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What is a Phytocannabinoid

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Green bushes of marijuana. Close up view of a marijuana cannabis bud

Cannabidiol (or CBD) is a phytocannabinoid compound that’s rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after nutraceutical products on the market. This isn’t only true within the United States either, as studies show that CBD usage is on the rise around the globe.

With more distributors and consumers moving towards CBD products, it’s important that we understand the science behind phytocannabinoids, and the ways in which they actually help.

To this end, there are thousands of publicly available peer-reviewed research articles that explain how CBD works (like this one about CBD treating anxiety), and countless personal-accounts on how the CBD industry has improved lives.

But those resources can be pretty dense to read through, so instead, here’s a handy guide on phytocannabinoids and how we use them to our benefit.

Breaking down the Term “Phyto-Cannabinoid”

There are two main parts to the term “Phytocannabinoid”. So, for better understanding, let’s split the word up and look at each side by itself.


The first part of the word, ‘Phyto’, is a prefix you’ll commonly see when reading over scientific-lingo, and it simply means “pertaining to plants”.

This means phytocannabinoids are really just cannabinoids found in plants, and because of this you’ll most often see them referred to as ‘cannabinoids’ for short.


The second part of the word, ‘Cannabinoid’, is a classification of naturally occurring chemical compounds that are found in both cannabis plants and the human body.

Where plant-based cannabinoids have their ‘Phyto’ prefix, those found in our own bodies are called ‘endocannabinoids’. It is our endocannabinoid system that naturally regulates many of our body’s internal processes.

How Phytocannabinoids Affect Us

When introduced together, the endocannabinoid system of our bodies interacts with the phytocannabinoids of cannabis plants to stimulate a variety of physiological and cognitive effects.

The most infamous cannabinoid compound is the hallucinogenic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive ingredient inside the cannabis plant. But there are dozens of other cannabinoid compounds to be found in these plants too, many of them lending to a variety of positive effects.

Which brings us back to talking about CBD

As mentioned earlier, the compound cannabidiol has become widely known for its ample range of health benefits—and is used in everything from providing relief to people experiencing chronic aches, to treating the painful symptoms of cancer patients.

CBD Products with Purpose: Phytocannabinoid Extraction

Due to the joys of modern science, we’re now able to extract specific phytocannabinoids and receive only those desired effects—completely removing unwanted compounds and the reactions they give us (like the psychoactive effects of THC).

This way, we can accurately pick and choose specific benefits of CBD in treating ailments, and optimize the intended effect of their use.

Compounds that help numb injuries can be extracted and distributed for specific pain relief purposes, while other compounds can be pulled out to combat loss of appetite, treat anxiety, and more. To make sure such treatments are safe, strict CBD regulations are applied to all products.

There are plenty of physical and therapeutic benefits CBD has to offer, and with today’s innovative technology allowing us to find so much new potential in cannabis plants, the CBD industry has much left to discover.

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