In my last blog, we discussed a few cannabinoids, CBD, CBC, and CBN, as well pinene, a terpene that helps inhibit one of the cannabinoids we will be discussing today, THC. In the last blog we also discussed these various cannabinoids working together, to better understand the nuances between the various strains of cannabis. As research grows, we learn more about each of these cannabinoids, as well as various terpenes.
Terpenes, it has been discovered, also play into the medicinal benefits of cannabis, and with this knowledge, can obviously influence the experience, and I am all about cannabis information, so, here we are!
Actually, lots of friends will ask me various cannabis questions, and this blog seemed like an easy way to save myself from retyping the same information over and over again, normally on my phone.
So, if you missed the previous blog, check it out * Abbi link the last blog*, and we can get on with the discussion!
Let’s start with THCV, or Tetrahydrocannabivarin. THCV is similar to THC in many ways including a similar molecular structure.
A key difference between the two, however, is research, and knowledge. Currently, we know much about THC, as we will discuss later, however, more research is needed for THCV. For example, we can’t say for sure if THCV has the same psychoactive properties as THC, but we know it has similarities.
Previously, it was understood that THCV was a quarter or so as strong as THC in terms of psychoactive buzz, but now, with more research, we are learning that larger amounts of THCV interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, namely CB1, the feeling of “high” is very much met.
What we do know, with more certainty, about THCV, however, is that it can help suppress the appetite, which can be helpful for the more health conscious consumer out there. THCV may also be the ingredient in cannabis responsible for long term cannabis users being, on average, 2% or more thinner than non-daily cannabis smokers. Studies that have come out recently have indicated that while cannabis does increase appetite and can cause the phenomena known as “munchies”, over time, heavy cannabis users are not any heavier, and are sometimes thinner than regular users of cannabis.
The same research also indicates that THCV also has components, including the appetite suppressant, to help people lose weight. Hello, weight loss drug companies? Maybe market this stuff instead of whatever “could possibly make your heart explode” pill you are pushing.
As I have mentioned, more research is needed for THCV, and some of the research currently underway is testing treatment and cures using THCV for Diabetes Type II.
The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, however, we know a fair amount about. THC is the part of cannabis that gets you high and is also the part that keeps cannabis so feared and banned in much of the world. So how about we discuss what all is known about THC, since so much of the world has banned an entire useful flower simply because a couple of cannabinoid’s can “make ya high”.
So, what do we know about THC, other than it is to thank/blame for the psychoactive high that cannabis is known for? THC, like so many other cannabinoids, has many medical benefits, one of the key cannabinoids we know to have some of the most medical applications, other than CBD, which we have discussed previously, and is now federally legal.
THC, which is still the main legal barrier for cannabis, helps with relaxation, and so much more. THC eases pain, yes even from nerve damage, and nausea, from illness or medications like chemotherapy. THC also controls anxiety, encourages eating and appetite stimulation, even with eating disorders and illness. THC reduces the risk of nerve damage, suppresses muscle spasms, and convulsions, stimulates new growth in the nerve tissue, and like CBD, also slows inflammation. THC is also known for relieving eye pressure and pain caused by glaucoma and other eye disorders, glaucoma being one of the earlier known medical reasons for cannabis treatment. THC fights free radicals in the blood stream, and even controls certain cancers. Studies are underway to study how THC can be used to target and destroy cancerous cells directly, while stimulating healthy cellular growth.
Of course, as we mentioned in the last blog, the full spectrum of cannabis is crucial in understanding the best way of medicating using cannabis, and further research into what each cannabinoid can do helps us develop and grow cannabis specific to each patient. THC does a lot, and is backed up by other cannabinoids, like Cannabinol, or CBN.
CBN, like THC, fights free radicals in the blood stream, suppresses muscle spasms and convulsions, and slows inflammation. What this means is that several different cannabinoids can, and should, work together to not only fight cancers and illness, but also aches, pains, side affects from treatments, and even degenerative illnesses.
With illnesses such as ALS, the pain muscle spasms affect every part of the person, including their voice, and the many cannabinoids in cannabis that help with muscle spasms and pain can help with these symptoms. Cancer patients have seen relief from the pain, the spasms, the inflammation, and of course, the nausea, and more evidence still points to proof that cannabis may also be fighting the cancers, alongside the treatments that may cause the symptoms cannabis is there to treat in the first place.
Some people, myself included, speculate that in the future, we may be able to use some sort of cannabis infusion medication, in lieu of the literally poisonous radiation, to treat cancer and other deadly illnesses.
But even with all these benefits, cannabis gets a bad rep, largely due to the reefer madness propaganda of days gone past, but also, perhaps a lack of education.
So, now that we have a little more knowledge about some of the more popular cannabinoids, let’s talk about some more popular terpenes, so we can build on that knowledge, and really understand this awesome little flower.
In the last blog, I mentioned a terpene called pinene, which could actually inhibit the psychoactive activity of THC, which could help people who wish to have the medical benefits of THC, which we discussed earlier in this blog, but do not wish to have the buzz. Pinene achieves this by crossing the blood/brain barrier quickly, enhancing memory and mitigating the power of the THC.
Myrcene, is the “fun” sibling of Pinene, encouraging the buzz. Myrcene, considered the most abundant terpene in cannabis, is the same terpene responsible for the old 420 advice of “eat a mango before smoking and get higher”, and occurs in both mango and cannabis. Myrcene makes up nearly half the terpene content in cannabis and enhances the potency of the THC by making it easier to cross the blood/brain barrier, much like pinene, but to the end goal of increasing, not decreasing, the buzz.
Myrcene doesn’t just stop there, however, no, this fun little terpene keeps kicking, boasting powerful anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antimutagenic and analgesic properties. Myrcene has also been found to treat the symptoms of diabetes and insomnia.
It is important to remember, with all terpenes, that none of these are unique to cannabis. Cannabis is just another plant, another flower. Cannabis is even used by some consumers as a decorative flower, as it gains more and more acceptance, floral arrangements involving not only the fan leaves but the flower buds themselves. This flower, while in some ways more useful than other flowers, also shares terpenes with many plants, including one of my other personal favorite flowers, lavender.
Yup, you heard me, I love lavender! And it shares terpenes with my other favorite flower!
Linalool is an extremely popular terpene in both lavender and cannabis, but also about 200 other plants. In fact, it is estimated that the average non cannabis user still consumes at least two grams of linalool a year in their regular consumption of food. Linalool is found in cinnamon, rosewood, laurels, birch trees, citrus, and mint! Linalool is such a common and pleasant scent, that it is frequently used in perfumes and body sprays.
Linalool has been studied in small parts, but anecdotal evidence as well as some scientific facts point to a few key medicinal properties that make linalool a compelling terpene, and one that lends itself with the other terpenes and cannabinoids of cannabis. Like many of the cannabinoids we have studied, Linalool is an anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and anti-depressant. Linalool has also been found to help breast cancer patients, the linalool keeping tumors receptive to drugs, helpful when a major problem many cancer patients face is the cancer being unreceptive or growing resistant to the medications and treatments. Additionally, linalool doesn’t bind to the fatty tissue in the body and doesn’t stay in the system as long.
Lavender has long been used for its medicinal properties to reduce anxiety, depression, and fight insomnia, and research suggests these medicinal benefits may be largely, due to the terpene linalool. This terpene has been tested independently for its medicinal benefits, and also for how it interacts in the cannabis plant.
As we have discussed, these terpenes and cannabinoids all interact together. Linalool is no different, and like pinene, linalool may possibly help with the balancing in THC, but in a way many consumers like myself find desirable. Linalool helps combat the paranoia and anxiety that can come from consuming cannabis.
Other interactions in the brain that linalool may have, includes Alzheimer’s, as recent research suggests. This promising study suggests that linalool may have a key to beating Alzheimer’s, or at least treating and reversing the effects. It is also understood that linalool is one of the many parts of the cannabis plant that will assist with Alzheimer’s treatment, as well as the aforementioned cancer benefit linalool has been indicated to aid with.
Another reason people like me may be eager to spark up some cannabis heavy with linalool is due to its ability to reduce the lung inflammation associated with smoking, namely from previous cigarette use. As someone who has quit smoking, this is a medical benefit I am eager to enjoy.
There are many more terpenes and cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and in the next blog in this series, we will be discussing Limonene, Humulene, Caryophyllene and how this all plays into the importance of full spectrum CBD oils. Be sure to check it out.
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