Medical Marijuana contains over 400 different chemical compounds, of which 80 of them are only found in cannabis. These 80 compounds are known as cannabinoids, they attach to receptors in the brain and spine to induce the effects associated with cannabis.
There are 5 major cannabinoids that help relieve the symptoms of medical conditions. These are THC, CBD, CBN, CBC and CBG. Each strain of medical marijuana has a different composition of these cannabinoids in order to achieve different effects – making each strain more suitable to the treatment of specific conditions. For example, at the top level, even the governing families of cannabis have naturally different levels of each cannabinoid; with sativas often being better for treating psychological conditions and indicas being better for more psychical.
THC is the most famous cannabinoid present in any cannabis. It stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol. THC acts as a mental stimulant as well as a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory. It is often the most abundant cannabinoid to be found within sativa strains. Hence their predominantly cerebral effect.
CBD is the most prominent cannabinoid associated with the sedative effects of marijuana. It stand for cannabidiol. CBD actually cancels out the psychoactive effects of THC, meaning that strains with a high CBD content rarely induce a cerebral high. CBD reduces the effects of pain, anxiety and nausea. As mentioned it is sedative and induces what is known as being “stoned”, this is why indica strains are often prescribed for pain and anxiety ect – they are known to have high CBD content.
CBN is an analgesic, meaning it reduces the effect of pain. It stands for cannabinol (which is deceptively similar to the full name of CBD). CBN is a result of the breakdown of THC within the cannabis plant and strains with high THC make the effects of CBN stronger. In addition to being an analgesic, it is also associated with having anti-seizure and relieving eye pressure.
CBC enhances the effects of THC, making strains with high THC much more potent. It stands for cannabichromene. When used together with THC it also acts as a pain relief and anti-inflammatory.
CBG has a purely physical effect, with no psychoactive properties being present. It stands for cannabigerol and is not usually found in very significant amounts within medical marijuana. CBG is associated with the drowsiness that comes with the sedative effects of cannabis, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve eye pressure.
Most medical marijuana strains will have all 5 cannabinoids to one degree or another. Whilst it is THC and CBD that are the most famous and most present, it is the combination of all 5 that will induce the effects medical users are looking for to maximum efficiency – each of these cannabinoids are much less effective when used by individually. Of the 5, CBN, CBC and CBG are often found in comparatively small amounts to THC and CBD.
Disclaimer: Please note, we are not doctors nor are we qualified to give medical advice. We cannot accept any responsibility should your experience of medical marijuana differ in any way from what is described in this article. The above information is based on the experience of others, we have not conducted our own medical research. If you want to be sure, please ask your doctor.