Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that make up the cannabis plant and that are responsible for the physical and mental effects that cannabis has on the body and mind.
The cannabinoids are separated into the following subclasses:
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabigerols (CBG)
- Cannabichromenes (CBC)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
- Other cannabinoids (cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabitriol (CBT), cannabielsoin (CBE)...)
The most well known among these compounds are the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD), which makes up about 40% of the plant resin extract and has many medicinal uses.
Cannabinoids work with the human endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids, also called endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules made by your body. They’re similar to cannabinoids, but they’re produced by you! Endocannabinoids are linked to processes such as emotions, metabolism, learning and memory, sleep, appetite and digestion, muscle development, stress, etc... It is a network of the CB1 and CB2 receptors that naturally occur in humans. These receptors are found in different parts of the central nervous system and activate and bond with the receptors in cannabinoids including CBD and THC.
Recent findings show cooperation between peripheral cannabinoid CB1 receptors and the satiety hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). They have opposing actions in the modulation of appetite and digestion: while endocannabinoids such as anandamide enhance appetite, CCK controls gastrointestinal motility and appetite suppression. The endocannabinoid system affects our mood, energy levels, intestinal fortitude, immune activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, pain, stress, hunger and more.