Marijuana (Cannabis)

Cannabinoids And Terpenes

Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that can be divided into three different types:
Natural herbal cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids)
Natural endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids)
Synthetic cannabinoids (synthocannabinoids).

Natural herbal cannabinoids are chemicals that occur in plants. Large concentrations can be obtained from cannabis plants. Plants from the Cannabis genus produce over 80 different natural herbal cannabinoids.

Depending on the source, as of 2016 scientists had identified between 85-88 different cannabinoids that are produced by plants from the Cannabis genus.

Natural herbal cannabinoids like THC and CBD have a major influence on the intoxicating and medicinal effects of cannabis products like marijuana, hashish, hashish oil.

Natural endogenous cannabinoids are chemicals produced in the bodies of humans and some 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 humans.

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.

Natural Herbal Cannabinoids

*** 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 cerebral (mental), and part of the analgesic action of cannabis. Other therapeutic functions include stimulation of appetite and reduction of nausea.

*** CBD (Cannabidiol) contributes analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, other medicinal properties to cannabis.

When combined with THC, CBD tends to relax a person as well as decreasing feelings like anxiety, nervousness, paranoia. However, CBD does not induce sleep and may make a person feel more alert and awake.

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 high THC and low CBD levels.

*** CBC (Cannabichromene) is being studied for analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

*** 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.

*** CBN (Cannabinol) is mildly psychoactive and has a higher affinity to the CB2 receptor rather than for the CB1 receptor. High levels of CBN tend to make a person feel tired or messed up rather than high. It is a degradative product of THC. Heat and the oxygen in air convert THC to CBN.

*** THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) is found primarily in strains of African and Asian cannabis. THCV might produce effects similar to THC or interact with THC to affect the high.


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.

Although the study of cannabinoids and terpenes and their influence on cannabis products is still relatively recent, different ratios of terpenes probably have a slight influence on the high and medicinal properties produced by different strains of marijuana.

THC, CBD, CBC, CBL, CBN, THCV, and other cannabinoids do not produce odors. Most or all of the smell from marijuana, and marijuana smoke, is from terpenes.