What is a Cannabinoid?

In this time of uncertainty, when our routines and lives have been disrupted, we are looking to find stability and searching for ways to exercise personal control in the areas of our lives that we can influence and positively affect. For many of us, this begins with focusing on our personal health, wellness, and overall well-being. Many of us have decided that investing in our health, strengthening our immune systems, discovering alternative ways to achieve a healthy strengthening balance at the physical level, and finding harmony mentally and emotionally is absolutely essential – not only for our overall wellness, but for our day-to-day survival as well. 

In this search, many of us are looking to turn away from the traditional pharmaceutical solutions and are moving towards sustainable, plant-based health and lifestyle solutions. People are turning to CBD and other cannabinoid products in order to achieve this balance. But why? What is the true value of these products, and how can they be used to improve our quality of life? 

These are questions that we will be addressing in our blog as part of our ongoing effort to help individuals make informed wellness decisions based on facts—not speculation or hearsay. So let’s start at the beginning: what is a Cannabinoid? 

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are found occurring in nature. The specific cannabinoids that we’re focused on are phytocannabinoids – plant-based cannabinoids – with a specific eye on the cannabis species of plants Cannabis Sativa (marijuana) and Cannabis Sativa L (hemp). 

It is estimated that there are over 130 cannabinoid compounds found within the cannabis plant, each one exhibiting its own characteristics and effects. The most commonly recognized cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive element of cannabis sativa – the one that gives that traditional “high” associated with marijuana.  

The other commonly known and most studied cannabinoid is cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is non-psychotropic and has been recently recognized as having a variety of benefits for the human body and mind. CBD has additionally been shown to reduce or minimize the negative effects that THC has on short-term memory loss, as well as having the ability to block the effect of THC on the nervous system. It has also proven to be effective in treating long-term psychological addiction to THC. 

Other major cannabinoids include: 

CBG, cannabigerol

CBC, cannabichromene

CBD, cannabidiol; 

CBND, cannabinodiol; 

CBE, cannabielsoin

CBL, cannabicyclol

CBN, cannabinol

CBT, cannabitriol

We are currently working with CBD as our primary cannabinoid of focus as it is the most well-known and well-studied of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids. We know from clinical trial and anecdotal evidence that CBD can positively impact conditions ranging from pain management to psychiatric and neurological disorders. CBD is not a wonder drug or miracle cure, but it can play a crucial role in maintaining the internal balance critical to sustaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. Next week we will have a look at how cannabinoids interact with the ECS. Until then be well and remember, health is wealth.