Cannabis Education: 20th Century Cannabinoid History

Categories: Cannabis

botaniCo  |  March 02 - 2022

With unlimited potential for health and wellness-related uses, cannabinoids play a crucial role in the regulation of our Endocannabinoid System or ECS. 

If you’re new to the science side of cannabis, or just needing a refresher, follow along with this blog for some basics regarding the 20th Century history of cannabinoids. 

Preface: What Are Cannabinoids?

The discovery of the first individual cannabinoid was made by British chemist Robert S. Cahn. He found the partially-formed structure of Cannabinol (CBN) and later reported it to be fully formed in 1940. 

This opened up a whole new world of cannabinoids for years to come (such as the discovery of one of the most popular cannabinoids in 1942, CBD).  

So, what are cannabinoids? 

The first thing to note is that there are three types of cannabinoids. These are: phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids:

  • Phytocannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant. 
  • Endocannabinoids are found in human and animal tissue. 
  • Synthetic cannabinoids are commercially produced compounds that bind to the ECS. 

For the fluidity of this article, let’s pay attention to the cannabis side of things. According to ScienceDirect: Cannabinoids are the chemical constituents of the Cannabis plant. 

These compounds produced in the cannabis plant can function with and mimic cannabinoids produced in (or required by) the human body. 

For example, CBD is one of the most notable phytocannabinoids. It becomes “mediated” by our body's ECS when consumed. This can create better balance in a floundering ECS.

Discoveries Leading to a More Balanced Endocannabinoid System

To continue, in 1988, scientists discovered the first cannabinoid receptor in the brain. This would then lead to a strong initiative for cannabinoid research.   

As more cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters were subsequently discovered, an initial map of the Endocannabinoid System began to form. This system has been shown to be a bodily regulator that mediates emotions, consolidates memory, and coordinates movement.

The main components of the ECS are:

These components are instrumental in working to achieve and maintain bodily homeostasis.

With modern research being conducted to bolster this existing knowledge, more people everywhere are starting to realize just how effective cannabis-based wellness can be.

Cannabinoid Functions in Natural Wellness

Finally, while researchers continue to work towards understanding how exactly specific cannabinoids (and in this case phytocannabinoids) can be used for medical and health purposes – as you can see by reading this piece – there have already been a lot of promising results.

The more we find out about how our bodies interact with cannabis, the more promising our wellness future. 

With legalization sweeping the nation, it's only a matter of time until we see proper large-scale studies conducted. These will provide us with data-driven answers in the growing world of legal cannabis and hemp. 

For more educational information: 

Be sure to stay tuned to our Blog Page

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