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Cannabis Class: Chemical Compounds

Cannabis Class: Chemical Compounds

Good-morning Class. Thank you once again for attending! Last class we learnt about the different species, genders, basic chemical make-up and uses for Cannabis. If you have not yet read the first Cannabis Class you can do so here – Cannabis Class: An introduction to Cannabis. This week lets delve further into the chemical compounds of the plant and explore “The Entourage Effect”.

 

Cannabis produces over 500 chemical compounds (and counting). We find all of these chemical compounds in the trichomes of the plant. The trichomes are the small white/clear mushroom shaped hairs or other outgrowths from the epidermis of the plant.

 

All 500+ of these chemical compounds that are found in the trichomes can be split into just two categories, cannabinoids and non-cannabinoids.

 

Cannabinoids vs Non-Cannabinoids

 

Cannabinoids;

there are over 120 known cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, below are the major cannabinoids that show up with the highest concentrations and have, in turn, been the most heavily researched;

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabichromene (CBC)

Cannabigerol (CBG)

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

Cannabinol (CBN)

As we spoke on THC and CBD last class lets further explore these other cannabinoids.

 

 

Non-Cannabinoids;

Most cannabis research that has been conducted so far, has been focused on cannabinoids, so when it comes to non-cannabinoid compounds, most information is purely anecdotal or based off of individual case studies. It is believed that there are over 300 non-cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis plant, these are the Flavonoids & the Terpenes (aroma, flavour & colour).

 

Flavonoids;

Flavonoids are various compounds found naturally in many plants, fruits and vegetables. They’re also in plant products like wine, tea, and chocolate. There are six different types of flavonoids found in food, and each kind is broken down by your body in a different way. However, there are some flavonoids that are known to be found only within cannabis. These are known as Cannaflavins.

Aside from their antioxidant and proposed anti-inflammatory properties, flavonoids within the cannabis plant are thought to boost general wellness. In particular, certain cannabis flavonoids are being examined for their mood and memory-enhancing potential. When it comes to cannabis, those are very desired strain attributes, and it begs the question of how significant flavonoids effects different strains of marijuana.

 

Terpenes;

Terpenes are the aromatic molecules that stimulate the signature scent of cannabis. Terpenes, much like flavonoids, are not exclusive to cannabis, they are also found in fruit herbs and other plants. These compounds originated as a defence mechanism within the cannabis plant. The bitter smell produced, wards off animals and insects. The terpenes protect the cannabis plant from harmful climates such as damaging sunrays, heat and wind. They also aid in helping the plants absorb water and keep hydrated.

There are over 100 terpene compounds that have been found in the cannabis plant. Every strain of marijuana features a slightly different terpene profile; however, the flavour profile is not the only thing the terpenes provide us. These molecules appear to influence the entire cannabis experience including certain physiological effects in the mind and body. Yes, THC plays a fundamental role in getting high but it doesn’t explain why different strains have different effects.

Eight of the most common terpenes found in cannabis are;

 Terpene Name Scent Effects Produce strains such as
MYRCENE
earthy, citrus,  cloves
couchlock, or relaxing effects
White Widow
ALPHA-PINENE
pine
alertness effects, boosting your energy, improving focus and memory
Blue Dream
LIMONENE
sweet citrus
elevate mood and relieve nausea, stress and depression
Super Lemon Haze
LINALOOL
floral
sedative effects and enhance mood
Amnesia Haze
HUMULENE
earthy or hops
could have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects
Gorilla Glue
BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE
spice or peppery
relieve stress
Sour Diesel
OCIMENE
sweet-scented earthy
anti-viral and antiseptic effects
Chernobyl
TERPINOLENE
floral, pine
provide relaxation
Pineapple Kush

 

“The Entourage Effect”

“It’s almost as though nature has produced a perfect plant with a perfect combination of terpenes and cannabinoids in order to aid a variety of medical conditions and bring your body back into balance.” Nick Tennant, Founder & CTO of Precision Extraction Solutions

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the cannabinoids and non-cannabinoids (Flavinoids and Terpenes) within the cannabis plant, we can think about how all of these compounds work in conjunction with each other.

The entourage effect is what occurs when different cannabis compounds like terpenes, THC or CBD combine together to create an effect that is more powerful than what they’d produce on their own. Although this is an unproven theory at this time, it could be the reason each strain of weed can have a slightly different terpene profile and physiological effects like relaxation or focus. 

 

 

There is a mountain of research that is yet to be done on this incredible plant and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m very excited to learn more.

 

Alright you lot,

You ain’t getting off easy like you did last class, your homework today is to smoke some weed and to take a brief moment to think about the amazing things this plant has done and could do in the future with more testing and rese- BOYS IN THE BACK THE BELL DOES NOT DISMISS YOU, I DO…. umm where was I.. yeah.. think of the possibilities with more testing and research!

 

Alright, you can go now ;)

 

Peace,

Milo.

 

 

Resources:

https://www.thrillist.com/health/nation/what-chemicals-are-in-weed-the-substances-in-cannabis-and-what-they-do

https://highgreennews.com/article/all-about-cannabis-trichomes-incredible-chemical-factories-marijuana

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwyhxIThFmg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcX16TCc-ls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoUSiEruGHY

https://potguide.com/blog/article/how-many-terpenes-in-cannabis/

https://highgreennews.com/article/all-about-cannabis-trichomes-incredible-chemical-factories-marijuana

https://www.cannainsider.com/reviews/flavonoids-terpenes-cannabinoids/

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-are-flavonoids-everything-you-need-to-know

https://www.zamnesia.com/blog-flavonoids-terpenes-terpenoids-n301


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