Cannabis plants contain over 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which are responsible for the plant's effects on the body. The two major cannabinoids found in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, meaning it is responsible for the plant's mind-altering effects. THC activates the brain's cannabinoid receptors, which are involved in a variety of physiological processes including pain, memory, and appetite. When THC is consumed, it can produce a range of effects including relaxation, altered senses, and increased appetite.
CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis and is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a high. It has been shown to have a range of potential therapeutic effects, including reducing inflammation, reducing anxiety and depression, and helping to reduce seizures in people with epilepsy (1). CBD has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of pain and addiction (2).
In addition to THC and CBD, there are several other cannabinoids that have been identified in cannabis, including cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC). These cannabinoids have a range of potential therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and pain-relieving effects (3).
It is important to note that the effects of cannabinoids can vary depending on the individual, the specific strain of cannabis being consumed, and the method of consumption. Further research is needed to fully understand the therapeutic potential of these compounds.