June 23, 2024
Cannabis Extract

Cannabis Extract: Understanding the Benefits Beyond THC

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has come a long way from being viewed as just an illicit drug. As research into its medical applications has expanded, so too has our understanding of cannabis and its various extracts. While THC is still widely known as the main psychoactive component in cannabis, there are numerous other extracts and compounds that offer therapeutic benefits without the intoxicating effects. Let’s take a deeper look into some of the major cannabis extracts and what they can potentially offer medical patients.

The Rise of CBD

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has arguably become the most popular and widely known cannabis extract in recent years. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis that offers therapeutic relief without psychoactive effects. Early research shows CBD may help address conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and insomnia. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain related to intoxication. Instead, it binds to other receptors that reduce inflammation and pain perception. CBD oil extracted from hemp, which contains only trace amounts of THC, has surged in popularity as a natural supplement. More research is still needed, but CBD holds great potential as an alternative treatment for many conditions.

Understanding Cannabis Extract Variations

While CBD and THC extracts are most commonly known, there are several other lesser-known cannabis extracts that hold promise. CBG or cannabigerol is the precursor compound to both THC and CBD. Early research shows CBG may help relieve inflammation, pain, and symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. CBC or cannabichromene also displays anti-inflammatory activity. THCV or tetrahydrocannabivarin is showing potential as an appetite suppressant and metabolic regulator for conditions like diabetes. Whole plant extracts standardized for multiple compounds may offer added therapeutic benefits compared to single molecule extracts through synergistic interactions. As extraction technologies continue to advance extraction methods like supercritical CO2, more beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant can be safely and effectively utilized.

The Standardization of Cannabis Extracts

As the medical cannabis market expands, standardization of cannabis extracts is becoming increasingly important. Without standardized concentrations of active compounds, it can be difficult for patients, doctors, and researchers to determine appropriate dosages and ensure consistent product quality. Various groups are working to address this issue. The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia has published quality control monographs to ensure consistent and reproducible cannabis preparations. The American Herbal Products Association issues Good Manufacturing Practices for herbal products. At the same time, chemical profiling of unique cannabis varieties by third-party laboratories brings greater transparency to users. Moving forward, concentration ranges for major compounds in extracts along with terpene profiles can help ensure patients know exactly what they’re getting in their medication. The future promises greater consistency and choice in high-quality, standardized cannabis extracts.

Medical Developments on the Horizon

As research into Cannabis Extract compounds rapidly expands, new extracts and delivery systems are being explored to maximize therapeutic benefits. Water-soluble cannabinoids extracted from cannabis utilizing microencapsulation technology allow greater bioavailability compared to oil-based extracts. Novel strains are also being bred specifically for high concentrations of CBD, CBG, and other beneficial compounds. Topical products delivering cannabis extracts directly to localized problem areas are showing promise as well. And pharmaceutical companies are exploring synthetic and semi-synthetic versions of cannabis compounds to better control dosage standardization. With increased funding and approved clinical trials, cannabis research holds great potential to develop new plant-based and targeted pharmaceutical medicines that can help address a wide range of health conditions.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it