Cannabinoid (weed molecule) receptors, are located everywhere throughout the body, including covering every inch of our skin.
The receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. The endocannabinoid system exists and is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis.
Cannabinoid receptors are embedded in cell membranes internally and on our skin, and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. All animals, including fish and birds, also have cannabinoid receptors. When these are stimulated, a variety of physiologic processes ensue.
Researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors: CB1, predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs; and CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and its associated structures. Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to a different action. Researchers speculate there may be a third cannabinoid receptor waiting to be discovered.
Endocannabinoids are the substances our bodies naturally make to stimulate these receptors.
Phytocannabinoids are plant substances that stimulate cannabinoid receptors.
There are at least a hundred cannabinoids that have been identified in hemp and cannabis. Some of the most common ones are:
- CBG (Cannabigerol)
- THC (Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol)
- CBD (Cannabidiol)
- CBC (Cannabichromene)
- CBGV (Cannabigerivarin)
- THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)
- CBDV (Cannabidivarin)
- CBCV (Cannabichromevarin)
Some research suggests that taking various cannabinoids together — along with smaller organic compounds in the cannabis plant, known as terpenes or terpenoids — is more effective than taking CBD or THC alone. This is due to an interaction between phytocannabinoids and terpenes called “the entourage effect.”
Choosing a full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extract is one of the best ways to benefit from all the cannabinoids working together.
Some CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC. If you are subject to drug testing at work or would otherwise rather not ingest THC, a “CBD Only” option might be best!