- What are cannabinoids?
- How many cannabinoids are there?
- What do cannabinoids do to the body?
- Effects of cannabinoids
The more we get a biochemical look at cannabis, the easier it is to appreciate just why this one plant could be so valuable. Thanks to the relaxed laws surrounding cannabis, scientists are finally free to explore everything from physiological to psychological effects. The main area of focus for researchers? Cannabinoids. What are examples of cannabinoids and how do cannabinoids work?
What exactly are cannabinoids?
Scientifically speaking, cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) are a class of chemical compounds that are produced by the cannabis plant. However, recent research has found that other plants may have phytocannabinoids as well, such as broccoli and cocoa. Cannabinoids are the reason a good strain will leave you feeling euphoric and giggly. On the same note, cannabinoids are also to thank for giving you the munchies if you’ve been dealing with nausea or helping you to feel a little less pain.
How many cannabinoids are there?
So far, researchers have managed to narrow down and isolate 113 unique cannabinoids in cannabis. However, there could definitely be more, especially considering some cannabinoids that have been discovered are just altered versions of parent cannabinoids. Here is a look at some well-known cannabinoids:
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
- CBD (cannabidiol)
- CBC (cannabichromene)
- CBN (cannabinol)
- CBG (cannabigerol)
What do cannabinoids do to the body?
For obvious reasons, people have used and consumed cannabis for a really long time, either for recreational or therapeutic purposes. However, the discovery of endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the human body has led to new perspectives on why cannabinoids from plants affect the human mind and body the way they do.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body actually creates its own endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids from plants are almost identical to these chemical compounds our own bodies produce. The ECS has an abundance of receptors, CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, that seem to respond in different ways depending on what endo or phytocannabinoids are introduced and wherein the body the receptors are located.
Different Cannabinoid Effects
Without question, two of the most widely known cannabinoids are THC and CBD simply because these are two of the most abundant found in plants that belong to the cannabis family. Two main types of cannabis have become popular in describing potential effects: Indica and Sativa. However, different cannabinoid effects are possible with each; some are intoxicating, some are therapeutic, and some may even be a mix of both. Take a look at some effects of the more noteworthy cannabinoids:
- THC: Psychoactive and binds to CB1 receptors; may have antiemetic, analgesic, and relaxing properties
- CBD: Non-intoxicating and no direct affinity to cannabinoid receptors; may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties
- CBC: Non-intoxicating and CB2 agonist activity; may offer important gastrointestinal properties
- CBG: Non-intoxicating; may offer analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties
- CBN: Mildly psychoactive and binds to CB2 receptors; may offer immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties
Cannabinoids: The Science Behind Cannabis
While most people who enjoy cannabis simply know that the plant does something desirable to their mind and body, it is the cannabinoids that deserve most of the glory. Every strain of cannabis can have its own chemical composition of cannabinoids and terpenes, which makes exploring the world of cannabis a highly interesting journey.
Ready to start your own journey of cannabinoid exploration? Take a look at our menu at Eskar. We’re happy to be on the front line of revolutionizing cannabis use.