Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that can be divided into three different types:
--- 1) Natural herbal cannabinoids which are sometimes referred to as phytocannabinoids.
--- 2) Natural endogenous cannabinoids which are sometimes referred to as endocannabinoids.
--- 3) Synthetic cannabinoids which are sometimes referred to as synthocannabinoids.
Natural herbal cannabinoids are chemicals that occur in plants. Large concentrations can be obtained from cannabis plants.
Depending on the source, as of 2017 scientists have identified at least 50-100 different cannabinoids that are produced by plants in the Cannabis genus.
Natural endogenous cannabinoids are chemicals produced in the bodies of humans and some other animals. Their main function is to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body of the organism they are produced in.
Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the human body. They do not occur in nature and must be synthesized by chemists.
There are some synthetic cannabinoids like jwh-018 that when ingested by humans produce effects similar to, although not exactly the same as, natural cannabis products like marijuana, hashish, hash oil.
Natural Herbal Cannabinoids Include
*** THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) gets a person high. Cannabis with a larger percentage of THC will produce a stronger high. Without THC, cannabis products would produce very little, to no high at all.
Besides potentially inducing feelings of euphoria and happiness, THC can cause people to feel anxious, nervous, or paranoid. THC may also cause sleepiness.
THC is responsible for most of the psychoactive (cerebral, mental), and part of the pain reducing action of cannabis. Other therapeutic functions include stimulation of appetite and reduction of nausea.
*** THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is found in large quantities when marijuana plants are harvested. It is not psychoactive, but is converted to psychoactive THC when the THCA molecule releases carbon dioxide and water, a process known as decarboxylation.
*** CBD (Cannabidiol) contributes analgesic (pain reducing), anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling), anticonvulsant (treats seizures), as well as contributing other medicinal properties to cannabis products.
When combined with THC, CBD tends to relax a person as well as decreasing feelings like anxiety, nervousness, paranoia.
Cannabis products that have a high level of THC and low level of CBD will produce a very strong cerebral high. The mind may feel more anxious, excited, or energetic when compared to ingesting cannabis with larger levels of CBD.
Cannabis products that have a high level of both THC and CBD will produce a strong cerebral high, that is more calming mentally, when compared with cannabis products that have high THC and low CBD levels.
*** CBC (Cannabichromene) is thought to contribute analgesic, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral properties to cannabis products.
*** CBL (Cannabicyclol) is not psychoactive in pure form, and is not known to interact with THC to affect the high. It is a degradative product of CBC. Light converts CBC to CBL.
*** CBG (Cannabigerol) is not psychoactive. It is being studied for its analgesic and anti-anxiety properties. It may also have potential as a treatment for cancer.
*** CBN (Cannabinol) is reported to have pain reducing properties. At one time it was thought to be mildly psychoactive. More recent studies indicate that CBN is not psychoactive. CBNA (CBN acid) is converted to CBN by decarboxylation.
Terpenes are organic compounds produced by some plants and insects. In addition to cannabinoids, terpenes are thought to influence the medicinal and intoxicating properties of cannabis, but to a much lesser degree.
The study of cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis products is still relatively new. Different ratios of terpenes probably have an influence on the high and medicinal properties produced by different strains of marijuana.
THC, CBD, other cannabinoids do not produce odors. Most or all of the smell from marijuana, and marijuana smoke, is related to terpenes.