Connect with us

Types of Cannabinoids: Differences, Similarities, and Sources


Types of Cannabinoids: Differences, Similarities, and Sources

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant and are known for their diverse effects on the human body. With an extensive range of cannabinoids identified to date, understanding their characteristics is crucial for both medical and recreational purposes. In this “we form” article, we aim to provide you with valuable insights and information, ensuring that you not only gain a deeper understanding of cannabinoids but also equip yourself to navigate the vast landscape of cannabis products.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining balance and homeostasis, regulating various physiological processes. The two primary types of cannabinoids are phytocannabinoids, which originate from the cannabis plant, and endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally in the human body.


Phytocannabinoids are the most well-known type of cannabinoids, and they are exclusively found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 different phytocannabinoids identified, each with its unique properties and potential benefits. Some of the most prominent phytocannabinoids include:

  1. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis use. It binds primarily to the CB1 receptors in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
  2. Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has gained immense popularity for its potential therapeutic properties. It interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, influencing various physiological processes without inducing a “high.”
  3. Cannabinol (CBN): CBN is a minor cannabinoid that results from the degradation of THC. It is believed to have sedative effects and is being researched for its potential as a sleep aid.
  4. Cannabigerol (CBG): CBG is a precursor to both THC and CBD, and it is present in minimal amounts in most cannabis strains. Research on CBG is in its early stages, but it shows promise for its potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
  5. Cannabichromene (CBC): CBC is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid that may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It is thought to work synergistically with other cannabinoids, enhancing their overall efficacy.


In contrast to phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids are produced within the human body. The two primary endocannabinoids identified so far are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These endocannabinoids bind to the same receptors as phytocannabinoids, modulating various physiological processes.

Differences between Various Cannabinoids

Each cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system in distinct ways, leading to different effects on the body and mind. Let’s explore some of the key differences between the most common cannabinoids:

  1. THC vs. CBD: THC is psychoactive and can induce intoxication, while CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce a “high.” Furthermore, THC is more likely to cause feelings of anxiety or paranoia in some individuals, while CBD is believed to counteract such effects.
  2. CBD vs. CBN: While both CBD and CBN are non-psychoactive, CBD is known for its potential anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, whereas CBN is believed to have mild sedative effects.
  3. CBD vs. CBG: CBD and CBG both interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, but CBG is thought to have stronger binding affinity to these receptors. CBG is also being studied for its potential as an antibacterial agent.
  4. CBD vs. CBC: CBD and CBC are both non-psychoactive cannabinoids, but CBC is thought to work synergistically with other cannabinoids, potentially enhancing their overall benefits.

Similarities between Various Cannabinoids

Despite their unique properties, cannabinoids also share some common characteristics, which contribute to the entourage effect—a phenomenon where multiple cannabinoids work together to enhance their therapeutic effects. Here are some similarities between different cannabinoids:

  1. Interactions with ECS: Both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, either binding to CB1 or CB2 receptors or influencing the production and breakdown of endocannabinoids.
  2. Potential Therapeutic Benefits: Many cannabinoids, including CBD, THC, and CBG, have shown promise in various preclinical and clinical studies for their potential therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, and neuroprotective properties.
  3. Non-toxic: Cannabinoids are generally considered non-toxic, even in relatively high doses. However, individual responses may vary, and it is essential to exercise caution when using cannabis products.

Sources of Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are primarily derived from the cannabis plant. The concentration of each cannabinoid can vary significantly depending on the strain and cultivation practices. Some common sources of cannabinoids include:

  1. Marijuana: Marijuana is a cannabis plant cultivated for its high THC content. It is primarily used for recreational purposes but also holds potential for medical applications.
  2. Hemp: Hemp is a variety of cannabis that contains low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Hemp-derived products are popular for their potential therapeutic benefits without causing intoxication.
  3. Full-spectrum CBD Products: Full-spectrum CBD products contain a wide range of cannabinoids, including THC (within legal limits), CBD, CBG, CBC, and others, offering the benefits of the entourage effect.
  4. Isolate CBD Products: CBD isolate products contain only pure CBD, isolated from other cannabinoids. These products are suitable for individuals who want to avoid any trace of THC or other cannabinoids.


In conclusion, understanding the different types of cannabinoids, their differences, similarities, and sources is essential for anyone interested in exploring the vast world of cannabis and its potential benefits. The diverse effects of cannabinoids on the endocannabinoid system open up numerous possibilities for medical treatments and wellness applications.

Continue Reading
You may also like...

More in General

Popular Post

To Top