Thanks to its widespread adoption across the nation, medical marijuana seems to be in the news a lot these days. Discussion sometimes centers around “cannabinoids,” “THC,” “CBD,” and more. So, what’s the difference between all these terms? And what’s their relationship to medical marijuana?
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, and there’s a lot of them – more than 100. The two most widely known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
- THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component in cannabis. THC is what produces the high associated with marijuana use.
- CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is believed to counterbalance the effects of THC and is used to relieve pain, lessen anxiety, and reduce inflammation in the body.
You may have noticed an onslaught of products containing CBD being marketed for use against a wide variety of ills. For the most part, the CBD market is unregulated, with new products released daily it seems, so you’ll want to do some research about what types or strengths may be right for you. Your doctor, especially if he or she specializes in medical marijuana, may be able to offer you some practical advice.
The FDA has approved certain prescription drugs with cannabinoids present in them for the treatment of certain specific medical conditions. For example, CBD is approved for use to treat certain types of epileptic seizures; and dronabinol and nabilone (manufactured versions of THC) are used to treat nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The Effects of Cannabinoids in the Body
The effects of cannabinoids in the body depend on which set of receptors the cannabinoids bind themselves to.
Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is part of the human nervous system and is responsible for THC’s euphoric high. Cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) is found primarily in the human immune system and the brain.
Cannabinoids depend on CB1 receptors to create the high that recreational users chase. So, for example, if THC was taken up by CB2 receptors (and no CB1 receptors), no high or psychoactive sensations would occur.
The human body also produces its own version of cannabinoids called endocannabinoids that can attach to cannabinoid receptors like THC does. There are two major endocannabinoids the body produces are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), both of which provide a natural feeling of pleasure because they attach to the CB1 receptors.
Both plant-based cannabinoids and endocannabinoids created within the body have the potential to:
- Reduce or eliminate
- Fight inflammation within the body
- Stimulate the appetite
Cannabinoids define the type of experience you will have when using medical marijuana. All cannabinoids have a therapeutic effect on the human body probably why most societies have at some point embraced marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
If you are in Fairborn, Ohio, or the surrounding areas, contact InteCare Medical Clinic for your medical marijuana needs or questions. Just call (937) 874-5766 or schedule an appointment now and experience the benefits medical marijuana can offer you.