*Trial BITES excluded

What’s the deal with cannabinoids, and why do people talk about them?

on March 23, 2023


Older dog laying on rug in kitchen with food bowl taking a tincture from dropper

Popular phytocannabinoids (phyto meaning cannabinoids from a plant) are CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, etc., and many more are currently being studied. To date, there are about 120 identified cannabinoids. They are naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant (and some other plant species outside cannabis). They interact nicely with the body’s endocannabinoid system and EVERY other messenger and receptor network throughout the body, providing many benefits. So, we get to say the plants support our body – plant medicine! 

There is a robust discussion of why cannabis (including hemp) was eliminated as a medicine back in the 30’s after thousands of years as a top 3 medicinal and it falls outside this post’s scope but it’s a damn good conversation about how politics and big money shaped the demise of holistic wellness including cannabis, replacing it with ‘treat a thing’ vs. practice holistic wellness. There’s a place for both pharma and holistic wellness and we’re having a talk about it over this and the next posts.

In this post, we will talk about four non-intoxicating cannabinoids CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC. We are going to give clarity on what these do within the body. And in my next post, I will talk about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), what it is, what it does, how it works, and specifically, how these cannabinoids help regulate the system.  

It is important to know these compounds, CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC, work together in what is lightly known as the intra-entourage effect, which is the enhancement of biological activity by syner- gistic interactions between different phytocannabinoids, and they support core wellness as they support the body’s endocannabinoid system – they work best when given consistently. I think of them as a ‘baseline’ or a ‘start here’ and build as needed to create optimal wellness for your animals, and dosing may change with age or other life events. Let’s explore the uniqueness and the wellness and find some common ground that gives you all, as guardians, the information to question or to construct what your animals need and I’ll work to reduce the confusion surrounding building wellness into your day to day.  It’s never just ONE thing.  We’ll bring the CBD and friends out from the dark and shed light these unique and helpful compounds.

Starting with the raw form of these cannabinoids, known as acids, and then getting into the cannabinoids themselves, and quickly look at what all these do:


CBGA, CBNA, CBDA, and CBCA are the raw form, or ‘the before’ heat/age/light, compound. They also supply anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and other supportive benefits and do it with VERY small amounts needed. Important to note that CBGA is the ‘mother cannabinoid’ or the raw form of either CBG, or it is converted through another naturally occurring process to THCA, CBDA, or CBCA. There are no intoxicating results from the acids (not even THCA). Once CBGA turns to those compounds, any other acidic precursors can turn to the more well-known compounds through either heat, light, age, or a combination of any or all of those depending. THCA, particularly upon heating, will turn to THC; THCA, upon age/light, will convert to CBNA. CBN is NOT intoxicating even though converted through THCA/THC, so there is no way to ‘get high’ for you or your animal with CBN.  


CBD molecule

CBD is the most widely known cannabinoid and is recognized by most people. It’s known as a promiscuous cannabinoid, meaning it goes where it’s needed in that it works with other systems in the body to help reduce inflammation and reduce the stress response. Studies show that CBD is responsible for supporting the following:



  • Reduces seizures in therapeutic doses
  • It reduces depressive symptoms in various cases and has shown much promise in reducing anxiety.
    • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties both topically and orally administered – dogs have a uniform distribution of CB1R and CB2R in their epidermal layers with 2-3 layers of cells (humans have 6-7 layers of cells); with this knowledge, it’s likely with some dog skin inflammation, CBD when administered both topically and orally could provide significant relief.
    • Reduction in pain associated with arthritis and joint disease (DJD)
    • Antioxidant properties
    • It can kill some harmful bacteria, and research is underway pushing on that power against even antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
    • It can aid in protecting against neuro-inflammation, which is present in Canine Cognitive Disorder (Sundowners)


        CBG molecule

        Known as the ‘mother of cannabinoids .’ It’s unique in the way it acts with serotonin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (those hormones responsible for fight, flight, or freeze). And even in very small amounts, it has some pretty great potential. Some studies have shown CBG is responsible for supporting the following:

        • Probable in helping fight neurologic and movement disorders
        • Help reduce symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel diseases and colitis.
        • Antibacterial properties in many studies
        • It’s showing promise in fighting certain types of cancers, with more and more work on the horizon.
        • There is great potential as an additional or solitary fighter again chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in animals and humans without the intoxicating effects of THC, for example.


          CBN molecule

          The first cannabinoid was discovered, and it’s thought that the CBN may have converted from aged and light-exposed THC. It was found to be non-intoxicating once converted and still has loads of benefits, and being studied more due to its benefits. CBN works on CB1R, the receptor, and that receptor is highly localized in the peripheral and central nervous systems of animals (even humans). CBN also works on CB2R, mainly in the immune and lymphatic systems.


          • CBN has some topical uses for burns or things like psoriasis in animals; any skin ailments that result from a compromised immune system could be a candidate for CBN used topically. Dogs and cats, specifically for this conversation, have a more uniform distribution of the receptors in the epidermal layers than humans. This opens the door differently for treating skin ailments in animals and a difference in how we can work with their systems to reduce stress and improve skin quality.  
          • CBN has anti-convulsive properties and can further support CBD to aid in reducing seizures
          • CBN protects mitochondria within the neurons – it has neuroprotective properties and prevents the mitochondria from curling up and losing function, and it aids in preventing cognitive decline and keeping things like movement-related disorders at bay (not cerebellar hypoplasia which is a development vs. a degenerative condition);
          • CBN promotes rich deep sleep quality without being a sedative and further supports joint pain reduction, some analgesic benefits, and anti-inflammatory benefits for chronic pain alleviation. CBN is showing promise for treating glaucoma as it lightly acts as a vascular relaxant which allows better blood flow and can reduce intraocular.


            Many studies are underway with this one, and it’s abundant in some cultivars.

            • CBC works with TRP channels – TRP channels are fundamental for numerous biological processes
            • Significant analgesic properties
            • Combined with CBG, CBC has been shown to have antitumor effects against gastrointestinal cancer cells – obviously, more studies are underway with this one.
            • Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties

            This is a super short overview of what the more prevalent cannabinoids can do as plant medicine, and it’s pretty phenomenal we get to work with this plant to create a path to wellness. Creating that path is important to us, and at LIX, we think of all the cannabinoids as building blocks to our animal’s overall well-being. We think of it as foundational to supporting our body and our pets in the most basic way, as our endocannabinoid system works to balance all the systems. Stressors occur, and we’re lucky to have a compound that supports as a foundational block as we build the rest of our wellness protocol through food, hydration, and emotional, mental, and physical well-being. We are here to help create the shift our animals need and be aware of the energy put out along with the wellness we’ve mentioned in this and the last couple of posts, and you’ll see a truly well and peaceful animal.  

            As usual, we’re here for you.




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