In this series, we’ll explore the naturally occurring compounds that help cannabis benefit our health, maximize our experience, and improve our lives.
It’s a very exciting time in the world of cannabis. For so many years, learning more about cannabis and how it really worked was difficult because of the stigma and legal limitations surrounding it. As a result, decades passed without us having a deep understanding of exactly how cannabis can benefit us.
But over the last few years of increased legalization, the legitimacy of cannabis has allowed for more open-minded research— and the results have been amazing. Every day, we’re discovering more benefits of cannabis and fascinating insights into how it works.
With that in mind, we wanted to take a chance to help inform our customers and readers about one of the most important aspects of cannabis— cannabinoids. These essential chemicals are the cornerstone for what gives cannabis its benefits, properties, and effects, and knowing a bit more about what they are, how they work, and how different cannabinoids differ from each other will help you be a more informed consumer. Best of all, it will help you get the most out of your cannabis experience.
Today, let us introduce you to exactly what cannabinoids are and how they work.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are found in the various strains of cannabis plants. Each is known by a unique name, commonly shortened to an acronym, to distinguish one cannabinoid from another. In fact, scientists estimate there are as many as 100+ unique cannabinoids.
It’s likely that you’ve already heard of some cannabinoids. The two most common, THC and CBD, are often advertised heavily. You might even already know that THC is known for being the cannabinoid that causes the euphoric ‘high’ that many cannabis consumers enjoy.
But there are lots of other cannabinoids, and some of them have very promising benefits that extend beyond anything scientists previously thought. We’ll explore some of them (and products where you can find them) in future posts during the coming weeks.
But how do cannabinoids work, exactly?
How do cannabinoids give cannabis its effects?
Buckle up, it’s time for some big words.
In every person’s body is something known as the endocannabinoid system. This system connects between our brain, nervous system, and body, and features a series of receptors. When it comes to the human body, receptors refer to points in the body where chemicals can attach and interact with your body’s systems.
In the case of the endocannabinoid system, these receptors bind with endocannabinoids—chemicals that your body produces which then trigger various tiny events. For example, some endocannabinoids bind with receptors to release dopamine, a pleasure chemical that can make you feel happy or euphoric.
Cannabinoids from cannabis are very similar to endocannabinoids— so similar, in fact, that they can bind with the very same receptors. When they do, they act like supercharged versions of endocannabinoids to cause stronger versions of your body’s normal reactions.
THC, for example, triggers the release of dopamine in high doses— that’s a large part of what makes you ‘high.’
Think of endocannabinoids like a supplement. You’re taking in a version of what already appears within your body, just in a different form. The cannabis strain you select, and the cannabinoids it contains, will determine your experience and beneficial results.
Next Week and Beyond
At Farmacy Santa Ana, we’re committed to empowering you the knowledge to make informed decisions about the products you purchase and put in your body. In our next post we’ll explore the most famous cannabinoid, THC, and its properties, benefits, and the most popular products that contain it.
Want to learn more today? Talk to one of our expert staff and browse our selection.