Cannabinoids are the chemicals in marijuana responsible for the therapeutic and medicinal benefits commonly attributed to cannabis. You might know that some cannabinoids get a user high when they take cannabis, but did you know not all cannabinoids get you high. In fact, each cannabinoid serves its own purpose and many works together with your body to provide a balanced set of optimal effects.
There are hundreds of types of cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. THC (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive properties, producing the “high” feeling that cannabis users associate with smoking weed. There are no unnecessary cannabinoids, though researchers are working to discover the medicinal benefits of many of the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids attach to receptors in your brain’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), allowing the body to process cannabinoids naturally. However, the cannabinoid THCA must undergo decarboxylation before actively converting it into THC. This is a process of heating, generally accomplished through smoking of the buds. This decarboxylation process also produces Cannabinol (CBN), known for its sedative properties.
What are the cannabinoids THC and CBD? First, when considering THC vs CBD, you have to understand the benefits of both. THC is the psychoactive component of the marijuana plant that produces a “high’ feeling, where CBD does not cause intoxication and is primarily used for its medicinal properties.
Both THC and CBD are widely enjoyed as a sleep aid and is also used to relieve anxiety, migraines, depression, dermatitis, PTSD, PMD, PMS, insomnia, chronic pain, and arthritis. However, it should be noted that THC and CBD achieve the desired results in different ways. For instance, THC’s effects are much more intense, intoxicating, and provide deep euphoric sensations. On the other hand, CBD acts as a modulator of interactions of other cannabinoids with your body’s ECS.
While there is a difference between CBD and THC, the two complement each other well, and when combined with CBN, can produce the entourage effect, a soothing full-bodied high. In addition, recent research has shown that CBD can moderate any possible adverse effects of THC.
As previously mentioned, there are many different types of cannabinoids. However, only a handful are significant to discuss when discussing cannabis plants.
Below is a list of some of the main cannabinoids found in marijuana:
As previously mentioned, there are over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. However, only a handful is of any importance to weed smokers. For the most part, you would only need to know what THC and CBD are to understand the effects of cannabinoids. The THC and CBD make up of a particular cannabis strain will largely determine the quality of effects a user will experience.
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Mackie, K. (2008, May 20). Cannabinoid receptors: where they are and what they do. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18426493/
Carter, A. (2019, May 17). A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System. Healthline. Available At: https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system
Rettner, R. (February 28, 2019). THC vs. CBD: Which Marijuana Compound Is More Beneficial? Live Science. Available At: https://www.livescience.com/64886-thc-cbd-marijuana-therapeutic-effects.html
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