This article was originally published on Goldleaf, and appears here with permission.
Everyone fascinated by the science behind cannabis is familiar with two of the most common cannabinoids: THC and CBD.
However, did you know that the cannabis plant can produce at least 144 cannabinoids?
While research on the properties of all 144 of these compounds is not yet available, credible information does exist for all of the most abundant cannabinoids.
First, it’s critical that we define what a cannabinoid is: Cannabinoids are compounds present not only in cannabis, but also in all human (and mammalian) bodies.
When referring to cannabinoids present in cannabis itself, the term “phytocannabinoid” is used. Phytocannabinoids are found in the sticky resin glands (trichomes) on cannabis plants.
When referring to cannabinoids native to the human body, the term “endocannabinoid,” short for endogenous cannabinoid, is used. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the human brain. These endocannabinoids bind to a person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biological system that regulates many important bodily functions, including sleeping and eating.
Each cannabinoid provides distinct effects, which is why it’s a good idea to analyze your cannabis or cannabis-based products’ lab reports if you’re looking for a specific result (for easier analysis, try our Patient Journal).
The Most Common Cannabinoids
THC is the most abundant cannabinoid within most cultivars. This compound is the main psychoactive component present in cannabis. THC is known to be effective in treating pain, relieving depression, fighting nausea, suppressing muscle spasms, slowing nervous system degeneration, reducing eye pressure, and stimulating appetite (hence, “the munchies.”) THC levels vary in flowers, with the average between 12 to 18.7%.
Like THC, CBD is one of the most common cannabinoids. Unlike THC, CBD does …