A cannabinoid is one of a diverse type of chemical compounds that acts on cellular cannabinoid receptors which alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. A phytocannabinoid refers to cannabinoids derived from the resin of plants. The human body produces its own cannabinoids, namely anandamide and 2AG.
As of 2018, 111 phytocannabinoids had been identified. The science community understands some of the medical applications of just 10% of these known compounds.
Phytocannabinoids are able to work directly with the human body's endocannabinoid system. While the phytocannabinoids can work when introduced independently, they work more synergistically when consumed together. This phenomenon is referred to as the 'entourage effect'.
The most well know phytocannabinoids are:
- CBD (cannabidiol)
- THC (∆9-THC or ∆9-Tetrahyrdocannabinol)
- CBN (cannabinol)
- CBG (cannabigirol)
- CBC (cannabichromene)
- ∆THCV (∆9-Tetrahyrdocannabivarin)
- CBDA (cannabidolic acid)
- ∆9-THCA (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
- CBDV (cannabidivarin)
Cannabinoids occur in several plant species besides cannabis. These include echinacea and helichrysum.