Cannabinoids are talked about a lot when it comes to answering the question, “what is cannabis?” But what are cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are the main ingredient in cannabis that provide its benefits. They are the main ingredients that lead to the effects generally associated with marijuana. However, there are many different cannabinoids in a cannabis plant, and they each serve their own purpose. Let’s take a closer look at what cannabinoids are and what they do when taken.
How Many Cannabinoids Are There?
Marijuana contains 66 known kinds of cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the two main cannabinoids that people think of when it comes to cannabis.
THC (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid that does most of the work, while all the other cannabinoids are essentially THC’s assistants. Cannabinoids attach to receptors in your brain’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), leading to a euphoric feeling. THC is THCA while it’s raw in the marijuana buds. Once you heat marijuana in a process called decarboxylation, THCA converts to THC. This decarboxylation process produces the cannabinoid, Cannabinol (CBN), known for its ability to induce users’ sleepiness.
THC vs. CBD
So, what’s the difference between CBD and THC? While THC induces euphoric and intoxicating effects, cannabidiol (CBD) does not— that’s the main difference between THC and CBD.
CBD still provides the benefits of stress relief and relaxation, but users won’t get high. Keep in mind that the benefits of CBD alone aren’t as substantial as that of THC. You can take CBD by itself, but it works best when taken with products that THC.
Studies have shown that CBD can moderate any possible adverse effects of THC. It also shows to reduces THC-associated inflammation from chronic use. So it is not necessarily a question of CBD vs THC, but more of a quest to find the perfect pairing to create the best experience.
Although there are many cannabinoids in a cannabis plant, most are not as important as the main ones. Below are some of the most relevant cannabinoids when it comes to marijuana.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabicyclol (CBL)
- Cannabielsoin (CBE)
- Cannabitriol (CBT)
- Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
In Conclusion on Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids such as THC are what get people high when taking marijuana. They interact with the body’s system to produce a wide range of effects. It is known that cannabinoids work together to provide a balanced set of effects.
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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
Cesarone, Travis. (2020, February 6). GPR55 – HOW CBD PREVENTS THC-INDUCED INFLAMMATION. Available at: https://cannabislifenetwork.com/gpr55-how-cbd-prevents-thc-induced-inflammation/