CBD is another major cannabinoid but engages the body’s CB2 receptors plus serotonin receptors. CBD purportedly offers many health benefits without the high commonly experienced with THC. CBD has neuroprotective properties—aiding in protecting the brain from damage after injury. Both THC and CBD reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds naturally produced by the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are two of the most well known and discussed cannabinoids. They are phytocannabinoids, meaning they occur naturally in the cannabis plant. They work by mirroring the compounds our bodies produce called endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the human body. The two major endocannabinoids are Anandamide and 2-AG. Anandamide is also almost identical in structure to phytocannabinoid THC.
Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system is vital for our health and wellness. It regulates the key aspects of our biology, maintaining homeostasis. The human body is equipped with cannabinoid receptors capable of bonding directly with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Cannabinoid receptors sit on the surface of cells and moderate conditions outside the cell. They send information about changing conditions to the inside of the cell, kickstarting the appropriate cellular response. These receptors are often looked at as locks, with THC, CBD and other cannabinoids being their keys. Phytocannabinoids can replace or attune these connections as necessary. Age, illness, and/or other factors can deteriorate the systems that generate endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids can be used to mimic endocannabinoid activity.
Indica has a shorter flowering cycle, as it is found in more diverse climates. It is shorter in stature compared to sativa, and typically has a tight bud structure. This is attributed to its shorter growing cycle.
The same strain of cannabis (or any plant) has infinite possible phenotypes. A phenotype is a specifically selected sample of a cultivar. Different phenotypes produce different cannabinoid content, terpene profiles, and other variables.
Sativa is a classification of cannabis that has a longer flowering cycle, found in equatorial regions, as compared to higher latitude. Because of longer growing seasons they tend to grow larger in stature. They typically have a looser flower structure and longer, skinnier leaves.
Different types of cannabis plants are referred to as strains. Numerous strains exist, varying in levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, which manifest in a variety of effects. While there are a fixed number of landrace strains (those growing naturally in different regions), genetic cross-breeding means there are endless possibilities for what can be created in the future.
Terpenes provide each strain with flavours and aromas, differentiating cannabis strains and giving each variety their unique taste and smell. Terpenes can also interact with the endocannabinoid system to help balance the effects that a specific strain of cannabis will have on your body and mind.
THC is a cannabinoid that engages receptors found in the human body called CB1 receptors (responsible for regulating sleep, pain sensation stimulating appetite, etc.). THC is the only compound currently found in cannabis that produces a strong psychoactive effect, or high. THC and CBD are both examples of phytocannabinoids (plant based).
A tincture refers to any medicinal extract that uses alcohol as a solvent. Cannabis tinctures are used sublingually.