The medicinal qualities of marijuana are primarily due to high amounts (about 10 to 20 percent) of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes and flavonoids.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes you feel "stoned," but it too has valuable medical benefits, so depending on your problem, you may want higher or lower levels of THC. Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body.
There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more. Both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates these cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabis Has Long History of Use for Pain, Seizures and More
The U.S. government, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), actually holds a patent on CBD as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant — an ironic and paradoxical situation considering the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which by definition has no accepted medical use.