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Cannabinoids

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Updated on April 2, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Cannabinoid marijuana leaf image

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in marijuana and also produced by the human body which interact with the receptors of our bodies. They are a class of molecules which meet with the body’s endocannabinoid system. There are several types of cannabinoids, the most popular being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). There are several functions of the body that cannabinoids impact. The most common being appetite loss, stress, pain, and sleep issues. However, Cannabinoids are also used to treat other issues within bodies, the most potential health benefits being seen in inflammation reduction and nausea control.

Cannabidiolic acid, abbreviated to CBDA is a common cannabinoid of the cannabis plant which is non-intoxicating. Cannabinoids have many benefits medically, used often for treating stomach issues such as inflammation. It also has anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant benefits, causing it to be valuable when treating these issues.

These compounds are responsible for maintaining the internal balance in the human body. In human bodies, they interact with the Endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a biological system consisting of lipophilic molecules responsible for regulating different processes in the body like immunity response, metabolism and interaction between the cells, reproduction, sleep and more.

Since it can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp plants, it is more widely available due to it being legal in most countries owing to the minuscule amounts of THC in them. There are small differences between CBDA and CBD, however, the most relevant of these is the fact that Cannabidolic acid is like the raw form of cannabidiol.

Through a process called decarboxylation, Cannabidiolic acid is converted to Cannabidiol. On its own, CBDA benefits are pretty much the same as CBD, however, it is rarely utilized in its acidic form. More often than not, strains that have higher percentages of CBD are utilized for any forms of treatment requiring CBDA.

Cannabinoids are found in many food items also like cacao, black truffles, kava (a type of herbal tea). This compound accounts for the remedial effects of such food items for anxiety and pain. These compounds are also found in some flowers like helichrysum or coneflower. The compound, in this case, is called phytocannabinoid. 

Cannabinoids are known for their euphoric effects as they regulate the levels of dopamine, serotonin in our body. The use of cannabis in managing many chronic diseases has been known around the globe seen for a long time.


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