Cannabis light: what is it?

In this guide we will tell you everything about cannabis light: the substantial differences between cannabis varieties, how they are grown, the uses and therapeutic properties of CBD. One of the main compounds of the cannabis plant. We will address these topics:


  • What is cannabis light?
  • Thc Vs CBD
  • What is THC?
  • What is CBD?
  • Difference between Cannabis indica, sativa and ruderalis
  • Cannabis sativa
  • Cannabis indica
  • Cannabis ruderalis
  • The production process for growing light cannabis
  • Flowering phase
  • Cultivation techniques
  • Drying and tanning
  • Problems
  • How cannabis interacts with our body
  • Endocannabinoid system
  • Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids)
  • How does the endocannabinoid system work?
  • Exogenous cannabinoids
  • The therapeutic properties of CBD
  • Other therapeutic properties
Cannabis light

What is cannabis light?

Light cannabis is a variety of cannabis sativa that contains the same active ingredients as traditional marijuana but in different percentages . The hemp plants come from Cannabis Sativa L. varieties specially bred for industrial and agricultural uses.

This process over time has transformed Cannabis into a very different plant.

The element subject to the change is tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient better known as THC . It is one of over sixty biologically active cannabinoids contained in Cannabis.

In light cannabis, the presence of THC is very low, almost zero, usually varying between 0.2 and 0.6%.

Light cannabis is famous above all for another cannabinoid present, CBD or Cannabidiol , a molecule that has no psychotropic effects but is endowed with many beneficial properties.

Cbd Vs THC

THC and CBD are two very well-known acronyms and often associated with each other: for example we know that when we talk about THC and CBD we are always talking about cannabis.

But while the basic knowledge regarding THC is quite widespread, ideas are less clear when it comes to CBD ; yet THC users have also taken CBD, although perhaps without their knowledge!

So let's try to shed some light on the similarities and differences between these molecules.

Chemical formula THC

What is THC?

THC is the chemical formula of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , and CBD stands for cannabidiol .

As the homophony suggests, the two are close relatives because both are phytocannabinoids. That is, two of the numerous chemical compounds present in the various species of the cannabis genus.

As an example, just think that in cannabis sativa alone there are around seventy active chemical compounds.

THC is certainly the best known of the active ingredients of cannabis: it is a psychotropic substance, i.e. capable of modifying the psycho-physical state of a subject (perception, mood, state of consciousness, behavior, etc.).

It is, in simple terms, responsible for the so-called "high" , the set of well-known effects of marijuana on the consumer: euphoria, relaxation, weight, appetite, etc.

The effect is due to the fact that when THC enters the circulation, it binds to the receptors of nerve cells; when this interaction between THC and the brain occurs, dopamine is released.

The effects of THC can last more than two hours and are felt approximately 10-30 minutes after ingestion.

However, everything depends on the concentrations of THC present in the plant, indeed: it is precisely these concentrations that act as a divide between banned cannabis species and others whose cultivation is permitted.

In fact, it is precisely because of this alteration of the state of consciousness that THC is actually illegal in most countries in the world.

At the same time, however, research on THC has brought to light some of its interesting properties which suggest possible therapeutic applications. This research has pushed some countries to eliminate it from the list of prohibited drugs: this is the case of some states in the USA, Canada, and some European countries.

Who have started a trial aimed at including cannabis among the medical remedies available under prescription.

It has in fact been shown that THC can act effectively against chronic diseases and disorders of various nature (including asthma and glaucoma).

Stimulating appetite, offering relief and reducing pain in cases where conventional drugs cannot be used due to their harmful side effects.

What is CBD?

And now let's analyze CBD : its main difference from THC) is that CBD is not a psychoactive compound : it does not alter the senses or the state of consciousness to a substantial extent.

This aspect has made it particularly interesting for the scientific community, and for the same reason it is not subject to any legal restriction : no country prohibits the consumption of CBD (with the exception of the United Kingdom, where CBD is included among the scheduled drugs -1 and therefore, technically, illegal), and is currently found on the market in many forms: oil, crystals, etc...

CBD is able to interact with receptor cells, increasing the response of the human nervous system. It is also an effective natural inhibitor. These virtues make it an excellent ally in the treatment of various forms of schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder and depression.

On a purely physiological level, however, it has proven effective against migraines, muscle spasms, inflammation and arthritis.

One of its strong points from the point of view of medical use is the possibility of its administration without experiencing the side effects inevitably induced (and not necessarily desired) by THC: alteration of the senses, feeling of heaviness, lethargy.

It is precisely on these bases that the scientific community is pushing to complete the search for all its characteristics: a necessary step in order to definitively ascribe it to the category of drugs.

CBD also influences the effects of THC by enhancing its analgesic efficacy and prolonging its duration of action, and at the same time reduces its side effects on heart rate, breathing and body temperature .

It is no coincidence that some of those who use marijuana or derivatives for recreational purposes accompany the intake of small doses of CBD to "soften" the effect and attenuate unwanted peaks.

In short, with a bit of ease one could say that CBD is the "sensible brother" of THC, and if in some aspects they are similar, in other aspects they are almost opposite: THC can in fact occasionally induce states of anxiety or paranoia (especially on sporadic users), while as mentioned, CBD is an anti-psychotic .

Following an experimental administration of THC and CBD alternately on one hundred and thirty-four subjects to verify their psychotomimetic effects, none of the volunteers complained of symptoms associated with anxiety or paranoia while under the effect of CBD .

Another radical difference is that while one of the main reasons why many people use marijuana is its soporific properties. CBD , on the other hand, has a lighter, more attenuated effect and in some cases can also reduce the effects of insomnia.

It is the strains with high concentrations of THC that cause drowsiness in those who take them, a characteristic that is less pronounced in those strains with low levels of THC or high levels of CBD .

It is precisely their differences that have led and are leading many growers to select Cannabis plants with high CBD percentages and low THC content.

Chemical formula Cbd cannabidiol

Difference between Cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis

All types of Cannabis are part of the Cannabaceous family , but they differ radically in appearance, need, size and harvest yield.

Its classification is anything but trivial: even today scientists are divided into various schools of thought , the expression of different schools, which tend to classify the marijuana plant in opposite ways.

The first scientist who ventured into the classification of the different varieties of Cannabis was Carl Linnaeus , a Swedish botanist, doctor and zoologist, who - in the mid-eighteenth century - created the classification system that we still use today.

Most experts are still looking for a universal way to classify different cannabis species.

According to some interpretations, all existing varieties are subspecies of Cannabis Sativa , the most famous and used of all; according to others, however, it is possible to divide the large Cannabis family into three groups: Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Ruderalis.

Light cannabis cultivation

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa is the most widespread variety of Cannabis , characterized by considerable growth and predominantly cerebral effects.

Cannabis sativa originates from equatorial countries, those located in the range between 30° north and south of the equator, such as Thailand and Indonesia, where the hours of light remain constant for almost the entire year.

They are very resistant plants because they are used to fighting for light, due to the very dense vegetation that characterizes their areas of origin.

Having to fight daily to be reached by the sun's rays has led Sativa species to evolve to grow taller, reaching dimensions that - in most cases - are very significant. Specimens belonging to this species usually become quite large and slender.

Of the three varieties, in fact, the Sativa is the one that reaches the highest heights : in the case of genetically pure specimens, the plant can even exceed 5 meters in height.

Generally speaking, however, the plant tends not to exceed 2-4 meters in height, if grown in optimal environmental conditions.

The nature of the plant translates into extremely abundant harvests which, however, require rather long flowering times , even up to 16 weeks.

Sativa leaves have become the symbol of marijuana par excellence , they are much more tapered and thin than those of other species and resemble long fingers.

Cannabis Indica

Cannabis Indica has a very different appearance from that of its Sativa sister: it appears as a very compact and bushy plant , and is characterized by moderate growth in height .

The 100% pure varieties show a bushy structure, very similar to that of a Christmas tree. They are perfect plants for those who don't have much space or need to remain inconspicuous.

Indica is a species of Cannabis native to the driest countries on the planet, such as Lebanon, Afghanistan and India, from which it takes its name.

Until 1785 nothing was known about the Indica variety in Europe; the plant arrived in the Western world thanks to the botanist Jean-Baptiste De Lamark , who reported having discovered one of these plants during a trip to the Indies.

Indica varieties are truly perfect for those who need to harvest quickly: in addition to not being noticeable due to their moderate height - which never exceeds 1.2-1.5 meters - they also boast a very fast flowering period , which usually does not exceed 8 weeks.

When an Indica genetics reaches its optimal height, it stops growing vertically and concentrates its energy on developing in width, to produce more compact and aromatic buds .

When the plant stops growing it means that it has sufficient energy to start producing flowers, stimulated by the variation in the photoperiod; in fact, when the hours of sunlight decrease, the flowering phase is triggered.

The shape of Indica plants, as well as that of the leaves, is due to the geographical areas from which it originates, where the plant is subjected to continuous fluctuations in the hours of light throughout the year. Indica leaves are very stocky and short, with a fan shape, which allows them to make full use of all the light they have.

Cannabis Ruderalis

It is probably the oldest of the Cannabis varieties, but the Ruderalis variety has only appeared on the market a few years ago. It is not a plant suitable for mass cultivation, since it produces low yields also due to its small size .

It has become interesting for the modern cannabis market thanks to some of its characteristics, in particular thanks to its high resilience and its flowering cycle independent of the variation in the hours of light to which it is subjected.

These aspects mixed well with Indica or Sativa genetics can give life to large plants, with copious yields and less delicate than pure Indica and Sativa genetics.

Its precious vegetative characteristics are due to the places in which the plant developed, namely the northernmost areas of the planet, such as Russia, China and Poland, countries with little exposure to sunlight and plagued by very cold temperatures.

Ruderalis has managed to evolve so as not to succumb to such a hostile habitat, and has developed a flowering cycle that does not vary with variations in light, but is triggered exclusively by the age of the plant .

For this reason the size of a Ruderalis will always be small and its production yields somewhat mediocre.

The effects of a 100% pure Ruderalis strain are virtually non-existent, due to its extremely low levels of THC and CBD . However, through selective breeding, it is possible to create predominantly Indica or Sativa varieties, but with the resilience and autoflowering properties of Ruderalis genetics (hybrids with the best properties of both species).

Cannabis cultivation

The production process for growing light cannabis

Land preparation

The preparation of the soil for sowing , the starting point of the production phase, is one of the fundamental factors: good soil (in terms of composition, nutrients and contaminants) will, in fact, be able to give a good product .

We therefore work to create a "hospitable" soil that will become the natural habitat of the roots , creating the optimal conditions for cultivation with careful and precise control to avoid the development of any weeds and the presence of contaminants.


The best time to sow cannabis depends on the weather conditions . The calendar could be a help but it is preferable to use the old peasant traditions: the weather conditions. Which remain the only tool capable of guaranteeing the best sowing, as well as the best cultivation techniques.

In theory, you should sow at the right temperature (at least 9-11°C) . From mid-February to early April is a fairly precise time range for sowing. Usually each seed needs a short time to germinate (24-48 hours).

If the soil is well hydrated and the climate is mild enough, the young plants will emerge after a few days (5-10). Clearly these rules apply depending on the type of cannabis we will have to plant, the climate, the soil and the external conditions.

Industrial hemp for fiber is the one that should be planted as soon as possible, that for hemp seeds days later, around mid-March.

cannabis seeds

Planting density is also crucial . For biomass cultivation, furrows every 10-20 cm are sufficient, however for inflorescences, a distance of one to a half meters between each plant may be sufficient to have the right vegetative space.

Another precaution, if you are sowing to obtain inflorescences, is mulching . A sort of covering (with special sheets) of the soil which leaves a gap open only for the seed.

This strategy is applied to defend the individual shoots and to guarantee the right supply of nutrients (it does not cause weeds to grow which would "steal" lifeblood from the hemp plants. Furthermore, this system is able to regulate the flow of rainwater, ensuring the right contribution.

Finally the sowing depth . The ideal one reaches 3-5 cm . Be careful not to "make deeper furrows": the shoots will have difficulty reaching the outside. But not too shallow either, planting hemp an inch deep could create a dry bed and uneven germination.

Cannabis pots

Vegetative phase

The vegetative phase is the moment in which the Cannabis plant goes from being a slender, very delicate-looking plant to appearing like a real tree. The seedling has just emerged from the seed, which has opened to reveal a small leafy shoot , which appears truly defenseless.

The plant grows and becomes stronger, filling with increasingly larger leaves, which will allow it to absorb as much light as possible during photosynthesis . The stem becomes more robust and fills with hairs and the sprout of just a couple of weeks before is just a memory.

Many novice growers think that the vegetative phase is less important than flowering, but they are wrong. The growth path of the plant is a cycle, and if one of its phases did not go as expected, the subsequent ones will inevitably be affected as well.

A plant that has had a bumpy growth develops much less and, consequently, will not produce the impressive harvests it could have given.

The nutrients

During the growth period, plants need to receive many nutrients, especially nitrogen and potassium . It's easy to notice if you're doing something wrong: if they have a nitrogen or potassium deficiency, plants yellow quickly.

If you use soil, this phase will go smoothly, because the soil suitable for growing Cannabis already contains enough nutrients for three/four weeks. There is therefore no need to add fertilizers until the flowering period.

The light

As for indoor cultivation, most growers are used to subjecting their Cannabis plants to a photoperiod of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.

Using HID lamps controlled by a timer. Using a timer is essential, because an irregular photoperiod causes great stress to the plants, which would no longer have a way of understanding when to grow and when to flower, with the risk of causing them to become hermaphrodites.

Alternation is very important, because light and darkness influence the life cycle of the plant . Photosynthesis occurs during daylight hours : through chlorophyll the plant absorbs light and converts light energy into chemical energy.

On the contrary, during the hours of darkness the plant only carries out cellular respiration , taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide, essential for the cell's metabolism.

The balance between these two processes is essential for the correct development of the plant.

When it comes to the type or quality of light for the growth phase, there are several options.

  • 250, 400 and 600W metal halide lamps, low power CFLs;
  • mixed lamps
  • LED panels
  • LEC or CHM lighting.

If there is no reason to accelerate the growth process, it is better to use energy saving lamps such as 250W CFLs, which are cold white light lamps , which do not produce heat and significantly reduce expenses.

If, however, we are in a hurry to grow them and want to save time in the growth phase, we will use HM white light bulbs with a power of 400W – 600W. These bulbs speed up the growth process but produce more heat.

You can also use mixed HPS bulbs of 400W – 600W, which combine the spectrums necessary for the growth and flowering of marijuana plants.

It will not be necessary to replace the lamp to bring the plant into flowering, but it will simply be necessary to change the photoperiod, with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.

The more powerful the light, the more heat it produces. This is an aspect that should not be underestimated, because plants must live between 22 and 26 degrees during the hours of light , and between 18 and 22 degrees during the hours of darkness .

You will therefore need to pay close attention to the temperature and equip yourself with a good ventilation and extraction system or, vice versa, using heating or air conditioning. If your growing environment is very dry, you may also need a humidifier; in the growth phase, it is recommended that the relative humidity values ​​are within 60% / 70%.

Cannabis light


The water requirement proportionally follows the growth of the plant , and increases as its size increases. The amount and frequency of watering increases as the weeks pass.

It is very important to be vigilant and respond to this increasing demand for water, especially in coco crops. The ideal irrigation water temperature should be around 22 degrees .

Checking the pH (coefficient that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of the water) and CE (electro-conductivity or level of dissolved salts) of the irrigation water are factors to consider, because the best assimilation of the plant's nutrients depends on them .

The recommended pH of irrigation water for a marijuana grow in soil is between 6 and 6.8. The EC of the water should be around 0.4-1.2 milliSiemens (depending on the type of soil used and the amount of fertilizer it contains). In coco and hydroponics we will use a lower pH, around 5.5-6 and a slightly higher EC, between 1.4 and 1.6.

Marijuana is a plant that prefers abundant , but not too frequent, watering. An excellent way to water Cannabis plants is to add water to the lower parts of its substrate . In this way it will be possible to control the water needs of the plants more precisely.

An easy way to do this involves placing the pots in a container full of water, so that the water is absorbed and pushed upwards, where the roots will have the task of assimilating it.

Flowering phase

When the vegetative phase comes to an end, the cannabis plant begins to develop buds. The end of the vegetative phase is easily recognised: when the pistils , which appear as white filaments, begin to emerge from the nodes of the female specimens , it means that it is time.

Outdoors, flowering is activated during the month of August, when the hours of darkness and those of light begin to balance , up to 12-12 cycles. Outdoor growers usually plant between April and May, so that in August everything is ready to follow its natural cycle without compromising the yield of the crop.

Indoor growers can activate the flowering of plants by setting a 12-12 lighting cycle (i.e. 12 hours of light, 12 hours of complete darkness). During flowering, the size of the buds progressively increases.

When plants reach optimal structure and size, indoor growers adjust the photoperiod . When the cycle goes from a phase 18-6, with 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness, to a phase 12-12, the plant goes into alarm.

The cannabis plant senses that winter is approaching and that its life cycle is coming to an end . Therefore it activates the flowering phase, to produce flowers and seeds to be released into the environment in order to reproduce.

In the first days of flowering, cannabis plants enter a transition phase: the plant believes that winter is approaching and will tend to show more accelerated growth . They may even double their initial size, as well as develop a large amount of leaves and branches to become stronger and more robust.

In the second week of flowering, the first white pistils will already be visible, which will begin to appear on all female plants.

These are white hairs that appear between the main stem and the secondary branches, which group together to form the tops. This is the moment in which the difference between male and female plants emerges ; males do not develop pistils - which are nothing other than the female reproductive organs - but rather small pollen sacks.

At this stage it is important to promptly recognize the male plants and distance them from the females, to prevent them from pollinating nearby flowers , with the result of filling them with annoying seeds.

During the third week of flowering the plants should be double the size of week one. In this phase, however, the growth spurts gradually begin to decrease , until they stop completely.

Where previously the first white hairs began to appear, the first buds are taking shape . The plants do not yet have large quantities of resin glands and trichomes , which means that the odors will still be light and not very pungent.

It is important to monitor the quantity of nutrients you are providing to the plant, because in this phase the requirement increases in proportion to the growth effort.

However, being vigilant does not mean exaggerating, so as not to run the opposite risk: plants that have been supplied with an excessive quantity of fertilizer may suffer from so-called " fertilizer burns" , which appear on the tips of the leaves, which tend to discolour.

If this should happen, the fertilizer intake must be reduced immediately.

light cannabis

By the fourth week of the flowering phase, your cannabis plants should have stopped growing, devoting all their energy to bud development .

As the days pass, the white hairs will join together to form the buds, which become increasingly larger and heavier. In this phase the plants increase the production of trichomes and release very pungent odors.

In the fifth week of flowering the buds are visible on all the branches of the plants. As the number of buds increases, cannabis plants will become increasingly stockier and heavier.

The development of the flowers and the very intense smell warn that the flowering has reached full bloom.

Some of the white pistils may become darker and more brownish. Flowering is in its last phase, which should finish within three to four weeks .

Cultivation techniques

There are many techniques that promise more abundant harvests, but these are complex methodologies which, if not performed correctly, could cause the opposite effect or even the death of the plant.

One of these techniques is defoliation : the lower leaves and the very large ones are removed to expose the plant to light as much as possible and allow the tops to develop better and faster. It is a technique that puts a lot of stress on the plant, but - if performed correctly - brings the desired results.

Defoliation is a general term for the removal of leaves from plants . It is a very widespread technique also in other crops, and can be performed in different ways to obtain different effects.

There are many plant species that respond well to defoliation, such as cotton, chia and clover.

Defoliation is a form of pruning and involves manually removing leaves from cannabis plants to concentrate resin production in the larger buds and improve yield at harvest .

With defoliation the grower can manipulate the growth of the plant: the more nodes will receive direct light and the more flowers will develop, with greater quantities of resin.

The increased airflow through the entire plant structure will also help prevent pathogen attack and promote efficient gas exchange by the stomata.

There are different defoliation techniques: Topping, Main-lining, Lollipopping and Schwazzing.

Drying and tanning

The flowers are ready to be harvested, the plant is full of inflorescences and the aroma is sour, pungent and persistent. The cultivation phase is finished, but the buds are not yet ready to be used.

Indeed, this is the most delicate moment: fresh buds are very vulnerable, the resin and water they contain can make them mold easily, frustrating the efforts of months and months.

By drying and treating cannabis buds, the flavor and aroma of the inflorescences can be improved, thanks to the process of decomposition of chlorophyll , which - if implemented gradually - makes the taste of dried buds less harsh.

Drying and curing can reduce the risk of developing anxiety after smoking cannabis and can even increase the potency of the cannabinoids.

Additionally, treating your cannabis buds properly can extend their lifespan , so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for a long time.

The drying phase begins as soon as the plants are pruned. The freshly cut buds - at this stage - are extremely sticky and moist, thanks to the presence of a high quantity of psychoactive resin .

The resin, combined with the water still contained within the fresh flowers, is the perfect medium for the proliferation of bacteria , fungi , and other contaminants. At this stage it is important to act promptly, avoiding leaving the fresh buds in contact with the surrounding environment for a long time.

There are many pruning techniques to cut fresh buds and start the drying phase.

  • The wet trimming technique consists of pruning the plants as soon as they reach maturity , cutting the branches one at a time with sharp scissors or shears, so as to eliminate all the surrounding vegetation. The buds are the main focus of this pruning, but the leaves also contain a small amount of cannabinoids and resin and can be stored separately for use in making food and cosmetic products . If the wet trimming technique is used, the fresh buds must be placed on a rather large horizontal surface, which provides the flowers with adequate ventilation. The best option is to place the buds on a wire rack or rack. In this way the air will reach the entire surface of the top.
  • The dry trimming technique is used especially when you have little time and many plants to prune. In this procedure it is necessary to cut the branches and hang them entirely to dry . When the plant is dry, you start pruning and treating the buds. Dry trimming is more difficult to do and often less accurate, because the small sugar leaves will be bent towards the flower. Furthermore, with dry trimming you risk losing precious resin. In fact, it can fall from the plant when the branches are handled and hung.

Regardless of the pruning method used, it is essential to carry out the entire procedure inside a drying room. A drying room should be a cool, dark environment , with a temperature of approximately 15-22°C .

Cannabis drying and curing


There are several factors to keep under control to ensure that the drying results are perfect. It is important to keep temperature, humidity, light and air circulation under control .

  • Temperature During the first 3 days it would be optimal to keep the plants at a stable temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. This way the sprouts will dry quickly, without drying out excessively. After the first 3 days the temperature should be lowered to around 17-18 degrees Celsius in order to slow down the process.
  • Humidity During the first 3 days the relative humidity should be around 50%. After three days the relative humidity should rise to around 60%, again to slow the drying process.
  • Air circulation It is very important that there is enough air circulation in the room, which is why it is advisable to use an electric fan. A ventilation device can also come in handy to control temperature and humidity. However, do not point the device directly at the buds, as this could dry the cannabis buds improperly.
  • Dark The room should be relatively dark as light, especially direct sunlight, degrades THC.

How light cannabis interacts with our body

The beneficial effects of cannabis are many, and often prove to be more powerful and decisive than those of similar drugs. How is it possible? Cannabis is a very precious plant, which offers real support in the treatment of very different pathologies.

One of its main active ingredients, CBD - which has no psychoactive effects - has proven effective in the treatment of mood and sleep disorders, menstrual pain, epilepsy, problems related to the sexual sphere and also in the treatment of chronic pain and chemotherapy symptoms .

Marijuana is now a new frontier in the clinical treatment of many pathologies, both used in a concentrated form - CBD-based oils or crystals - and in its "natural" form - i.e. inflorescences to smoke or to use to prepare infusions and herbal teas.

Certainly the chemical composition of cannabis is powerful by nature, both in its therapeutic version, rich in THC and CBD , and in the light version, in which CBD prevails while THC is present in small quantities (<0.2%).

Its effects, however, are amplified by the reaction of the human organism to the interaction with cannabinoids: the human body is equipped with a group of receptors, called the endocannabinoid system , which are activated as soon as they come into contact with the active ingredients of cannabis.

human brain and cannabinoid receptors

Endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is made up of a group of receptors contained in the cells of the human body which, by interacting with the compounds present within Cannabis plants, gives rise to the beneficial effects of cannabis on the organism.

These receptors are present throughout the human organism, with higher concentrations in some areas, and are normally activated by the so-called endocannabinoids , compounds similar to those of cannabis , naturally present within our body.

The molecules contained in Cannabis plants, called cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids, have a molecular structure very similar to that of the endocannabinoids produced by the human body and, therefore, activate the same receptors.

Both THC and CBD interact with these receptors to influence appetite, immune function, pain management, and many other factors.

The endocannabinoid system is present in the body of almost all mammals, including humans.

Everything present in the body has a precise function, and the endocannabinoid system has the function of maintaining the body's homeostasis , that is, ensuring that the internal balances of each of us remain constant over time.

This system is made up of receptors found inside the body's cells, which react only to specific molecules.

The ECS (Endocannabynoid System) reacts to all cannabinoids, both those contained in the cannabis plant, the famous phytocannabinoids THC and CBD, and those produced naturally by the human body, such as anandamide.

How come? All cannabinoids share a very similar molecular structure , therefore the homeostasis processes triggered by endocannabinoids are activated even in the presence of THC and CBD.

This incredible system was discovered by Dr. Ralph Mechoulam , of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Natural Products at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Mechoulam was also the one who discovered THC as the main active component of the Cannabis plant. This godfather of Cannabis noted that the endocannabinoid system is mainly made up of two receptors: CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 receptor interacts with THC through very particular mechanisms. These receptors are found primarily in the brain and male and female reproductive organs , which is why THC not only causes the so-called psychoactive "high", but can also act effectively on pain.

The CB2 receptor , however, is present in both the nervous and immune systems . CB2 receptors appear to have an intimate relationship with the popular therapeutic cannabinoid CBD , capable of activating strong anti-inflammatory responses.

Considering that cannabinoids interact with our body in different ways, the potential applications of these molecules in the medical field continue to multiply, as studies aimed at discovering new ones multiply.

cannabinoid receptors

Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids)

Endocannabinoids are a class of bioactive lipids and have in common the ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors.

The first endocannabinoid to be identified, in 1992, was anandamide (AEA), followed by 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), 2-arachidonyl-glyceryl-ether (noladin, 2-AGE), virodamine and N-arachidonoyldopamine (NADA), identified more recently.

  • Anandamide , or arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA), is a neuro-modulator that mimics the effects of psychoactive compounds found in cannabis, known as cannabinoids. This compound, whose name derives from the Sanskrit "ānanda", internal bliss, was isolated and characterized by the Czech chemist Lumír Ondřej Hanuš and the American pharmacologist William Anthony Devane in the laboratory of Raphael Mechoulam at the University of Jerusalem in 1992. Its localization in the CNS it is at the level of the postsynaptic membrane of the brain and, if released, binds the CB1 receptors. Its presence was also observed in plasma, also suggesting its role at a hormonal level.
  • 2 -AG, on the other hand, is present in a significantly higher quantity and acts more selectively on the CB1 receptor. The latter receptor is mainly responsible for the stimulating and neuromodulatory effects of cannabis, especially with regards to THC.
  • N -Arachidonoyldopamine (NADA) is another endocannabinoid that activates the CB1 and TRPV1 receptors and its action is particularly important in the Substantia Nigra, the internal area of ​​the brain used to produce dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Its action on this brain area has been studied recently and it has been discovered that, together with some opioids, endocannabinoids activate and inhibit alternate parts of the Substantia Nigra.
  • Palmitoylethanolamide ( PEA ), Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) and Noladin are other endocannabinoids to consider for their ability to activate specific receptors. PEA acts more on the PPAR-Alpha receptors, promoting the immune response and protection from inflammation, but also on the CB3 and CB4 receptors. LPI acts on CB3 receptors promoting spatial learning. Noladin, on the other hand, acts on the CB1, CB2, CB3, TRPV1 and PPAR-Alpha receptors, activating the entire cannabinoid system and boasting a longer action time, thanks to its slow degradation.

How does the endocannabinoid system work?

These lipid mediators, together with cannabinoid receptors and related processes of synthesis, transport and degradation, constitute the so-called endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoids are produced inside neuronal cells, but are not stored in vesicles; instead, they are synthesized as needed, following a stimulus that causes the depolarization of the cell membrane .

Once synthesized, endocannabinoids are immediately released from the cell and bind to cannabinoid receptors present on neighboring cells or on the same cell that produced them, thus behaving as autocrine or paracrine mediators.

In particular, it has been hypothesized that endocannabinoids behave as retrograde messengers: synthesized in the postsynaptic cell, they would activate the CB1 receptors of the axons of the presynaptic cell.

Once their biological action has been completed, the endocannabinoids will be inactivated through enzymatically regulated degradation or recycling mechanisms.

These processes involve the "reuptake" of endocannabinoids (reuptake) by passive diffusion across the cell membrane, enzymatic intracellular hydrolysis and the recycling of hydrolysis products in membrane phospholipids.

But how do cannabinoids have such a powerful impact on our body? The endocannabinoid system essentially regulates all the basic functions and processes of our body:

Aiming to maintain homeostasis, which means it directly affects mood, sleep, appetite, metabolism, pain, memory, immune functions, inflammation, neuroprotective and developmental functions, digestion .

Exogenous cannabinoids

Unlike endocannabinoids, exogenous cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis plants, can enter our bodies and remain active for much longer periods of time .

This has a significantly greater effect on the activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), allowing its processes to work much more effectively than they normally do.

  • Research has shown that the cannabinoid THC binds to both receptors (CB1 and CB2), in both cases activating the endocannabinoid system. The effects of THC are commonly considered psychological, but the compound itself has the ability to cause effects that go far beyond the simple "high" normally associated with marijuana. It can act positively on chronic pain, nausea, appetite, asthma and glaucoma . Furthermore, it has been shown to have beneficial anti-cancer properties and symbiotic effects on the body when taken together with CBD.
  • CBD does not have the ability to bind to all receptors, but it works by inhibiting the FAAH enzyme. This prevents and slows the breakdown of anandamide, one of the most important endocannabinoids in our body. The result is a buildup of anandamide in the brain . While THC causes psychoactive effects on the brain, CBD acts on the body. However, research into the possible therapeutic benefits of the latter cannabinoid is only just beginning. Today we know for sure that it helps in therapies to treat some serious health problems, inhibiting the growth of tumor cells, reducing and preventing inflammation, nausea, diabetes, PTSD, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, it has been shown to have effective antipsychotic, anxiolytic and pain-relieving properties against muscle spasms or neuropathic pain.

The therapeutic properties of CBD

CBD and chronic pain

Cannabidiol and its pain-relieving properties:

How does it interact with the body and how does it control pain?

Some studies have highlighted how cannabidiol is able to influence the chemical processes characteristic of the endocannabinoid called anandamide, one of the neuro-modulatory molecules also associated with the perception of pain.

Other studies report that CBD is able to activate receptors involved with the transmission and chronicity of pain.

Finally, cannabidiol turned out to be promising for the treatment of two particular types of chronic pain, neuropathic pain and pain due to inflammation.

CBD and neuropathic pain

The mechanism of action of cannabinoids has been studied in the context of various pathologies and conditions that lead to a chronic pain condition of a neuropathic nature, as in the case of trigeminal neuralgia or chemotherapy cycles.

The studies conducted so far have demonstrated the excellent effectiveness of cannabidiol in treating neuropathic pain.

While other active ingredients of cannabis are already used in the oncology field for their effectiveness in alleviating nausea , cannabidiol, specifically, has proven promising against peripheral neuropathic pain caused by chemotherapy drugs .

CBD also reduces complications often associated with chronic pain such as anxiety and depression. According to some studies, CBD, through its interaction with the receptors of the serotonin system , reduces these comorbidities and helps the patient deal with his condition.

CBD and inflammatory pain

Cannabidiol is also used to treat pain caused by inflammation. Various scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of cannabidiol on many inflammatory conditions, such as in the case of osteoarthritis.

It's proven that taking CBD protects joints against serious damage and reduces inflammation . CBD could be a valid option for the treatment of various situations characterized by inflammatory pain.

A study published in the pages of the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD applied to the skin can help reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis.

Scientific research on the relationship between CBD and pain has made great strides in recent years; just as the multiple uses that can be made of the cannabis plant in the field of human and animal health are increasingly being studied.

There is still a long way to go but, to date, cannabidiol can be considered in all respects a valid ally for alleviating the suffering caused by a chronic pain condition.

In fact, more and more doctors are suggesting its use in parallel with other therapies to accompany the daily life of all those people who find themselves forced to live with pain.


"a single dose of CBD can reduce and improve the anxiety resulting from the SPST (simulation public speaking test) in patients suffering from social anxiety disorder"

Anxiety and stress are very common and equally generic sensations. A state of anxiety can have multiple manifestations and causes, and manifests itself differently in each person.

In 2015 , a review of the studies conducted up to that point aimed at verifying the potential effects of CBD in treating a state of anxiety was published in the journal Neuroterapeutics . The results are very encouraging.

The review examined 49 preclinical, clinical and epidemiological studies; and also included research done with neuroimaging techniques (technologies that allow studying brain metabolism).

From the review, edited by Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, ​​Jorge Manzanares and Charles R. Marmar of the New York School of Medicine, it emerged that preclinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD in reducing the anxiety caused by many disorders such as, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and many others.

The study by scientists from the University of Washington dates back to 2018, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders , which took into consideration a decidedly large sample of people - more than 1,400 male and female volunteers - to investigate the effectiveness of cannabis-based products against anxiety and stress.

The researchers used an application ( Strainprint ), with which participants indicated their data (collected anonymously), the quantity and type of cannabis used and, finally, the effects experienced.

From the 12,000 responses received by the authors of the study, it emerged that more than half (58%) perceived a clear reduction in anxiety. In particular, cannabis with high CBD and low THC content has been indicated as the most effective for treating anxiety and depression.

CBD oil

Sleep disorders

The CBD contained in hemp plants has the proven ability to reduce a state of anxiety. The scientific evidence in this field has led to research also being interested in the possibilities of using cannabidiol to improve the quality of sleep and combat insomnia.

In recent years it has emerged, among many things, how CBD helps in reducing REM sleep phase disorders in those people suffering from Parkinson's disease , and which often manifest themselves in physical actions during sleep, placing the individual at numerous risks to their safety.

Results like this have pushed the world of researchers to increasingly investigate the role that cannabis can play while we sleep.

CBD and sleep research to date

Review of all preliminary research on cannabis and insomnia suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for treating insomnia.

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on the other hand, can reduce sleep latency, but could compromise the quality of sleep in the long term.

CBD has shown itself to be more than promising for intervening on sleep disorders and, when taken at low doses, on excessive daytime sleepiness. Research on cannabis and sleep, while still in its early stages, has yielded positive results.

Further controlled, longitudinal research is critical to improve our understanding of the research and clinical implications.

CBD: anxiety and sleep

Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often complain of sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or various abnormalities during REM sleep. Cannabidiol (CBD), a component of cannabis, reduces physiological non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM sleep.

Considering that the progression of a state of anxiety is caused, in general, by persistent stress over a period of time, some researchers from Taiwan National University wanted to verify whether cannabidiol would prove effective in mitigating sleep disorders caused by anxiety.

The research team subjected mice to various standard procedures and then administered CBD to them.

The researchers immediately noticed how anxiety in general had decreased (confirming the already numerous results in this direction). Furthermore, as had been intuited, CBD effectively blocked the state of anxiety that occurred during the REM phase of sleep, allowing the mice long restorative rests.

Every day, cannabis is proving to be a useful ally for improving the quality of our rest. The important thing, as always, is to consume quality products , certified and produced naturally .


“Cannabidiol is proving effective in drug-resistant patients for some more severe forms of epilepsy, reducing seizure frequency by almost half.”

"In the future in Italy it could become an alternative treatment for tens of thousands of people" , says Marilena Vecchi , neuroepileptologist of the Department of Women's and Children's Health of the Padua hospital, head of the Lice national reference center for diagnosis and treatment of childhood epilepsy.

CBD presents itself as a potential drug in the antiepileptic category, already in February 2016 a study conducted by a team of Israeli scientists showed the potential of cannabidiol. The research was conducted on 74 adolescents suffering from a severe form of epilepsy for approximately three months.

The symbolic case that has placed the topic of epilepsy - CBD at the center of attention is that of Charlotte , a 3-year-old girl suffering from 600 epileptic seizures a day.

The effects of CBD on Charlotte were immediate enough to drastically reduce epileptic seizures. This has obviously brought a tremendous increase in the quality of life for Charlotte and her family.

The hope is that Research and Studies on the effectiveness of CBD in this type of disease will continue consistently to help children suffering from Dravet Syndrome.

Other therapeutic effects of CBD

  • Improves symptoms of schizophrenia
    Some scientific research has shown that CBD produces antipsychotic effects and may have an action profile similar to that of other antipsychotic drugs. However, the mechanism by which CBD carries out this action is not yet fully understood.
  • Protects against neurodegenerative diseases
    Several studies have shown that CBD it is able to inhibit the formation of the classic "plaques" typical of Alzheimer's disease and reduces the death of brain cells.
  • Relieves nausea
    Cannabis has been used for centuries as an anti-nausea and anti-emetic. A 2012 rat study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD benefits include anti-nausea effects and anti-emetic effects.
  • Reduces the incidence of diabetes
    Research from 2006 found that CBD treatment significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice, from an incidence of 86% in untreated mice to an incidence of 30% in mice treated with CBD. Even in this case, however, further confirmation is being sought.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
    A study dated 2013 and published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that CBD protects against vascular damage caused by high glucose levels, inflammation or type 2 diabetes .
  • Treatment of multiple sclerosis
    Multiple studies have shown how the CBD - THC combination is effective and well tolerated in the treatment of muscle contraction, pain, sleep disorders and urinary incontinence in people with multiple sclerosis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
    Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, cannabinoids can provide relief from joint pain and swelling, and decrease joint destruction and disease progression. It's proven that taking CBD protects joints against serious damage, decreases progression, improves movement, sleep quality and reduces inflammation in just 5 weeks.
  • Helps against acne and psoriasis
    Many studies have shown that cannabidiol has great efficacy and benefits for our skin , an element that has led to its being increasingly used in the cosmetic field.
  • Reduces depression
    According to researchers, CBD has similar effectiveness to that of antidepressants. A study found that the antidepressant effects of cannabidiol are fast, continuous over time and comparable to a common antidepressant drug.