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The chemistry of cannabis quite complex. There are over 400 chemicals in cannabis with about 80 unique cannabinoids not found in any other plant. These cannabinoids as well as their terpenes which give plants their smell, are the main focus of research and where most health benefits are coming from
Cannabis contains over 80 different compounds called cannabinoids where CBD and THC are a couple of the most abundant and well researched. The cannabis flower, present on the female cannabis plant is covered in resin glands where cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are extracted from. Cannabis resin is a dark to light brown substance which is scraped off the surface of the Cannabis Plant and pressed into a solid lump, sometimes referred to as hashish.
is the most abundant cannabinoid that accounts for approximately 40% of the cannabis resin and is often consumed in the form of an oil. CBD first gained serious media exposure when it was shown to stop epileptic seizures live on television. CBD can affect multiple diferent pathways in the body at once, making it very difficult to isolate effects and interactions, yet all results tend to be a move to homeostasis.
is the most well-known cannabinoid, famous for its psychoactive properties. It focuses on the CB1 receptors, found in the brain giving it’s ability to cause a high. THC will only become psychoactive when heated which means full plant extracts when consumed as an oil will not cause a high.
Whole plant medicine
While CBD alone is a powerful tool for your health, extracting singular molecules like this is not the best option. When singled out, individual molecules can create side effects and not work as well as the entire plant intended. When acting as a whole plant or a simple, unrefined extract, the effects are amplified, coined the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the notion that combining cannabinoids like CBD and THC so they work together, produce enhanced therapeutic benefits in the body.
Terpenes are the fragrant oils that cannabis produces to attract pollinators which are responsible for its unique smell. They are not unique to cannabis, but are present throughout nature in many plants. Terpenes are what give lavender its aroma or pine forests its fresh smell. As we’ve grown to understand the cannabis plant, terpenes took a backseat to cannabinoids but are now emerging as a whole new element to consider when growing and consuming the best cannabis plant.