People are looking at organic alternatives to over-the-counter medicines for the relief and treatment of illnesses. Many natural solutions promote fewer adverse effects in comparison to their synthetic counterparts. One class of substances to note in this regard is phytocannabinoids.
What are Phytocannabinoids?
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are naturally-occurring in Cannabis Sativa plants. These cannabinoids go through a decarboxylation process wherein the plant removes a carbon atom from its carbon chain. Without decarboxylation, users may not experience the effects of cannabis-infused products.
Several of these cannabinoids are in the viscous resin, called trichomes, which come from the Cannabis Sativa plant. This resinous material is also rich in terpenes, which are the compounds responsible for the distinct smell produced by the plant.
What are the Components of a Phytocannabinoid?
At the time of writing, scientists discovered over 480 compounds in the cannabis plant. However, researchers have only identified over 60 of these substances as cannabinoids. Furthermore, there are about 110 components of phytocannabinoids known to be quite useful to patients. These components include:
- Cannabinol (CBN) – Used as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and sedative.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – Promotes several benefits, including a reduction in pain, inflammation, anxiety, and depression.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) – Used to help treat pain, inflammation, and fungal viruses.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – Useful as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, but it can also induce euphoric highs while relieving pain.
Knowledge of these components will help you understand the use, benefits, and risks of cannabis-infused product consumption. You can learn more about these elements by checking this blog.
How Do Phytocannabinoids Work in the Body?
Phytocannabinoids work by interacting with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), and it’s responsible for the normal function of different physiological and psychological responses like appetite, pain, and sleep.
Particular scenarios may bring an imbalance to these receptors, causing abnormal activity in the mental and physical state of a person. For example, the imbalance of functions of the receptors in the ECS may cause insomnia, chronic pain, or loss of appetite.
Phytocannabinoid components, like CBD, work by restoring balance in the ECS receptors. In doing so, users of cannabis-infused products can gain different health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Phytocannabinoids?
The health benefits of phytocannabinoids depend on the main component of the product. For instance, CBD oils may promote distinct benefits that might not be in THC-infused products. Nonetheless, these substances offer several health advantages to the body, including:
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder wherein activities in the brain become abnormal. These instances can cause seizures and other forms of unusual behavior. Some epileptic patients might even experience loss of awareness and memory when the abnormal brain activity strikes.
CBD, which is a phytocannabinoid component, can promote anti-seizure properties to help treat epilepsy in children. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even announced that the government association approves the use of CBD prescription drugs to help address two rare forms of epilepsy. These two types of epilepsy are Dravet Syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
CBD’s anti-seizure characteristics may also provide users with protection from other neurological disorders, such as neuronal injury and neurodegeneration.
Glaucoma is an eye disorder wherein the optic nerve in the eye receives damage over time. Its symptoms include reduced peripheral vision and pain in the temple. Failure to treat this ailment can lead to total blindness.
Some phytocannabinoid components like THC in marijuana may help reduce the intensity of glaucoma. A studysuggests that consuming 18 to 20 mg of THC six to eight times per day may help reduce eye pressure by 3 to 5 mm Hg. Furthermore, the continuous use of THC-infused products may maintain the reduction until glaucoma disappears.
Be wary as some marijuana strains may promote adverse effects, such as:
- Dry eyes and mouths
- Mood swings
- Reduced mental clarity
- Respiratory problems (when smoked)
Consult your doctor first before attempting to consume THC to help in the relief and treatment of glaucoma and other ailments. Otherwise, you might be putting yourself at a high risk of accruing more adverse effects.
Relieves Anxiety and Depression
Phytocannabinoids may also reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. As per a post from Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety affects 18% of people in the US, whereas depression affects 6%. The report also shows that CBD oil can help in improving both problems.
CBD has properties to help relieve psychological disorders, including anxiety and depression. But, you may also use CBD-infused products to help improve the effects of stress and other mental discomforts.
Use the right phytocannabinoid to help reduce specific anxiety disorders, such as:
- General anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Symptoms from the withdrawal of substance abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The effects of anxiety and depression may attack without warning. Hence, it can be in your best interest to use fast-acting CBD products on the market.
For example, consider vaping CBD because the bioavailability of the product allows the body to absorb the phytocannabinoid component quickly. You may feel the calming effects of CBD vapes in as quick as a few minutes after consumption.
- Relieves Arthritis
Arthritis is an ailment wherein a person experiences swelling and tenderness in one or several joints. Some symptoms from this disorder include pain and stiffness of the joints. This health condition may worsen over time if left untreated.
Phytocannabinoids, especially products infused with either CBD or THC, can help in the relief of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. One study from the Journal of Experimental Medicine publication has shown that CBD can reduce chronic inflammation and pain in laboratory mice and rats.
THC consumption may also provide similar effects. However, arthritis patients should be wary of the psychoactive effects of consuming THC, along with other potential adverse effects.
Phytocannabinoids are substances that work with the body’s ECS to promote several health benefits. Use the right phytocannabinoid-infused product to improve health conditions like anxiety, depression, arthritis, and epilepsy, among many others. However, always consult your doctor first before consuming phytocannabinoids to reduce the risks of potentially-severe side effects.