The Cannabis plant contains an enormous variety of naturally occurring chemical compounds. The majority are cannabinoids, more specifically phytocannabinoids. To date, 545 total compounds have been identified, including 111 phytocannabinoids, which are unique to Cannabis sativa L. The term cannabinoid represents a group of C21 terpenophenolic compounds, their carboxylic acids, analogs and transformation products. It is important to note some of the identified phytocannabinoids in Cannabis are biologically active, others are not. The most researched phytocannabinoids, or exogenous cannabinoids, to date are: CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDA, CBGA, CBCA, CBDV, Δ9-THCA, Δ9-THCV, Δ8-THC, and Δ9-THC.
As discussed, these bioactive compounds demonstrate numerous physiologic effects on multiple tissues via the ECS. These effects are achieved by administering exogenous phytocannabinoids which work in concert with endocannabinoids and impart physiologic effects either directly or indirectly via the ECS. Phytocannabinoids, based upon a plethora of varied factors, interact with the ECS as either agonists, inverse agonists or antagonists.
eCB and exogenous phytocannabinoids potentiate and or mitigate each other, when given in a ratioed combination. Moreover, the endogenous cannabinoid effects are exponentially increased by administration of ratioed exogenous phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. The variability in receptor response is primarily based upon concentration, ratio and compounds present. This complicated and scientifically established chemical interplay is in part what allows the physiologic modulation of multiple systems by these compounds.