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What Are Paleo Cannabinoids and Why Are They Relevant?

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As medical cannabis gains acceptance worldwide, the spotlight increasingly falls on its therapeutic compounds. Phytocannabinoids are at the forefront of this discussion. While many are familiar with the term “paleo” in the context of trendy paleo diets, and with cannabinoids as the bioactive molecules in cannabis, the combination of these terms into “paleo cannabinoids” often raises eyebrows.

This article aims to demystify and shed light on paleo cannabinoids, elucidating their relevance to our understanding of medical cannabis.

What is the Meaning of Paleo?

Paleo, short for Paleolithic, refers to a dietary and lifestyle approach inspired by the presumed eating habits of our ancient ancestors during the Paleolithic era. The Paleo diet emphasizes consuming whole, unprocessed foods such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while avoiding grains, legumes, processed foods, and dairy products. Proponents of the Paleo lifestyle advocate for its potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved energy levels, and reduced risk of chronic diseases, by aligning with the dietary patterns of our early human ancestors. However, the Paleo approach is not without controversy, with critics questioning its scientific validity and practicality in the modern world.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, appetite, pain sensation, and memory.

The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), famous for its psychoactive effects, commonly associated with marijuana. However, another cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), has gained widespread attention for its potential therapeutic properties without inducing intoxication.

Beyond THC and CBD, there are over a hundred other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, each with its unique effects and potential health benefits. These compounds have spurred significant research into their therapeutic applications, ranging from pain management to anxiety relief and beyond.

What Are Paleo Cannabinoids?

Paleo cannabinoids are cannabinoids derived from ancient plant species, such as cannabis sativa. They occur in their natural form and composition, not having been tampered with in any way. Paleo cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body, much like modern cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. These compounds have been discovered in fossilized remnants of plants from various geological periods, showcasing their presence millions of years ago.

Paleo cannabinoids share structural similarities with modern cannabinoids, suggesting a conserved biochemical pathway for cannabinoid production across plant species. While research on paleo cannabinoids is in its early stages, preliminary studies indicate potential therapeutic benefits similar to those of modern cannabinoids.

In clinical practice, paleo cannabinoids interact with the endogenous cannabinoid system or the broader endocannabinoidome. Their potential therapeutic applications are being explored, with advancements in synthetic production methods expanding research opportunities beyond traditional botanical sources.Paleo cannabinoids represent a fascinating intersection of paleontology, biochemistry, and pharmacology.

Applications of Paleo Cannabinoids

The practical applications of paleo cannabinoids, “unadulterated, cannabinoids”   hold promise in various fields, particularly in medicine and pharmacology. These compounds exhibit potential therapeutic properties similar to modern cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as THC and CBD. Research suggests that paleo cannabinoids could interact with the human endocannabinoid system, influencing physiological processes like pain perception, mood regulation, and inflammation. Furthermore, their structural similarity to modern cannabinoids opens avenues for drug discovery and the development of innovative treatments for conditions such as chronic pain, neurological disorders, and mental health conditions. However, further research is needed to fully understand the pharmacological effects and potential applications of paleo cannabinoids in modern medicine.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.