Cannabinoid Definition & Information

A cannabinoid is a category of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant (the marijuana plant). There are around 70 cannabinoids out of a total of about 480 total compounds in the cannabis plant. 

The most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for giving users a high, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is nonpsychoactive and doesn’t intoxicate people who ingest it. Other classes of cannabinoids include:

  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabitriol (CBT)

Cannabinoids work by attaching themselves to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. These receptors are responsible for functions like memory, coordination, time perception, and mood, so when they connect with cannabinoids, your body and mind respond to them in various ways. Besides getting high, which is an effect exclusive to THC, other effects of cannabinoids sought by users include:

  • Relaxation
  • Decreased symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Reduced physical pain
  • Decreased nausea
  • Improved appetite

There are risks of experiencing undesired cannabinoid effects as well, including:

  • Paranoia
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Nausea