What Are Cannabis Cannabinoids & Their Function


In the marijuana plant, there exist more than 100 cannabinoids. Many of these cannabinoids aren’t found in other plants. Medical studies have found that the phytocannabinoids are similar to endocannabinoids produced by the body. When you consume cannabinoids, they can easily bind to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, thus easing anxiety, pain, insomnia, etc.

With cannabis becoming popular as an effective treatment for various conditions, patients are interested in learning about different ingredients, how they work, etc. Let’s learn about these cannabis compounds.


THC (delta 9-THC, tetrahydrocannabinol) is a widely researched cannabinoid, which provides psychoactive effects. Research says that THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, thus accelerating the release of dopamine by the endocannabinoid system. This provides feelings of euphoria and relaxation. It’s important to note that THC can have an impact on your concentration levels, memory, movement, etc.

A recent study reported that the endocannabinoid 2-AG can help reduce anxiety levels between the amygdala and frontal cortex. THC and 2-AG bind to the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system. 

Related- Marijuana For Anxiety And Depression – Does it Work?

Two synthetic forms of THC, Dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet) are approved by the FDA for alleviating cancer chemotherapy side-effects, such as nausea and vomiting.


CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid that is popular for providing body-mind relaxation. Unlike THC, it doesn’t cause high effects. CBD can be obtained from both marijuana and hemp plants. As per the Farm Bill of 2018, hemp-derived CBD products are legal in the United States. These products must contain 0.3 percent THC, otherwise, you need MMJ recs signed by 420 doctors to access them legally. 

CBD doesn’t bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain directly. It increases the levels of endocannabinoid 2-AG instead. There’s some evidence that CBD interacts with the brain cells, dopamine receptors, etc., thus providing various medicinal benefits.


THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) has a chemical structure similar to THC. It causes little high effects, which won’t get you high. When you consume cannabis strains containing high levels of THCV, you will receive a clear-headed psychedelic high, which boosts your energy levels and won’t last long. 

Related- What Are The Major Factors Affecting Cannabis High

THCV binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This cannabinoid is often used as an appetite suppressant. According to a study published in Diabetes Care, THCV can help patients with type 2 diabetes by managing the levels of glycemic. 


CBG (cannabigerol) delivers non-psychoactive effects, even if you take high doses. It was first discovered in 1964 and provides promising medicinal benefits like other phytocannabinoids. In a study published in 2015, researchers at the University of Madrid reported that CBG may help alleviate neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s disease.

CBG delivers amazing health benefits to patients suffering from cancer. It works by blocking the cancer-causing receptors, thus reducing cancer cell growth. A study published in 2014 reported that CBG can help inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells in mice. The cannabinoid inhibited tumors and colon carcinogenesis, thus treating colorectal cancer.


CBN (cannabinol) is created due to the degradation of THC due to various factors, such as light and age. This cannabinoid provides ultimate sedating effects, thus is perfect for patients suffering from insomnia. However, many avoid using CBN because it’s an old form of the herb.

CBN provides mild intoxicating effects, and it can help relieve pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, mixing CBN and THC can help reduce pain levels. Moreover, the mixture can deliver anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic effects.

Key Takeaways

Marijuana comprises a wide range of cannabinoids, which have therapeutic properties. Different cannabinoids work differently and deliver different effects. THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system while CBD increases the levels of endocannabinoids. To alleviate your symptoms completely, make sure you buy strains by checking the levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. If you are a beginner, start with a low dose and adjust it gradually. Seek professional help for consumption method and dosage.

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