What are cannabinoids, and what can they do for you?

Welcome to the first 101 extraction lesson. If you have any experiences with extraction or cannabis that are relevant to the lessons, please write to us, so we have the latest updates in the community and we can learn from each other😊

This first lesson is about cannabinoids, and how they affect you.

Let us start this lesson with the endocannabinoid system: This system is a neuromodulatory system that is located in your body, and it helps develop your central nervous system. When ingesting cannabinoids from plants, your endocannabinoid system gets stimulated.

In other words: you have glands in your body producing your own cannabinoids, and receptors in your cells reacting to your ‘homemade’ cannabinoids, plus the ones found in the cannabis plant. That is why CBD, THC, etc. affects our bodies and minds.

Cannabinoids are compounds originating from the cannabis plant. It is unclear how many cannabinoids there are in the plant. To date, around 80 cannabinoids have been isolated, and it is expected that cannabis contains more than 100 separate cannabinoids.

The two best-known cannabinoids are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The plants produce the cannabinoids in raw, acidic forms, called CBD-a and THC-a, the -a denominating the acid forms of the compounds. Decarboxylation (aka. decarb’ing, activation) is the process of changing the cannabinoids from their acidic forms, to activated forms. When CBD-a and THC-a are decarboxylated, the ‘-a’ (consisting of some extra carbon and oxygen molecules attached to the cannabinoid) breaks off the molecule, leaving you with an activated CBD or THC.

For those who do not know the difference between CBD and THC:

  • THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that expands your consciousness. It makes you high, while also regulating different areas like reducing nausea, stimulating appetite and sensory responsiveness, as well as boosting creativity and associative thinking.
  • CBD is anti-inflammatory and, for most people, pain-relieving and relaxing. CBD is also said to alleviate anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc.