Thursday, 18 August 2011

Purple Kush Guide - What Are Cannabinoids?

The science behind cannabis can get very confusing. With talk of THC, CBG, CBC and a whole other lot of abbreviated chemicals, here we aim to explain in layman terms exactly what each one is.

Firstly we need to know what they are before we explain what they do. Cannabinoids are basically compounds of the chemicals of which there are over 80 out of over 480 chemicals compounds found in marijuana such as purple kush and skunk for example.

As we find with THC levels (another chemical compound found in marijuana), different strains contain different levels of cannabinoids. They are generally seen as the reason for the therapeutic properties of marijuana.

Courtesy of CNS Forum

 Phytocannabinoids only develop in a natural way in cannabis sativa crops. The weirdest thing still is that scientist still don't know the true genetics behind these chemicals combining and working together.

We will start by explaining the first chemical and most important...


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main reasoning for the psychoactive buzz you get from marijuana. Part of the cannaboid family, this compound is the most understood chemical in the plant and is what the strength of the marijuana is based on.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is together with THC used to measure the potency of marijuana by users and scientists alike. Cannabidiol is used mainly for  medicinal marijuana as its properties include relief from nausea to cancer cell growth, a very diverse chemical indeed.


Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid that doesn't contain any psychoactive properties unlike its THC counterpart. This compound is found in hemp instead of marijuana with a greater THC level. This is the chemical that is used in medical purposes for the relief of glaucoma.


Cannabichromene (CBC) is another cannabinoid but which has a completely different property, although its chemical structure is very similar to of that of THC it's main property seems to be that of an anti-inflammatory nature in the medical world and not a psychoactive one.


Cannabicyclol (CBL) is like CBC not a psychotomimetic cannabinoid. This cannabinoid is actually produced by sunlight which turns CBC to CBL.


Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid found in marijuana that is generally seen for its therapeutic properties. It is a broken-down product of THC.

So these are seen as the main 6 of over 80 in cannabis plants. As we mentioned before scientists are still not sure exactly how these chemicals work together.

Cannabinoid Receptors

These are the reason why our brains and body's react to cannabis. There are two types of receptors, easily remembered as CB1 and CB2.

Below is a infograph showing how marijuana and cannaboid receptors work with each other.

All-in-all it is a very scientific affair. What we do know for certain is that THC is the most psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and that other cannabinoids have different properties that are mainly therapeutic.  Hopefully it won't be long before we actually realize how cannabis is made up and start using it in the medical world to its full potential.


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