Jun 9, 2017 12:25 PM

What Are Cannabinoids: Definition, Types, Medical Effects

Cannabis plants are full of different compounds, but cannabinoids are considered to be the most beneficial for treating various medical conditions. These chemical elements interact with the human cannabinoid receptors in cells and can change the neurotransmitter release in the brain.

Scientists have already discovered 113 cannabinoids in marijuana plants that are responsible for different medicinal effects.

For instance, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, causes a psychoactive effect that we consider as the high. Other cannabinoids allow medical marijuana to provide people with the desired relief from the symptoms of numerous ailments.

The effects of cannabinoids on your mind and body are different and depend on their synergy with each other.

Types of Cannabinoids

The most common types of cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC ensures a psychedelic high, CBD can reduce the action of THC and provides anti-seizure and anti-inflammation effects.

THC and CBD: Friendship or Rivalry?
THC and CBD: Friendship or Rivalry?
Nowadays, the THC chemical structure and effects have already been thoroughly explored, while new findings on the CBD features make scientists prefer CBD over THC. Read this article to clarify how these two marijuana components complement or differ from each other.

Creating new cannabis strains, marijuana breeders pay their attention to the content of THC and CBD. Nowadays, you can find weed strains with an extremely high level of THC or CBD on the market. However, there are also other types of cannabinoids that are full of beneficial effects.

Besides THC and CBD, the main classes of cannabis compounds include the following:

  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
  • Cannabitriol (CBT)

What Does CBD Stand For and How Is It Useful in Medicine?
What Does CBD Stand For and How Is It Useful in Medicine?
As we all know there are two main types of cannabinoids in marijuana—CBD and THC. While THC determines the potency of weed strains, CBD has stayed in the shadow for decades.

How Do Cannabinoids Act?

The human brain produces its own cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. This system in your brain ensures control over such important functions of your body as sleep, movement, appetite, and emotions.

Cannabinoids influence special receptors located in your brain, immune system, nervous system, and nerve endings. When cannabis chemicals enter your body, they interact with two types of receptors called CB1 and CB2 receptors.

For example, THC interacts with CB1 receptors located in your brain. These receptors impact your memory and movement so that you can experience the feeling of an uplifting euphoria. In contrast, cannabinol, or CBN, binds the CB2 receptors that are located throughout your body.

What Is Marijuana's THC Molecule and How Does It Affect Your Brain
What Is Marijuana's THC Molecule and How Does It Affect Your Brain
When Dr. Rafael Mechoulam, an Israeli professor of chemistry and laureate of the Emet Prize, first began his study on marijuana in the 1960s, the main problem he faced was legally obtaining the plant for scientific purposes.

Medical Effects of Cannabinoids

The main differences between cannabinoids lie in the degree of psychoactive effects they can cause.

For instance, such cannabis chemicals as CBN, THC, and CBDL provide consumers with a psychedelic high, while others, like CBD, CBG, and CBC, do not contain psychologically active agents.

Apart from its psychoactive influence, THC also has a number of other properties that help relieve chronic pain and stimulate poor appetite.

As for CBD, it will not make you high, but it is effective in reducing stress and muscle spasms. Thus, high-CBD cannabis strains are widely used for treating such debilitating medical conditions as schizophrenia and epileptic seizures even among children.

Though other cannabinoids are less known among marijuana users, they are also beneficial for treating various diseases.

For instance, CBG has been scientifically proven to be effective in reducing intraocular pressure. It is helpful for patients with glaucoma.

Moreover, some cannabinoids can turn into others under certain circumstances. Thus, THC will become CBN under the influence of air. Though each cannabis chemical acts independently, they tend to increase the effects of each other when used in combination.

Generated from THC through the process of oxidization, CBN increases your brain activity. However, together with THC, they induce drowsiness and laziness.

More information on the medical effects of other cannabinoids can be found in the article below.

5 Cannabinoids (Beside THC and CBD) You Should Know About
5 Cannabinoids (Beside THC and CBD) You Should Know About
Most medical cannabis patients are familiar with THC and CBD—the two most common chemical compounds you can find in a cannabis plant. But there are a lot more to cannabis: MJWellness will tell you about five cannabinoids that are less famous but still extremely beneficial to our health.

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