We are hearing a lot about the healing properties of cannabis lately, but what makes it so effective?
The cannabis plant has 2 species: hemp and marijuana. Both contain cannabinoids, compounds that connect to the Endocannabinoid System in our bodies, to create healing and stabilizing.
CBD and THC, the two most well known cannabinoids, are known to provide significant benefits such as pain relief, anxiety and depression relief, and anti-inflammatory effects. CBD and THC have been used to treat a myriad of symptoms such as arthritis, ADD, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and more, and CBD is known to have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative qualities. Yep, that means it helps protect and heal the brain.
While CBD and THC get most of the attention, there are over 100 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. As research evolves, we will learn more about these compounds, surely discovering new uses for cannabis to treat and heal. For example, CBN is a cannabinoid that is showing strong results as a sleep-aid, without a high.
The cannabis plant also contains terpenes, which are aromatic compounds with therapeutic benefits. These are the same compounds found in essential oils. Terpenes are critical to the healing properties of cannabis. The terpenes in cannabis can be found in other botanicals as well, such as limonene found in citrus, or pinean found in pine trees.
Finally, the cannabis plant also contains flavinoids. These are antioxidants that help clear free radicals from the body.
The Whole Plant
When the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoids work together, you get the most powerful effects, often called “the entourage effect”. Thus many products are “full spectrum”, which means that the entire plant is used in its creation. It is possible to isolate the cannabinoids to create an “isolate”, but we generally recommend using full spectrum products to reap all of the benefits.
We are not totally sure how and why the elements of the cannabis plant work together to create bigger effects, but all evidence reports that they do.