A 5-Step Guide to Familiarize Yourself With Cannabinoids and Their Effects on Your Body.
People talk about them a lot, praising their properties or condemning their effects – and recently an Italian team discovered two new ones. But what are cannabinoids and what effect do they have on your body? Here are 5 useful pieces of information that will help explain what a cannabinoid is and how these important natural substances work.
1. What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids can be natural (phytocannabinoids), endogenous (endocannabinoids), or synthetic.
- Phytocannabinoids are part of a family of chemical compounds naturally present in Cannabis Sativa.
- Endocannabinoids are organic substances produced by the human (and animal) body under certain circumstances.
- Synthetic cannabinoids are artificially reproduced chemical substances.
2. How Do They Work?
Cannabinoids interact with your Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems. The human nervous system is, in fact, equipped with cannabinoid receptors that metabolize these substances.
The effects on the body can be manifold and depend on the type of cannabinoid, on the amount, and on their combination. This explains the variety of contexts in which they may be discussed – from medical and therapeutic areas to anti-doping tests.
Their action may interest pain perception, cognitive functions, the motor apparatus, the immune system, hunger regulation, and organ tissues.
3. What Are Their Effects?
Every cannabinoid has different characteristics. We usually differentiate between psychoactive cannabinoids, such as THC, CBN, CBDL, and non-psychoactive cannabinoids, i.e. CBD, CBC, and CBG.
Aside from their acknowledged therapeutic properties, the former may also cause altered time perception, sedative effects, euphoria, and addiction.
The latter, instead, have all the anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and relaxing properties of the former, without any psychoactive side-effects. Overall, there are more than seventy cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa and we don’t have in depth knowledge of all of them yet. In January 2020, two new cannabinoids were discovered by the Italian research group led by Doctor Giuseppe Cannazza, THCP and CBDP.
4. Is It Legal to Use Them?
Cannabinoid elimination through urine happens over a period of 7 to 28 days, depending on the frequency of use. However, in 2013 WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) raised the maximum THC content allowed for athletes from 15 nanograms to 150 nanograms per millilitre, as recreational drug use doesn’t enhance performance in sports.