Cannabinoid / Terpenoid Table
Here’s a handy table of the huge numbers of helpful, medically-beneficial compounds (in particular cannabinoids and terpenes/terpenoids) found in marijuana.
Please note: this table is not at all a comprehensive guide to the cannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids found in the cannabis plant (there are 150 cannabinoids, around 220 terpenes and terpenoids, 20 flavonoids and around 200-200 other compounds in the cannabis plant). We have listed the most ones most commonly found, and the ones that seem to most definitively have a physiological and potential therapeutic effect …
Cannabinoids and Terpenes in the Cannabis Plant
Free Cannabinoid and Terpene Guide
Please remember that concentrations of the above cannabinoids and terpenes vary not only from strain-to-strain, but from phenotype-to-phenotype as well, as some strains result in different types of marijuana. To give an example, growing 12 Super Silver Haze (50% Haze, 25% Skunk, 25% Northern Lights) seeds will likely lead to 6 Haze-dominant phenotypes and 3 Skunk- and 3 Northern Lights- dominant phenotypes, all with different concentrations of various cannabinoids and terpenes.
The skill of the grower, the environment the cannabis was grown in, the age of the cannabis, at what stage of flowering the flowering plant was harvested, and how well the marijuana flowers were dried and cured also affect a plant’s cannabinoid and terpene concentrations. The only way you’re going to find out the best medicine for you is by seeing if you qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card with Leafwell and testing out some dispensary medications as soon as possible!
A lot more research is needed in order to prove cannabis’s efficacy for many conditions, especially regarding the different cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles of particular strains, products and extractions, and how they can help (or hinder) treatment. You may well still need other medications (cannabis is not an anti-rejection tablet for organs, for example, although CBD has shown some interesting results in this area as well!), and in some instances cannabis may interfere with existing conditions and medications. Always ask your primary care physician if you are unsure about anything!
Another issue is comorbidity. You may suffer from one condition that merits the use of cannabis, and another where cannabis may not be as useful, e.g. schizophrenia, although there are studies taking place with CBD being a potential antipsychotic. However, where cannabinoid-based medications may prove useful is in reducing the number of other medications needed, especially potentially dangerous and/or addictive ones such as opioids, benzodiazepines and powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This potentially means less need to balance out a range of pharmaceutical drugs so that they do not react negatively with each other and the body.
Please remember that much of what we write is theory and supposition. For many of these conditions, the efficacy of cannabis has not yet been proven-beyond-doubt – a fact exacerbated by the fact that there are not a huge number of properly-controlled studies out there. Hopefully, this will change in the future, and the federal government decides to take a more neutral, objective and, perhaps most importantly, scientific stance on cannabis and research into cannabinoid-based medications.
If you need to know more about dosing medical marijuana, check out our guide. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at using medical marijuana and utiliing these cannabinoids and terpenes in context.
10 Things to Consider About Dosing Cannabis
- Cannabinoids can be biphasic, meaning they can have different effects at different dosages. THC can beat anxiety in low dosages, or prompt anxiety and paranoia in high dosages. THCV is anti-psychoactive in low doses, but is psychoactive in higher doses. Lower doses of CBD can be relaxing, but higher doses can cause an “up” or energetic effect in some (although some have reported more sedative-like effects – much seems to depend on the miixture of terpenes and personal physiology).
- Cannabinoids and terpenes usually work better when used in conjunction with one another, both with regards to their safety and their efficacy. The is known as the entourage effect.
- Those with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia ought to avoid psychoactive cannabinoids. CBD, however, could be very useful. In some cases, using one specific cannabinoid or set of cannabinoids may be useful.
- Terpenes influence how cannabinoids behave. CBD mixed with linalool, myrcene and humulene could be more relaxing. CBD mixed with limonene, pinene and beta-caryophyllene could produce more energizing effects.
- The flavor of cannabis is important, too. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory effects all of their own, and play an interesting role in the cannabis plant’s survival as well.
- The big six cannabinoids are cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabinol (CBN). These are themost prominent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Their acidic counterparts (CBGA, THCA, CBDA, CBCA and THCVA) and beta-caryophyllene could be considered honorary additions to the big six. THC and CBD are the two main cannabinoids. All other cannabinoids are sometimes referred to as minor cannabinoids.
- It is important to understand what the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) does and why cannabis may work for so many conditions. The ECS is intimately involved in homeostasis (the physiological processes that keep the body healthy and in balance, including sleep-wake cycles, pain sensation, appetite regulation and more) and inflammatory responses. When the body suffers from an injury or certain kinds of diseases, the ECS becomes dysregulated, and inflammatory responses go haywire. The theory is that ingesting the correct naturally-derived cannabinoids in the right dosage can help regulate the immune system and return the body back to its ideal, balanced state.
- Everyone has their own individual endocannabinoid system (ECS). Whilst there are patterns in terms of which cannabinoids are useful for specific conditions, there is still much to be learnt in this area, and some people may require a different set of cannabinoids from another person due to individual differences in their ECS.
- Ask yourself, “What do I hope to achieve with cannabis?” Do you want to be able to eat a full meal? Get a proper 6 – 8 hours of sleep? Walk a mile with much less pain in your joints and muscles? Set yourself some simple goals, and see how you can use medical cannabis effectively to achieve them.
- Cannabis can interact with the following treatments and medications, and may be useful in reducing or replacing intake in some instances:
- Opioids and opiates – Opioid receptors and CB1 receptors are found in the same areas of the brain. There is some evidence showing that cannabinoid receptors talk to opioid receptors, sending them signals and influencing how they behave to some extent. Cannabis can increase the body’s sensitivity to opioids, meaning it can increase opioids’ ability to depress the central nervous system (CNS) as well. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to taper opioid use when starting cannabinoid treatment.
- Benzodiazepines, barbiturates and other sedatives – Cannabinoids, in particular CBD, can desensitize the liver enzyme cytochrome P450 (CY P450). Many drugs in the benzodiazepine and barbiturate classes are processed via this enzyme, so desensitizing it by CBD use can potentially cause dangerous buildups. CBD can be an alternative to benzodiazepines, but care must be taken when reducing intake of any sedatives, as it can be dangerous & deadly.
- Alcohol – There is a moderate interaction between alcohol and cannabis. Cannabinoids can reduce the body’s ability to process ethanol.
- Warfarin – There are reports that CBD can interfere with blood platelet production and increase the chances of bleeding complications. This is not ideal when using bloodthinners like warfarin.
- Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects can be useful for treating out-of-control inflammation, but in cases of some types of viral infection, this inflammatory response can be useful in expelling the virus. Care must be taken when using cannabis when suffering from a viral infection.
- Those undergoing immunotherapy should avoid cannabinoid treatment, as this may weaken the immune system to too great an extent.