It’s no secret that marijuana consumption can cause a person to feel “high,” characterized by feelings of euphoria, lethargy, creativity and, in some cases, paranoia and anxiety. But how marijuana makes a person high is a bit more complicated.

Though the effects of marijuana consumption depend largely on the mode of ingestion, it is the chemicals within cannabis that cause the reaction in the first place. These chemicals, called cannabinoids, bind with special receptors throughout the body to mediate cellular communication and cause the “stoned” sensation that so many of us are familiar with.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemicals that bind to special cannabinoid receptors in the body. CB receptors make up a larger system called the endogenous cannabinoid system and can be found in many parts of the brain and spinal chord (CB1 receptors) as well as the rest of the body (CB2 receptors). Cannabinoids were named after the plant that aided in their discovery and can be generated within the body (endocannabinoids), derived from plants (phytocannabinoids) or made synthetically.

The cannabis plant contains more than 85 different cannabinoids. The most popular cannabinoid, THC, is known to have a powerful physiological impact on the body including changes in mood, pain perception, focus and appetite.

Gaining in popularity is another cannabinoid called cannabidiol or CBD. Though it contains no psychoactive properties, CBD has shown great promise in the medical community, no less. According to a 2013 study by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD may be beneficial for its anticonvulsant, antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties (among other things).

Other beneficial cannabinoids to look out for include THC-V which has been shown to reduce blood sugar, convulsions and appetite; CBN which offers pain relief, spasm reduction and soporific qualities; and CBG which is both antibacterial and anti-fungal and can be used as a bone stimulant, as well.

How do cannabinoids work?

All mammals contain an endocannabinoid system that is designed to regulate cellular processes. When cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors, they can help mediate bodily functions such as blood pressure, appetite, stress and pain perception.

Cannabinoid receptors are primarily located throughout the central nervous system and bind to it as pre-synaptic receptors. This means that cannabinoids can inhibit the release of neurotransmitters by mediating which chemicals are released. This can result in the stimulation of certain brain regions like the hypothalamus where base instincts like hunger and sexual desire are controlled, or the neocortex which is responsible for creativity and complex thinking. Unfortunately, it can also hinder other areas of the brain like the hippocampus (which is responsible for memory storage) by “hijacking” the area and controlling which memories will and will not be retained.

Different cannabinoids exert different effects, as well. For example, while THC may increase anxiety and fear by acting on CB1 receptors in the amygdala, CBD will produce the opposite effect by binding to (and thus blocking) these same receptors.

Cannabis is capable of amazing things all thanks to these special chemicals called cannabinoids. Though individual cannabinoids exert unique characteristics, the combination of multiple cannabinoids can work synergistically to promote optimum health and well-being.

Photo Credit: Leslie J. Clary

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    We offer a complete bookkeeping and accountancy service to self-employed individuals and small businesses. We have been providing these services for 30 years and have built up a strong client base of small businesses. We understand your needs and deliver a personal service catering to the specific needs of your business. We are diamond QuickBooks Pro advisors!

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    CORE Security Solutions, Inc. provides security services to a wide array of clients, including the rapidly growing cannabis industry. We are fully licensed and insured by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). We currently provide security services to several local cannabis dispensaries in the Bay Area and secure transport and delivery services for cannabis products and proceeds throughout California. Our security specialists are all licensed and our transport vehicles are equipped with secure storage and GPS tracking.

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    Ravenna offers branding, websites, SEO and social marketing services designed to help grow your canna-business. With a foundation in strong communication and integrity we help our clients achieve their growth and digital marketing goals.

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    At Cannabis Cash Solutions we specialize in automating cash handling for marijuana-related businesses. Our turnkey cash management system makes it easy to start protecting your investment today.

  • Portable Smoke

    Portable Smoke is your online destination for purchasing portable discreet items for your smoking needs. We recognize that smoking may be a discreet and a recreational activity to participate in alone or with trusted friends. As a result, we specialize in selling grinders and bowls that you can hide right under everyone’s nose.

  • My Cannabis Accountant

    We are a Boutique Accounting firm focused on the cannabis industry. Our management team has over 100 years of combined experience in public accounting. Running a legal cannabis-based business can be complicated. Let us make sure your business is compliant with all federal, state and local financial regulations so that you can focus on your business.

  • PayQwick, Inc.

    PayQwick’s mission is to bring well-established, proven payment processing, regulatory compliance and banking services to the licensed recreational and medical marijuana industries, thereby reducing the risk of violent crime, illegal money laundering and violation of state marijuana regulations. PayQwick serves state licensed Producers, Processors, Wholesalers, Distributors, Dispensaries and Retailers.

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    Proteus420 is the only real-time, fully featured business solution that has been created specifically for the Medical Marijuana Industry.Both powerful and secure, we can assist all levels of business from Dispensary to Delivery through our medical marijuana and dispensary software, and provide all the tools you will need to save your business Time and Money!

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    Software built to streamline distribution and manufacturing. Distru provides inventory, order, and customer management for cannabis companies in a centralized platform.

  • California Cannabis CPA

    California Cannabis CPA is the premiere CPA firm that helps individuals and companies working in the Cannabis Industry with all tax planning, compliance, preparation, savings, and peace of mind.

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June 18, 2018

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