Cannabinoids are active compounds that are found in the cannabis plant and are responsible for its medicinal and recreational properties. You may have heard about the main cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but there are many other cannabinoids that are equally important.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to various symptoms, including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. These work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. To put a complex system simply, they mediate communication between cells, and when there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur.
The endocannabinoid system
When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to. For example, THC binds to receptors in the brain whereas CBN (cannabinol) has a strong affinity for CB-2 receptors located throughout the body. Depending on a cannabis product’s cannabinoid profile, different types of relief are achievable.
Cannabis contains at least 85 types of cannabinoids, many of which have documented medical value.