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Which Cannabinoids Are Psychoactive

Understanding Psychoactive Cannabinoids in Cannabis

Cannabinoids are a diverse group of chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. These molecules interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, influencing a variety of physiological functions. While there are over 100 cannabinoids identified in cannabis, not all of them produce psychoactive effects.

Introducing the Major Cannabinoids

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. It binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, causing mood-enhancing and appetite-stimulating effects. CBD, on the other hand, provides a clear-headed and relaxing experience without the psychoactive properties of THC.

CBGA is a precursor to many cannabinoids, including CBG, which has shown potential benefits for improving mood. CBC activates CB2 receptors and may contribute to healthy brain function. CBN, a degradation product of THC, produces sedative effects and may modulate the impact of THC.

THCV, an analogue of THC, may have weight loss and anti-inflammatory properties. While some of these major cannabinoids interact with CB1 receptors to produce psychoactive effects, others like CBD and CBC are considered non-psychoactive due to their limited interaction with these receptors.

Exploring Psychoactive Cannabinoids

THC, CBN, and THCV are the main psychoactive components of cannabis due to their ability to activate the CB1 receptor. THC is known for inducing relaxation, euphoria, and short-term memory issues. CBN produces a sedating effect, while THCV may reduce the negative effects of THC.

On the other hand, CBD and CBG are considered non-psychoactive because they do not bind strongly to the CB1 receptor. In fact, CBD has been shown to counteract some of THC’s psychoactive effects, offering a more balanced experience.

Conclusion

Understanding which cannabinoids are psychoactive can help users make informed decisions when selecting cannabis products. By considering how different cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, individuals can tailor their experience to achieve the desired effects.

Sources

[1] Russo, E. B., & Marcu, J. (2017). Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads. Cannabinoid Pharmacology, 67–134. [Source]

[2] Navarro, G., Varani, K., Reyes-Resina, I., Sánchez De Medina, V., Rivas-Santisteban, R., Sánchez-Carnerero Callado, C., Vincenzi, F., Casano, S., Ferreiro-Vera, C., Canela, E. I., Borea, P. A., Nadal, X., & Franco, R. (2018). Cannabigerol Action at Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors and at CB1–CB2 Heteroreceptor Complexes. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9. [Source]

[3] Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364. [Source]