CANNABINOIDS OF CANNABIS
Over centuries human pressured natural selection of cannabis strains resulting in a wide variety of cultivated growth forms and chemical compositions for varying uses including fiber, food, oil, and medicine.
To date, over 560 different molecules have been isolated from cannabis, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Cannabinoids represents a group of terpenophenolic compounds that are found uniquely in cannabis and no other plants.
Phytocannabinoids, or short cannabinoids are distinct from their synthesized analogons called synthetic cannabinoids such as commercially available nabilone and ajumelic acid, etc. The biosynthesised cannabinoids are derived from a geranylpyrophosphate terpenoid subunit and biosynthesised by three enzymes which in turn are controlled by three alleles in the plants genome. So far, around 70 cannabinoids have been identified and can be divided into ten types: cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiol (CBD), delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabielsoin (CBE), cannabinol (CBN), cannabitriol (CBT), and miscellaneous types. Almost all cannabinoids exist in two forms, an acidic form and their decarboxylated analogon, for instance, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the acidic form of cannabidiol (CBD).
Cannabinoids as well as phytocannabinoids act biologically like endocannabinoids, which are biosynthesised in the human body. Together with the cannabinoid receptors in the human body, they form the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is highly involved in the neuromodulatory system-dynamic and information processing within the brain and body, such as memory (synaptic plasticity) function, mood and appetite control, and regulation of sensation.
CBD & CBDA
Among all cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) is the second best-studied constituent after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDA is the acidic form of CBD. CBD is the dominant cannabinoid group present in hemp, but unlike THC it doesn’t get you high. CBD was reported to have the ability to reduce anxiety and unpleasant psychological side effects of THC. CBD binds to the CB1-class receptors, initiating a cascade of actions towards the expression of certain genes and changing the activity of enzymes resulting in the following effects: CBD has been reported to be strongly anti-inflammatory, a potent painkiller and it is appreciated for its antispasmic and anxiolytic effects. Moreover, evidence suggests it supports restful sleep.
THC & THCA
Since the earliest discovery of cannabis, cultures around Africa, the Middle Eastern, South Asian, Southeast Asian have cultivated cannabis for its psychoactive properties induced by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the acidic form of THC. To date, cannabis strains with high concentration of THC are cultivated across the globe not only for adult use but mostly for its therapeutic effect. THC cannabinoids are the most relevant and best studied constituent of cannabis. It binds to CB1 and CB2 – class receptor making it an important neuromodulatory agent in particular for the synaptic plasticity system. THC exhibits strong effects against pain, enhances mood and stimulates appetite.
CBG & CBGA
Though it is the first identified cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG) is part of fewer studies compared to THC and CBD. Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is the acidic form of CBG. In vitro studies have indicated that CBG has a high affinity to alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. CBG exhibits anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects and possibly also is anti-inflammatory.