There are many, many more PhytoCannabinoids that have been discovered in the Cannabis plant. To name a few: CBN, THCV, CBC, CBG. Most are present in very small amounts and most we still have not done the research to fully understand what they can do in the human body.
What we do know is that using Cannabinoid products that contain as full a range of Cannabinoids as the plant produces leads to the best results. This full spectrum has been titled the Entourage Effect.
One of the most exciting forms of the PhytoCannabinoids we are working with is the Acid Form. The Acid form is how the plant produces it.
Cannabis scientists had broadly classified the Cannabinoid molecule into 3 groupings. As with everything concerning Cannabis, nothing is hard and fast and no tight and rigid definition really will hold much water, but these family groups do have value to more easily understand the complexities of this molecule.
The Cannabis plant produces all of her Cannabinoid in the Acid Form. You know it’s an acid nomenclature when the name ends with an “A”. It starts as CBGA in the plant. The plant then converts this to THCA or CBDA or CBCA. It is a carboxylic acid. Through some sort of oxidation process, could be temperature or chemical, smoking, vaping and baking fits into this. Then the acid turns into CO2 and we have an alcohol grouping this is called the Netural Family. This is the molecule that we love. THC. Also all the others as CBD, CBG, etc.
Through further breakdown, either in Nature as age, light, oxidation, or in our body’s process of breaking complex molecules down to simpler ones, generally done in the liver. These Cannabinoids are known as Metabolites. CBN is one of these metabolites that gives the headache when cannabis is smoked that has been kept too long but when formulated with THC can be beneficial for insomnia.
So far nearly all the research has gone into Neturals. Only within the last couple of years has more research stated to happen.
A 1969 study showed no psychoactive effects from THCA were seen at high doses with monkeys. Same with mice. And dogs. Nothing has come along to disprove this.
We say that THCA is not psychoactive. With the caveat, “as far as we know.” It does not turn into THC in the body. It enters the body as THCA and leaves the body as THCA
THCA suppresses inflammation that is separate from CB1 or CB2 receptors. It seems that the acid of both THCA and CBDA inhibit Cox enzyme that produces pain and inflammation. CBDA has been shown to be a very potent Cox inhibitor
Another THCA study showed that it represses nausea in rats. WARNING: this is not the kindest treatment of laboratory animals. They gave rats lithium chloride that produces the gagging reflux. They then measured how often they gagged. It took 5mg/kg of THC to suppress gagging. THCA repressed nausea at 1/10th of that dose. .05mg/kg. When increased the THCA dose by 10 it did not get any better. In this model, THCA is 10X more powerful as an anti-emetic than THC.
More on THCA in the next blog.