Phytocannabinoids vs Endocannabinoids

Posted on February 23rd, 2023 to Cannabinoids by

Today, people know more about cannabinoids derived from cannabis than ever. Thanks to the new legislation that has made cannabis legal for medical and/or recreational purposes in most states, and the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018 in favor of hemp, we are on the precipice of a full-blown revolution when it comes to cannabis and its active components.

While you may now be thoroughly familiar with cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), there are actually different types of cannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD, and endocannabinoids. Let’s take a closer look.

What are phytocannabinoids?

When people talk about cannabinoids that come from cannabis, they are actually referred to as phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are simply cannabinoids that are present in plants. While phytocannabinoids were once only known to be associated with cannabis, some phytocannabinoids are actually found in other plants like Echinacea, celery, and several types of flowering plants. Nevertheless, cannabis is one of the most phytocannabinoid-rich plants on the planet with at least 100 unique cannabinoids. A few of the most noteworthy cannabinoids beyond CBD and THC include:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

What are endocannabinoids?

The prefix “endo” is short for endogenous, which means something that originates from within a system or organism. In the case, of endocannabinoids, these are cannabinoids that actually originate from within the mammalian body. Endocannabinoids are produced by the human body, but also by the bodies of mammals like cats and dogs. While we are all just starting to learn the importance of these endocannabinoids and even how many we may be producing at a given time, the early research is definitely profound. The two main cannabinoids include anandamide and 2-archidonyl glycerol (2-AG).

How Cannabinoids Work in the Body

Phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids can offer different actions in the body due to interactions with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a vast network of CB1 and CB2 receptors distributed in organs, tissues, and even other systems like the immune system. These receptors respond to cannabinoids of all types in unique ways. This system is thought to act as a regulator of sorts that helps keep the body in a state of homeostasis by regulating things like sleep, mood, and appetite.

As noted, different cannabinoids can offer different actions in the ECS. For example, the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (sometimes called the “bliss cannabinoid”) is important in supporting mood regulation, but may also aid in a number of physiological processes. The phytocannabinoid THC shows an affinity for certain receptors that influence the nervous system, which is responsible for the cannabinoid’s intoxicating effects.

Phytocannabinoids vs Endocannabinoids in the ECS

When phytocannabinoids are introduced to the ECS after a person consumes cannabis, the body uses these cannabinoids just as it would cannabinoids made by the body. Even though all types of cannabinoids affect the same receptors and systems, each individual cannabinoid may have both its own biological actions and actions that change depending on the presence of other endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids.

Researchers believe cannabinoids have the ability to work together to have more profound effects on the ECS. This is why a lot of the cannabinoid products available offer combinations of different cannabinoids. For example, Southern Sky CBD/CBDV/CBG Watermelon Gummies contain three cannabinoids that may support relaxation in different ways.

Find Phytocannabinoid-Rich Products at Southern Sky

The more insight we gain into all types of cannabinoids and their value to humans, the more interesting and valuable hemp and cannabis become. Be sure to take a look at the Southern Sky collection of phytocannabinoid-rich products derived from hemp.

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