What are Cannabinoids?

what are cannabinoids

What are Cannabinoids?

This question is of huge importance as its being asked quite a lot these days. This is because many of the known Cannabinoids have been gaining traction in the mainstream public through a phenomenon called the cannabis revolution. Briefly speaking, we can say that these are the chemical compounds that derive from the different species of the cannabis plant (and other places). Here, we talk about these chemical compounds in descriptive details, and we also talk about the related things that are to these compounds.

What are cannabinoids?

A guide to Cannabinoids – 

Cannabinoids are a set of chemical compounds that can be found in different places of the natural (and unnatural) ecosystem. These are used for the affinity of different cannabinoid receptors that the body of a living thing can have. Once attached to these different types of receptors, then these can initiate different kinds of bodily functions like keeping the body in homeostasis and reducing the effects of anxiety and stress. This is why people are getting fond of these compounds, as different types of these chemical compounds come with a lot of significant therapeutic effects.

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Types of different cannabinoids:                                      

Three different types of cannabinoids exist in the natural (and sometimes in the unnatural) world. Here we talk a little about them, and how do they come to be.


These are the ones that are born in our bodies through the lipids that our neurons produce. Therefore, these are the endogenous cannabinoids that our bodies can produce themselves. There a lot of things these can do for our bodies, for example, one of the more popular endocannabinoids called anandamide can act as a modulator knob for excessive production of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is associated with the feel-good feelings, and also the high one can get from a species of the cannabis plant like marijuana, and also is related to the effects of addiction. Anandamide is known to inhibit the production of dopamine, and can, therefore, help in curbing a high and or getting rid of addiction.

Want to learn about the difference between Hemp and Marijuana? Click here!


These cannabinoids are the ones that stem from the plants like the cannabis plant. The word phytocannabinoids translate literally into plant-based cannabinoids. The most popular ones of these cannabinoids are called Cannabidiol (long for CBD), and Tetrahydrocannabinol (short form – THC).

CBD is known for its therapeutic effects all over the world; it is one of the phytocannabinoids that cannot make a person high. This is because CBD is not psychoactive, which means that it is not able to alter the workings of the brain that make the body feel intoxicating effects. The one that can do that is THC. Yes, you heard that right. It is the case, and if you are feeling high, then it is very likely that this is the result of THC, not CBD. This is because THC indeed possesses some of the highest psychoactive properties.

Different species have different concentration of these chemical compounds in them, and also can be in similar amounts. Additionally, one of them can even be absent from either of the species; the effect of the one will only be felt if one is higher or highest in concentration. The first example of the predominant concentration of THC is called marijuana, and a significant case of CBD dominant species of the cannabis plant is the one called the hemp plant. CBD in little numbers can also be found in the one called marijuana, which is popular in the cannabis community. THC can give high, so can also be detected in many of the critical drug tests as they are made to detect their antibodies, which are scrambled by the body in the presence of the THC. This is why it is good to avoid THC based products altogether, even the ones that are low on it as they, with a higher dose can in accumulation make someone high as a tower, and therefore risks drug test detection.

Synthetic cannabinoids:

These cannabinoids are made in the Petri dishes of the lab of the scientists, which essentially means that these are made artificially. These cannabinoids like the Spice and K2 are made to mimic the effects of the naturally produced endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, and therefore, can be highly potent. Their high potency all makes these, highly toxic for human ingestion. These are mostly used for industrial applications. These industrial applications can be the likes of medicinal additives. You should never use these yourself because of their high potency, as scientists in lab environments scientifically and carefully use these in the medicines. Thus you using yourself will pertain to severe side effects like excessive bleeding, especially the ones you may be using are tainted.

The Endocannabinoid System:             

Remember when we previously talked about different receptors of the body that adhere to a diverse range of cannabinoids. These receptors in different parts of the body of an animal or a human are called CB1, and CB2. CB1 can predominantly be found in the brain, while CB2 is predominantly found in the peripheral nervous system. Together they make up the Endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for different bodily functions like keeping the state of the body in balance (Homeostasis), it is also modulator system of the body (remember dopamine), and also takes care of the endocrine duties, while additionally looks after immune tissues.

Cannabinoids like the anandamide and THC interact with our bodies through this system. Anandamide, as mentioned before, acts as a modulator of sorts for the body and THC by binding to one of these receptors (CB1), can make us feel high. CBD, while one of the cannabinoids, does not interact with it, but indirectly can alter its states by binding to the receptors that can result in the direct inhibition or initiation of different processes in the ECS.

The medical benefits of the cannabinoids:

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Remember those therapeutic benefits that we were talking about, well here we talk about them in a little more detail, so let us see what they are:

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders and Depression: 

Cannabinoids have been known long for treating ailments like anxiety disorders and the likes of depression. Many experts have found that THC and CBD are known to have relieved the users from the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (previously known to be part of anxiety disorders) and depression. This was found in a study published in the Clinical Psychology Review, which reviewed all of the published literature on the subject matter.

Relief from chronic pain: 

A report has been known to look at the cannabis use for relieving chronic pain for the user. Chronic pain has been considered as one of the leading causes of different disabilities. The report looked at the usage of medical cannabis to treat the chronic in different users.

Through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the report was able to analyze around 10,000 scientific studies. This was done to find the medicinal benefits of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, on the chronic pain. It found that the cannabinoids can interact with the endocannabinoid system are indeed very effective at treating chronic pain.

Relief from addiction:

Experts say that different types of cannabinoids can deal with addiction. Remember we talked about anandamide (an endocannabinoid), well this one can modulate the production of dopamine (which plays a significant role in addiction). This can also happen more with the help of another cannabinoid, which is CBD. CBD can inhibit the processes that inhibit the production of anandamide. Inhibition of the creation of anandamide means more production of dopamine, which means nothing to modulate dopamine. Excessive dopamine levels have been associated with addiction.

Relief from Cancer symptoms and treatment effects:

Experts, through finding evidence, have a say on this matter. They are saying that oral cannabinoids can be hugely useful when it comes to the symptoms of cancer and also for the effects of the treatment. The evidence that they found suggested that these chemical compound are excellently effective against the effects of chemotherapy like vomiting and nausea.

Additionally, some studies have also known to found that these chemical compounds are also capable of slowing the rate of growth in cancerous cells. Some even suggest that these can cure cancer, but this hypothesis has been contested.

Click here to learn about using CBD for Hangovers!

Treatment of Epilepsy: 

CBD has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat two different forms of Epilepsy. These are called the Dravet Syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, respectively. Both of these are somewhat difficult to control through other forms of medicine.

Many studies that were done on the subject matter of CBD, and the ailments like Epilepsy (and its various forms) have found something interesting. They have found that CBD is beneficial in dealing with ailments such as these. One particular study that was done in 2017 that relates to this kind of subject matter found this evidence: children with Dravet Syndrome had few seizures with the use of CBD when compared to the result of placebo. They say the effects of Dravet Syndrome can be highly dangerous, and therefore, the average mortality of someone with Dravet syndrome is 20 years. This is why the FDA has finally approved the use of CBD in the form of a drug known as Epidoilex, after a large number of trails and tests.

Final words on the medical benefits of cannabinoids:

As you can see by your eyes, there are lots of therapeutic effects that come with the use of specific different kinds of cannabinoids. This can be a part of the sufficient answer for the question of what are cannabinoids? Additionally, it is known all around the world that these chemical compounds are also good sleeping aids. And, they are also natural anti-oxidants that can give lots of relaxation due to their soothing properties.

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The research and discovery of Phytocannabinoids:                      

All around the world, the phytocannabinoids are the more prevalent cannabinoids. This is why it makes sense that we also talk about their research and discovery. We also talk a little about the endocannabinoids and the synthetic cannabinoids.

There are 100s of cannabinoids that occur naturally in different species of the cannabis plant. One of the first phytocannabinoids were things such as THC, CBD, and something called Cannabinol (CBN – when a plant becomes aged THC becomes CBN). Many of these were found in the year 1988, around the same time when the endocannabinoid system was discovered in our body. This was when the scientists were trying to find how THC interacts within our bodies, or moreover, how with our bodies.

Gradually this has led to the discovery of how our endogenous system can interact with different types of cannabinoids. These can include all the types these chemicals found in the natural (and the unnatural) ecosystem. This way, they can discover the therapeutic potential of each cannabinoid that has been found until now. Additionally, this has also led to the research and development of synthetic cannabinoids that can copy their effects. These can be a mixture of two or are derived from one cannabinoid.

This research and discovery of these chemical compounds is still ongoing and is usually is peer-reviewed. With the popularity of many of them gaining traction, it is becoming increasingly hard for the authorities to positively ignore these.

Final Words:

Now you know what are cannabinoids. We also talked about the effects of the cannabinoids, the different types of it, and the endocannabinoid system. We also briefly talk about how these interact with the endocannabinoid system. We have also taken about their medicinal benefits in a little bit of more detail and gave some pointers on the research and discovery of these chemical compounds. We hope you absorbed this knowledge and will make good use of it.


The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this disclaimer. We collected this information from various sources for the convenience of our customers. The Food and Drug Administration did not evaluate the statements regarding these products. FDA research did not confirm the efficacy of these products yet. These products are not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information we present here is not a substitute for information from health care practitioners. It is also not an alternative to information from health care practitioners. Before using any product, you should consult your doctor and ask about the risk of interactions or complications.

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