Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers.
There are also compounds called terpenes – chemical compounds that give cannabis its unique aroma. The concentrations and combinations of the cannabinoids and terpenes vary from plant to plant and among the different strains of cannabis. When inhaled, consumed as an edible, or used on the skin as a topical preparation, the cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid docking sites or receptors in the human body and alter nerve transmission in the brain.
The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects.