What is a cannabinoid?

Cannabinoids are a group of various chemical compounds found in the Cannabis plant that act on specific receptors present on cells, modulating the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Different strains of the plant offer varying levels of cannabinoids and affect dosing when used for medicinal purposes.

When found in nature, cannabinoids are formed in the sticky resinous structures known as glandular trichomes. A single trichome gland can contain a variety of cannabinoids, and recent research has shown that these cannabinoids work together to produce their medical benefits.

To date, there have been over 480 natural components found within the Cannabis plant, of which 66 have been classified as cannabinoids. The most well known and researched of these, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (?9-THC), is the substance primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of Cannabis.

The effects of THC are believed to be moderated by the influence of the other cannabinoids within the plant, all of which can be separated into various subclasses.. These are as follows:

  • Cannabigerols (CBG);
  • Cannabichromenes (CBC);
  • Cannabidiols (CBD);
  • Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC);
  • Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabinodiol (CBDL);
  • Other cannabinoids (such as cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabielsoin (CBE), cannabitriol (CBT) and other miscellaneous types).

What is the difference between cannabinoids?

The major differences between the cannabinoids are determined by the extent to which they are psychologically active. Three classes of cannabinoids, the CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to have such an effect. THC, CBN, CBDL and some other cannabinoids on the other hand are known to be psychoactive to varying degrees.

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