An Introduction To Cannabinoids

A brief introduction to the basics of cannabinoids. Including the basic mechanisms and actions of how cannabis cannabinoids work.

Cannabinoid

Cannabinoid is an umbrella term for a family of potent chemical compounds. These chemicals stimulate specific neurotransmitters in the brain. The mechanism of how these effects occur is understood to be through a stimulation of receptors on the outside of cells within the brain.

When these chemicals engage with their relative receptors, a chemical signal is generated. This signal is transduced between cells and used to stimulate neurotransmitter pathways. In layman’s terms: cannabinoids chemically alter the way an individual’s brain behaves for a short period of time by sending messages between brain cells.

Cannabis Cannabinoids

Within the cannabis plant, more than 113 potently active cannabinoids have been identified. Some of their mechanisms and effects have been studied in detail. The study of these elements dates back decades to when cannabis use rose to prominence during the 20th century. Most notable of all active cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant is tetrahydrocannabinol – most commonly known as THC. Other surrogate cannabinoids that have been identified include cannabidiol known as CBD.Both THC and CBD have risen to fame and have been granted huge exposure for being regarded as the causes of the cannabis ‘

Both THC and CBD have risen to fame and have been granted huge exposure for being regarded as the causes of the cannabis ‘high’. Whilst it is true both THC and CBD have been linked to the euphoric effects of weed, the effects of the drug cannot be solely ascribed to these two chemicals exclusively. Rather the effects of weed are brought about by a complex integration of each of identified cannabinoids.

Mechanisms

For decades scientists have sought to better understand cannabinoids. These chemically active elements derived from the cannabis plant have been studied extensively. Furthermore, these chemicals have been categorized based on a number of functional criteria. These criteria relate firstly to their chemical structure of the cannabinoid. The structure determines the way the cannabinoid behaves and therefore its downstream effects. Due to different chemical structures, the resultant phenotypic change each cannabinoid presents in the affected person will also be different. On this basis, the effects of THC could potentially be very different to the effects of CBD.

Furthermore, these chemicals have been categorized based on a number of functional criteria. These criteria relate firstly to their chemical structure of the cannabinoid. The structure determines the way the cannabinoid behaves and therefore its downstream effects. Due to different chemical structures, the resultant phenotypic change each cannabinoid presents in the affected person will also be different. On this basis, the effects of THC could potentially be very different to the effects of CBD.

Cannabinoid Effects

Cannabis Cannabinoids have been observed to be the catalyst for a number of effects that cannabis users regularly experience. Scientists have established solid links between each of the cataloged cannabinoids; contained in the cannabis plant, and the varying effects that weed has been reported as having on users.

Whether it’s a feeling of bliss, euphoria and complete relaxation, or whether it’s uncontrollable ‘muchies’ …cannabinoids are the cause. All in all nearly every effect of cannabis can be traced back in some way to the action of these cannabinoids. Essentially, it is cannabinoids that make weed feel great!

Furthering this it is the power of cannabinoids that make the potential medicinal use of cannabis so interesting to scientists within the medical community. At present cannabinoid use has been linked to the treatment of progressively morbid diseases such as cancer and HIV (although generally only in alternative medicine at present). In time; with more research, our understanding of the true power and uses of cannabinoids will evolve and who knows where it might lead!