Table of Contents
Cannabinoids CBD and THC, How Does It Work?
Cannabinoids are natural substances that can only be found in cannabis plants. One cannabis plant contains about 500 organic compounds, and about 85 of these can be classified as cannabinoids. What is CBD Learn more here?
Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, some are not, but the best results are achieved if all cannabinoids work synergistically together.
Most Famous Cannabinoids
Of the two cannabinoids, only two are the most well-known: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC has a healing effect, it is psychoactive, at the same time, a higher dose of the cannabinoid THC can cause anxiety and paranoia. CBD is not a psychoactive cannabinoid, but it has a sedative effect and helps to cure various types of inflammation and neurological diseases.
The endocannabinoid system has existed for about 600 million years and was created even before the dinosaur era. Since then, it has continuously been evolving and is present in all animal species.
This is why all living organisms, including humans and animals, are able to absorb these cannabinoids, which are found only in cannabis plants because CB1 receptors are part of the brain and neurological system and CB2 receptors, part of the immune system.
The endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in maintaining several critical bodily functions, reproduction, emotion, sleep, and food intake.
Cannabinoids work synergistically, which means that they all work together to support each other, so synthetic cannabinoids, usually sold in pharmacies, are not useful.
They need to be used complexly (Cannabis Seeds, Cannabis Seed Oil, CBD Extract, etc.) for their healing effect to be fully active.
8 Major Cannabinoids in Cannabis
Cannabis does not directly produce the most famous plant-related cannabinoids, THC, and CBD. Instead, it synthesizes several cannabinoid acids (see Figure 1 below). These cannabinoid acids must be “activated” (decarboxylated), usually by heat, to produce the compounds most commonly used by users (THC or CBD).
However, in addition to THCA and CBDA, there are related cannabinoid acids that cannabis can produce.
- CBGA (Cannabis glycolic acid)
- THCA (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBDA (Cannabidiol Acid)
- CBCA (Cannabichromenenoic acid)
- CBGVA (cannabigerovaric acid)
- THCVA (Tetrahydro-Cannabaric Acid)
- CBDVA (cannabidiuric acid)
- CBCVA (cannabichromocharevic acid)
- Baron EP. (2018). Medicinal properties of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis, and benefits in migraine, headache, and pain: An update on current evidence and cannabis science. DOI:
- Cannabinoids suitable for migraine prevention. (2017).
- Cannabis and cannabinoids (PDQ®) — health professional version. (2019).
- Ewing LE, et al. (2019). Hepatotoxicity of a cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in the mouse model. DOI:
- Hammell, DC, et al. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. DOI:
- Iffland K, et al. (2017). An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: A review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. DOI:
- Johnson JR, et al. (2013). An open-label extension study to investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of THC/CBD Oromucosal spray and oromucosal THC spray in patients with terminal cancer-related pain refractory to strong opioid analgesics. DOI:
- Johnson JR, et al. (2010). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC: CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. DOI:
- Simmerman E, et al. (2019). Cannabinoids as a potential new and novel treatment for melanoma: A pilot study in a murine model. DOI:
- Volkow ND. (2015). The biology and potential therapeutic effects of cannabidiol.
- Vučković S, et al. (2018). Cannabinoids and pain: New insights from old molecules. DOI: