What are Cannabinoids?


Cannabinoids, of which CBD (cannabidiol) is but one specific cannabinoid, are compounds that are produced naturally by the hemp plant that can have potent antioxidant and neuroprotective functions. These compounds can assist your body's regulation of the central nervous, immune, and endocannabinoid systems. Cannabinoids contain adaptogens (natural substances considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes). They can help calm worriment, support mental balance, modulate inflammation, balance stress, offer cognitive support, and promote healthy blood flow and cell growth. These are but a few of the whole-body benefits that our hemp extracts offer.


Cannabinoids resemble endocannabinoids, which are compounds our bodies produce naturally to assist in many processes. Research has shown that when the endocannabinoid system is deficient, unpleasant effects may occur. When cannabis is administered, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites in the brain and body. This can have different effects depending on which receptors the cannabinoids bind to. As research on these compounds grows, so does our understanding of the effects of these cannabinoids and the types of relief they can provide. We do know that some compounds found in hemp may act as neuroprotectants. Neuroprotectants help maintain healthy blood flow by counteracting factors that can decrease blood flow to the brain. Cognitive function may be impaired if blood flow to the brain is restricted.


Terpenes and terpenoids make up the essential oils of hemp, and give it its distinctive smell and flavor. During the process of extracting essential oils from cannabis, terpenes are often lost. Our cold-boil extraction process maintains these terpenes. This full profile of terpenes and terpenoids is one of the many reasons our extracts are superior to others on the market today. Researchers estimate that there are 80 or more cannabinoids and dozens of terpenes found in cannabis, each causing unique effects. You can read more about the different cannabinoids here: Cannabinoids Explained


Entourage Effect

Washington’s Reserve utilizes a whole-plant extraction process to manufacture our extracts. We do this specifically because it creates a much more effective product. Whole-plant extractions typically include more than 400 trace compounds. Studies suggest that many of these compounds work together synergistically to produce more powerful benefits than any one compound alone could. This is known as the Entourage Effect! The Entourage Effect magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components, so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. You can read more about this effect here: Entourage Effect


Cannabis contains an extremely wide range of naturally occurring chemical compounds. Scientists estimate there are over 80 unique cannabinoid molecules in cannabis, including CBD. Many other non-cannabinoid compounds, like terpenes, are also produced by the plant. Many of these may also have beneficial effects. Terpenes and terpenoids are responsible for cannabis’s smell and taste. These compounds have been shown to block some cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain while promoting cannabinoid binding in others. As a result, terpenes are believed to affect many aspects of how the brain takes in THC or CBD, while offering various therapeutic benefits of their own. For a more scientific explanation of CBDs, we have a webinar by Helix Institute for Health that can be seen here: 



Washington’s Reserve Glossary

Cannabinoids - Chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The most well-known cannabinoids include CBD, CBDa, CBN, THC, and THCa.

Terpenes - Common constituents of essential oils. Terpenes are responsible for the distinct aroma and taste of hemp.

Extraction - The process used to separate cannabidiols, terpenes, bioflavonoids, and essential oils from the plant matter.

Entourage Effect - The interactive synergy between compounds found in hemp. One of the reasons our whole hemp extract is superior to other extracts.

Bioavailability - The fraction of an administered dose of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation after administration. For example, medication taken intravenously is 100% bioavailable. When a substance is administered other ways, bioavailability may be reduced. Many consider the sublingual (under the tongue) way of taking an extract to be most effective. There has also been some research that indicates that hemp/CBD extracts containing small amounts of ethanol and salt are more bioavailable, and our products contain both of these elements. The mineral salts found in our products are the naturally occurring salts found inside the plant.