Education: Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System: A Primer

The endocannabinoid system is a naturally-occurring network of receptors that are prevalent throughout our bodies. These receptors bind with chemical compounds called cannabinoids. When cannabinoids and their receptors interact, they modulate our appetites, immune functions, metabolisms, and many other bodily processes.

Along with cannabinoid receptors, our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids. We currently know of two types: 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide. We call these endocannabinoids because they are found within all humans (“endo” is derived from the Greek word for “within”). These endocannabinoids bind with our endocannabinoid receptors. Two major receptors that have been identified are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System

When we consume cannabis, we are introducing phytocannabinoids into our bodies—but we typically just call them cannabinoids. The prefix “phyto” refers to their production within a plant.

Truthfully, the cannabis plant doesn’t produce cannabinoids. It produces cannabinoid acids that must be converted into cannabinoids through decarboxylation. When you smoke or vape dried cannabis flower, heat causes the decarboxylation process to occur.

THC and CBD are two of the major cannabinoids derived from cannabis. There are several others, but these two are responsible for a majority of the benefits we reap from cannabis.

Terpenes and Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids aren’t the only beneficial substances found in cannabis. Terpenes also bind to our endocannabinoid receptors and play a role in the specific effects we feel from different strains of cannabis.

Terpenes are flavor and fragrance compounds that give certain plants their distinctive tastes and aromas. They’re prevalent in herbs, spices, and pungent fruits like oranges, mangoes, and lemons. The same terpenes that are found in these plants are also produced in cannabis, and they are what separate one cannabis variety from another. Each unique cannabis strain has its own particular terpene profile.

CBD Consumption & Ingestion Delivery 101

Ingesting cannabis in an edible form provides an alternative to inhaling that many patients and consumers prefer. However, the edible experience is much different from that of vaping or smoking.

When you eat a cannabis edible, your liver metabolizes delta-9-THC and converts it into 11-hydroxy-THC. The uptake time will be longer, but the effects are typically much stronger and last much longer than the effects produced by inhalation.

Our edibles include artisanal, rich chocolate bars in a variety of flavors. We also make gummies and fruit chews in several different flavors and cannabinoid profiles.

Sublingual Delivery

Sublingual delivery occurs when THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are absorbed through the mucous membranes under our tongues. This is a highly efficient method of consuming cannabis, as the effects can usually be felt in as little as 15 minutes. It also provides another alternative for patients and users who have consumption restrictions or simply prefer a different way of consuming.

We offer several products featuring sublingual and other mucosal cannabis delivery.


  • Cannabinoid: A naturally-occurring chemical compound that is produced both in humans (endocannabinoids) and in the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids).
  • CBD: Short for cannabidiol, one of the major phytocannabinoids. CBD is known to provide many of cannabis’ medicinal benefits and is used for relief from symptoms such as seizures, pain, and inflammation. CBD is also known for its lack of psychoactivity and can be used to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.
  • Edible: A food product that has been infused with cannabis oil.
  • Endocannabinoid system: The network of naturally-occurring endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors within our bodies. When we consume cannabis, we introduce phytocannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) to this system. The effects we feel from the cannabis are produced by those cannabinoids interacting with our receptors.