What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids come in all shapes and sizes and provide a wide variety of benefits. Although CBD gets a lot of press, it is only one of the cannabinoids among 113 other identified cannabinoid compounds from the family of Cannabis plants. Each cannabinoid alter the ways in which way to send and receive signals in our body by attaching themselves with the Endocannabinoid System.

The two most well known cannabinoids are CBD & THC which make up most of the cannabinoid profile of the plant- our best friend CBD being up to 40%. 

Cannabinoids come in three classifications and they are:

  1. Endocannabinoid – which  are produced in our bodies
  2. Phytocannabinoids – which can be derived from plants
  3. Synthetic – Cannabinoids – which are human made


Encocannabinoids are the type of cannabinoids that are produced within our bodies. 

Would it surprise you to say that these compounds have the same effects on our bodies as phytocannabinoids, and are actually very similar in their chemical structure? 

Anandamide was first to be identified – also known as arahidonoyl ethanolamine. The name comes from a Sanskrit word that means ‘bliss’. In its pharmacology it is very similar to THC (the psychoactive compound in Cannabis) although the chemical structure is different. Anandamide binds to the CB1 receptor, and the CB2 to a lesser extent, where it acts as an agonist. 

This endocannabinoid is just as potent as THC when it interacts with the CB1 receptors which is why you can get a rush of intense euphoria after a long run (running high), or after eating some spice. It is found in nearly all tissues in the animal kingdom – it is also found in Chocolates! although in very small amounts. 

So in essence, we produce our own THC that makes us high!


Phytocannabinoids are derived from the plants and are the compounds that interact with ECS.The name ‘cannabinoid’ comes from the fact that these chemicals were deserved during research into cannabis; although cannabis has a very high content of these chemicals, cannabinoids can also be found in Olives, Flax seeds and Chocolate.

There are lots of these chemicals and each do very interesting things. Here is a list of known cannabinoid subcategories: 

  • Cannabigerols (CBG)
  • Cannabichromenes (CBC)
  • Cannabidiols (CBD)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabitriol (CBT)
  • Cannabivarin (CBV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)
  • Cannabigerovarin (CBGV)
  • Cannabigerol Monoethyl Ether (CBGM)

There are loads of other cannabinoids (and aromatic compounds called-Terpenes that haven’t been included within this list – including the acid precursors such asCBDa, THCa which can be found in some of our products. 

Synthetic Cannabinoids 

When anybody ways ‘synthetic’ we get the fear – and yes, when you witness somebody abusing synthetic cannabinoids (much like Spice) it is easy to worry about what these compounds are for, and what they do to us. Many can be very dangerous but the purpose of these cannabinoids is much more than for recreational use. 

As you might imagine, when an amazing chemical is discovered, Scientist will get to work to try and understand and replicate it.Whether that be for medicinal or recreational use.

Most of the synthetic cannabinoids we know about have been based on the structure of herbal cannabinoids, and huge numbers of them have been produced and tested, mainly by a group led by Roger Adams in the 1940s and later by the group lead by Raphael Machaulam. The newer synthetic cannabinoids have been created using the structures of Endocannabinoids. 

You may be thinking, why would these people create new compounds? Well, most of these cannabinoids were developed during experiments which set out to determine the relationship between the chemical structure, and their activity when combined with a cannabinoid receptor. Subsequently, they would be adapted with incremental modifications to achieve a desired effect.

Politically, this can get a little heated.

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