The ABCs of Cannabinoids
Infinite CBD • August 13, 2021
How a cannabinoid works and interacts with the body depends on one’s endocannabinoid system. Everyone has an endocannabinoid system with receptors that use cannabinoids to signal areas of the body. Our bodies receptors interact differently with each cannabinoid.
Cannabinoids are most commonly in the cannabis plant; whether that be from medical marijuana or industrial hemp. They have also been located beyond cannabis in other natural plant-based products. Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, and cannabidiol, CBD, are two of the most consumed cannabinoids today.
Upon the consumption of THC the user will feel psychoactive effects but pure CBD is non-psychoactive for the consumer. This is because the different cannabinoids work on different receptors.
After research of how THC interacts with the body to provide effects, the endocannabinoid system was discovered. The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous cannabinoids of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. This system was the first to identify the reaction to cannabinoids on these receptors.
Research done by Allyn Howlett, PhD, provides proof of cannabinoid receptors. During this work they learned that cannabinoids activate G protein-coupled receptors, GPCR, which inhibit adenylyl cyclase.
Within the endocannabinoid system cannabinoids work with CB1 and CB2 receptors; they also work with GPCR like the vanilloid receptor or serotonin receptors.
Within each cannabis strain there are certain cannabinoids and terpenes that provide specific effects to the user. Terpenes are the essential oils that provide the strain with its aroma. You will also find terpenes in flowers, herbs, fruits and other common items. Like the cannabinoids of a cannabis plant, terpenes also work with the endocannabinoid system to provide effects.
Each strain has its own profile of terpenes that makes up the effects that one feels. Terpenes provide their own medical benefits; in combination with CBD, the two will contribute to the entourage effect. This is where the two cannabis compound work together to provide optimal effects to the user.
It has been shown that there are naturally occurring cannabinoids in other plants, herbs and spices besides just cannabis. This study concludes that flavonoids target proteins within the endocannabinoid system. Findings also say that the only cannabinoid outside of the cannabis plant is beta-caryophyllene.
Beta-caryophyllene. β-caryophyllene is the most abundant essential oil in plants. This component will be in hops, black pepper, cloves and rosemary. After consumption the effects of β-caryophyllene will act only with the CB2 receptor. Since the CB1 receptor is responsible for the psychoactive feeling, this cannabinoid will not provide the consumer with a “high” feeling like with THC.