Cannabinoids are one class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain and body of all mammals. Phyto-cannabinoids are naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant that can have similar effects in the body as the endogenous cannabinoids by directly influencing the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Of over 480 different compounds present in the plant, with at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from the plant.
The most well-known among these compounds is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another important component, which is present in the flowers of the plants in varying levels, depending on the plant genetics.
Cannabinoids interact with receptors in the body of all mammalian receptors, including cats and dogs, similar to a lock and key effect. Once these cannabinoids interact with receptors, they create a cascade of effects in the body which can result in a therapeutic effect.
The cannabinoids are separated into multiple sub classes, but the 6 major cannabinoids most discussed and researched to date include: