Cannabinoids & Effects
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the active compounds found in hemp plants. There are many different cannabinoids in the hemp plant, each with their own effects and uses. In total, there are 113 different compounds that can be deemed cannabinoids, and Carolindica works with the five of the most useful and effective cannabinoids available: CBD, CBG, CBN, HHC, Delta 8, and THCO. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, and they each have their own unique advantages and benefits. In addition, each cannabinoid works in tandem with others to provide powerful entourage effects.
If you find a cannabinoid that sounds like it will help you, we have added links included to their respective products!
The Endocannabinoid System
The central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, contains cannabinoid receptors which are a part of the endocannabinoid system. The two major receptors are the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids are produced naturally in the body, the two key types being anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana mimic these and other endocannabinoids, leading to their variety of effects. For example, Δ-9 & 8 THC mimics AEA, and CBD mimics 2-AG.
CB1 is mainly found within the CNS (brain and spinal cord), and CB2 is found outside of the CNS (or apart of the peripheral nervous system). Cannabinoids that interact strongly with these two major receptors are often considered psychoactive.
Cannabinoid receptors are located all over your brain and body, and can cause different effects and behaviors depending on which part of the body the receptors are involved. The endocannabinoid system manages functions such as appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory.
Which are psychoactive?
Cannabinoids that are psychoactive have the ability to cause a change in perception and cognition. Weed is the most well known psychoactive cannabinoid and it its actual name is Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9 THC ). Δ-9 THC is still illegal federally, but Δ-8 THC was made federally legal with the 2018 Farm Bill.
Cannabinoids can also be non-psychoactive, like the popular cannabinoids CBD (Cannabidiol) and CBG (Cannabigerol). While they are defined as non-psychoactive, cannabinoids like CBD and CBG can still have an effect on the mind and mood and may help to lower anxiety. There are also cannabinoids like CBN that are classified as psychoactive, but they do not produce a “high” like products containing THC. This is due to the fact that CBN binds well to the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, causing a mild intoxication. CBN, in fact, is known for its sedative effects, and can be used by itself or in combination with other cannabinoids (using the Entourage Effect) to help ensure one gets a good night's rest.
The Entourage Effect
The Entourage Effect is the theory that each different cannabinoid assists the others in affecting the body, boosting the effects overall. There is substantial evidence backing the entourage effect and the interaction between different cannabinoids. Carolindica tries to take advantage of the entourage effect as much as possible by offering a variety of different cannabinoid blends, such as the Daytime Blend or Mr. Sandman Sleep Blend. The effects of combining multiple cannabinoids at once are much more powerful than trying them separately, so blends can be much more potent.
Before we go deeper into each of the cannabinoids, there is one other variable involved with hemp products- Terpenes.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are naturally present in hemp flower, and are responsible for the variety of different flavors and effects that can be found in cannabis. Varying levels of terpenes are the reason that different strains of cannabis flower can smell completely different from one another and provide different effects, even when the THC concentrations are similar. There is also evidence of terpenes assisting in the entourage effect, causing the effects of other cannabinoids to be stronger. There is some evidence that suggests terpenes themselves can help with anxiety reduction and relaxation, which is one of the reasons Carolindica infuses all of their products with natural terpenes, to help enhance effects. Terpenes such as linalool may give a relaxing effects, while terpenes such as myrcene may enhance psychoactive effects. Terpenes can also provide a natural way to infuse flavors into concentrates or edibles, as just like everything else we work with, it started out as a plant! Carolindica uses premium terpenes in all of our products, to enhance effects and/or add flavor.
The Big Six
The Big Six major cannabinoids are the six most researched and most promising cannabinoids for medical benefit. The six are: CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV, and THC. Each of these cannabinoids is effective for different uses by themselves, and works very well in conjunction with the other cannabinoids due to the Entourage Effect. Even amongst the Big Six, however, there still has not been enough medical research. At this point in time, Carolindica proudly offers a variety of products containing at least one of the Big Six cannabinoids, and are looking to add the last two of the Big Six for sale in the near future.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is perhaps the most common cannabinoid that can be found today. Differing from THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating. It is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in the hemp plant, accounting for typically around 40% of the plant.
CBD distillate is typically a golden color and can range in consistency from an oil to a butter. It can have an earthy flavor, but terpenes may be infused to add additional flavoring. CBD is an antagonist to CB1 and CB2 receptors, so they bind, but reduce effects of Δ-9 & Δ-8 THC when they bind to these receptors.
CBD binds efficiently to the TRPV1 receptor, which studies suggest helps with mediating pain, and body temperature. It also binds to 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which may help to relieve anxiety. It's anti-inflammatory properties are sought after, many people use CBG to treat diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease. Research also suggests it could be helpful for the treatment of glaucoma, due to its uncommon ability to reduce pressure in the eye.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is one of the biggest “up and comers” of the cannabinoid industry. CBG has uses that cannot be found from any other cannabinoids, which makes it very helpful for medical research and treatment.
CBG distillate is typically a waxy brown in color and crystallizes easily, usually having the consistency of a butter or a powder. Cannabigerol is considered the "stem cell" of cannabinoids as it can convert to CBD or THC through enzymatic processes. CBG is a partial agonist to CB1 and an inverse agonist to CB2 receptors, where it binds and reverses usual activation effects. This creates effects very similar to CBD.
Cannabinol, or CBN, is a very unique cannabinoid for a variety of reasons. It crystallizes even easier than CBG, so it is typically worked with in an isolate form - making it a fine powder.
Cannabinol forms via oxidation (aging) of Δ-9 THC and CBD, and binds efficiently to CB2 receptors. It maintains 1/4th the potency of Δ-9 THC. As an agonist to CB1 & CB2 receptors, it is psychoactive, and allows for sedation effects that can help improve sleep. Many people currently look to melatonin for a natural sleep aid, but that can affect the quality of sleep and the intensity of dreams, so CBG follows as a great alternative.
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta 8, is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is derived from the hemp plant. Delta 8 is known to be intoxicating.
Delta 8, in its purest form, is a highly viscous, colorless, slightly bitter substance. Δ-8 THC is also a degraded form of Δ-9 THC. It is a partial agonist to CB1 & CB2 receptors like Δ-9 THC, and its slightly different chemical structure can be attributed to a "clearer" high, with less anxiety. Terpenes must be added for flavor, from it's bitterness, and for additional effects. When ingested, its effects become even more similar to ingested Δ-9 THC, as they both convert to 11-Hydroxy-THC in the liver. The effects of delta 8 have not been fully studied, but the future looks quite promising.
Δ-8 THC is found in our gummies, as a tincture, syringe, distillate or in capsules, and in specialty blends ("Daytime", "Nighttime", and "Brainfreeze") for an entourage effect with other cannabinoids.
THC-acetate ester is an analog of Δ-9 THC formed using sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride. It's a strong agonist to CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it an intoxicating cannabinoid.
It's a more potent and a semi-synthetic form of Δ-9 THC, and reported to be borderline psychedelic. It is a prodrug, so it becomes active after the body metabolizes it. Since THCO is found to be 3 times as potent as Δ-9 THC, and 5 times more than Δ-8 THC, we consider it to be recreational, as it delivers the same benefits as Δ-8 THC, but it gives users a stonger "high" and daze.
Our staff and customers that have reported their personal effects with different cannabinoids.