WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?
CBD molecule structure
- endo-cannabinoids: endogenously produced in all mammalian bodies
- phyto-cannabinoids: produced by a variety of plants
- biosynthetic cannabinoids: produced by biosynthetic processes such as fermentation
- (semi)synthetic cannabinoids: produced by a complete or partial chemical synthesis
The makeup of the phyto-cannabinoid profile in the plant depends on the chemotype of the Cannabis plant:
- Drug-type Cannabis plants produce large amounts of precursor compound to an intoxicating phyto-cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This type of plant has been used for thousands of years in medical as well as ceremonial, spiritual, religious and recreational contexts.
- Hemp (or industrial hemp) are Cannabis plants which produce trace or almost none THC, but are rich in cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabigerol (CBG) precursors which are not intoxicating but nevertheless act on our endocannabinoid system. Hemp plants have been used predominantly for fiber or grain production for thousands of years but the wellness and medical potential of hemp is unraveling as we learn more and more about how cannabinoids interact with our bodies.
Novel ways to obtain non-intoxicating extracts of hemp have given rise to an exponential rise of phyto-cannabinoid use in food, beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications.