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What Are Cannabinoids & How Do They Work?

By McKayla D  •  0 comments  •   6 minute read

What are cannabinoids and how do they work

Welcome, curious readers, to an exploration of the captivating world of cannabinoids! If you've ever wondered what makes cannabis so special or how they produce so many benefits, you're in for a treat.

In this blog, we will demystify the science behind cannabinoids and uncover the secrets of their enchanting powers. From CBD's soothing embrace to THC's mind-bending properties, we'll delve into the inner workings of these fascinating compounds and how they interact with our bodies.

So, fasten your seatbelts, open your minds, and get ready to discover the incredible story of cannabinoids and how they work their wonders. Prepare for a journey that will leave you both enlightened and intrigued!

What Are Cannabinoids?

In recent years, there has been growing interest and discussion surrounding cannabinoids and their potential therapeutic effects. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the Cannabis plant, and they interact with the body's endocannabinoid system to produce various physiological and psychological effects.

Over 100+ cannabinoids have been discovered in cannabis plants, the most well-known being delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The reason CBD and THC well-known is that they or the most concentrated compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Different Cannabinoids in the cannabis plant

However, over recent years, other popular cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and CBC have become popular. These compounds are also produced in high amounts, but not as high as THC and CBD.

Each offers fantastic benefits that can aid our bodies in different ways. Later in this blog will discuss the benefits that each cannabinoid has to offer. However, let's first discuss how our bodies work with cannabinoids.

How Do Cannabinoids Interact With The Body?

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex network of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. The ECS is in charge of helping to keep the body balanced or in homeostasis. It does this by aiding in many processes, including appetite, mood, sleep, discomfort, and so much more.

This system produces endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds produced by the body, whereas cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant are called phytocannabinoids.

When cannabinoids are introduced into the body, they interact with the receptors in the ECS. The two main types of receptors are known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system. While CB2 receptors are mainly present in the immune system and peripheral tissues.

Each cannabinoid interacts differently with these receptors. The interaction between cannabinoids and these receptors triggers a range of biological responses.

THC, for instance, binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, leading to the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis use. This interaction can affect mood, memory, coordination, and appetite.

CBD, on the other hand, does not directly bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors but can modulate their activity. It interacts with other receptors and non-receptor systems, such as serotonin and vanilloid receptors, to produce its effects. CBD has been studied for its potential therapeutic properties related to sleep, mood, and discomfort.

Factors Affecting Cannabinoid Effects

Now that we understand how the cannabinoids interact with the ECS, let's discuss the different factors that may affect how well the cannabinoids may help. We will focus on potency and amount used, method of consumption, and personal factors.

Potency and Dosage

Let's start with how the potency and amount used can affect the outcome. If you were to take a small dosage of the product, you would see a small potential improvement.

Person taking a dose of cannabinoids

The same goes for potency. Taking to high of a dose could cause some adverse effects. Please consult our doctor before starting use or increasing your dosage.

Consumption Method

Next up is the method of consumption. Some of the most common ways to use cannabinoids are through capsules, edibles, oils, tinctures, topicals, and vapes.

Each of these methods of consumption comes with different absorption rates and, in turn, different lengths of lasting effects. For example, capsules and edibles will take longer to feel the effects, but once felt, the effects will last longer because of the digestive process. On the other hand, vaping these cannabinoids produces the opposite effects. The effects are felt quickly but also end quickly.

Individual Factors

The last thing we will discuss is the individual factors. Everybody and every person is so different. Weight, metabolism, and body composition are just a few things that will determine how well these cannabinoid products will work for you.

Someone who weighs more than 200 pounds may need more CBD than someone weighing 130 pounds. Also, those with a faster metabolism may need to take CBD more frequently because their body uses it faster.

What Are The Individual Benefits of Common Cannabinoids?

Researchers have found many benefits related to each cannabinoid we listed above. Let's discuss what some of those may be.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is mostly known for the "high" feeling the users get. This is a benefit to some, but there are other benefits as well. THC may help relieve discomfort and stimulate your appetite. These benefits are some of the main reasons that medical marijuana is highly sought after.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

The cannabinoid CBD does not produce the same "high" feeling as THC as it is non-psychoactive. CBD has three main benefits it is known for. CBD has the potential to help improve sleep, discomfort, and mood.

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CBN (Cannabinol)

CBN is found in low levels in the cannabis plant. CBN is produced as THC ages and is exposed to light and air. CBN is most known for helping with sleep. It may help by improving sleep quality and helping calm the mind to get to sleep.

CBC (Cannabichromene)

CBC is newer to the cannabinoid market. CBC has been found to aid in relieving discomfort. It does this by stimulating the CB1 receptor, and the body releases its natural endocannabinoids to potentially help relieve discomfort.

CBG (Cannabigerol)

The last cannabinoid we will discuss is CBG. CBG is also known as the "mother of all cannabinoids" because it is the precursor to all other cannabinoids. The main health benefit of CBG is its ability to potentially help with the user's mood. CBG may also help with sleep and discomfort, although these are not the main benefits.

Just because these compounds have benefits doesn't mean that they do not have side effects. For example, THC may cause difficulty thinking, impaired memory, altered senses, changes in mood, etc. We recommend taking a look into the side effects of the cannabinoid you want to use when purchasing them.

More research is coming out about these cannabinoids and their potential benefits. Remember, It is important to know that this information could change based on research findings.

Research and Future Perspectives

While cannabinoids show promise for various medical and therapeutic applications, it is essential to continue research to better understand their mechanisms of action and potential side effects.

The field of cannabis research is still relatively new, and more rigorous clinical trials are needed to establish the efficacy, safety, and optimal dosages of cannabinoids for specific conditions.

Additionally, the legal landscape surrounding cannabinoids varies in different countries and regions, which can affect the accessibility and availability of these compounds for medical use.

Legality Of Cannabinoids

The legality of these cannabinoids is important to discuss. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalized products of the industrial hemp plant, including CBD, in the United States as long as the controlled substance contains less than 0.3% THC. Any more THC than that is illegal at the Federal level.

Each state and local government has its own laws and regulations regarding these cannabinoids. We recommend researching cannabis laws before purchasing any cannabis products.

Sum It Up!

Cannabinoids are a fascinating group of compounds that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system to produce a range of effects. While THC is known for its psychoactive properties, CBD has gained recognition for its potential therapeutic benefits.

As research and understanding of cannabinoids continue to advance, we may unlock even more of their medical and therapeutic potential. However, it is crucial to approach cannabinoids with caution, relying on scientific evidence and medical guidance to ensure their safe and effective use.

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