7 Non-Cannabis Plants With Cannabinoids And Everything You Need to Know.
7 Non-Cannabis Plants With Cannabinoids: The plant with the most popular cannabinoids is cannabis. It has clever components that interact with our bodies and deliver a wealth of possible therapeutic benefits. The availability and popularity of these wonder chemicals are only growing as a result of new marijuana strains.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in the cannabis plant—and, as you’ll discover, many others. These compounds are unique in their capability to interact with our receptors directly. Let’s run through the basics.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the body’s regulatory mechanism that manages mood, pain perception, hunger, pleasure, and memory. It consists of receptors, and weed chemicals bind to them.
We divide ECS receptors into two types:
- CB1 is mainly in your head and influences your perception
- CB2 exists throughout the body and impacts physical sensations
Marijuana produces over 100 cannabinoids throughout its lifecycle. Today’s scientists are familiar with several and slowly getting to know the rest. Here’s the rundown of the best-investigated cannabinoids:
- What is THC? The dominant cannabinoid is famous for its psychoactive and intoxicating effects. It affects CB1 receptors to cause euphoria, comfort, and munchies.
- What is CBD? This non-intoxicating compound appears to assist with various wellness goals. Its physical influence may soothe chronic pain, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and anxiety.
- What is CBG? Often called ‘the mother of cannabinoids,’ CBG becomes THC and CBD as weed ripens. It binds to a receptor that regulates sleep, alleviates pain, and promotes pleasure.
- What about CBC? This one soothes pain by attaching itself to CB2 receptors. It also seems to cooperate with other cannabinoids to strengthen their impact.
- What is CBN? This sleepy derivative of THC appears when buds age, producing mild intoxication and heavy sedation.
- Finally, what is THCV? This variant of the psychoactive THC suppresses the appetite and promotes energy. It’s dominant in stimulating sativa strains.
As you can see, these compounds can bring various wellness benefits. That’s why it’s such a big deal you can get them from plants that don’t have the same legal baggage as marijuana.
7 Non-weed cannabinoid plants
Non-cannabis plants with cannabinoids can create two types of relevant substances:
- Phytocannabinoids—the same compounds as cannabis
- Cannabimimetics—chemicals that mimic cannabinoids
Either way, they benefit your system while remaining legal and obtainable. They also don’t cause the side effects associated with weed consumption—call that a win-win!
People widely consider cacao a superfood. It increases the amounts of serotonin and melatonin in your blood, so your mood is stable and your sleep-wake cycle healthy.
The wonders don’t stop there, either. Anandamide is the dominant compound in cacao, and when it releases, you feel content and euphoric.
Tip: Choose raw cacao to reap these benefits. The milk contents of most chocolates block the absorption of anandamide.
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Not all plants containing cannabinoids come from remote regions. Coneflower is a native North American pink flower traditionally used as a cold remedy. It’s available in various holistic teas, tinctures, and capsules.
Although more inconspicuous, this plant has a similar impact on the ECS as marijuana. That’s primarily due to its active constituent called alkamide.
Alkamides closely resemble the chemical structure of endocannabinoids. They interact with CB1 and CB2 and act similarly to THC, minus the intoxication. Research shows they assist with arthritis, fatigue, anxiety, and migraines.
Cooks prize black truffles, but they aren’t just goldmines of flavor. These culinary delights contain anandamides and cause a sensation similar to the runner’s high.
When you eat these fungi, they trigger the production of the ‘bliss molecule’ in your brain. Your mood elevates, and you’re no longer aware of physical discomfort. You might also experience an appetite boost that isn’t just due to truffle deliciousness.
The electric daisy is an edible perennial with a strange effect. When chewed, it makes the tongue tingle and eventually go numb. South American cultures have used the flower against toothache and upset stomachs.
Besides the numbing chemical, the electric daisy produces a substance called spilanthol. It’s an anesthetic that blinds the CB2 receptor and brings pain relief. Scientists now think it may boost the immune response, too.
Black pepper is a pantry staple whose tasty qualities come from beta-caryophyllene. This aromatic terpene has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Beta-caryophyllene acts on the CB2 receptors, and its effects mimic those of CBD. It can ease joint aches and re-establish the balance of your internal systems.
Black pepper contains guineesine, which influences your endocannabinoid levels. It makes the impact of other feel-good compounds feel stronger.
Kava is a native Pacific Islands plant that has calming effects when boiled into tea. That’s due to its kavalactone contents, which reduce anxiety and promote socialization.
The kavalactone called yangonin binds to the CB1 receptor. It affects the same site as weed and induces an intoxicating sensation, although less intense. Kava is the closest you can get to plants that contain THC without lighting up a blunt.
A cup of tea delivers a dose of caffeine and an infusion of warmth. Sipping on this beverage supplies your body with health-boosting chemicals.
Catechins play an essential role here. These molecules bind to CB1 receptors to elevate the mood and reduce anxiety. Animal studies even showed it could aid with depressive behaviors. Catechins are also anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective, increasing resistance to diseases.
Tip: Choose green, black, white, and oolong tea leaves (not bags) for a pure dose of catechins.
Better health with phytocannabinoids
These plants that contain cannabinoids are only the tip of the iceberg. The scientific exploration of marijuana showed that its compounds are by no means unique—they’re part of natural power we’re yet to comprehend.
Although the herbs we listed aren’t as potent as weed buds, they can promote your well-being. They’re also healthy and delectable, so why not give them a shot?
Find recipes that involve truffles, pepper, or even daisies and spice up your weekly menu. If your state allows, you can also buy seeds, grow marijuana, and keep an even richer batch on hand.
Kyle Kushman is an American writer, educator, activist and award-winning cannabis cultivator and breeder specializing in veganic cultivation. He is a representative of Homegrown Cannabis CO company, has been a contributor for over 20 years, and has taught courses in advanced horticulture at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California and across the United States. Kushman also hosts a cannabis podcast called “The Grow Show with Kyle Kushman”.
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