Other cannabinoids

There are three groups of cannabinoids:

  • Phytocannabinoids—derived from the cannabis plant as described in the cannabis composition section.

  • Endocannabinoids—these are natural cannabinoids created by the body and which appear to exert a regulatory function within the body. Anandamide and 2- Arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) are the two most studied endocannabinoids in the human body. They interact with the natural cannabinoid receptors found in the human body—CB1 and CB2.

  • Synthetic cannabinoids—these are cannabinoids created in the laboratory. They include some pharmaceuticals such as nabilone (used for the treatment of anorexia and wasting in HIV/AIDS patients) but also other cannabinoids which are used recreationally, which are much more harmful, for example—HU-210 and JWH-018. Synthetic cannabinoids are not only full agonists at both CB1 and CB2 receptors, but they have 50 to 200 times increased affinity for the CB1 receptor compared with naturally occurring cannabinoids.