The United States has a ban on the research of cannabis but Australia doesn’t! Their National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) has all the information you need about cannabis.
Cannabis has long been used as a medical and recreational drug due to the healing and psychoactive effects associated with the plant. These effects are caused by various chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which occur naturally in the human body. Out of the 86 natural cannabinoids discovered, 66 of them are unique to the cannabis plant. The most famous and researched cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC), which is the primary psychoactive compound of the plant.
However, THC doesn’t work all on its own. The other compounds in the plant enhance or decrease the effect of THC and are necessary to fully utilize the plant as a medicine. The cannabinoids (aside from THC) are separated into the following major subclasses:
- Cannabidiols (CBD)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
- Cannabigerols (CBG)
- Cannabichromenes (CBC)
- Cannabicyclol (CBL)
- Cannabielsoin (CBE)
- Cannabitriol (CBT)
Together, these and other miscellaneous cannabinoids react with specialized cannabis receptors located within the central nervous system. The two receptors we know of are CB1 and CB2. “Anandamide” and other naturally occurring substances, together with the receptors, are part of the “endogenous cannabinoid system.”
The receptors interact with different areas of the brain, mainly the limbic system, mesolimbic pathway, and those associated with pain. The limbic system affects psychomotor performance, cognition, and memory, while the mesolimbic pathway is associated with feelings of reward.
The main difference between cannabinoids is their psychological activity. CBD, CBG, and CBC are not psychoactive, whereas THC, CBN, and CBDL are to a various degrees.
CBD makes up to 40% of the cannabinoids in the plant, working with THC to decrease anxiety while lessening the psychoactive effects. In strains with high THC and low CBD, unwanted side effects of anxiety and paranoia will occur.
Leaving a high-THC strain out unsealed with cause the THC to oxidize and turn into CBN. Compared to THC, CBN is only mildly psychoactive and interacts with THC to reduce its psychoactive effects and increase its anti-anxiety properties. So keep your medicine properly stored!
We are still learning about the endogenous cannabinoid system. However, due to the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug, there is no cannabis research allowed. Much of the research related to cannabinoids is focused on the potential uses of man-made cannabinoids instead of those naturally found in a plant.
Do your part to help legalize cannabis nationwide and give the people the medicine they need! We can’t even legally research it, even though it has been proven to have medicinal benefits for centuries! Join The Movement and let the U.S. government know that enough is enough!