What are Cannabinoids? – The History of CBD

The term 'cannabinoids' may an unfamiliar term to most people. In fact, cannabinoids like CBD and THC have been around for decades, but no one has known what they really are up until now due to the increase in popularity of CBD. We go through the history of cannabinoids, the specifics of the two most common cannabinoids CBD and THC, and the effects they have on the endocannabinoid system.,

28 July 2022

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The Discovery of CBD

Let’s take it back to the beginning…

CBD was first isolated from marijuana in 1940, developed more throughout the 90s. CBD is a cannabinoid (Ca.na.bi.noid), a naturally occurring compound found within the cannabis plant. The list of cannabinoids discovered in this plant stretches to over 100 types so far, with more still being discovered. The two most common cannabinoid examples cannabinoid isolated from the cannabis plant are CBD and THC.

THC is psychotropic – this is the compound that makes you high –it affects your mental state and cognitive function
CBD is non-psychotropic – it does not produce the sensation of feeling “high”, unlike with THC.

Although being researched, developed and used by a multitude of different scientists, Dr Raphael Mechoulam was the first to show CBD was not a mind-altering compound.

Both of these types of cannabinoids are known to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which we will come on to later.

CBD & Endocannabinoids

Now we move on to endocannabinoids…

Don’t let the term scare you, it makes sense when you break it down!

Endocannabinoids (pronounced as En.do.ca.na.bi.noids) share similarities to the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.

The difference?

Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring in the human body, hence the term ‘endo’, meaning ‘within’.

Endocannabinoids are 1 of 3 core components involved in the endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System

The science-y bit, made simple…

The Endocannabinoid system (or ECS, to make things easier for everyone) is a naturally occurring process in the human body.

Endocannabinoids are 1 of 3 core components involved in the ECS process;

Endocannabinoids – the neurotransmitters.
They send messages between nerve cells. The endocannabinoids are the compounds that bind to the receptors in the body. The cannabinoids from CBD allow the endocannabinoids to bind to the receptors.

CB1 and CB2 – the receptors.
CB1s are found in the central nervous system, and CB2s are found in the peripheral nervous system (everything outside the brain and spinal cord). The bodily effects are dependent on where the receptors are located, and what type of endocannabinoid they bind to.

Enzymes – the final part
The enzymes in the ECS process are responsible for the breakdown of the endocannabinoids after they have performed their process with the receptors.


To put it simply…
When the body is unable to receive messages from endocannabinoids correctly (for example when the body has been injured or weakened) this is where the cannabinoids come in to support the receptors. If the receptors are the door, the cannabinoids are the key to help them open.

Why is the history of CBD important

Psychotropic, receptors, cannabinoids…it’s all very confusing isn’t it.

So, what’s the point in learning about it all?

There are a lot of misconceptions around CBD and what it does and doesn’t do, the ins and outs of its uses. Not many people know its history or where it came from, which makes it “scary”, as everything is when it’s unfamiliar and unknown.

With proper education and research, we can learn more about the potential CBD possesses in natural bodily functions.

Also, when you take it back to the science, cannabinoids help the key receptors open up to receive the endocannabinoids, making CBD a good addition to maintaining your natural wellness.

At Green Stem, we pride ourselves with not only producing the highest quality tested products, but providing the key information that goes hand-in-hand with it. In an ever-changing world, don’t be scared to open your mind up to CBD.

The more that is learnt about the potential of CBD products, the more everyone will see what the fuss is all about!