Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are over 60 known cannabinoids that interact differently with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. One of the most commonly described compounds is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, a cannabinoid with psychoactive and mind-altering effects. Another compound without the psychoactive nature of THC is called Cannabidiol or CBD. CBD provides relief from pain, nausea, and inflammation without clouding the mind.
Although CBD and THC are most commonly talked about, all the compounds of cannabis combine to provide medical benefits. In the brain and body, the function of CBD is quite complicated. To date, more than a dozen different mechanisms of action have been discovered by scientists on ways that CBD can have an effect on us. The beneficial effects of CBD are very likely to result from the complete activation of all these biological pathways, not just a single one in particular.
To better understand the mechanisms by which CBD relieves ailments including anxiety and seizures, much more research is needed. CBD interacts specifically with a variety of proteins in the body and the central nervous system, some of which are endogenous cannabinoid or endocannabinoid (ECS) components. For example, CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, but it binds in a way that sets off a response that is pretty much the exact opposite of what THC does.
CBD is known as an inverse agonist, and THC is a CB1 agonist. Simply stated, CBD is not intoxicating for humans; it does the opposite of what THC does at the molecular level. The human body has several other receptor proteins, such as GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1 and TRPV2, that participate in the endogenous cannabinoid system. CBD binds to all of these, and through the whole process, this is what may result in the beenfits of it such as its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
Use of Term
There are over 80 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that are responsible for a variety of flavors and effects.