the apothecarium san francisco discusses cannabinoids

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors on cells that repress the release of neurotransmitters in the brain; simply put, they are naturally occurring psychoactive chemicals.  Cannabinoids are not only found in cannabis; they are also found naturally in the human body and in animals (these are called endocannanbinoids) and in cannabis and other plants including echinacea.  Cannabinoids are also produced synthetically; these include commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals like Marinol and Sativex

So far, over 85 cannabinoids have been identified in peer-reviewed research publications [1], including ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC) and cannabidiol, aka CBD.  Recent research about CBD in particular is very exciting [2, 3] in regards to its antiproliferative, anti-epileptic, anxiolytic, anti-diabetic, anti-insomniatic and neuroprotective effects.  Effectively, the combinations of cannabinoids naturally occurring at different rates in different strains or batches of medicine can make them more or less effective to treat certain health conditions.

Terpenes 101, an introduction to flavors and aromas of cannabis.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are a class of organic compounds which occur naturally and are found in many plants and some insects.  They are the main component of essential oils, and are found in foods and scents.  Examples of terpenes include Limonene and Pinene, which are found in lemons and pine trees respectively. We see these terpenes and their associated scents and flavors in the cannabis products we carry as well.

In cannabis, terpenes give flavor, scent, and recent research has shown that they have certain desirable effects for health [2].  Individuals seeking antifungal, anxiolytic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic or anxiolytic effects may want to seek out medicine rich in these terpenes.

 [1] ^ El-Alfy, Abir T, et al. (Jun 2010), "Antidepressant-like effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L", Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 95 (4): 434–42, doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004PMID 20332000

 [2] Marijuana Testing for Potency.pdf