Ask The Expert: What are Cannabinoids?

You hear the word “Cannabinoid” thrown around everywhere in the Cannabis industry these days, but what are they really and what do they do? We took some time to sit down with East Coast Cure CEO, Dylan Proctor, to get expert insight into what exactly Cannabinoids are and how they work.


What are they?

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant.


How many Cannabinoids are there?

The most commonly referred to cannabinoids are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) which both have the same chemical formula but widely differing affects. In total, researchers have identified more than 100 cannabinoids and we’re still learning all the benefits of each.


What do they do?

Somewhere around 30 years ago scientists identified humans Endocannabinoid System and the cannabinoids bind to the receptors in this system. Our body produces endocannabinoids naturally. Endocannabinoids bind to receptors in the body to let it know that something is up, and a response is required. The two main ones are the CB1 receptors in your central nervous system and the CB2 receptors which are going to mediate your anti-inflammatory and immune responses.


What is the endocannabinoid system?

Think of it like another one of our bodies alarm systems and it’s crucial to maintaining our health. With or without cannabis our ECS is helping to regulate body functions like sleep, mood and appetite. The complexity and interactions with the wide array of cannabinoids is what we’re researching and learning new things about daily.


Why does this matter?

Scientists and researchers have been choosing genes and proteins to target with new chemical compounds and put them on the shelves for years. It’s why we have Aspirin and penicillin. I think we’re at a pretty exciting place with cannabis cultivation and supporting research that we can start to select for the strains that treat certain illnesses. We already know that Indica strains can help relax people and have a sedative effect and that sativa has a tendency to stimulate the mind. At ECC we’re helping to take bioengineering to the next level with our industry partners and in our tissue culture lab. Consider genetic engineering that helps us produce a plant that selects for more of an appetite suppressing cannabinoid to help curb overeating or ones that help the elderly with memory. We’re only scratching the surface on the people we’re going to help.

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