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What are Phytocannabinoids & Endocannabinoids?

CBD has been rising in popularity around the world. Almost everyone has at least heard the term around and for many, they have become interested. CBD is not marijuana and can be part of a healthy lifestyle, misconceptions like people believing marijuana and CBD being the same are still out there despite the popularity of CBD. Want to learn more about CBD and its origins?

We believe it is important that people around the world properly understand CBD and where it comes from. A better understanding will help to spread the benefits and reduce the number of misconceptions out there. Keep reading and we will help to bring light to the roots of CBD.


Plants are seen by some as basic life forms but those who care about the environment know that plants are far from basic. Plants have developed a number of unique systems that no other lifeforms have and one of the specific systems that cannabis plants have is phytocannabinoids.

Animals, insects, and other creatures around the world are considered to be predators of plants. Because plants can’t move though, they lack the most common method of escaping predators. Phytocannabinoids are hemp’s way of helping to prevent predators from removing the nutrients that keep them healthy. 

These phytocannabinoids are located in the tiny hairs, known as trichomes, that line the exterior of plants. They work by emitting aromas that ward off predators and also help plants to survive the winter, bad weather, and attract pollinators. Over 100 different types of phytocannabinoids have been identified around the plant world with two of the most commonly discussed being cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

While phytocannabinoids were discovered in cannabis plants, there is currently research into what other plants contain these aroma generating molecules. Certain plants have been found to have phytocannabinoids but not to the same spectrum as those found in cannabis plants. Some other plants also have similar systems that fall under different names.

Phytocannabinoids, The Human Body, and ECS

The human body is also a complex network of systems. The systems are just different than those found in plants. Everything that enters the body sets off a different set of reactions. When phytocannabinoids enter the body one of the parts of the body that reacts is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

Spanning the entire body, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for communication. Oversimplified, the purpose of the communication network that is the endocannabinoid system is to ensure that the body remains in harmony. Cannabinoid receptors throughout the body help with this communication. 

Cannabinoid receptors are spread throughout the body but are more common in essential areas. CB1, one of two cannabinoid receptors, are located in muscles, some organs (i.e. brain and liver), and fat cells. On the other hand, you will find CB2 in parts of the body related to maintaining health and lifespan.

Both CB1 and CB2 are responsible for triggering when something is wrong in your body. They transport news of imbalance in your body to the brain, along with the type of imbalance, such as the presence of an allergen. 

Endocannabinoids are responsible for helping to restore order inside the body. In the human body, we only produce endocannabinoids when we need them. That means we do not have a surplus on stand-by to help when needed.

When a phytocannabinoid enters the human body, it interacts with different cannabinoid receptors. Depending on the phytocannabinoid that enters the body, you will have a different reaction.

Some of the other cannabinoids that exist include CBN, CBG, CBC, and many others. Anandamide and 2-AG are two more examples of endocannabinoids, both of these also interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body. While some, like the two above mentioned endocannabinoids, trigger both CB1 and CB2 receptors, not all do. 

It should be noted that there are also synthetic cannabinoids that can be found around the world, the most common being synthetic THC and synthetic CBD. These synthetic cannabinoids are nothing like the natural ones and contain a variety of chemicals, most of which you won’t know. Unlike natural cannabinoids, the synthetic ones do not have the same interaction with the body as those that are harvested from hemp and can cause major side effects.


You may recognize tetrahydrocannabinol by its common abbreviation, THC. THC is the mind-altering aspect of marijuana. It is also the largest phytocannabinoid found in marijuana. It used to be believed that the amount of THC was equal in both marijuana and hemp. Once it was found that only low levels of THC are found in hemp, hemp has become more accepted around the world.

Due to the popularity of marijuana for its beneficial effects, people have become very familiar with THC. Over the last few years, people have become more familiar with another phytocannabinoid. 


Cannabidiol also has a common abbreviation, CBD. While THC is found in abundant amounts in marijuana but presents in only low levels in hemp, the reverse is true when it comes to CBD. CBD is the dominant phytocannabinoid in hemp. Unlike its counterpart, CBD is not mind-altering in nature. Unlike some of the other phytocannabinoids, CBD is thought to be responsible for positive effects in the body by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors into taking positive actions.

Many people wonder, what does CBD oil do? CBD comes in many forms, one of them being CBD oil tincture. We most commonly hear about CBD being associated with positive effects on the body. Have a look at this potential CBD benefits list:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial (against some bacteria)
  • Pain Reliever
  • Natural Sleep Enhancer
  • Anti-nausea Aid
  • Neuroregeneration Tool
  • Increase in Serotonin Production

The list of conditions that CBD is used for is longer than the CBD benefits list. Here are some of the conditions and disorders that CBD is believed to be helpful with.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cancer Treatment Side Effects
  • Nerve Pain
  • Sleep Trouble
  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Other Skin Conditions
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

As soon as research into CBD was found to be so promising, more and more people started to look for products that contained CBD oil. 

Many people want to know whether or not there are side effects associated with the use of CBD. Another reason that CBD has become so popular is the lack of known side effects. At this time, we don’t know of any long-term side effects associated with CBD usage. What we do know is that common side effects include drowsiness, appetite changes, weight changes, and occasionally headaches. Most side effects are minimal and appear to be associated with overdosage.

The truth is CBD, like THC, needs more investigation. Numerous researches have been performed into both phytocannabinoids but almost all of that research suggests follow-up research be conducted. The popularity of CBD oil tincture and other forms of CBD have spurred researchers into proposing new studies.

Both human and plant systems are very complex. How our bodies handle different chemicals and foreign input is still being researched and included in that is the research we mentioned regarding CBD. As we learn more about our systems though we have been discovering more benefits of CBD and disproving common rumors.

Now that you know the basics of the endocannabinoid system, phytocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors, you can better understand the purpose of CBD products and how they work. CBD has shown in studies to bring around a number of positive effects on the body, all without the "high" that some other options bring. This goes to show you the interconnected ways of the world. The natural reaction to a natural substance is believed by many to be a sign that it is meant to help the human body. 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments down below.

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