of the better-known cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD): The Medicinal Cannabinoid
So, what exactly is CBD? CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s one of the most abundant compounds in cannabis. In plain English: users can’t get high off of CBD.
Researchers are fascinated by CBD because it seems to offer many health benefits without the psychoactive drawbacks of THC. A few of the better-studied conditions CBD seems to be beneficial for include schizophrenia, epilepsy, and certain forms of cancer. There’s also great hope that CBD could help with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and mental conditions like anxiety and depression.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): The Recreational Cannabinoid
According to the law, THC is definitely a “bad boy,” but there’s a great deal of evidence that suggests this cannabinoid could help when used in the proper proportions. For instance, it’s well known that THC has a powerful analgesic effect, which could seriously help many people suffering from pain conditions.
Recent research has also shown that THC could reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients and help chemo patients with poor appetite (think of the “munchies”). Interestingly, CBD oil was found to have the exact opposite effect on glaucoma patients, which proves that different cannabinoids need to be used for different conditions.
Since THC is so highly regulated, it’s difficult for doctors to understand the benefits and drawbacks of using this cannabinoid. However, as medical marijuana becomes more commonplace, scientists won’t be able to ignore this abundant compound in their lab work.
Cannabichromen (CBC): The Forgotten One
Although less studied than CBD and THC, CBC does show great promise as a therapy for numerous conditions, especially chronic pain.
Indeed, many of the studies on CBC’s effect on the human body looked into the cannabinoid’s ability to block the perception of pain. For instance, a recent study out of the Second University of Naples found that CBC in combination with CBD decreased pain signals in a group of mice.
Another American study looking into this issue discovered CBC combined with THC had a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on mice. Although most of the press on CBC is related to chronic pain, many doctors believe that’s only the beginning of CBC’s healing potential. Other studies looking into CBC have suggested this cannabinoid could repair brain damage, get rid of acne, and even improve mental health.
Cannabinol (CBN): The Phoenix
Cannabinol (CBN) is an interesting cannabinoid because it’s only created after THC degenerates. This means you’ll only find high quantities of CBN on plants that have been exposed to oxygen for longer periods of time. This fact alone was enough to make CBN undesirable to farmers, retailers and consumers alike. However, recent findings have sparked a new discussion about this mysterious cannabinoid.
Not much is known about how CBN works, but it seems to attach to the brain’s CB2 receptors. Today, scientists are most interested in CBN for its potential to treat sleeping disorders like insomnia. Current research suggests CBN works as a powerful, natural sedative. A study by Steep Hill Labs claims that 2.5-5mg of CBN has the same effect as a 5-10mg dose of diazepam. This research has sparked interest in CBN, which was largely ignored by the cannabis industry due to the fact that it was mostly found in older cannabis plants.
There has never been a better time to enter the hemp market, either as a farmer, retailer or wholesaler. As research on cannabinoids provides us with more evidence on their efficiency, the industry will grow stronger.
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