What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids. Pretty neat word, huh? To be exact, the word includes both phytocannabinoids (phyto = plant in Greek) and endocannabinoids (endo means inside the body, so internal cannabinoids). On this page we will explain what phytocannabinoids are, but not specifically what the body’s own cannabinoids are. If you want to read more about that, take the shortcut to the endocannabinoid system.

What are cannabinoids?


Let’s start from the beginning. Hemp and cannabis are one and the same plant, although the former usually refers to a cannabis variety containing low levels of THC, usually below 0.2 percent. Hemp is also called industrial hemp when it is designed to produce everything from ropes and seeds to building materials and extracts of phytocannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, CBD och CBC. In hemp and cannabis there are a lot of interesting molecules such as phytocannabinoids, which are casually called cannabinoids and terpenes. These phytocannabinoids differ slightly from the body’s own cannabinoids.

Cannabis and hemp can produce over 100 different phytocannabinoids

Having said that, let’s dive into the wonderful world of phytocannabinoids. You might wonder how many phytocannabinoids there are in the hemp plant. The short answer is – many. It is a little difficult to actually estimate exactly how many since the majority are in such small amounts in the cannabis plant that researchers find them difficult to study. But so far, one can safely say that cannabis and hemp can produce over 100 different phytocannabinoids. Very impressive for a plant. Don’t you think? The point is that this small plant produces an extreme number of phytocannabinoids.

Hemp and cannabis cannot really take credit as producers of the two most common phytocannabinoids used by the final consumer, CBD and THC. Hemp and cannabis produce something called phytocannabinoid acids. In order to get the phytocannabinoid we want, for example CBD, we need to “activate” the plant’s phytocannabinoid. It works like this, simply explained: The plant produces CBDA, where “A” stands for acid. We harvest the plant and then extract the plant’s CBDA. Then we put the CBDA-rich extract in the oven at about 200 degrees Celsius. By heating, we “activate” the plant’s phytocannabinoid CBDA by creating a process called decarboxylation, which simply removes the letter “A” (the acid) from the CBDA. What remains is CBD. Are you still with us? Ok, then we’ll continue.

Below we have made a small list of the hemp and cannabis plant’s eight most common phytocannabinoids. As you can see, all these have an “A” at the end, which (as we described above) indicates that these are in their raw and natural form. So, they have not been heated. Imagine heating them up.  What happens then? Well, the “A” disappears and what is left is the activated phytocannabinoids that the body really likes.

  • CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid)
  • CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid)
  • THCA (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
  • CBCA (Cannabichromenenic acid)
  • CBGVA (Cannabigerovarinic acid)
  • THCVA (Tetrahydrocanabivarinic acid)
  • CBDVA (Cannabidivarinic acid)
  • CBCVA (Cannabichromevarinic acid)

Most phytocannabinoids are not psychoactive

In summary, we also want to emphasize that most phytocannabinoids are not psychoactive. By which we mean that they will not make you “high”. What is known so far is that it is actually only THC, and possibly THCV, that creates the “high” effect. Although common hemp products contain a very small amount of THC (about 0.2-0.3%), it can still create a slight unpleasant effect for those unaccustomed to it. It can also be detected in urine, blood and saliva tests, which in turn can create a number of unwelcome problems from a legal perspective. Not to mention for athletes, for God’s sake! THC is classed as doping so be sure to use a completely THC-free hemp product, so you don’t have to worry about a positive doping test result. This is why we have chosen to only sell 100% THC-free hemp products. Our products not only contain a wide spectrum of phytocannabinoids and terpenes that are naturally found in hemp. Great news, yeah?

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