THC and CBD

The golden gate of cannabis

We can attribute the 1964 discovery of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short, to Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovost, Israel.  Before then no one really knew what it was in that cannabis that was turning all the hipsters on back in the day.

Raphael MechoulamYechiel Gaoni
Raphael & Yechiel

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiols (CBD) are the the main active ingredients in the cannabis plant and belong to the cannabinoids family.
These two cannabinoids belong to the class of chemicals called terpenoids.  Other examples of terpenoids are menthol and camphor to name a couple.  These compounds occur as essential oils.
The perfume industry relies on compounds such as these as flavour and odour improvers.  If you've ever smelt a fresh cracked bud you know how much perfume cannabis gives off.

Kush Perfume is a real thing.
Unsurprisingly, it's available as a perfume.

The THC is the psychoactive component to the cannabis plant.

THC

It is found in the resin secreted by the glands.  A concentration of the glands is found around the reproductive organs of the plant, meaning the bud of the female plant.

We learned from last week's topic on creativity, that THC serves to block GABA neurotransmitters which normally block dopamine neurotransmitters.  Dopamine is then able to be let out in greater amounts and serves to enhance the "reward" centre of the brain.  The result: one feels high and a beautiful euphoria takes over the brain waves.

But what about the CBD's.

CBD

They weren't studied much until later than the discovery of the THC compound and are increasingly being researched and understood.  There's some pretty marvellous stuff about these compounds.  What's interesting is that CBD is a structural isomer of THC, which means structurally they are the same compound but the atoms of the molecules are arranged differently.  In organic chemistry, if the ring is closed it is a THC, if the ring is open it is a CBD.

Sunil Kumar Aggarwal
Sunil Kumar Aggarwal

According to Dr. Sunil Kuimar Aggarwar, physician and scientist, cannabidiol is starting to be known as having anti-seizure properties as well as pain relieving and anti-cancer properties.
CBD is being used as treatment for diabetic neuropathy, the leading cause of blindness in America, and is shown to protect nerves. (1)

A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013 found CBD to posses medical properties to reduce nausea and vomiting, suppress seizure activity, treat psychosis disorders, inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, combat tumor and cancer cells as well as anxiety and depression disorders.  Although this study was done on animals, it's pretty compelling!

What's also interesting is the interaction between THC and CBD.  It seems that CBD modulates and reduces the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of THC.  Acting as a buffer, higher CBD make it desirable for persons who want the medicinal value from cannabis but do not want the disassociated high that comes with using it.    

On it's own, CBD is not intoxicating.  The CBD do not travel on the same neuropathways as THC and therefore do not have the same result.  Amazing how such a small different as open or closed ring in the organic compound can react in the body so differently.   The love is always in the details!

(1) http://www.livescience.com/24553-what-is-thc.html
(2) https://www.fullspectrum.com/facts-about-cbd/