What Are Cannabinoids & Why Do You Need Them?
Within the Cannabis sativa plant, there are over 480 natural components and at least 113 of those have been classified as unique to this type of plant, these are the cannabinoids. The most well known of these 66 cannabinoids is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC), and it is the substance that is the main reason people have psychoactive effects after smoking cannabis. Cannabidiol has gained widespread popularity for it’s potential medical benefits and ease of use in CBD oil drops or tinctures taken orally and vaporizers.
When it comes to the effects of THC within cannabis, it’s believed that the other cannabinoids are actually putting it in moderation.
The following are cannabinoids which are separated into different sub-classes
Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabinodiol (CBDL)
Other cannabinoids (such as cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabielsoin (CBE), cannabitriol (CBT) and other miscellaneous types)
So, what do cannabinoids do exactly?
Cannabinoids, just like opium poppy that is used to create heroin, affect a persons central nervous system by interacting with certain receptors within the brain. There have been two specific cannabinoid receptors which we’ve found, and they are CB1 and CB2. A substance that is natural within the brain will bind with the CB1 receptors and this was discovered back in 1992, this action was termed “anandamide”.
The effect of the cannabinoids have on a person actually reflect the part of the brain they work with. These interactions tend to happen within our limbic system, which is the part of our brain that affects our memory and cognition. These interactions also happen within our mesolimbic pathway, which is the section that gives us a rewarding feeling. These are also known to be among the areas that have to do with your perception of pain.
This science is still fairly new compared to others, so we are still learning more every day about how this works and how everything effects us. Much of the research behind cannabinoids has primarily been aimed at the medical uses of it.
What’s the difference between the cannabinoids?
The main thing between the cannabinoids is how they effect the brain and how they are psychologically active within it. There are 3 types of cannabinoids that are known to not have such an effect, and they are:
The cannabinoids that are known to “get you high” are:
CBD is the more prominent of the cannabinoids since it contributes to over 40% of most cannabis resin created. What’s interesting about this is that CBD likely has an anti-anxiety effect on a person and actually lessens the psychoactive effects of THC when it is ingested. This means that if you are smoking a plant to “get high” and it has a higher concentration of CBD, you won’t feel the effects as much since CBD is seen to lower the potency of the THC since it is actually being moderated. On the other hand, a plant with lower CBD contents will likely have higher THC within it, causing more of a high than the other plant with higher CBD contents.
When cannabis is left out for a long time, the THC within it will oxidize and create CBN. CBN has a very weak psychoactive property and has similar effects to CBD where it moderates the THC and reduces the effectiveness, which reduces the high. This is why a lot of people will say that if their cannabis is left out, it doesn’t have the same potency.