Kuh-na-Bih-Noyd) A type of chemical substance found in marijuana that causes drug-like effects throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. The main active cannabinoid in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in the plant Cannabis sativa. Of the more than 480 different compounds found in the plant, only about 66 are called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis and are produced by the human body. Endocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced internally, are an essential component of our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is largely responsible for maintaining internal balance. Phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids in marijuana produced by the cannabis plant, mimic the functions of our endocannabinoids and are responsible for the euphoric effects associated with THC. The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for transmitting messages between cells and have functions in pain, immune function, stress and sleep, to name a few. Like THC, these synthetic cannabinoids attack the brain's cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R), responsible for the psychoactive effects of THC in cannabis. Other important cannabinoids include cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Simply put, cannabinoids regulate the way cells communicate, send, receive, or process messages.
Most standard drug tests look for chemicals related to THC, so the consumption of THC or cannabis could appear on screening tests. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), the body's two most well-known endogenous cannabinoids, search for CB1 and CB2 receptors. Like opioids, cannabinoids produce their effects by interacting with specific receptors, located in different parts of the central nervous system. Instead, CBD may increase the effects of other cannabinoids or bind to other receptors that researchers have not yet discovered.
More than 100 more cannabinoids have been successfully isolated from the cannabis plant, although little research has been done on their effects. The endocannabinoid system is a unique communication system found in the brain and body that affects many important functions. In the body, CBD and THC interact with cannabinoid receptors to help treat or limit the effects of various conditions. Regular cannabinoid use, especially when started in adolescence, is associated with dependence and lasting cognitive impairment (for example, cannabinoids exert their effects by interacting with specific cannabinoid receptors present on the surface of cells).
The potential health benefits of cannabinoids are numerous and include reducing inflammation and controlling nausea. When the cannabinoids in THC bind to CB1 receptors, they also cause a sense of euphoria in the brain's reward system. For example, CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to be psychologically active agents, while THC, CBN and CBDL, along with some other cannabinoids, are known to have varying degrees of psychoactivity.