What Are Cannabinoids? A Formal Introduction

What Are Cannabinoids? A Formal Introduction

The plants that fill the natural world are nothing short of spectacular. Much like the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom is made up of a diverse array of genera and species. Perhaps not so surprisingly, many plants offer some sort of support or value for the human body, whether that support or value is nourishing or therapeutic in nature. The cannabis family of plants happens to be part of the latter.

On the surface level, the cannabis plant is already quite impressive. With palmate-arranged serrated leaves, clusters of densely packed flowers that form “bud,” colorful pistils or “hairs,” and resinous trichomes, cannabis plants are easy to spot among others. But beyond the outward appearance, cannabis is just as intriguing when it comes to chemical and genetic makeup.

With cannabis or hemp-derived CBD and THC having such a noteworthy societal presence, the word cannabinoid shows up everywhere. So, what are cannabinoids, and why does it matter? We’ve pulled together the details about cannabinoids, a bit about their diversity, and more to give you insight, and possibly a new appreciation for a notorious plant.

A Microscopic Look at Cannabis

For years, scientists have been fascinated with examining cannabis on a deeper level. The plant is made up of more than 480 unique compounds, and only about 66 of those compounds are cannabinoids in most strains. In total, however, scientists have identified at least 113 cannabinoids that can be found across many cannabis strains.

Scientifically speaking, cannabinoids are chemical compounds, each with its own specific molecular makeup. Cannabinoids are thought to be pharmacologically active for a specific purpose to the plant. For example, a cannabinoid may help deter insects or protect a plant from damage due to exposure to stress in the environment.

Phytocannabinoids vs Endocannabinoids

Cannabis is rich in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is possibly the most well-known cannabinoid around, but CBD (cannabidiol) is no doubt making its mark as well. While cannabinoids like these pose value to the plant, they also offer value to use humans, but how? The answer is in the fact that these phytocannabinoids (plant-produced cannabinoids) are highly similar in nature to something we humans produce on our own, endocannabinoids.

The human body has its own complex system of cannabinoid receptors. This system, which may be responsible for everything from stabilizing hormone levels to encouraging serotonin production, is referred to as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When phytocannabinoids are introduced to the ECS, each can have its own unique actions that seem to mimic those endocannabinoids the body makes on its own.

The Most Well-Known Cannabinoids: THC and CBD

As noted above, CBD and THC are two of the most well-recognized cannabinoids. While both hail from plants from the cannabis family, the two compounds couldn’t offer more differing actions. Much of this is related to how the cannabinoids act once they are in the ECS.

THC is noted for its affinity for specific cannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoid actually binds to this receptor pretty firmly, which is thought to play a role in the intoxicating effects of THC. On the contrary, CBD does not seem to bind to certain receptors in the ECS. Instead, CBD seems to act as some sort of stabilizer for the system, possibly even encouraging the body to produce its own endocannabinoids.

As straightforward as that all sounds, the situation is far more complicated than anyone really knows. Research is still in its earliest stages with these two cannabinoids, but a good indicator of how complex the cannabinoids may be in how they perform is the fact that CBD seems to neutralize the intoxicating effects of THC.

The Lesser-Known Cannabinoids Offer Their Own Potential

THC and CBD may be full-on stars in the cannabinoid world, but so many other smaller cannabinoids are proving to have their own potential as therapeutic agents. A few examples of other noteworthy cannabinoids include:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabicitran (CBT)
  • Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC)

Many of these lesser-known cannabinoids are gaining traction in the scientific community because they are thought to offer certain actions for the ECS and the human body. For example, CBG is thought to offer eye pressure relief, which may be important for people who have glaucoma, even though more research needs to be established.

One of the interesting things about cannabinoids is their presence can vary depending on several factors. For one, the specific strain of cannabis can be a good indicator of what cannabinoids will be present in the mature plant. For example, a traditional OG Kush strain may have a high level of THC and a low amount of CBD. However, a Jack Herer hemp plant may have substantial CBD and only the slightest amount of THC.

Find Cannabinoid-Rich Cannabis at Core Gardens

The more the world grows accepting of cannabis, the more research is being done. While we may not know every last action or value of the cannabinoids offered by plants from the cannabis family, what we do know is enough to keep our interests piqued. Whether you use cannabis for therapeutic or recreational purposes, knowing your cannabinoids can help you pick the strain that offers the best experience. To find cannabinoid-rich cannabis flower and products, be sure to check out our products at Core Gardens.

Benefits of CBD for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Benefits of CBD for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is considered to be a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissues in the body. About 200,000 new cases of EDS emerge every year, and to date, there is no known cure. According to the Medical Cannabis Network of Europe, EDS was recently listed as one of the conditions that could qualify patients to receive medical cannabis. The inclusion of the condition stems from research indicating that a specific cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol), may help with chronic pain that is prevalently associated with EDS.

An Overview of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

As noted, EDS is referred to as a connective tissue disorder. However, when you take a look at the many issues that can be associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, the condition becomes much more complex. The connective tissues throughout the body perform so many important roles, including keeping joints stabilized when we move, allowing the body to heal properly after injury, and more. Some of the symptoms associated with EDS include:

  • Debilitating pain
  • Defects with collagen production
  • Hypermobility (broad range of motion with joints)
  • Fatigue
  • Fragile skin
  • Early-onset of arthritis of the joints
  • Easy bruising and easily broken skin
  • Headaches and migraines

People with EDS can be hyper-prone to injuries because of the way their joints and skin can move. In addition, the intense pain that can come along with the condition can be enough to bring about psychological concerns with anxiety and depression.

Individuals who have the vascular form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can also have dangerous issues with their blood vessels. These issues can lead to risks of internal tissue damage that can cause internal bleeding and risks for certain organs.

The Attributes of CBD That Could Help with EDS

CBD has been looked at as a potential therapeutic cannabis agent to help with an array of different ailments, both psychological and physical. The reason cannabidiol is growing as an acceptable way to help with so many issues is because the effects of the cannabinoid can be so diverse. From offering anxiolytic properties to helping with hard-to-treat pain, the many attributes of CBD also make it a fitting option for people who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Here is a look at just a few of the most noteworthy attributes of CBD and why those specific features may benefit those with EDS.

Pain Relieving Qualities

The most noteworthy attribute of CBD that could be important for EDS sufferers is the cannabinoid’s ability to yield pain relief. A number of studies have examined the pain-reducing qualities of CBD for a range of conditions. Interestingly, CBD seems to be an effective way to relieve certain types of hard-to-treat pain, such as neuropathic pain or pain related to conditions like multiple sclerosis.

The pain-relieving qualities of CBD seem to be heightened when paired with other cannabinoids like THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). In a study of 15 patients, 12 saw improvement in their chronic pain by smoking therapeutic types of cannabis. CBD seems to help with pain on a few different levels. One, the cannabinoid soothes the inflammatory response, and inflammation is the root of many types of pain as well as a key issue for those with EDS. Second, CBD may benefit through how the pain is actually perceived.

Sleep Supporting Properties

EDS is well-known among sufferers to interfere with falling asleep and sleep quality. Naturally, when your body is uncomfortable due to pain, good sleep can be hard to come by. The sad truth is, when you don’t sleep well, it can also exacerbate issues with pain. Thus, poor sleep due to pain related to EDS can kick off a never-ending cycle of bad days filled with fatigue.

CBD‘s naturally calming properties may help to offer some sleep support. The American Sleep Association says that CBD may actually interact with certain receptors within the endocannabinoid system that are directly responsible for maintaining a good sleep/wake cycle. Whatever the mechanisms may be, CBD definitely shows promise for EDS sufferers and may prove to be a worthy alternative to opioid pain relievers that come with their own worrisome side effects.

Anxiety Relieving Qualities

When you have a chronic medical condition, anxiety levels can be especially high, especially if that condition has you dealing with a lot of pain and discomfort. CBD has anxiolytic properties, so the cannabinoid has been examined as a potential way to treat anxiety in a number of studies. In one particular study, a dose of 300 to 600mg of CBD significantly lowered anxiety levels among 57 study participants.

Help for High Blood Pressure

The stress that comes along with EDS is known for heightening the blood pressure of some individuals. Many people with EDS look to blood pressure medications to help. However, CBD may also help with keeping the blood pressure levels at a more stable state. Some studies have suggested that CBD can lower the resting blood pressure rate and blood pressure hikes related to stress response.

CBD for EDS – A Potential Natural Remedy for Symptom Relief

Even though we are just starting to learn all the ways in which CBD could be beneficial for EDS, the future is looking bright. If you have a great deal of chronic pain, fatigue, trouble sleeping, and anxiety related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, finding a high-CBD cannabis strain or quality CBD product to try may be worth your efforts. Take a look at our current menu at Core Gardens to find quality cannabis products.

 

What are cannabis terpenes?

What are cannabis terpenes?

Cannabis could easily be referred to as one of the most intriguing genera of plants anywhere in the natural world. With three primary sub-species that include a plethora of unique plant varieties, cannabis is no doubt diverse. Furthermore, when you get a close look at all the components that make up these plants, things get even more interesting.

While cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) get a lot of attention, other cannabis constituents deserve a look. Specifically, cannabis terpenes are something well worth getting to know if you consider yourself a fan of these interesting plants. At Core Gardens, we’re all about plant medicine and sharing it with the world. Here is a general introduction to cannabis terpenes.

So, what exactly are cannabis terpenes?

Cannabis terpenes are organic compounds that provide the unique flavor and aromatic profiles to cannabis plants. These aromatic compounds are not solely unique to cannabis plants; they can actually be found throughout the natural world, including in plants, trees, and even some animals. There are roughly 20,000 known terpenes on the planet, and as many as 200 of those are associated with cannabis plants.

If you’ve ever appreciated the trademark fruitiness of a Blueberry Kush or felt the peppery tickle on your tongue while smoking something like Blue OG, you’ve experienced terpenes. Just the same, if you’ve caught the whiff of fresh pine in the forest, smelled fresh oranges, or even caught an odd odor after accidentally encountering a stink bug, you’ve experienced terpenes. Terpenes in nature are known as attractors and deterrents. For example, sweet aromatic terpenes in honeysuckle would attract bees, but spicy aromatics from a clove plant could deter insects.

Are cannabis terpenes good for the body?

Scientists have started delving into the fact that all of the components in cannabis could serve their own therapeutic advantages for the body, including cannabis terpenes. Each terpene found in cannabis could potentially deliver some type of benefit for the body. However, research into terpenes is relatively new, so there are still a lot of unknowns.

What we do know is that certain terpenes have been shown to provide certain benefits that could potentially complement the benefits of cannabinoids. For example, some terpenes may contain muscle-relaxing properties, which is something many people seeking high-THC strains are looking for in their bud. According to this study, there are a number of therapeutic and medicinal uses of terpenes. A few other ways terpenes may benefit the body include:

  • To help soothe anxiety
  • To help improve inflammation in the body and airways
  • To support better sleep
  • To aid with focus and concentration

Noteworthy Cannabis Terpenes

While we can’t logically list all of the cannabis terpenes, we can give you a snapshot of some of the most prevalent. Here is a look at some terpenes you’ll find in cannabis plants and how they can benefit the body.

Myrcene

Found in some of the more noteworthy cannabis strains like Blue OG and Candyland Kush, myrcene is actually one of the most prevalent cannabis terpenes. This terpene makes up about 20 percent of present terpenes in modernized cannabis strains. Myrcene delivers a spicy, almost peppery aroma, which is common with cannabis but also found in other noteworthy plants like hops, mangoes, and thyme. Myrcene may have muscle-relaxing properties, so it could potentially help with sleep or to ease certain aches and pains.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is another prevalent cannabis terpene, but it can also be found in other plants like cloves and even in fresh black pepper. Caryophyllene is most prevalent in Cookie strains like Candyland Kush or in our Magenta Hash strain. One of the most interesting aspects about caryophyllene is that it is the only known terpene that seems to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system much like a standard cannabinoid. Due to the terpene’s affinity for CB2 receptors, researchers suggest the terpene could have similar effects as some cannabinoids, such as easing inflammation and supporting pain relief.

Pinene

Pinene is extremely easy to pick out the earthen and green aromatics of Pinene. You’ve probably enjoyed these cannabis terpenes if you are a fan of strains like Cannatonic, Blue Dream, and 9-Pound Hammer. However, pinene levels can ebb and flow depending on several factors, so you don’t always get detectable levels even if you opt for strains known for pinene content. Pinene has been shown to open bronchial airways in animal studies of mice with allergies, and shown to reduce anxiety in other animal studies. The terpene was even looked at for its potential pain-relieving properties.

Limonene

Limonene has this bright, citrusy-floral aroma, which is common among certain strains that have that citrusy punch like Dogwalker OG and 9-Pound Hammer. Limonene can be found in citrus fruit like oranges and lemons, but also in certain conifer resins. Because limonene is found in so many foods, it has been researched a bit more extensively than some other terpenes. Researchers believe the citrusy terpene may be anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and an antioxidant that can potentially help with certain illnesses.

Enjoy a Full-Spectrum Cannabis Experience with Valuable Terpenes

When you want to take full advantage of using cannabis, there is no question that terpenes have a part to play. While these agents may be partially responsible for how cannabis smells and tastes, they also have therapeutic advantages to consider. If you are looking for quality, terpene-rich cannabis, reach out to us at Core Gardens to find out what we currently have on the menu.

FDA Disclaimer: For use only by adults 21 and older.  Keep out of reach of children.  Do not drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.