The last year has been a pretty wild ride, again. Many good things have come out of the last twelve months and more than a few not so good things. we prefer to focus on the positives though.
One good thing that has come out of the last year is the increased public awareness of CBD and cannabis in general. People are learning more and educating themselves on the subject. Many people are now aware of the fact that cannabis is more complex than they previously imagined. It has over 130 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.
It is a plant that has been with us for thousands of years. In the last two years we have seen a large increase in the public’s knowledge of CBD. This is also due to the growing development of the cannabis industry. It is slowly becoming a well-known fact that the cannabis plant is far more complex than previously imagined.
Majors and Minors
Over 130 cannabinoids that can be derived from all parts of the plant. The big cannabinoids are known as major cannabioids. They are called major because they take up the majority of the total cannabinoids found in any given plant. The majors as we know them are THC (delta 9) and CBD. The therapeutic effects of the major cannabinoids are growing into a convincing body of evidence as to their value in healthcare and wellness.
The other, less dominant cannabinoids are known as well. The most commonly known ones are CBG, CBN, CBC, and CBDA. They appear in the plant in much smaller amounts. They are the minors.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
We know the therapeutic value and historic medicinal use of THC and CBD, but what about the minors? Do they have value as well? And the answer is, they sure do. As people learn more about cannabis they may have heard about the “entourage effect”. The entourage effect is a synergistic cooperation between the different cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant. It is a very interesting concept and we will be discussing in the near future in an upcoming blog. But for now, its all about the minors and how they can help us.
Meet the Family
So who are the minors and how do they help? Well the major minor is of course the mother of all majors and minors, CBG. We recently discussed CBG here and here. It is the cannbinoid from which the others are derived. The therapeutic potential for the top four minors are:
- CBN- powerful sedative, can be used to help with insomnia and other sleep disorders, anti-inflammatory, pain relief.
- CBDA- a relatively new cannabinoid (first isolated in 1996) has been shown to be very effective with women’s health with menstruation and menopause
- CBC- can work well for depression, pain relief and brain functions
- CBG- is good for anti-inflammation, anti-bacteria, neuroprotective good with ADHD
Coming of Age
As of now, the fact that minor cannabinoids appear in such small amounts means that they are difficult to extract and isolate. High end laboratory equipment and large amounts of cannabis are required. In short, it takes longer and is way more expensive than extracting THC, CBD or even CBG.
As we move forward with understanding the genetics of the cannabis plant we learn more about how to make cannabinoid specific seeds. We will eventually be able to grow plants that have CBG, CBC or CBN as the dominant cannabinoid. The minors will at long last graduate to the majors and we have a feeling that this will be a great benefit to us all.