Closeup photo of a cannabis flower with droplets of resin. From e1011 Labs' page on cannabinoids and cannabidiol.

What are Cannabinoids?

E1011 Labs offers you a 101 in Cannabinoids.

Cannabinoid refers to any chemical substance, irrespective of its origin or structure, that combines with specific cannabinoid receptors within our body to elicit positive and homeostatic effects. This article briefly explores the world of cannabinoids and answers some of the most common questions that arise when we come across the word cannabinoid.

Cannabinoids: Plant Origins

The most frequently cited definition of cannabinoids is that they are naturally occurring substances found in the Cannabis sativa or hemp plant. More than 480 different compounds are present in the plant; research has categorized between 80 to 100 of these as cannabinoids and about 300 as non-cannabinoid chemicals.

With all the recent hype surrounding cannabinoids, one might assume they’ve just been discovered. However, the Cannabis plant has existed for thousands of years in various cultures – these drugs have been around since Ancient China and were used for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes.

Cannabis was also being used to treat and manage certain medical conditions in the US until a law was passed in 1937, which banned this practice.

Types of Cannabinoids found in Cannabis

Lesser known fact: Cannabis doesn’t directly produce the cannabinoids we are so familiar with. In fact, it synthesizes various cannabinoid acids, which then must be activated, most often by heat, to produce the miracle compounds that are so sought after. However, in addition to the most common tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) and cannabidiol acid (CBDA), which we will look into later, there are a number of associated cannabinoid acids that are also produced by cannabis in lesser amounts. These include:

  • CBCA (Cannabichromenenic acid)
  • CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid)
  • CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid)
  • CBDVA (Cannabidivarinic acid)
  • CBCVA (Cannabichromevarinic acid)
  • CBGVA (Cannabigerovarinic acid)
  • THCA (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
  • THCVA (Tetrahydrocanabivarinic acid)

Two Main Cannabinoids: CBD and THC

The two main cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the chemical that causes the notorious psychoactive effects attributed to cannabis, making a person experience feelings of extreme euphoria and relaxation – a state referred to as being ‘high.’

On the contrary, cannabinoids obtained from hemp plants are mainly CBD, which is present in about 40% of the plant resin extract. It is believed to be non-intoxicating and controls or moderates the euphoric effects of THC. Moreover, CBD is also believed to decrease some of THC intake’s other adverse effects, such as anxiety, and has been widely investigated for its therapeutic properties.

How do Cannabinoids Work?

The endocannabinoid system is an exclusive communications system present within the brain and body. It’s composed of naturally occurring cannabinoids called endocannabinoids, and the pathways that they interact with that affect various critical bodily functions and activities, such as mood, sleep memory and appetite.

On consumption, cannabinoids exert their effects by mimicking the endocannabinoids that are naturally produced by our body, the activation of which maintains internal health and stability. Simply put, endocannabinoids facilitate communication among cells, and makes sure our endocannabinoid system doesn’t undergo any deficiency or difficulty that might result in physical complications or unpleasant symptoms.

Cannabinoids bind to specific receptor sites to express their effects. Receptors found in the brain are called CB-1, and those present within the body are called CB-2. Different cannabinoids exhibit different effects, depending on the receptor they bind to.

Are Cannabinoids Available as Dietary Supplements?

Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established that products containing both CBD and THC cannot be legally sold as dietary supplements in interstate commerce. Whether these products can be legally sold within a state depends on their own laws and regulations.

Cannabinoids for Medicinal Purposes

Medical cannabis is prescribed by doctors to manage or treat health conditions, such as pain, anxiety, loss of appetite, and nausea and vomiting. Medicinal cannabinoids can be consumed in a variety of ways – vaporized oils, tinctures for under-the-tongue delivery, candies, gummies, oral or dermal sprays, dermal patches and even beverages and lozenges. 

At e1011 labs, we’ve pioneered a new way to enjoy the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids – the Elon. This innovative CBD delivery system makes accessing the curative properties of cannabis easier than ever before. By utilizing concentric heating technology, the Elon is able to deliver smooth cannabis vapor without wasting any precious material, and its sleek button-free design is incredibly simple to use. 

However, despite the myriad of anecdotal evidence of cannabinoids facilitating many bodily functions, the medicinal uses of cannabinoids have not been fully discovered and tested due to governmental restrictions. Because of these constraints, there is limited clinical data to define their safety and effectiveness in treating diseases.

However, recent reconsideration of regulations has led to extensive studies on cannabis’s potential health benefits of cannabis, establishing it to be much more than simply a recreational drug. Cannabinoids derived from hemp plants are considered legal, and it is currently permitted to use cannabis for medicinal purposes in 30+ states.

Concept of the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a term coined by Israeli researchers Shimon Ben-Shabat and Dr. Raphael Mechoulam – a man considered to be the Father of Cannabis research. They proposed that for cannabis to function most effectively as a medicinal and therapeutic agent, a harmonious interaction between the different types of cannabinoids must exist.

This finding significantly impacted our ideas of how cannabinoids function within the body - with scientists believing they can formulate more effective medications and treatment regimens to treat various conditions with lowered risks and reduced adverse side effects.

Now equipped with the knowledge of cannabinoids and the entourage effect, it is easy to see why full-spectrum products are more effective than isolate or broad-spectrum products. E1011 labs champions the entourage effect and all the naturally-occuring cannabinoids found within hemp. E1011 Labs’ Stems are centered around the belief that mother nature knows best. Stems are filled with the finest full-spectrum hemp flower. That means this high-quality sun-grown hemp still contains all of its natural terpenes and cannabinoids, which encourages the entourage effect. 

Many anecdotal reports suggest that THC must also be present in CBD products for the user to feel any effects. Have you tried CBD-only products before and wondered why they weren’t working? Perhaps you should try a full-spectrum product instead like the Elon Starter Kit.