What are Cannabinoids?
If you have ever used marijuana for medicinal purposes, then you must have an idea about how beneficial it is for health. However, have you ever wondered why that is? What does this plant contain that allows it to alleviate conditions that traditional meds fail on?
Besides an effective treatment for a number of medical conditions, medical cannabis owes most of its best qualities to cannabinoids. These are compounds it contains and each has its own side effects and benefits. Learning about the different types can help you understand how this plant works to make the body healthy.
Simply speaking, cannabinoids are compounds that are found naturally in the marijuana plant. These are the components that are responsible for giving you the high you feel when you consume the drug. Concentration levels can vary according to the product you get and so will their effects.
The plant itself produces about 113 different types of this compound but CBD and THC are the most common ones that are recognized. These can be found in the trichomes or the crystals of the marijuana plant and which are responsible for its sheen and sparkly appearance. Most strains of the plant that are cultivated for medicinal purposes today contain high levels of THC which is known for its psychoactive properties.
CBD on the other hand, does not have this effect but it works as a countermeasure to control the high TBD gives. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and also for its neuroactive properties.
Besides these two, there are other cannabinoids that offer a number of health benefits such as cannabinol or CBN and cannabigerol or CBG.
How do Cannabinoids work?
Most people are not aware of this but our body creates cannabinoids on its own as well. These are known as endocannabinoids which are responsible for supporting a number of bodily functions such as our sleep patterns, appetite and movement. In other words, these play an important role in ensuring we remain healthy and maintain internal stability.
These improve cell communication leading to a host of health benefits we cannot do without. If this is in short supply, we can suffer a number of health problems and other issues that can disrupt bodily functions.
Cannabinoids interact with the receptors in our body such as the central and immune system. We have 2 types that are important namely CB1 and CB2. Medical marijuana also possesses cannabinoids that mimic both which allows them to interact with receptors as well. This process induces a calm state of mind or high.
Not all cannabinoids act the same. Different ones react differently with receptors in the body which is one of the reasons why each has a different effect. For instance, THC can cause a high because it binds with brain receptors quite well.
This increases the high we feel after consuming cannabis. If you smoke it, the effects are immediate because it goes directly to the heart which transfers the effects to the brain. It can take less than 2.5 minutes for the cannabis to take effect this way.
Benefits of Cannabinoids
As mentioned before, different cannabinoids have different effects on the body depending on how each binds to receptors. However, there are some common benefits that make medicinal cannabis so popular with the masses. These include:
As an Analgesic – Most cannabinoids have an analgesic effort which basically means that it alleviates chronic pain. In fact, besides reducing pain, they can also treat the conditions causing the pain which is why it is a popular option for those who don’t prefer pain killers. These products can have a stronger pain-dampening effect than pain meds.
As an Anti-inflammatory – Certain parts of our body can get inflamed due to certain conditions and diseases such as arthritis or cancer complications. Cannabinoids are known to reduce that swelling and by alleviating the symptoms those conditions can cause.
As an anti-bacterial – There are a number of compounds in marijuana or cannabinoids that offer anti-bacterial benefits. These work on infections that resist or are immune to certain traditional anti-biotics. Staph infection is one such condition that is known for reacting favourably to medical cannabis. In fact, some cannabinoids also offer anti-fungal properties that can keep further infections at bay.
As a stimulant for appetite – Certain cannabinoids in marijuana is a well-known appetite-stimulant which makes it great for those suffering from anorexia or bulimia. It is also a good alternative for those who want to increase their weight or increase their appetite in general.
As a sedative – Cannabinoids can also induce sleep making medical cannabis a great alternative to sleeping aids. The sedative effect helps users go into a relaxes state which makes them sleepy enough to drop off quickly. Insomnia can have a debilitating effect on the body and lifestyle in general.
Cannabis that contains sleep inducing cannabinoids does not have side effects that can make it addictive like sleeping pills can get. In fact, some cannabinoids have also shown potential for protecting the brain and nerve cells in general and promoting the growth of new cells.
As a tumour suppressant – Cannabinoids are also known for suppressing growths or tumours in the body that can otherwise turn malignant. These can also reduce the vomiting and nausea that is often the result of rigorous chemotherapy sessions. Rather than taking copious amounts of meds to combat those effects, patients can just use medicinal cannabis for the same results without harmful side effects.
As a seizure suppressant – One of the best benefits of the cannabinoids found in marijuana is its ability to stop spasms and convulsions that are associated with epileptic attacks. Some of these have antispasmodic effects which reduces the severity of the seizures and brings them to a stop. This benefit has improved the lives of those suffering from this debilitating condition by helping them to live a normal life.
If you have an understanding of the benefits of specific cannabinoids, you can understand how you can use medical cannabis for your condition. Take advantage of the benefits it has to offer today.
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