- 11/09/2021 -

The Nature of Full Spectrum: Cannabinoids

The science of cannabis can often feel… complicated. Even with a background in chemistry, sifting through research papers and lab reports hardly seems like an approachable way to learn about the products we’re interested in. With CBD education at the heart of this blog, we wanted to take some time to expand on what Full Spectrum cannabis is, and what the benefits are.

Here at LoFi, we make most of our products with a Full Spectrum CBD extract, which is full of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. While we’re hoping to cover the latter two in the future, we thought it would be important to break down some of the more common cannabinoids and what we know about them so far. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what Full Spectrum is and why it matters.

There are hundreds of known cannabinoids, ranging from the popular THC and CBD to the up-and-comers like CBG, CBN, and CBC. Each cannabinoid has a unique effect on the body and when combined with the rest of the plant’s beneficial compounds, work together in producing an entourage effect. It’s a bit like an orchestra where many different musicians and instruments come together to produce a unique sound and experience.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemicals found within the sticky plant resin of cannabis plants. You may also see them referred to as phytocannabinoids, which just specifies that the compounds have originated from a plant, unlike endocannabinoids that are produced by our bodies. These substances are known to interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) through a series of receptors and transmitters that help to keep our bodies in homeostasis, or balance. This system contributes to everything from our sleep cycles to managing pain, mood, appetite, memory, stress, and immune responses.

Since this is a much larger topic, we’ve spoken more about the ECS and its impacts on the body here.

Not all extraction types are created equal, especially when it comes to cannabinoid content. For example, a CBD oil created with Full Spectrum CBD extract will be full of these cannabinoids, while CBD products created with CBD Isolate will have none. For more information about the differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate, check out our post here.

Cannabigerol Acid (CBGA)

CBGA, often referred to as the “mother cannabinoid,” is vital to creating the cannabinoid profile of the cannabis plant. Think of it as a building block for all the other cannabinoids. Through a series of chemical reactions, CBGA is converted into cannabinoid acids (like THCA or CBDA), depending on which enzymes came together to create the CBGA in the first place. These acids, when interacting with heat, turn into more familiar cannabinoid forms (like THC or CBD). To summarize, without CBGA, cannabinoids like THC and CBD wouldn’t exist as we know them.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

While most of the time CBGA will transform into THCA and CBDA, occasionally it will become CBG. This chemical is considered to be a minor cannabinoid, especially because it can be hard to find within older and more developed plants.

More research needs to be done in order to understand the effects CBG has on our bodies. Some initial studies have suggested that CBG may help treat IBS, diabetes, metabolic disorders, colon cancer, and neuroinflammation. However, this research isn’t enough for us to make any substantial health claims.

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid (THCA)

THCA is a precursor to THC, which converts into the more familiar cannabinoid when triggered by heat. This transition can happen instantly, like when cannabis is smoked, or over time if plant material is left to sit in a warmer temperature. On its own, THCA is not psychoactive. Regardless, even in small quantities, it has been shown to interact with the body’s ECS system. Whatever tiny amount of THCA remains after the initial heat reaction is capable of having a physiological impact. THCA may help account for some of the anti-inflammatory and nausea reducing properties of general use. It may also help treat seizures, though more research is needed before we can say for certain.

Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9-THC / THC)

Delta 9-THC, often referred to as THC, is one of the most well-known cannabinoids and the one that causes feelings of being high. It mainly interacts with the ECS’ CB1 receptors, which are largely found within the brain and nervous system. These receptors are associated with decreasing pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8-THC)

Delta 8-THC, from what we know, is very similar to regular THC. The difference, however, seems to lie in the potency of the cannabinoid. While this compound is still psychoactive and will produce that high feeling, it seems ‘toned down’ compared to the effects Delta 9-THC. This could be a positive, however, for possibly reducing the undesirable side effects of regular THC use, such as drowsiness or paranoia.

Tetrahydrocannabivarinic (THCV)

THCV, on the other hand, seems to accentuate the effects of THC, resulting in a shorter, higher energy high. Some studies have shown that THCV may act as an appetite suppressant and could be potentially used to treat obesity and diabetes. However, unlike how regular THC binds to CB1 receptors to activate their effects, THCV appears to act as a CB1 antagonist. This means that it could block the receptor instead, further accentuating some of THC’s less desirable effects.

Cannabinol (CBN)

When THC is heated and exposed to C02, it becomes CBN. CBN, while having mild psychoactive effects, won’t produce the same kind of high that THC does. While it’s said to possibly help with sleep, more research needs to be conducted before we understand its full affects.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)

Not unlike THCA, CBDA is a precursor form of CBD, converted into the more familiar cannabinoid through heat exposure. Unlike THCA, however, little to no CBDA is left over after conversion happens, which makes it less available through more standard consumption. It can, however, be found in things like creams and tinctures. Some research suggests that CBDA has anti-inflammatory properties, and may be useful as a treatment for nausea and anxiety.

Cannabodiol (CBD)

Not unlike THC, CBD contributes to the plant’s therapeutic properties. However, it doesn’t produce the same kind of high. So far, studies have suggested that CBD can help with everything from mental health disorders to autoimmune diseases, gut disorders, metabolic syndromes, and cardiovascular dysfunction.

Since this is a much larger topic, we’ve spoken more about how CBD interacts with our bodies here.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

Like CBD, CBDV, does not appear to produce a high. Unlike the differences between THC and THCV, CBDV seems to have more in common with CBD’s therapeutic benefits. While we still have a way to go before understanding exactly what CBDV does, there’s been some research to suggest it could potentially help with epilepsy, nausea, and Rett Syndrome.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

As with other cannabinoids, CBC, begins as an acid before transitioning into its more common form. While it doesn’t seem to interact with CB1 receptors much, it does seem to play a role with CB2 receptors, which may be why it doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. It’s also been seen to interact with TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors, which are linked to pain management.

TL;DR

More research needs to be done in order to fully understand the various cannabinoids and the way they interact with our bodies and the ECS system. However, the more we learn, the more we’ve been able to understand these different compounds and how they influence our physiology. While we can’t go into every single cannabinoid right now, we hope this short list provides a better understanding of what exactly goes into a Full Spectrum CBD product.





- 11/09/2021 -

The Nature of Full Spectrum: Cannabinoids

The science of cannabis can often feel… complicated. Even with a background in chemistry, sifting through research papers and lab reports hardly seems like an approachable way to learn about the products we’re interested in. With CBD education at the heart of this blog, we wanted to take some time to expand on what Full Spectrum cannabis is, and what the benefits are.

Here at LoFi, we make most of our products with a Full Spectrum CBD extract, which is full of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. While we’re hoping to cover the latter two in the future, we thought it would be important to break down some of the more common cannabinoids and what we know about them so far. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what Full Spectrum is and why it matters.

There are hundreds of known cannabinoids, ranging from the popular THC and CBD to the up-and-comers like CBG, CBN, and CBC. Each cannabinoid has a unique effect on the body and when combined with the rest of the plant’s beneficial compounds, work together in producing an entourage effect. It’s a bit like an orchestra where many different musicians and instruments come together to produce a unique sound and experience.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemicals found within the sticky plant resin of cannabis plants. You may also see them referred to as phytocannabinoids, which just specifies that the compounds have originated from a plant, unlike endocannabinoids that are produced by our bodies. These substances are known to interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) through a series of receptors and transmitters that help to keep our bodies in homeostasis, or balance. This system contributes to everything from our sleep cycles to managing pain, mood, appetite, memory, stress, and immune responses.

Since this is a much larger topic, we’ve spoken more about the ECS and its impacts on the body here.

Not all extraction types are created equal, especially when it comes to cannabinoid content. For example, a CBD oil created with Full Spectrum CBD extract will be full of these cannabinoids, while CBD products created with CBD Isolate will have none. For more information about the differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate, check out our post here.

Cannabigerol Acid (CBGA)

CBGA, often referred to as the “mother cannabinoid,” is vital to creating the cannabinoid profile of the cannabis plant. Think of it as a building block for all the other cannabinoids. Through a series of chemical reactions, CBGA is converted into cannabinoid acids (like THCA or CBDA), depending on which enzymes came together to create the CBGA in the first place. These acids, when interacting with heat, turn into more familiar cannabinoid forms (like THC or CBD). To summarize, without CBGA, cannabinoids like THC and CBD wouldn’t exist as we know them.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

While most of the time CBGA will transform into THCA and CBDA, occasionally it will become CBG. This chemical is considered to be a minor cannabinoid, especially because it can be hard to find within older and more developed plants.

More research needs to be done in order to understand the effects CBG has on our bodies. Some initial studies have suggested that CBG may help treat IBS, diabetes, metabolic disorders, colon cancer, and neuroinflammation. However, this research isn’t enough for us to make any substantial health claims.

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid (THCA)

THCA is a precursor to THC, which converts into the more familiar cannabinoid when triggered by heat. This transition can happen instantly, like when cannabis is smoked, or over time if plant material is left to sit in a warmer temperature. On its own, THCA is not psychoactive. Regardless, even in small quantities, it has been shown to interact with the body’s ECS system. Whatever tiny amount of THCA remains after the initial heat reaction is capable of having a physiological impact. THCA may help account for some of the anti-inflammatory and nausea reducing properties of general use. It may also help treat seizures, though more research is needed before we can say for certain.

Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9-THC / THC)

Delta 9-THC, often referred to as THC, is one of the most well-known cannabinoids and the one that causes feelings of being high. It mainly interacts with the ECS’ CB1 receptors, which are largely found within the brain and nervous system. These receptors are associated with decreasing pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8-THC)

Delta 8-THC, from what we know, is very similar to regular THC. The difference, however, seems to lie in the potency of the cannabinoid. While this compound is still psychoactive and will produce that high feeling, it seems ‘toned down’ compared to the effects Delta 9-THC. This could be a positive, however, for possibly reducing the undesirable side effects of regular THC use, such as drowsiness or paranoia.

Tetrahydrocannabivarinic (THCV)

THCV, on the other hand, seems to accentuate the effects of THC, resulting in a shorter, higher energy high. Some studies have shown that THCV may act as an appetite suppressant and could be potentially used to treat obesity and diabetes. However, unlike how regular THC binds to CB1 receptors to activate their effects, THCV appears to act as a CB1 antagonist. This means that it could block the receptor instead, further accentuating some of THC’s less desirable effects.

Cannabinol (CBN)

When THC is heated and exposed to C02, it becomes CBN. CBN, while having mild psychoactive effects, won’t produce the same kind of high that THC does. While it’s said to possibly help with sleep, more research needs to be conducted before we understand its full affects.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)

Not unlike THCA, CBDA is a precursor form of CBD, converted into the more familiar cannabinoid through heat exposure. Unlike THCA, however, little to no CBDA is left over after conversion happens, which makes it less available through more standard consumption. It can, however, be found in things like creams and tinctures. Some research suggests that CBDA has anti-inflammatory properties, and may be useful as a treatment for nausea and anxiety.

Cannabodiol (CBD)

Not unlike THC, CBD contributes to the plant’s therapeutic properties. However, it doesn’t produce the same kind of high. So far, studies have suggested that CBD can help with everything from mental health disorders to autoimmune diseases, gut disorders, metabolic syndromes, and cardiovascular dysfunction.

Since this is a much larger topic, we’ve spoken more about how CBD interacts with our bodies here.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

Like CBD, CBDV, does not appear to produce a high. Unlike the differences between THC and THCV, CBDV seems to have more in common with CBD’s therapeutic benefits. While we still have a way to go before understanding exactly what CBDV does, there’s been some research to suggest it could potentially help with epilepsy, nausea, and Rett Syndrome.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

As with other cannabinoids, CBC, begins as an acid before transitioning into its more common form. While it doesn’t seem to interact with CB1 receptors much, it does seem to play a role with CB2 receptors, which may be why it doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. It’s also been seen to interact with TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors, which are linked to pain management.

TL;DR

More research needs to be done in order to fully understand the various cannabinoids and the way they interact with our bodies and the ECS system. However, the more we learn, the more we’ve been able to understand these different compounds and how they influence our physiology. While we can’t go into every single cannabinoid right now, we hope this short list provides a better understanding of what exactly goes into a Full Spectrum CBD product.