Posted on by Jason Gibson

Endocannabinoids, Cannabinoids and their actions

Endocannabinoids and Cannabinoids are endogenous ligands within the body that activate our cannabinoid receptors, those receptors are:


  • Endocannabinoids serve as intracellular lipid messengers that signal molecules to leave one cell and activate endocannabinoid receptors on other nearby cells.


  • Endocannabinoids are hydrophobic molecules, which means they cannot travel long distances and work act far quicker locally.


  • Endocannabinoids are considered retrograde transmitters as they operate backward, they are released from the postsynaptic cell but act on presynaptic cell, concentrated in the axonal terminal which is where conventional neurotransmitters are released.


  • Endocannabinoids are a class of Cannabinoid that are produced naturally in the body by animals, Photocannabinoids are found in Cannabis and some other plants, both act on the cannabinoid receptors in cells that help alter neurotransmitter release in the brain.



THC: 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-9-THC - Analgesic, neuroprotection, appetite stimulant

THC triggers apoptosis within glioma cancer cells which prevents the enzymes that create new cancer cells from forming.


CBD: Cannabidiol - Anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, inhibits cancer cell growth

CBD surrounds and bonds to the cancer cell directly (ID-1) preventing the further mutation of the remaining normal healthy cells, allowing new cells to form without mutation. 


CBC: Cannabichromine - Anti-viral, Anti-inflammatory, analgesic

CBC in combination with THC this cannabinoid has been proven to slow the growth of tumors. 


CBG: Cannabigerol - CBG inhibits the uptake of GABA to the brain, reducing muscle tension and anxiety.

CBG, it is known that CBG binds to the CB2 receptor, although it is not yet known to be an agonist or antagonist


CBN: Cannabinol – CBN regulates the effects of THC and stems from CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid) when THC loses its carboxyl atom due to ageing it is converted into CBN which moderates the effects of the degraded THC.


The lessor known cannabinoids currently undergoing research.

  • CBE: Cannabielsoin
  • CBL: Cannabicyclol
  • CBT: Cannabicitran
  • iso-THC: iso-Tetrahydrocannabinol


Arachidonoylethanolamine (Amandamide/AEA) – A derivative of arachidonic acid (found in all animal and plant tissues) has a higher affinity to the CB1 receptor – anti-inflammatory effects and orexigenic effects.


2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) – Binds to both CB1/CB2 receptors with an equal affinity. Proven to stimulate higher amounts of G-protein than anandamide, further research is being conducted to understand the physiological aspects.


2-Arachidonoyl glycerol esther (noladin ether) – Binds to the CB1 receptor primarily and can cause; sedation, hyperthermia, intestinal immobility. Controversial as to whether the previously though analog of 2-AG should even be classified as an endocannabinoid.


N-Arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA) - Preferential binding to the CB1 receptor it also acts as an agonist for the vanilloid receptor (Sub-type – TRPV1) it is part of the vanilloid receptor family.


Virodhamine (OAE) - The fifth Endocannabinoid – Full agonist at the CB2 site and a partial agonist at CB1, present findings show a 2-9 fold increase of anandamide concentrations in the brain peripherally.


Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) – An endogenous ligand to the relatively unknown endocannabinoid receptor GPR55, giving it a strong case to become the sixth endocannabinoid.

Cannaboinoid Guide

 Source - THC University


 Pacher, P.; Bátkai, S; Kunos, G (2006). "The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy". Pharmacological Reviews. 58 (3): 389–462. doi:10.1124/pr.58.3.2PMC 2241751PMID 16968947.

 Devane, WA; Dysarz, FA 3rd; Johnson, MR; Melvin, LS; Howlett, AC (1988). "Determination and characterization of a cannabinoid receptor in rat brain". Mol Pharmacol. 34 (5): 605–13. PMID 2848184.

Campos A, Moreira F, Gomes F, Del Bel EA, Guimarães F (5 December 2012). "Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders"Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci367(1607): 3364–3378. doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0389.