What Are Cannabinoids and Are They Important?

What Are Cannabinoids and Are They Important?

CBD or Cannabidiol - It's no secret that everyone is talking about it, and it's getting more and more popular by the day. What a lot of people don't know is that there is a lot more than just CBD inside the hemp plant. There are tons of cannabinoids which can be beneficial, but here's the question - are they important?

The word cannabinoid refers to a type of compound found in the cannabis plant, like CBD. We have all probably seen a bunch of terms that begin with canna so I am going to break those down:

Cannabis: A type of plant that includes both hemp and marijuana.

Cannabinoid: A compound that is found in the human body and cannabis plant.

Cannabidiol: A cannabinoid that is produced in cannabis.

Cannabinoids are important because they interact with our endocannabinoid system (the system responsible for things like homeostasis) these cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid receptors. To understand the effect of cannabinoids, we need to look at what we already produce in our own bodies.

Endocannabinoids

These are cannabinoids that we produce ourselves inside our bodies. You may or may not have heard of anandamide or the bliss molecule. When we exercise we create a lot of anandamide and it creates what we know as a "runner's high". 

When endocannabinoids are created in our body that is our bodies way of trying to keep us in homeostasis. Once made, the endocannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors and transmit information to cells. This message articulates to the cell what to do to return the body to homeostasis.

How does cannabis work with all of this? Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids that are created in plants) act very similar to how endocannabinoids act. Understanding phytocannabinoids gives us a better comprehension of the properties of cannabis.

Phytocannabinoids

Cannabinoids are an active compound in the cannabis plant. Phytocannabinoids play a huge role in the effects of cannabis. In the cannabis plant, cannabinoids are in trichomes or tiny hairs. Other plants such as black pepper, cacao, also contain cannabinoids.

Phytocannabinoids act cannabinoids in the way that they are produced in the body. Like endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors to produce various effects.

 

 

 


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