/Cannabis 101: What Are Cannabinoids and What Do They Do?

Cannabis 101: What Are Cannabinoids and What Do They Do?

Cannabinoids are a group of various chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant which act on the receptors located on cells which repress the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Different strains of the plant offer varying levels of cannabinoid and affect dosing when used for medicinal purposes.

When found in nature, cannabinoids are formed in the sticky resinous structures known as glandular trichomes. A single trichome gland can contain a variety of cannabinoids, and recent research has shown that these cannabinoids work together to produce their medical benefits.

This phenomenon has been called the โ€œentourage effectโ€ because it shows that a diverse variety of cannabinoids, in precise ratios, has a more significant medical benefit than an isolated single cannabinoid synthesized in a lab.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

thcTHC is the best-known cannabinoid and is the primary psychoactive compound. It has also been found to be neuroprotective with analgesic (pain relieving) effects.

Cannabinol (CBN)

cbnCBN is also non-psychoactive and is generally attributed with a sedative effect. The typical amount of CBN found in most samples of cannabis is less than 1%.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

thcvTHCV is commonly believed to be an appetite suppressant. In addition, recent research suggests that this compound may be helpful in treating metabolic disorders including diabetes.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

cbcCBC is perhaps the least understood cannabinoid, but potentially among the most important. It is believed to stimulate bone growth, as well has inhibit inflammation and pain.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

cbdvCBDV has been a relatively ignored cannabinoid until recently where many researchers believe that it may offer another option for the treatment of epilepsy.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

cbdMany of the medical benefits attributed to cannabis are because of CBD. Many strains are selectively bred to increase their CBD content. CBD is not psychoactive.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)


THCA is the most prominent compound in fresh, undried cannabis. While the compound does not have psychoactive effects in its own right, it does have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

cbgCBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Early results suggest it plays a role in fighting glaucoma symptoms, inflamed bowels and potentially as treatment for bacterial infections like MRSA.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)


CBDA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. The compound is also thought offer benefits when dealing with nausea and vomiting.

We have also provided this awesome chart courtesy of coloradopotguide.com

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