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What are phytocannabinoids?

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Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced by plants. Mainly these agents are found in cannabis plants. However, there are also indications that phytocannabinoids are also formed by other plants. Just like endocannabinoids, they activate our cannabinoid receptors.
 
The plant genus Cannabis Sativa contains more than 100 phytocannabinoids, which belong to the group of so-called terpephenols. The best-known phytocannabinoids include THC and CBD. This group of substances has not been discovered in any other plant. Phytocannabinoids activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system and thereby produce their characteristic effect.
 
The active ingredients are agonists (that is, the occupation of a receptor activates a process) or antagonists (the activation inhibits a cell process) of the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Phytocannabinoids have a high potential for use as medicine.
 
The counterpart to this are endogenous cannabinoids. They are produced by our bodies themselves and are involved in metabolic processes and other important tasks. The two most important endocannabinoids include anandamide, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG).
 
Our endogenous cannabinoid system consists of countless receptors distributed throughout our body. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain, while the immune system and central nervous system are mostly CB2 receptors. It is believed that our endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining the balance in the body and plays an important role in our well-being.
 
The most important phytocannabinoids
Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC)
THC is probably the best-known phytocannabinoid and provides the psychoactive effect of cannabis use. This is precisely the reason why cannabis is considered illegal in many parts of the world. It can affect mood and appetite and is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.
 
Cannabidiol (CBD)
At least as well known is CBD. Cannabidiol is valued above all for its therapeutic properties, which as a dietary supplement is an ideal enrichment to the daily diet. It is not psychoactive and is legally available in many countries in the form of oils or creams.
 
Cannabigerol (CBG)
CBG is considered the precursor of most other phytocannabinoids. The cannabinoid is thought to have a variety of therapeutic uses, with studies suggesting that it is even more effective than CBD in certain conditions. Over time, enzymes from the plant convert cannabigerol into other cannabinoids, which is why the level in the "finished" plant is relatively low.
 
Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
CBDV is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid. The chemical structure is very similar to CBD and the use of cannabidivarin in the treatment of epilepsy is currently under investigation.
 
Cannabichromene (CBC)
CBC is a cannabinoid that could be of interest for its medicinal properties. Studies give an idea of ​​how CBC produces antigens in tumor cells by activating CB2 receptors that are cleared by immune cells. In addition, the use of cannabichromene in Alzheimer's therapy is discussed.
 
Of course, these are just a small selection of the most popular phytocannabinoids. Currently, more than 100 phytocannabinoids of the cannabis plant are known, which unfold their unique effect, the entourage effect.
 
Phytocannabinoids play an important role in our endocannabinoid system. Although some progress has already been made in research, more efforts are needed to unlock the full potential of these compounds.
 

Source: 

BOEDEFELD, Christian. Was sind Phytocannabinoide? 1 [online]. 8 Nov, 2018. Dostupné z: https://www.hanf-magazin.com/medizin/cannabinoide/was-sind-phytocannabinoide/
 
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