Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are derived from the cannabis plant. These compounds can be found in nature or synthesized artificially, and they interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in the regulation of various functions throughout the body, including mood, sleep, appetite, immune response, and pain management.
Cannabinoids are two of the active compounds found in hemp and marijuana plants (cannabis Sativa). THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main ingredient responsible for the psychoactive properties of marijuana; CBD (cannabidiol) provides many anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits without any psychoactive effects.
Different Types of Cannabinoids in Cannabis
The number of cannabinoids that have been isolated from marijuana has grown significantly over the past few years as scientists work to understand better how cannabinoids impact human health. In addition to THC, some of the 200+ occurring cannabinoids in marijuana include cannabinol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, and tetrahydrocannabivarin.
The Effects of Cannabinoids
From pain relief and nausea management to the promotion of brain cell growth, cannabinoids have various effects on the body. Science has shown demonstrated efficacy in clinical studies to treat numerous symptoms and disorders, including:
- Chronic pain
- Tourette syndrome
- Chemo-induced nausea and vomiting
- Appetite stimulation in patients in treatment for HIV/AIDS and cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
Are Cannabinoids Safe for Human Consumption?
With marijuana growing in popularity and gaining legal status in state after state in the U.S., science has been able to determine if cannabinoids from marijuana are safe for medicinal and recreational use.
Like any substance, overuse can lead to a negative impact on the user. Some of the adverse side effects of natural cannabinoids from cannabis include anxiety, paranoia, nausea, perceptual intoxication, and psychological addiction or cravings.
What About Synthetic Cannabinoids?
Growing research demonstrates that synthetic cannabinoids are associated with much more severe negative effects, both medically and psychologically. These adverse side effects include difficulties with working memory, attention span, and long-term recall, along with behavioral and cognitive impairments. These effects are much more severe and long-lasting than those related to natural cannabis or THC consumption.
The Future of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
The cannabis industry continues to proliferate, and futurists predict that as more cannabinoids are discovered and researched, this rapid expansion will continue. One study predicts the global market for cannabinoid-based products will reach $50 billion by 2029.