What are Cannabinoids?
A cannabinoid is a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Ligands for these receptor proteins include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by animals) and the phytocannabinoids (also found in cannabis and other plants), as well as synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured artificially). The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the cannabis plant.
Synthetic cannabinoids encompass a variety of distinct chemical classes. The classical cannabinoids which are structurally related to THC. The nonclassical cannabinoids (cannabimimetics) which include aminoalkylindoles, 1,5-diarylpyrazoles, quinolines, and arylsulfonamides as well as eicosanoids related to endocannabinoids.
There are two types of natural cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally in the body. And cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, produced from the Hemp plant. Natural cannabinoids have therapeutic benefits to humans thanks to our endocannabinoid system, a series of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) throughout the entire body. These receptors react to cannabinoids our bodies produce which are molecularly very similar to cannabinoids from Cannabis and Hemp.
The natural cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body. CB1 receptors, located primarily in the brain, are believed to control mood, memory, sleep, appetite and pain. CB2 receptors are located in parts of the body that produce blood cells and are believed to affect inflammation.
There are over 100 known naturally-occurring cannabinoids, each demonstrates some sort of bioactivity. These cannabinoids, and their interactions with endocannabinoid system, form a biological potential wealth of chemical, medicinal, and neurological benefits. This intricate relationship between cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system and the natural pharmacophores of cannabinoids, also looks to treat a variety of medical conditions.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.
Because CBD differs from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) it does not cause the intoxicating, euphoric “high” which is associated with marijuana. CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. Studies have shown CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.