There you are, at dinner with three trendy friends who are "California sober". The conversation around cannabis begins and people start throwing out terms as if they are chemists. You quietly nod along wondering when Christy got a PHD in chemistry and how John is suddenly the expert on seizure therapy methods (he doesn’t even have a seizure disorder).  You thought you had it all figured out when your brief case drug dealer broke down the meaning of sativa and indica. Unfortunately, the hipsters will always have a way of showing you up with their knowledge; but we’re gonna at least try to break down some of the main things to know. 


The cannabis plant is crazy. There are hundreds of little chemicals in it acting on our bodies Endocannabinoid system. This system regulates our homeostasis and keeps the body in a happy well balanced place. The main cannabinoids you have been hearing about, THC and CBD, are the most abundant within the plant. THC gets you high. CBD does not. THC federally illegal. Hemp derived CBD is federally legal. Let’s break these two down a little further...


CBD is a chemical in the cannabis plant that won’t get you high. CBD has been shown to help fight pain, inflammation, and seizure disorders. It has also been shown to increase sleep and decrease anxiety. CBD that is hemp plant derived and contains less than .3% THC is federally legal.


There are obviously many benefits of taking this chemical but it is important to note it is best served amongst its other chemical buddies that exist in the plant. We call this full spectrum CBD. Full spectrum CBD products contain whole plant extract - not just the isolated chemical. The benefits of full spectrum CBD drastically out-weigh the benefits of an isolate product. This is because the plant works best amongst its other chemicals in something called the Entourage Effect.


The crowd favorite chemical is, of course, THC. THC will get you high and (usually) will be a lot of fun. This chemical is not only beneficial for the high, but it has also been shown to help with nausea, appetite, depression, sleep, and pain. THC is still federally illegal but many states are beginning to lessen restrictions around it and many 2020 candidates are running on allowing it to be federally legal and regulated. There is hope.


Some other - lesser known - chemicals in the cannabis plant that we think you will begin to hear about are CBG and CBN. The research is just beginning on these cannabinoids so information and studies are limited. What we know so far sounds promising…


All we know as a fact for now is the CBG and CBN won’t get you high. CBG has shown in some preliminary studies to decrease inflammation, increase appetite, improve immunity, and inhibit tumor growth. CBN shows promising research that benefit sleep, increase bone/nerve growth, increase appetite, and decrease pain. These chemical compounds need a lot more research to completely understand what they are doing to our bodies.


It is intimidating to try and remember all of these chemical compounds and their properties. We don’t think it is necessary for everyone to know every part of the plant and the chemistry behind it. We think it is important to ask the right questions, talk to the right experts, and engage with brands who describe what they provide in laments terms with some paper work to back it up. The world of cannabis research is expanding more and more each day. With this expansion comes much more knowledge for us to try and keep up with the cool kids… or just ask your bud tender.