What are cannabinoids?
With all the buzz around cannabis, CBD and cannabinoids I’m sure many of you have wondered...what exactly are cannabinoids? In this blog we’re going to quickly and simply break down what cannabinoids are to give you a better understanding that is clear and straight to the point!
Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in the human body (endocannabinoids) and in cannabis plants (phytocannabinoids). These compounds interact with our Endocannabinoid system (ECS) and trigger various physiological responses.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is probably the most well-known compound due to its psychoactive or intoxicating effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) seems that it may play one of the most significant roles in the plant’s medicinal benefits. Some other key phytocannabinoids you may have already heard of or probably will very soon are:
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
CBD does not cause intoxicating effects, CBD is often isolated in some form for medicinal use but many studies suggest that other phytocannabinoids are mutually beneficial and provide the best results when utilized together such as in broad spectrum, full spectrum or whole plant form. CBN has been recently gaining more interest with medical researchers and has shown natural sedative properties that appear to potentially have analgesic, anti-swelling and anti-convulsive properties. CBG has been shown to help fight symptoms of swelling, discomforts, occasional nausea and some research has shown it may potentially reduce intraocular eye pressure caused by glaucoma. CBG also has promising research on it’s positive effects on digestive issues and mood support!
Endocannabinoids on the other hand are the cannabinoids we produce naturally within our own body including anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), they play roles in metabolism, food intake, memory, sensory perception, central nervous system development and more.
Endocannabinoid system and receptors....
We have cannabinoid receptors throughout our body as a part of our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). These receptors (CB1 & CB2) are found all throughout from cell membranes to our central nervous and immune systems to various organs. As external environments and stress factors change the ECS helps the body maintain a stable internal environment or homeostasis. Phytocannabinoids work by imitating the endocannabinoids produced naturally in the body. Our receptors, when activated, trigger various chemical, natural and physiological effects on how we feel...mind, body and as some would say, spirit.
So in conclusion phytocannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis or hemp plant and endocannabinoids are produced naturally by our body. There are well over 100 cannabinoids being studied today and the research will soon be endless, stay tuned for upcoming blogs diving deeper into the Endocannabinoid System and its importance in our daily lives!