Cannabinoids are the active chemicals that are present in resin produced by the Cannabis plant. Over 60 different cannabinoids are known to man. The 3 cannabinoids that are most prevalent in Cannabis are THC, CBD and CBN:
- THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid that resides in Cannabis plants. THC is responsible for the cerebral high, it affects mostly the mind and senses, but is also known to serve as a neuroprotective agent and relieve pain.
- CBD or Cannabidiol is produced in minute quantities, side by side with THC. CBD is not psychoactive, but it is known to mediate the euphoric effects caused by THC. Cannabidiol works more on the body, and is known to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea.
- CBN or Cannabinol is the product of THC and CBD oxidation. Cannabinol is not psychoactive and works as a sedative. CBN content is very low in fresh harvested cannabis, but increases over time under the influence of light and heat.
Upon entering the body, the cannabinoids bind to specific receptors in the human nervous system (conveniently called the cannabinoid receptors), where normally anandamide resides. This is directly related to the effects of Cannabis and Hashish.