One of the most important terms for a Kannaway brand ambassador to know is cannabinoid. It is cannabinoids that provide users with the myriad of benefits obtained from cannabis, including hemp, and understanding how cannabinoids work is integral to confidently selling our products and our brand.
Cannabinoids are a class of active chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors located in our cells as part of the endocannabinoid system and alter the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
There are over 100 presently discovered cannabinoids, which are largely responsible for the effects cannabis has on the body. Common cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, cannabidiol or CBD, cannabinol or CBN, and cannabigerol or CBG.
Though cannabinoids are present in the cannabis plant naturally as their carboxylic acid forms, these cannabinoids are converted to their active forms when they undergo a process called decarboxylation, where heat, light, or alkaline conditions cause the cannabinoids to lose their carboxyl group.
Cannabinoids can be found in three places: formed by plants, produced naturally by the human body, and created artificially in a lab.
Endocannabinoids – like Anandamide and 2-AG – are naturally occurring cannabinoids made by the human body. Anandamide, named for the sanskrit word for bliss, is similar in its construction and effects to THC. On the other hand, 2-arachidonoylglycerol or 2-AG is analogous to CBD.
Phytocannabinoids come from plants. When users consume cannabis, the cannabinoids in the hemp plant are absorbed by the body. However, cannabinoid-like chemical compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system are also found in echinacea, black pepper, and even cacao.
It is also possible to create synthetic cannabinoids in a lab. These synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids and can be utilized alongside phytocannabinoids to develop novel new pharmaceutical treatments.
Cannabinoids can be administered using several methods, including smoking, vaporization, oral ingestion, sublingual absorption, or even by transdermal patch.
Regardless of their source, when consumed, cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system where they bind with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Here, cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system, triggering cannabis’s beneficial effects and promoting homeostasis and systemic balance.