The cannabis plant produces many unique chemical compounds that, when applied medicinally, set the plant apart from most modern medicines. Today, scientists have identified over 85 different unique molecules in cannabis known as cannabinoids, which include THC and CBD. The plant also produces many other non-cannabinoid compounds that have shown promise in regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system.
A gang of goodies
In addition to cannabinoids, the cannabis plant produces terpenes. Terpenes are mostly known for giving cannabis its unique smell, but they also have regulatory effects. In some cases, terpenes block cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and in other cases, they promote cannabinoid absorption.
THC and CBD have gotten a lot of the attention as the cannabis plant’s main products, terpene science is showing that they work together with the cannabinoids to enhance their effects – this interaction is known as the “entourage effect.”