What are Cannabinoids?

With so much talk out there about CBD, the conversation is starting to include other cannabinoids as well. By now you’ve almost certainly heard about CBD and THC, but did you know that there are at least 113 total cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants?

Along with the most famous two – CBD and THC – there are tons of other cannabinoids, like CBG, CBA, CBC, CBL, and more.

But until then, let’s answer the most pressing question, the one we’re all wondering about:

What are cannabinoids?


What are cannabinoids?

Simply put, cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act on certain receptors (aptly named cannabinoid receptors) in your body.

Some of them produce a psychoactive effect, like THC – psychoactive means mind-altering, a.k.a. they make you feel “high.”

Many of them do not produce a psychoactive effect, meaning they don’t get you high. CBD is the most well-known among non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Are they only found in cannabis?

Despite the name, the answer is no: cannabinoids do in fact exist in plants other than cannabis or hemp. They’re found in all kinds of things, like echinacea, tea, black truffles, and liverwort, among others.

So, while the name originates from the cannabis plant, cannabinoids are found all over the place, in all kinds of different sources.

They all have varying effects, and as research develops we suspect we’ll see all kinds of interesting new cannabinoids, being used for lots of different purposes, and sourced from all kinds of plants.


Are humans the only ones with endocannabinoid systems and receptors?


Cannabinoid receptors are common in animals, and are found in all different kinds – from mammals to reptiles to birds to fish.

In fact, some animals even like to seek out cannabis on their own – there are stories of cows and sheep stumbling across cannabis plants, eating them, and going back for more.

In fact, since more cannabinoid research has been done on animals than humans, we know more about how CBD works for animals than we do for ourselves.

There’s promising research that points to CBD’s effectiveness for treating things like anxiety and inflammation in animals.


Long story short

Essentially, CBD, THC, CBG and other cannabinoids are simply molecules found in plants, especially cannabis, that react in a particular way with your body.

They’re not all the same. But they all work similarly in terms of how they interact with your body.