What Are Cannabinoids?
One of the most critical components of cannabis is the cannabinoid. These compounds emitted by cannabis flowers provide relief to a slew of symptoms including pain, nausea, and inflammation. Cannabinoids imitate compounds human bodies naturally produce already, called endocannabinoids.
We all have this endocannabinoid system, just like we all have a nervous system. The endocannabinoids are involved in many functions in our body, including appetite, feeling pain and mood. Because this system passes chemicals - acting like messages - between the brain and different part of the body, they are critical for our health, both mental and physical.
When certain ailments damage the endocannabinoid system, a cannabis’ cannabinoids help to treat those symptoms by supplementing the endocannabinoids usually produced in your body.
Different cannabinoids affect the body differently depending on which receptors they bind to.
The most well-known cannabinoid is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which binds to receptors in the brain. THC gives cannabis consumers that euphoric feeling, that “high”, and it’s also regarded as a mild painkiller, and research has shown that it offers antioxidant relief.
Other studies have found that THC can help with symptoms associated with Parkinson’s and help increase the appetite to those with eating disorders.
Another celebrated cannabinoid is CBD (cannabidiol), which binds to other receptors located throughout the body. CBD doesn’t give cannabis users any feelings of being high but instead is known for its medical value. High-CBD strains are often preferred by those suffering from chronic pain, high anxiety, seizures and many other conditions.
There are hundreds if not thousands of other cannabinoids within the plant but researchers have only identified a handful. With cannabis being legal, expect the doors to be opened for cannabinoid scientists in order to give us a clearer picture of how cannabis affects us.