What are Cannabinoids? Do You Know the Basics?

We talk a lot about CBD, what it is, and how it works in your body. I mean, that makes sense, given that we’re in the CBD biz.

You may already know that CBD’s a cannabinoid, but what are cannabinoids? And what makes them so darn special?

This may even help you better understand how CBD works in the body! Read on friend.

What are Cannabinoids?

As we said, CBD is a cannabinoid. It’s one of the over 113 that have been found in the cannabis plant. Some other well-known cannabinoids are:

So, what exactly are they?

Cannabinoids form a diverse group of molecules that all share some common characteristics. They’re chemical compounds that interact with the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain to elicit some sort of response or change. There are two types of receptors:

  • CB1 – found mostly in the brain
  • CB2 – found all around the rest of the body

Cannabinoids are classified as either endogenous (produced naturally within the body) or exogenous (produced outside of the body). Yes, your body naturally produces them, and they’re also found in plants. That includes hemp. When they come from plants they’re actually called phytocannabinoids. The ones produced by the body are called endocannabinoids.

Other plants that produce cannabinoids include the purple coneflower, the electric daisy, and even some sunflowers!

Placing them into History

Cannabis has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years, but that didn’t mean people understood just how it worked, or knew anything about cannabinoids.

Research into the pharmacology of individual cannabinoids is relatively recent. In fact, it really didn’t start until the 1940s. The first cannabinoid identified was CBN, discovered by British chemist Robert S. Cahn in 1940. Two years later, American chemist Roger Adams discovered CBD. 

Working from this research, Israeli professor Raphael Mechoulam dug even deeper and identified the atomic structure of CBD in 1963, then later did the same for THC. Since then, scientists have managed to isolate over 100, identifying their unique characteristics and what they’re useful for! #GoScience!

Different Cannabinoids = Different Impacts

When you use cannabis, be it CBD or THC, they interact with the different receptors in your body. Different cannabinoids have different effects.

For example, CBD can have an impact on things like pain or stress. THC can help with appetite loss or fatigue, CBG on glaucoma, and CBC on depression.

We ran across this awesome infographic from Leafly that we thought was definitely worth a share. It’s a great resource if you’re trying to figure out which cannabinoids may help treat the symptoms you’re experiencing. They did the research to break it all down!

What are cannabinoids

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the science of CBD, or any cannabinoid in general, it’s pretty incredible what Mother Nature brings to the table. The ability to look to one specific plant for such a vast wealth of holistic healing is truly incredible.

And, now that you know exactly what cannabinoids are, you can better understand how one small plant can do a world of good!