No matter your familiarity with cannabis culture, you’re likely aware that fans of flower celebrate their favorite herb on 4/20 every year. The high holiday of cannabis lovers far and wide is currently just around the corner. Many individuals exclusively link “cannabis” with its psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, but this association is far from complete. THC is just one of countless cannabinoids which can be found within the cannabis plant.
What exactly are cannabinoids? Leafly author Bailey Rahn explains, "Cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. These work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. To put a complex system simply, they mediate communication between cells, and when there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur. When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to. For example, THC binds to receptors in the brain whereas CBN (cannabinol) has a strong affinity for CB-2 receptors located throughout the body. Depending on a cannabis product’s cannabinoid profile, different types of relief are achievable."
The exact number of existing cannabinoids is hard to pinpoint, but some have said that more than a hundred types of cannabinoids are produced by the cannabis plant. Several prominent varieties are found in the highest quantities – each of with its own distinctive characteristics and unique effects when consumed.
Before 4/20 comes around, why not expand your knowledge on the cannabis plant and the unique benefits of its components? Crack open your favorite CBD drink flavor and review the basics of five top cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant along with their potential benefits.
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