Cannabinoids

What is a Cannabinoid and the human endocanabinoid system.

phyto-cannabinoid is a molecule created by a plant. There are 113 known natural phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but cannabinoids can be synthetically and organically created inside the human body.

Named for the plant that led to its discovery, cannabis, the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the entire body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells.

The ECS is made up of several integrated mechanisms. Enzymes create and destroy cannabinoids, receptor sites on cells to receive cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoids themselves — small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors.

Endocannabinoids are like the body’s own THC; the cannabis plant’s most well-known and psychoactive compound and are not just present in humans, either, but are found in all animals and fish — with insects the only exception.

Cannabinoids exert their effects by interacting with specific cannabinoid receptors present on the surface of cells inside the EC).These receptors are found in different parts of the central nervous system and the two main types of cannabinoid receptors in the body are CB1 and CB2.

Like a key fits into a lock, cannabinoids are designed to link together with the CB1 and CB2 Receptors, spurring the receiving neuron into action and triggering a set of events to carry out a range of cellular responses required for healthy functioning.

The main cannabis plantcannabinoids that have been researched and studied over the last 80 years since their isolation by Dr. Raphel Mechoulam in Israel are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidol (CBD).

All thought new cannabinoids are being discovered, created and studied every day, these are the main compounds growers have selectively breaded for generations now, and represents a large market demand for their production in medicines and other applications.

Cannabidol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, usually varieties that qualify as hemp. It is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound with a well researched history of medical use and potential applications in a wide range of diseases and ailments.

In 2018, cannabidiol was FDA-approved (trade name Epidiolex) for the treatment of two forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children with  refractoryepilepsy. 

Cannabidiol does not appear to have any intoxicating effects (i.e. “getting high”) such as those caused by ∆9-THC in marijuana, but is under preliminary research for its possible anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic effects for possible applications in post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorder, schizophrenia, and other similar mental conditions.

As the legal and research landscape changes around the globe, laws are attempting to keep up with the growing body of positive research pointing towards a promising future as a clinical medicine.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC Delta 9)

Tetrahydrocannabinol  is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. With chemical name (−)-trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol, the term THC also refers to cannabinoid isomers. Like most pharmacologically active secondary metabolites of plants, THC is a lipid found in cannabis, assumed to be involved in the plant’s self-defense, punitively against insect predation, ultraviolet light, and environmental stress. It is the traditionally sought after cannabinoid for recreational uses, but emerging research has shown the medical applications for treatments in conditions.

Dronabinol, also known as Marinol and Syndros, is a trade name for a specific form of tetrahydrocannabinol, sold as an appetite stimulant, antiemetic, and sleep apnea reliever. It is approved at the federal level by the U.S. Food and Drug Association as safe and effective for HIV/AIDS-induced anorexia and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting only. While the U.S. govt approves of this form of THC, the cost for dronabinol oral capsule 2.5 mg is around $95 (1,500 E) for a monthly supply of 60 capsules, depending on the pharmacy you visit. This is an excessive cost compared to the THC amounts found in safe and clean grown cannabis.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V)