Cannabinoids and Terpenes for Symptom Relief


Phytocannabinoids – Phyto – from a plant. Phytocannabinoids are mostly found in the cannabis plant and bind to and activate our cannabinoid receptors, as well as other types of receptors, to assist the endocannabinoid system and bring it to homeostasis. Phytocannabinoids perform exactly like our endocannabinoids, when activating CB receptors – they fit our receptors with a “key-lock” precision. Our bodies know how to use phytocannabinoids to supplement as needed.


An excess of endocannabinoids have been linked to obesity and diabetes, but if our body does not produce enough endocannabinoids, due to age, stress, poor diet, etc., then cannabinoid deficiencies can occur. Cannabinoid deficiency has been linked to many common diseases, such as auto-immune diseases (MS, Lupus), autism, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, IBS…the list is long.


Phytocannabinoid supplementation can help with both scenarios, to maintain a balanced ECS or homeostasis. Experts believe everyone should supplement with a clean, full spectrum hemp extract as part of a daily nutrition/supplement regimen, as we do with vitamin supplementation.


The two most prevalent and most studied phytocannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).


Other very popular minor cannabinoids that have been studied for specific conditions are CBN, CBG, CBC, THCV, CBDV and the acid forms THCA and CBDA. These are the minimum 9 cannabinoids that should appear on your CofA (certificate of analysis) when testing cannabis products.


The major and minor cannabinoids, along with terpenes and flavonoids, work together to create an entourage effect, to enhance the medicinal impact of each dose. The overall effect, for specific symptoms, is highly dependent on the cannabinoid and terpene chemovar profile.


It is described as the major cannabinoids are the engine that drives the bus, but the minor cannabinoids and terpenes are the steering wheel.


THC and CBD have a large amount of both clinical and anecdotal studies for symptom relief:


Top 7 minor cannabinoids for symptom relief:


Cannabigerol (CBG) – parent molecule (precursor) to THC, CBD & CBC. Strong anti-anxiety effect, non-intoxicating, powerful antibiotic that can work on bacteria that are normally resistant to antibiotics. Works on a variety of cancers, especially prostate cancer. [4]


Cannabinol (CBN) – prevalent in aged cannabis. THC turns to CBN when it ages. CBN is non-intoxicating and enhances the sedative qualities of THC and sedating terpenes. It also has potent antibacterial properties, Neuroprotectant, Appetite Stimulant, Glaucoma, and Anti-inflammatory. [5, 6]


Cannabichromene (CBC) – Binds with TRPV1 and TRPA2 receptors, both linked to pain perception. When CBC activates these receptors, increased levels of eCBs are released. This also makes it a possible powerful cancer fighter. Studies also show it to promote healthy brain function. [7]


Cannabidivarin (CBDV) – shown to reduce or prevent seizures and shows promise in helping neurobehavioral issues associated with Rett Syndrome. [8]


Tetrohydrocannabivarin (THCV) – gives a happy, euphoric feeling, appetite suppressant, may help with diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and reduce insulin release, reduces panic attacks, stimulates bone growth and helps with symptoms from Alzheimer’s Disease. [9]


Tetrohydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) – non-intoxicating, found in raw and live cannabis. THCA (acid form of THC) turns to THC once it is heated (decarboxylation). In the acid form, THCA, has amazing anti-inflammatory effects, amazing for spasticity (MS), neuroprotective, neuroregenerating, anti-nausea, anti-tumor and anti-proliferative properties for several types of cancer. [10, 13]


Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) - found in raw and live cannabis. CBDA (acid form of CBD) turns to CBD once it is heated (decarboxylation). In the acid form, CBDA interacts with the ECS by inhibiting COX-2 enzyme, which are associated with inflammation after injury or infection – CBDA relieves inflammation and associated pain in indirect way. CBDA has 100x the affinity for the 5-HT receptors, than CBD, for fighting depression. [11]

Combining various ratios of THC:CBD:THCA:CBDA, has shown amazing results for various types of cancer and other diseases. [13]


Terpenes – What are they and what do they do?


“Terpenes are secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids. They are aromatic oils that give different cannabis cultivars their distinct fragrances and flavors.” [14]

There is much more to Terpenes than their aroma, as they have as many medicinal properties as cannabinoids - some will argue they are actually more medicinal.


Like minor-cannabinoids, terpenes also “steer” the effects of the major cannabinoids as well as some minor ones, known as the entourage effect. For example, the terpene Myrcene intensifies the psychoactive properties of THC, giving a “couch-lock” effect, but it also enhances the pain relief qualities of THC. The combination is great as a sedative effect, to aid in sleep and pain relief. Indica dominant cultivars tend to work well for pain relief and sleep aid and are naturally high in Myrcene.


5 popular terpenes used for symptom relief: [16]


Limonene – Anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, anti-cancer, anti-reflux, anti-acne


a-Pinene – Anti-inflammatory, bronchodilating, antibiotic, memory-boosting properties


Linalool – Anti-anxiety, pain relief, sedative, anti-spasm, anti-convulsant properties.


b-Caryophellene – Regulates inflammation, nerve pain, fibrosis, protects stomach, anti-malarial – partial agonist of CB-2 receptor. Like CBD, it lowers the “high” effect of THC, but enhances the pain benefits of THC.


b-Myrcene – Sedating, pain relieving, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, liver protective properties.


When choosing a cultivar (strain), based on its terpene content, note that different crops, growing conditions, etc. will alter the chemovar profile, so you want to ask for the certificate of analysis, with the lab tests of the cannabinoid and terpene profiles from the batch of product you are purchasing. That is the only way to know for sure what you are getting. [15]


Citations:

4. https://www.projectcbd.org/science/cannabis-medicinal-treasure-trove

5. https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/cannabis-sleep-disturbances

6. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbn-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid

7. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-cannabichromene-cbc-cannabinoid

8. https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/what-is-cbdv-cannabidivarin-marijuana-cannabinoid

9. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-thcv-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid

10. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-thca-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid


11. https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/what-is-cbda-cannabidiolic-acid-marijuana-cannabinoid


12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5964193/


13. https://thesacredplant.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/HSExperienced-Frankel-QandA.pdf


14. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/terpenes-the-flavors-of-cannabis-aromatherapy


15. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/infographic-what-are-cannabis-terpenes-and-how-do-they-affect-you


16. https://healer.com/cannabis-education-training-course-and-certification-program/#library

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