When it comes to cannabis research, scientists have only scratched the surface. There is much to be discovered about the resin, the cannabinoids, and the more than 400 chemical compounds found in each plant.
Researchers at universities, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies are studying different cannabis strains at the molecular level to understand how its components work separately, together, and as the plant matter changes. This is no small feat considering the legalities and paperwork involved with handling a Schedule 1 drug.
As the cannabis industry evolves in the United States, we can expect to learn more about this versatile plant and its many uses. To get a general idea of what is happening in labs and classrooms across the country, here are some of the key components and properties of cannabis. Download our checklist that breaks down the physical and chemical properties of cannabis.
Cannabinoid Research from THCa to CBN
Medical scientists and drug manufacturers often seek to isolate the specific compounds that cause a desired effect, such as reducing nausea or stunting tumor growth. From there, a drug or treatment is developed that uses a concentrated amount of the compound. Once the drug is approved, cannabis manufacturing facilities begin producing these products for patients.
Many of today’s studies focus on the compounds that are present only in cannabis, which are known as cannabinoids. While there are 66 known cannabinoids, the compounds below are getting the most attention.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCa) – Before the cannabis plant is dried, it contains a cannabinoid called THCa. Unlike THC, THCa does not cause users to feel high. It does, however show potential in decreasing inflammation in patients with chronic lupus and is used to reduce seizures.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – This cannabinoid, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, occurs as the plant is dried and heated (e.g., smoked or cooked). THC is the ingredient that causes mind-altering effects in those who consume it. It also has therapeutic benefits, such as decreasing nausea and stimulating the appetite, which is helpful to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. THC is also said to help patients with ALS, arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease. PTSD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) – Patients use CBD to relieve pain, prevent nausea, and reduce inflammation. Researchers are studying CBD as a treatment for mood disorders, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Cannabichromene (CBC) – After THC, CBC is the second most concentrated cannabinoid found in cannabis. This antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic compound is said to fight bacteria, pain, depression, and migraines. Researchers are also studying whether CBC can stunt tumor growth in cancer patients.
Cannabinol (CBN) – When light and oxygen hit THC, CBN is created. CBN may even boost the effects of THC. This cannabinoid appears to be the key to disrupting seizures and spasms, and it can relieve the painful eye pressure caused by glaucoma. Scientists are considering CBN’s use as an antidepressant and sedative, too.
For the Botanist: Other Cannabis Plant Properties
In addition to cannabinoids, cannabis is comprised of these constituents, according to the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM):
- 27 nitrogenous compounds
- 18 amino acids
- 3 proteins
- 6 glycoproteins
- 2 enzymes
- 34 sugars and related compounds
- 50 hydrocarbons
- 7 simple alcohols
- 13 aldehydes
- 13 ketones
- 21 simple acids
- 22 fatty acids
- 12 simple esters
- 1 lactones
- 11 steroids
- 120 terpenes
- 25 non-cannabinoid phenols
- 21 flavonoids
- 1 vitamins (A)
- 2 pigments
While there is still much to learn about different cannabis strains, cannabis is already showing exciting potential to change the course of medical treatments and perhaps even eradicate certain conditions. It’s also clear that insights from these studies will make cannabis dispensary training vital for more informed purchases. At SIVA Enterprises, we are thrilled that cannabis is starting to get the attention – and the respect – it deserves.
SIVA Enterprises: Experts in Cannabis Business Development
SIVA Enterprises is a full-service business development firm that provides consulting, turnkey management, venture opportunities, and brand acquisitions and licensing to cannabis entrepreneurs across the country. Learn why we have the highest success rate of approved cannabis license applications in the United States. Contact SIVA at (818) 562-3362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.