When you take a closer look at cannabis buds, you’ll notice that they have a sticky resin coating them. This resin, which is actually trichomes, is where the cannabis plant houses the beneficial compounds that contribute to its therapeutic effects. There’s a chance, whether you’re a veteran or newbie user, that you’ve heard of THC and CBD. These are just two of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Research shows that these cannabinoids provide various benefits. Not only do they work alone, but studies are showing that these compounds may work better together. Here’s what you need to know about the synergistic relationship between cannabinoids.
The Effects of Various Cannabinoids
When it comes to the cannabis plant, most people, regardless of experience level, know THC and CBD. These are the two most abundant cannabinoids in the plant. THC is the compound best-known for getting users high. It can also help to alleviate pain, ease nausea, and stimulate the appetite. CBD doesn’t produce the high, but it does ease inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia.
As scientists continue to study cannabis, they’re finding that various other “minor” cannabinoids may have some significant benefits, too. Some of these cannabinoids include:
- CBN is a byproduct of THC degradation. It’s mildly psychoactive and may help with pain, inflammation, glaucoma, and bacterial infections. One of its most popular uses is to assist with insomnia.
- CBG may only make up less than 1% of the plant, but studies are showing that it may help with inflammation, glaucoma, and even cancer.
- CBC may help to treat pain, inflammation, depression, acne, and cancer.
Working Better Together: The Entourage Effect
While various cannabinoids have significant benefits on their own, current research shows they may have even greater effects when they work together, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. For instance, CBD can help to dampen the psychoactive effects of THC. By working together, you can reap the therapeutic benefits of both cannabinoids without experiencing a too-intense high.
CBC works with other cannabinoids by interacting with other receptors in the body. While it doesn’t bind well with cannabinoid receptors, it does take well to vanilloid and TRPA1 receptors, which are both linked to pain perception. By activating these receptors, CBC triggers the body to release natural endocannabinoids.
Another example of the entourage effect is THC and CBN. While CBN is said to help with insomnia by making you sleepy, studies show that it’s more effective when combined with THC.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Research is also showing that it’s not just the synergistic relationship between cannabinoids that are helping to produce therapeutic effects. The terpenes in the plant also work with the cannabinoids, providing greater benefits than cannabinoids alone. The terpenes, which provide each strain with its signature aroma and flavor, also provide mental and physical health benefits. As it appears, the whole plant seems to be much more effective than isolating bits and pieces of it.
While research is still in the early stages, available studies show that the cannabinoids in cannabis may provide some significant therapeutic effects. They can help to alleviate pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, and so much more. Not only that, but these cannabinoids (and other compounds in the plant) are likely more effective when they work together.