There are 3 Sources of Cannabinoids
EndocannabinoidsThe human body has an endocannabinoid system that regulates many of our physiological processes. Endocannabinoid receptors can be found throughout our entire bodies including our brain, nerves, organs, immune cells, bone, fat and muscles. Endocannabinoids regulate our bodies to keep us in healthy homeostasis.
“Research initially suggested endocannabinoid receptors were only present in the brain and nerves, but scientists later found that the receptors are present throughout the body, including our skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract.We now know the endocannabinoid system is involved in a wide variety of processes, including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function.Endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile signaling molecules known to man.”
Phyto cannabinoidsMany different plant species produce cannabinoids with the highest concentration being found in Cannabis plants including hemp. Cannabis plants produce them to stay healthy and successfully pass on their genes to the next generation. Cannabinoids likely function as a natural insecticide and antimicrobial agent to help stave off predatory bugs and the diseases they carry. Cannabinoids may prevent DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. The resin-based cannabinoids may protect the plant from temperature swings and water loss during drought. All in all, they are responsible for keeping the cannabis plant healthy which is likely why humans see so many benefits from consuming them. Our bodies recognize and respond to plant-based cannabinoids and utilize them in a similar manner to the cannabinoids we create on our own. Through cannabis we can harness the healing protective properties of plants and boost our own health and well-being.
Synthetic CannabinoidsSynthetic Cannabinoids aren’t really cannabinoids at all. They are molecules that were designed to bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Most are developed with the intention of mimicking the high associated with THC. There are a wide variety of chemicals used and the formulas are constantly evolving to avoid legal restrictions. Although these synthetic cannabinoids can mimic the high that THC provides, there are many nasty side effects associated with its consumption including death. “Synthetic cannabinoids can also cause serious mental and physical health problems including: rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts.” Source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cannabinoids-k2spice
Synthetic Cannabinoids should always be avoided. Fortunately, our society is experiencing a cultural shift away from demonizing cannabis and toward exploring the medicinal benefits the plant has to offer. Now we have legally have access to so many naturally occurring cannabinoids that are much safer and healthier than questionable synthetic versions.