Your MMJ Rundown: What Are Cannabinoids?

What Are Cannabinoids

Exactly what ARE cannabinoids? Sure it may be a funny word to say, but when understanding how cannabis works medicinally, it’s important to learn about as many of the components of the marijuana plant as you can. These components, formally known as cannabinoids, are the key to unlocking which marijuana therapy can work most effectively for specific medical conditions. Indeed, not all medical marijuana (MMJ) treatments are alike, as they utilize different compounds from the plant to cause certain reactions in the brain and body. So what are cannabinoids, how many are there, and which ones should you focus on during your next visit to the local dispensary?

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring active compounds secreted by the marijuana plant. When ingested, they cause a variety of effects in the body. These effects can range from psychoactivity to sleepiness or heightened physical sensations depending on the potency of each compound. Since all cannabis strains are cultivated and bred differently, the ratio of these compounds will vary from plant to plant.

How Many Cannabinoids Are Found in Marijuana?

Scientific research has been able to identify at least 85 cannabinoids that are found in marijuana. However, the total number of different compounds it contains is said to be over 500. So with much more research to be conducted, it is inevitable that even more cannabinoids will be discovered over time. In turn, researching new cannabinoids will pave the way for even more medical treatment possibilities and breakthroughs.

What Types of Cannabinoids Are There?

For the purpose of this article, we would like to focus on the two cannabinoids that are the most widely known: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Each of these creates very different reactions in the body when ingested, but both provide significant medical benefits to a wide variety of patients. THC is the psychoactive component that affects the brain and generates the sensation of being “high”. CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive compound. The varying effects that these two cannabinoids create on the body make them both effective in targeting and treating specific medical symptoms and conditions.

What Effects Do They Have on the Body?

Cannabinoids work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help control nervous system reactions that control things like appetite and pain relief.

THC: This cannabinoid is typically the one thought of first and foremost whenever someone utters the word “marijuana”. Most often thought of as the “stoner” compound, THC has made strides in helping patients that suffer from:

  • – Psychological disorders
  • – Neurological disorders
  • – Movement disorders
  • – Chronic pain
  • – Cancer
  • – Anorexia
  • – Drug/alcohol dependency
  • – Epilepsy
  • – And much more…


CBD: CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and easily the second most recognizable. It has therapeutic properties that have the ability to elevate your move and relieve pain. It has also been suggested that CBD may also help calm the nervous system. Medical conditions that are being treated every single day across the nation with CBD include, but are not limited to:

  • – Anxiety
  • – Chronic pain
  • – Cancer
  • – Crohn’s disease
  • – Rheumatoid arthritis
  • – Cardiovascular disease
  • – Multiple sclerosis
  • – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


We hope this cannabinoid overview has been informative for you as a current or potential MMJ patient. It is out intention to further educate you on the other different types cannabinoids found in marijuana in future articles, so be sure to regularly check in on the MedWell Health & Wellness Centers blog!

If you have any questions, our medical team is here to assist. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at (774) 517-5195 or click here!