Cannabinoids 101

Most cannabis users understand that there is a relationship between THC and a euphoric feeling. What most users do not know is that marijuana is more complex than that superficial relationship. Cannabinoids are responsible for the different effects you feel after consumption — not just THC alone.

Cannabis contains more than 500 natural compounds, 85 of which cannabinoids account for. Some cannabinoids have psychoactive properties, while others don’t.

Two of the most notable cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is a psychoactive that is responsible for producing the feeling of euphoria. However, THC is capable of triggering anxiety and paranoia.

On the other hand, CBD is a non-psychoactive with relaxing properties. CBD is valued for its medicinal benefits. CBD is what causes you to feel the “couch lock” effect. The sedative properties of CBD make it optimal for use during the evening or nighttime hours.

Cannabinoids interact with specific receptors that are located throughout the body. The CB1 receptors are located within the nervous system — in the brain — and on nerve endings, while CB2 receptors are located in the immune system. Both receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system: the group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and nervous system that are responsible for functions such as appetite, emotion, movement, memory and sleep.

After consuming marijuana, THC stimulates your endocannabinoid system by attaching to your CB1 receptors. The CB1 receptors are responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. This is why you feel feelings of euphoria.

The other major cannabinoid, CBD, attaches to your CB2 receptors and acts on your immune system. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and is responsible for feelings of relaxation.

Every cannabinoid is unique. A cannabinoid may have properties that alleviate pain and illness, or it may have properties that promote healing and well being. With at least 85 cannabinoids, there are a vast amount of combinations that can be created. This is why we see the creation of new indicas, sativas, and hybrids every year.


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Author: Patrick Thompson

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