An eminent herb with a lot of controversy surrounding it, marijuana has become a strong influencer in the treatment of a number of health conditions. Although the cannabis plant remains subject to heated discussions, thorough research has unlocked its hidden potential and more and more organizations have begun experimenting with the plant. Mainly used to reduce pain, inflammation, and heal severe conditions such as dementia and cancer, cannabis can be found in different types of products.
Countries, where the herb has been legalized for medical purposes, provide products such as CBD oil, CBD tinctures, THC extracts, and more. Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids found in marijuana and are the compounds which provide the health benefits to humans. Research may have popularized these two cannabinoids the most but they are certainly not the only ones found in cannabis. The plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids, each carrying its own and unique set of characteristics.
A less talked about cannabinoid, CBL is among the compounds that have an influence on the body and can be used for a range of purposes. What is CBL’s nature and how does it affect the body?
The CBL cannabinoid
CBL or cannabicyclol is one of marijuana’s cannabinoids and can be mostly found in older cannabis which has been stored for longer periods of time. Typically, strains with larger doses of CBC will have higher quantities of CBL and the cannabinoid has been described as a degradation product of CBC. However, the CBL produced in cannabis’ trichomes will always be limited. For this reason, CBL remains in the list of the least researched cannabinoids unlike others such as CBD, THC, or CBN.
When exposed to light and heat, CBC transforms into CBL. When CBC is subject to UV light or oxygen, the creation of CBC takes place. Cannabis contains even fewer amounts of CBL-A (the acidic version of CBL) and the decarboxylation of the cannabinoid is extremely difficult as it is among the most resilient of cannabinoids. In other words, creating the active version CBL and CBL-A is a tough task.
Both CBC and CBL are found in smaller quantities when compared to THC and CBD but when cannabis ages, its concentration of CBD and THC decreases, while that of CBC and CBL increases. The cannabinoid dates back to the BCE era when it was discovered in China. From a structural perspective, CBL is unique as it does not possess any double bonds.
CBL and the human body
Unlike THC, the cannabinoid which made marijuana so popular in the first place, CBL is not psychoactive, meaning that it will cause no mind-altering experiences when consumed. Research has not been able to establish with certainty the medical potential of the cannabinoid. However, its combination with other cannabinoids, it is believed to create an “Entourage Effect” in the body or provide enhanced benefits thanks to the successful cooperation of different cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids play a special part in our endocannabinoid system as they communicate with certain receptors, which are responsible for different functions. Through this process, cannabinoids play the role of keys which unlock the receptor’s true potential. The CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body are responsible for things like mood, pain perception, appetite, sleep, and hormone release. When analyzed, CBL has shown abilities to communicate with these receptors and trigger certain responses.
When researched alongside other cannabinoids, CBL has shown positive signs of reducing inflammation and potentially stopping cancer cells from growing. It has been tested in regards to reducing prostaglandin production but there is no evidence of the cannabinoid being successful at preventing the process.
Although the cannabinoid has been linked to having some medical uses for the human body, insufficient research prevents it from being actively used on patients. Rather, countries which have legalized cannabis for medical use have placed a focus on the use of CBD and small amounts of THC to treat a number of conditions. Cannabis treatment is successful in a range of areas where standard medication fails. In addition, the plant is non-addictive and provides no health threatening side-effects when consumed appropriately, making it a safe and preferable alternative.
With the more liberal approach to cannabis seen across the world in recent years, expectations are that CBL will receive the deserved research and its true potential will finally be unlocked.