All about cannabinoids

What are cannabinoids?

At first glance, cannabinoids are the molecules of cannabis. First of all, it must be said that cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that activate the cannabis receptors present in the human body and in mammals.

The first isolated was tetrahydrocannabinol, then cannabidiol. These discoveries were initiated and made in the 1960s by Pr Raphaël Mechoulam, an Israeli researcher. There are over 100 different cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Researchers around the world are currently studying their potential therapeutic effects and how they work in the human body.

What are the different cannabinoids?

There are three types of cannabinoids:

  • Phytocannabinoids, present in Cannabis or degradation products of tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Endocannabinoids secreted by certain animal organisms, including humans 

Synthetics, developed in the laboratory

What are the two main cannabinoids?

To date, the best known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN). This is the reason why they are the most widespread and are the most studied. 

THC: The most abundant and most present cannabinoid in the plant le tetrahydrocannabinol , the part of the grass that lights up the mind. It has pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing, hunger-inducing and anticancer effects.

CBD: The cannabinoid cannabidiol , a non-intoxicating compound with potent anti-epileptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

By hybridization, it was possible to isolate species which produced in greater quantity one or the other. For example, cultivated hemp, primarily for fiber production, contains low amounts of THC but more CBD. Thus, industrial hemp can also be considered potentially therapeutic.

What are the lesser known cannabinoids?

Other lesser-known ones include:

AEA: anandamide , the brain's 'version of THC'. It is a known neuroprotective endocannabinoid that can prevent chronic migraines. There is some evidence that anandamide is naturally produced by cocoa beans in small amounts, but some researchers have questioned whether these results are real. There is a woman in the UK who feels no pain in due to a mutation that causes anandamide to build up in his system.

O-AEA: Virodhamine , which comes from the Sanskrit word virodha , which means "opposition" or "incompatible". Virodhamine is an endocannabinoid that blocks the activity of anandamide at CB receptors.

2-AG: on 2-arachidonoylglycerol , an endocannabinoid produced by the brain in response to traumatic brain injury. 2-AG has neuroprotective properties.

THCV: Tetrahydrocannabivarin , another non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid that delete the appetite rather than stimulating it (like THC does). Some pharmaceutical companies are studying THCV as treatment of eating disorders and diabetes .

CBDV: Cannabidivarin, a phytocannabinoid being studied as a potential treatment for autism .

CBN: cannabinol , a breakdown product of THC and CBD. If you leave your weed for a long time, the THC present will eventually degrade to CBN. CBN can work as a painkiller or muscle relaxant.

CBC: cannabichromene , another phytocannabinoid with antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

CBD: cannabigerol , the precursor to all other (and more important) phytocannabinoids in cannabis. CBG serves as the foundation for building THC, CBD, THCV, CBN. It also has some of its medicinal benefits, such as anti-inflammatory stimulation and appetite stimulation.

CBC or cannabichromene 
CBL or cannabicyclol 
MH or cannabivarol 
THCV or tetrahydrocannabivarin 
CBDV or cannabidivarin 
CBCV or cannabichromevarine 
CBGV or cannabigerovarin 
CBGM or cannabigerol