The Difference Between Phytocannabinoids and Endocannabinoids


You may have heard the term phytocannabinoid, endocannabinoid, or both in the past. In the cannabis world, they both get thrown around. What are they, though? What’s the difference between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids? We want to explore all the answers in this guide today.

What are Phytocannabinoids?

First up, what’s a phytocannabinoid? Put simply, they’re cannabinoids that occur naturally in plants. To be more specific, they’re the cannabinoids that come from cannabis. For example, CBD, THC, and CBG are all phytocannabinoids.

Generally speaking, fresh phytocannabinoids don’t hit the body the same way. In fact, they must go through a process known as decarboxylation. After that, they cause a different reaction to the body. CBDA and THCA convert to their pure CBD and THC forms, as an example.

What are Phytocannabinoids

Phytocannabinoids that are found in cannabis can play a role for us, though.

In fact, the THC, CBD, and other phytocannabinoids in marijuana attach to our CB receptors. Called CB1 and CB2 receptors, they help the body stimulate its own natural regulation.

This is why so many medical patients use cannabis for a variety of functions. Sleep, mood, motor control, temperature regulation, memory, appetite, digestion, immune response, and much more all see help in regulation.

What are Endocannabinoids?

Meanwhile, endocannabinoids are what we naturally produce. They’re literally molecules that are made and stored within our bodies.

Made from the endocannabinoid system, endocannabinoids are signaling molecules that help regulate a massive array of processes.

Pain, stress, immune system response, mood, memory, and more are partially regulated through our ECS. Therefore, it’s important to have an abundance of endocannabinoids.

What are Endocannabinoids

What’s the Difference Between Phytocannabinoids and Endocannabinoids?

As it happens, our bodies react to phytocannabinoids the way they do because they see them as endocannabinoids. In fact, they almost look molecularly identical. If we didn’t have an endocannabinoid system and those signaling molecules, though, cannabis wouldn’t cause any reaction at all.

The difference between phytocannabinoid and endocannabinoids is that one is naturally produced in our body. Alternatively, the other can be used as an outside tool to help the body function.

Phytocannabinoids can be used as a tool, helping the body to regulate itself. The body is constantly trying to reach perfect balance, known as homeostasis. Cannabis, in a way, helps the body reach that homeostasis easier.

difference between phytocannabinoid and endocannabinoids

Wrapping Up: the Difference Between Phytocannabinoids and Endocannabinoids

In conclusion, there are over 100 phytocannabinoids found in cannabis. The body naturally produces its own version of these molecules, called endocannabinoids. Together, these two types of molecules can help regulate a user’s endocannabinoid system.

Everyone is different, so these molecules may affect your endocannabinoid system differently than the majority. We hope this guide helped you better understand the difference between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Now you’re one step closer to finding cannabis products that fit your needs precisely.