What are Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system. These compounds are produced:

  • Within the body as endocannabinoids
  • Within plants as phytocannabinoids
  • Synthetically

To date, only two endocannabinoids have been identified. However, hundreds of phytocannabinoids have been isolated and named and the number of synthetic compounds continues to grow.

view of all types of cannabinoids

What is Cannabidiol

There are at least 113 isolated cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of them. CBD is one of the most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the ‘high’ typically associated with cannabis (THC) ingestion.

All cannabinoids (endo-, phyto-, and synthetic) act as ligands, meaning they dock onto the binding site of a protein and have the ability to modulate a receptor’s behavior. While researchers once believed that CBD attached to receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system, it now appears that they do not attach directly to CB1 or CB2 receptors. Rather, CBD directs the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.

Scientific and clinical research—much of it sponsored by the US government—underscores CBD’s potential to help with a wide range of health-related conditions. Project CBD responds to inquiries from all over the world. Almost everyone wants to know where to get CBD-rich products and how to use them for maximum benefit. After decades in which only high-THC cannabis was available in North America and beyond, CBD-rich strains and products are now available to medicinal users.

“CBD-rich” versus “CBD dominant:” By “CBD-rich,” we mean a cannabis strain or product that has equal amounts of CBD and THC, or more CBD than THC (usually at least 4 percent CBD by dry weight.). By “CBD-dominant,” we mean strains or products that are CBD-rich but have very little THC content.


Reference: Project CBD, “What is Cannabidiol?”