When we say cannabinoids, you say…. what, exactly? Pot? THC? Maybe CBD? Most people have a narrow definition of cannabinoids but there are actually roughly 100 of them—and you find them in cannabis, yes, but also in hemp. (Fun fact: Some of the molecules that bind cannabinoid receptors in echinacea could be called phytocannabinoids.)

And while they have some overlapping properties, each cannabinoid differs in terms of how it affects you when you consume it or rub it on your body via a lotion or cream. While THC has the “euphoric” effect that make you feel a little out of your body, other cannabinoids, like CBG, CBN, and PEA, offer some of the same benefits (like relief from aches and soreness and even helping with quality sleep) sans the “high”. 

That’s why Mab & Stoke chose to source those specific cannabinoids for its Recovery Mab Sticks, Calm Mab Sticks, and Recovery Cream. Read on to learn more about these three cannabinoids in particular, as well as how to optimize their benefits, some common myths to stop believing, and more. 

HIGH-PERFORMANCE VOCAB: 

Cannabis sativa: The species of plant that includes cannabis indica, cannabis sativa, and also hemp

Antinociceptive: A compound found in cannabinoids that is known to block signals that could cause aches and soreness

CB1, CB2, and TRP: Receptors outside of cells that interact with cannabinoids and influence what you may feel as soreness and achiness

CANNABINOIDS TO KNOW: 

CBN: Cannabinol is a breakdown product of THC that has the antinociceptive (ache-relieving) properties sans the high. It’s also great for sleep.

PEA: Palmitoylethanolamide is an endo-cannabinoid. It’s excellent for treating aches and its other effects include mood-elevating activity. 

CBG: Cannabigerol is neuroprotective, decreases soreness, and has shown anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects in preclinical research with no euphoric effects.

THE EXTRACTION PROCESS:

The most popular way to extract cannabinoids is with a method called supercritical fluid extraction (AKA CO2 extraction)

STEP 1: You start with a very viscous but liquid form of extraction.

STEP 2: Next, you distill it to further purify the amount of cannabinoids in the mix. 

STEP 3: You may even distill it again after that.

STEP 4: You isolate the specific cannabinoids you want.

AMPLIFY THE EFFECTS: 

You may have heard that eating an orange is better than simply taking a Vitamin C pill. That’s because the whole food comes in a complex mixture of plant compounds. These phytonutrients have been shown to delay the breakdown of the so-called active molecules (think: that Vitamin C), as well as improve the active molecule’s absorption. 

That’s why Mab & Stoke is embedding cannabinoids in a phytochemical matrix of other potent plant compounds like turmeric, ginger, and ashwagandha—and that’s what amplifies the benefits. If you just dissolved the cannabinoids in olive oil, they wouldn’t work as well.

APPLY IT OR CONSUME IT? 

Apply It: When applied topically, cannabinoids can help reduce soreness and aches both locally and systemically (as they penetrate the skin). Try Mab & Stoke’s Recovery Cream.

Consume it: Edibles, tinctures, and powders tend to be much better for medicinal use because you have longer exposure to the cannabinoids (compared to the quick-hit high you’d get from inhaling them). Try Recovery Mab Sticks or Calm Mab Sticks

The expert: Kevin Spelman, Ph.D., herbalist and molecular biologist based in Ashland, Oregon

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Mab & Stoke products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.