By February 21, 2019 No Comments

Comparing CBD vs CBL shows that the two cannabinoids are actually quite similar. Neither cannabinoid is intoxicating. If so many cannabinoids share common properties, why are they different? We’ll compare and contrast CBD vs CBL in this simple guide.

What is CBL?

CBL’s scientific name is cannabicyclol. It isn’t available in larger concentrations like CBD and THC. You’ll find a little more CBL in strains that also have CBC (Cannabichromene) in larger concentrations.

CBL, regardless of the attention given to a strain during cultivation, is always low. It’s an often ignored cannabinoid.  What’s different about CBL is that its effects can be different when combined with varying other phytocannabinoids and terpenes.

Where does CBL come from?

In the section above, we mentioned CBC. CBL is the result of the degradation of CBC when it’s exposed to light. Oxygen exposure can also help create this transformation.

More about CBL

In comparing CBD vs CBL, it appears that CBL is a rather stubborn phytocannabinoid. CBD can be decarboxylated, but activating CBLa (the raw, inactive form of CBL) is quite difficult. Very little research has been done on CBL to be able to explain why it’s so difficult to decarboxylate.

Some research points toward CBL having anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties.

As a cannabis plant ages, the concentration of CBL can increase slightly.

Why don’t you see CBL isolate products offered? Just as the cannabinoid is difficult to decarboxylate, it’s also hard to extract and even harder to isolate.

What is CBD?

CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp and the second most abundant in cannabis. It’s non-intoxicating, meaning there are no impairing effects. Research on CBD and its potential for supporting health conditions and symptoms positively continues to increase.

Cannabidiol (CBD) in its raw form (inactive) is CBDa. When CBDa is heated, it becomes CBD. CBDa shares the same properties as CBD.

This phytocannabinoid occurs naturally in hemp and cannabis plants. It was first discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams of the University of Illinois. In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam’s laboratory was the first to determine the chemical structure and synthesize CBD.

CBD terms

CBD Structure

Multiple Ways to Take In CBD

One of the biggest differences when comparing CBD vs CBL is that there are far more ways to take in CBD than CBL. Since CBD is much easier to extract and is more abundant, there are more applications for this phytocannabinoid. The most popular way to taken in CBD is CBD oil (tinctures).

Additional methods to receive CBD include:

  • Lotions
  • Salves
  • Creams
  • Health and beauty products
  • CBD vape
  • Crystalline
  • Concentrate
  • Edibles
  • CBD water
  • Inhalers
  • Transdermal patches
  • High-CBD, low-THC cannabis flower
  • Capsules

The number of ways to include CBD into products is increasing. It’s commonly making its way into multiple food items, including at pizza shops, coffee shops and some juice bars.

CBD is also used in a variety of pet products. Pets have an endocannabinoid system as all mammals do. Their bodies are designed to accept cannabinoids the same way that a human body does.

How CBD and CBL Work in the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a complex system. It works with the body’s central and peripheral nervous systems to help maintain balance (homeostasis). Cannabinoids work to activate or stimulate reactions by the cannabinoid receptors that help regulate specific behaviors in the body.

CBD vs CBL in the endocannabinoid system – how these cannabinoids work differently is intriguing. CBD helps to improve how the endocannabinoid system regulates functions in the body. It’s unable to bind to receptors, but can influence them indirectly. One of the jobs of CBD is to prevent FAAH. FAAH is a fatty acid that works in the body to break down anandamide. Anandamide is a cannabinoid made by the body to regulate mood and regulate the experience or intensity of pain.

It’s only estimated that CBL possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Not much is known about this cannabinoid. It’s difficult to guess how it works with the endocannabinoid system past potentially supporting inflammation reduction or inhibiting tumor growth.

cannabinoid receptorsCBD vs CBL Contrasts

One of the main CBD vs CBL contrasts is the lack of research available on CBL. Its full potential is unknown. The evidence showing CBD’s potential only continues to grow.

CBD is much more abundant than CBL. A cannabis plant that is harvested too early may contain CBC, but not CBL as the degradation of CBC has not occurred yet. It’s unknown whether the two cannabinoids can be present together in a strain since CBC degrades and becomes CBL. It’s similar to what happens with THC over time. When THC starts to degrade, it becomes CBN (cannabinol).  If a cannabis strain sits around for a while and starts to make you sleepier than it did before, it’s likely that the THC is converting to or has converted to CBN.

CBD vs CBL – Which is better for the Body?

It’s hard to say which of these cannabinoids is better for the body due to the lack of research conducted on CBL. There are more types of CBD products available, but CBL may be naturally available in multiple cannabis strains. CBD is CBD no matter what plant, hemp or cannabis, it’s derived from.

Is the fact that more CBD products being available a signal that it’s a superior cannabinoid to others? It could be, but research has been hindered so much by prohibition that the full potential of every cannabinoid/phytocannabinoid in these plants remains unknown. Since CBL does have anti-inflammatory properties, why not combine it with CBD for additional anti-inflammatory potential?

CBD tincture and CBD vapeClosing Thoughts

It’s hard to distinguish much of a difference between CBD vs CBL just because we don’t know much about CBL yet. Like other cannabinoids/phytocannabinoids, it could have far more potential for supporting healthy functions than initial (and minimal) research tells us. CBD has been getting all of the attention lately, and even its true potential isn’t fully known yet. As barriers regarding research come down, we may finally be able to know just how beneficial cannabinoids can be for the entire body.

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