What is a Cannabinoid?

CBD has become very popular in the last few years. More and more consumers are looking to buy CBD oil, tinctures, gummies, salves, supplements, lotions and creams to add to their wellness toolkits. But before they purchase, many people have questions they need answered. In this post, we’ll answer the question “What is a cannabinoid?”

Simply put, a cannabinoid is any chemical compound that interacts with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. To learn more about your body’s endocannabinoid system, click here.

There are three types of cannabinoids:

  • Cannabinoids produced by your body, called endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids.
  • Cannabinoids produced by plants, called phytocannabinoids, which are primarily found in the cannabis plant.
  • Cannabinoids produced in a lab, called synthetic cannabinoids.

To best understand cannabinoids and how they relate to the medicinal benefits of CBD, we need to talk about the phytocannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant.

The most popular and widely-researched cannabinoids are CBD and THC, but the cannabis plant produces between 80-100 cannabinoids.

How Do Cannabinoids Work?

In sports, we hear about athletes getting a rush of adrenaline during intense moments, and feeling a release of dopamine after a victory. Similarly, studies have shown that acts of kindness stimulate the production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness and the person extending the kindness.

If you understand how adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin are working, it’s much easier to understand how the cannabinoids in CBD oil or CBD softgels for example, work. Loosely speaking, they are chemicals that enable your body to communicate with itself.

For example, adrenaline is a chemical messenger that is released into your bloodstream to prepare your body for the ‘fight or flight’ response, which includes increasing the heart rate, increasing blood pressure, expanding the air passages of the lungs, enlarging the pupil in the eye, redistributing blood to the muscles and altering the body’s metabolism to maximize blood glucose levels for the brain.

Comparably, serotonin is a chemical messenger that travels between cells in your brain, carrying messages that will help aid in proper digestion, healthy sexual function, emotional well being and more.

In both of these instances, your body is working behind the scenes to prepare you for whatever comes your way. Cannabinoids are just another version of this.

As you’ll learn in the ‘What is the Endocannabinoid System’ blog post, its job is to maintain balance, or homeostasis. So if something’s off, whether it’s our immune system, sleep, mood, digestion, and other functions, your endocannabinoid system gets to work.

Because the cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant are so good at imitating the ones in our bodies, you can rest assured that when you’re supplementing with a Just Live CBD product, your body has more than enough cannabinoids to do the job.

What Do Cannabinoids Do?

Cannabinoids are chemical messengers that, when released into your body, bind to specific receptors called CB1 and CB2 to convey any number of messages and commands that lead your body back to a state of balance. CB1 receptors are found in your brain and are primarily responsible for receiving messages regarding mental and physiological functions. CB2 receptors are found throughout your immune and digestive systems and are primarily responsible for the regulation of key bodily functions like digestion, appetite, immunity, inflammation, memory, sleep, emotional state, and more.

Our Broad Spectrum CBD products contain many beneficial (and non-psychoactive) cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG, CBDA and CBDV. Introducing this spectrum of cannabinoids into your body can have lots of beneficial effects.

For example, CBN (Cannabinol) has been shown to act as a sedative, which can give you a good night’s sleep. Additionally, studies have shown CBN to help patients with epilepsy and glaucoma, treat pain, reduce inflammation and even fight certain types of infection!

CBC is short for cannabichromene, which is a cannabinoid that uses different pathways to bind to receptors in charge of controlling your body’s pain response. If that’s not enough, a 2016 study even showed evidence that CBC can help improve your skin’s complexion!

CBG stands for cannabigerol and is believed to be a mood booster that increases levels of anandamide, which is a cannabinoid that your own body produces. Additionally, CBG has been shown, in a 2013 study, to reduce inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. In fighting inflammation, CBG also has the potential of slowing the proliferation of tumor growth, and is thought to be responsible for reducing eye pressure in patients with glaucoma.

A 2014 study showed that CBDA (carboxylic acid) had the potential to hamper the production of enzymes that lead to breast cancer, which is very hopeful news. Nausea may also be treated by CBDA.

The final cannabinoid in our Broad Spectrum CBD products is CBDV, which is a cannabinoid that has been showing promise in the areas of treating degenerative muscular diseases like muscular dystrophy through its anticonvulsant properties.

CBDV stands for Cannabidivarin and, in addition to helping to reduce inflammation in muscles and increase muscular function, CBDV is also being studied as a potential treatment of various neurological disorders like epilepsy.

Just Live’s Broad Spectrum CBD products contain all of these amazing cannabinoids and are available in ingestible forms like tinctures or oils as well as topical forms like our Freeze Roll-On and Pain Relief Cream.

Sage Kotsenburg

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