The cannabis plant and phytocannabinoids
THC, CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG and approxiamately 80 more molecules make up the phytocannabinoids family, which are found in varying amounts, depending on environmental conditions, andt the marijuana plant. Some cannabinoids are responsible for the main effects of cannabis and others have important medicinal properties, that the scientific community continues to discover every day.
Some cannabinoids are mainly antidepressants, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti emetic, while others may even help protect the nervous system. Actually, we are just beginning to discover the potential of cannabinoids and all their possible applications, mainly in the context of some cancers, as well as other degenerative diseases.
We can classify the cannabinoids into four major groups: natural cannabinoids from plants (phytocannabinoids), natural endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids produced by the human body and securing biological functions), cannabinoids synthesis (potentially dangerous, as there is very little information on its effects), and mimetic or cannabimimetic cannabinoids (naturally occurring molecule or synthetic, replicating the action of cannabinoids on CB1 and / or CB2 receptors).
In this article, we will only discuss the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the marijuana plant, the phytocannabinoids.
Most of the cannabinoids are present in very small amounts (less than 0.01% of total cannabinoids) are not considered psychoactive, and the effect is not significant. Indeed, many are simply homologues or analogues (similar structure or function) of some of the major known cannabinoids.
However, medical research regularly reveals new and surprising discoveries about these cannabinoids present in trace form. Unfortunately, this research and its findings are significantly hampered by the leglisation in many countries.
Different mixtures of cannabinoids and other related molecules (mainly aromatic compounds such as myrcene), largely explain the variations of effects we found between one variety of cannabis and another. The strength of the effect depends mainly on the level of THC, THC / CBD ratio and form of consumption, but this effect can also be modulated in several different ways.