6 plants with compounds like cannabinoids
More research is being done on cannabis now than at any point in recorded history. Scientists are working hard to improve our understanding of what cannabinoids do and how they work in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). There also seem to be a few other plants that contain compounds which can interact in the ECS. In this post, we’ll look at six plants with cannabinoid-like compounds.
A fair amount of research has been done on plant-based medicine, and we’ve established that there are substances which provide cannabis-like relief in cbd chocolate, black pepper and more. Chemically, these compounds are not cannabinoids, but their similarity to the phytocannabinoids in cannabis and endocannabinoids made naturally by the body means they can still have an influence.
The endocannabinoid system is an impressive network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that essentially helps to keep the body in mental and physical balance. The ECS promotes homeostasis, but also has a therapeutic impact on sleep patterns, mood, immune function, appetite, reproductive cycles and pain, to name a few.
Phytocannabinoid research has soared of late, with the US removing some restrictions which make it difficult for studies to be conducted. Now, scientists have managed to engineer yeasts that can create the enzyme which is needed to make THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid). THCA is a pre-activated version of THC that doesn’t produce any psychoactive effect in its acidic state. Now, let’s go over these six plants.
1) Black truffles
Animals make endocannabinoids while plants make phytocannabinoids (we usually just call them cannabinoids). The effects of these compounds are alike, although not exactly the same.
An Italian study incredibly found out that the endocannabinoid anandamide is produced by black truffles. This essential compound interacts just as if were a THC molecule (maybe that’s why they are so popular worldwide!), by binding with the CB1 receptor via cbd crystals. Anandamide is created by animals and humans.
However, black truffles do not have any cannabinoid receptors, so it’s a bit of a mystery as to why they have evolved to create anandamide. Some believe that these mushrooms make the endocannabinoid to lure in other animals who can then disperse spores for reproductive purposes.
2) Japanese and New Zealand liverwort
Research into cannabinoid-like chemicals in liverwort first started almost 20 years. Then, scientists identified compounds in both Japanese and New Zealand liverwort that had similar effects to THC. In Japanese liverwort there is perottetinene acid, and in New Zealand liverwort there is perrottetinene. The chemical structure of perrottetinene is like that of THC, and studies suggest that the compound is indeed a cannabimimetic. Therefore, perrotetinene can interact with the ECS as if it were a real cannabinoid. Like THC, this liverwort substance connects with the CB1 receptor. More studies are being carried out as we speak, but unfortunately, nothing has been published so far regarding cbd spray.