Beyond CBD: Exploring the Entourage of Lesser-Known Hemp Cannabinoids

Compassionate Tele Medicine
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The hemp plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids that provide a wide range of potential cannabinoid effects and benefits. Most people are​ ​familiar with CBD, the wildly popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid. But there’s much more​ to hemp than just CBD!

Today, we’ll explore 6 other top cannabinoids naturally found in hemp and discuss their unique properties and mechanisms of action. Discover how these lesser-known compounds can work synergistically with CBD through the “entourage effect” for enhanced wellness applications. But first, what are cannabinoids? After this, we’ll go into the top cannabinoids.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are a diverse array of active chemical compounds produced by cannabis plants. They interact with the human endocannabinoid system, which regulates many physiological processes and cognitive/emotional states.

The two main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 (mostly in the central nervous system) and CB2 (found peripherally in the immune cells, gastrointestinal tract, etc.). Different cannabinoids bind to these receptors with varying degrees of affinity, causing distinct cannabinoid effects and benefits.

Hemp plants contain a wealth of top cannabinoids that offer therapeutic versatility. Let’s examine 6 of the most prominent non-psychoactive top cannabinoids beyond CBD.

CBG (Cannabigerol)

Known as the “mother of top cannabinoids,” CBG is the precursor from which other cannabinoids like CBD and THC synthesize. It’s found in young cannabis plants before being converted into other compounds as the plant matures.

Effects and benefits

Early research indicates CBG may provide these cannabinoid effects:

  • Analgesic (pain-relieving)
  • Neuroprotective antioxidant
  • Antimicrobial against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Bladder dysfunction therapy
  • Antitumor/cancer-fighting

Overall, CBG is showing promising medical potential comparable to CBD. It tends to be more stimulating than sedating. CBG is best known for its possible antibacterial, neuroprotective, and appetite-stimulating properties.

CBN (Cannabinol)

CBN is created when THC slowly oxidizes and breaks down over time or through light/heat exposure and is enlisted among the top cannabinoids. Fresh cannabis plants contain very little CBN – aged, poorly stored material contains higher CBN levels.

Effects and benefits

Research on CBN is still emerging but initial studies show:

  • Sedative/sleep-aid effects
  • Symptom relief
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticonvulsant/reduces seizures
  • Antibacterial
  • Appetite stimulant

Though not intoxicating, CBN induces somewhat sedative cannabinoid effects that may enhance sleep. Combining CBN with THC seems to increase intoxication compared to THC alone. CBN also shows promising medical properties similar to CBD.

CBC (Cannabichromene)

CBC occurs naturally in the cannabis plant but typically at lower levels than CBD and THC, unless those are selectively bred out. It’s considered one of the “big 6” major top cannabinoids.

Effects and Benefits

Research indicates CBC may provide these therapeutic properties or cannabinoid effects:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Antidepressant/mood-elevating
  • Antibacterial, antifungal
  • Neurogenesis promoter
  • Bone growth stimulant

Emerging studies show CBC has promising medical applications similar to CBD. CBC may also stimulate brain cell growth and bone health.

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)

THCV is an analog of THC but with some key differences. It occurs naturally in certain cannabis cultivars, usually in minor quantities. THCV levels can be increased through selective breeding.

Effects and benefits

Research shows THCV may offer these cannabinoid effects:

  • Appetite-suppressant
  • Neuroprotective antioxidant
  • Anti-convulsant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic at low doses
  • Euphoric mood-elevator

THCV shows potential for diabetes and metabolic disorders due to appetite and blood sugar control properties. At low doses, it may reduce seizures and inflammation without intoxication. THCV tends to be energizing versus sedating.

CBDV (Cannabidivarin)

CBDV is a non-intoxicating propyl analog of CBD and is among the top cannabinoids. Like CBD, it interacts weakly with CB1 receptors and has a stronger affinity for CB2 receptors.

Effects and benefits

Studies on CBDV are still very limited but show potential for:

  • Anticonvulsant/anti-epileptic
  • Anti-nausea
  • Neuroprotective antioxidant
  • Antidepressant
  • Bone growth stimulant
  • Analgesic

Though research is early, CBDV, as a top cannabinoid, exhibits promising anticonvulsant, anti-nausea, and neuroprotective cannabinoid effects. It also appears to share several therapeutic properties with its analog CBD.

CBE (Cannabielsoin)

CBE is the least studied major cannabinoid but has highly potent cannabinoid effects. It’s structurally similar to CBD and CBC. CBE occurs in small amounts in cannabis but at higher levels in certain strains.

Effects and benefits

Very little research exists on CBE pharmacology, but initial studies suggest:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial against MRSA

While clinical data is severely lacking, CBE’s structural analogy with CBD and CBC implies therapeutic potential worth exploring. Anecdotal reports suggest CBE may produce cannabinoid effects similar to CBD.

Achieving the entourage effect with minor cannabinoids

The diverse array of top cannabinoids have synergistic interactions and mechanisms that enhance their combined effects. This phenomenon is known as the “entourage effect.”

For example, using CBN as a sleep aid may improve results by also including CBD to balance intoxication and inflammation. THCV may complement CBD’s anticonvulsant cannabinoid effects in managing seizures.

Targeting multiple pathways and receptors can increase benefits versus relying on CBD alone. Each cannabinoid offers something unique to achieve optimal entourage synergies.

Carefully formulating ratios and combinations allows you to leverage these entourage effects. Seek out hemp extracts utilizing minor cannabinoids to open up a world of intriguing medical possibilities.

CBD rightfully gets a lot of attention for its abundant benefits, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg for all that hemp has to offer.

Lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV, CBDV, and CBE also exhibit promising therapeutic properties and synergies. Harnessing this entourage can provide enhanced cannabinoid effects for treating various conditions.

Focusing solely on CBD limits the versatility of cannabis applications. Expanding your knowledge and utilization of top cannabinoids opens up a wider world of medical possibilities through their entourage interactions.

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