Guide to Cannabinoids and Medical Treatment Applications

Article image

Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that interact with human and many animal nervous systems and elicit biological responses. Phytocannibinoids are found in cannabis plants and, when ingested, trigger specific neurotransmitter responses in endogenous cannaboids, which are found in the brain, nervous system, organs, connective tissue and glands. (See: ECS -- Endocannibinoid System.)  

These interactions affect appetite, the sensation of pain, mood, memory and other physiological functions. More than 65 cannabinoids have been identified and, as research of the ECS continues, additional receptor sites and interactions are being documented. 

Various forms of marijuana legalization in a growing number of states has led to unprecedented medical research about the physiological effects of a cannabinoids. The properties below represent a partial list -- applications are expected to expand exponentially as research continues.

THC Tetrahydrocannabinol

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most well-known and researched cannabinoid, is the primary psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the precursor to THC – the conversion is initiated when THCA is heated to specific temperatures, a process known as decarboxylation. (See Guide to Decarbing Cannabis.)

Most people think of THC as the marijuana component responsible for the euphoric high associated with smoking pot.  But it is so much more.

Unlike other “recreational drugs,” THC is considered a neuroprotectant, which means it can protect brain cells from inflammation and oxidative stress – which is a decrease in the body’s antioxidant defenses. 

There is evidence that the properties of THC has therapeutic benefits for treating:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimers
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Annorexia/Cachexia
  • Arthritis
  • BiPolar Disorder
  • Cancer
  • Cramps
  • Crohn’s Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/Aids
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headache
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Nausea
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Pain 
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Phantom Limb
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal Injury
  • Stress
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

  • Related to THC, THVC is in research trials as a complement to metformin in the treatment of Type Two Diabetes and more:
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy/Seizures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD), which is non-psychoactive, is the second most common cannabinoid after THC. in the cannabis plant, occurring in the largest concentrations after THC. = CBD ultimately is expected to have more therapeutic applications than THC.

CBD’s most common applications to date include treatment for epilepsy/seizures, pain, inflammation, cancer and auto-immune diseases.

Because CBD does not have psychoactive properties, it is recommended for treating children, the elderly, and those who continue to work while undergoing treatment. 

There is current evidence to support continued research in the use of CBD for treatment of the following:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimers
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Annorexia/Cachexia
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • BiPolar Disorder
  • Cancer
  • Cramps
  • Crohn’s Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headache
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Nausea
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain 
  • Parkinsons
  • Phantom Limb
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seizures/Epilepsy
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal Injury
  • Stress
  • Tourette’s

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

  • Related to CBD, there is some indication that CBDV could help modulate epileptic activity, and trials for children are scheduled to begin in 2016. 

Cannibinol (CBN)

Cannabinol, which has little-to-no psychoactive properties, is believed to be responsible for the sedative effects of marijuana.  Many users choose high-CBN strains of marijuana as a sleep aid, or, because THC converts to CBN as marijuana ages, use their “old” stash at bedtime. 

An Italian study found topical CBN to be a potential treatment for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a particularly virulent bacterial infection resistant to many antibiotics.  Topical applications also show benefits for treating burns and psoriasis.

Recent research has begun to indicate that CBN may stimulate bone growth, making it helpful in treating osteoporosis. 

Research is underway to examine the effectiveness for CBM as treatment for the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spasticity

Cannabichromene (CBC

Early studies suggest that CBC may play a role in the overall anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects of cannabis, as well as contributing to its pain-relieving properties. Recent studies have also shown that, like THC and CBD, CBC may have antidepressant qualities and the potential to promote new brain cell growth, as well as offer relief for some forms of gastrointestinal distress. 

Medical therapies using CBC include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Alzheimers
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain
  • Spasticity

Cannabigerol (CBG)

THC and CBD, the two most common chemicals in marijuana, begin as CBGa in the cannabis plant.  

Converted to other cannabinoids by enzymes in the cannabis plant, CBG has a number of important medical effects of its own.  Most significantly, it is believed to counteract the euphoria associated with THC, making it valuable for medicinal applications.  It is also believed to decrease anxiety and muscle tension, have anti-inflammatory properties, and provide symptom relief for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimers
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Glaucoma
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

The allbud.com Strains Directory provides medical marijuana users with a mechanism to search for strains that are best suited for treatment their symptoms