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Beginners Guide To Cannabinoids

A Comprehensive Look at the Major and Minor Cannabis Cannabinoids

THC, THCV, CBD, CBN - if your head isn't spinning from all of these acronyms, you might be the only one! Since the discovery and isolation of CBD in the early 1900s, another 100+ cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant. Now, cannabinoids are classified as major, meaning they are abundant within the cannabis plant, and minor, as they are inabundant.

Cannabidiol Icon

Cannabidiol

CBD

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of at least 85 active cannabinoids identified within cannabis, and the first to be discovered. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the Cannabis plant's extract. CBD has shown promise as a therapeutic and pharmaceutical product.

CBD is now being studied for potential (not confirmed) use in diseases far beyond forms of epilepsy.

These studies include:

  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-nausea
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain reduction
  • Antipsychotic

None of these uses have been approved by the FDA as of yet (exception: Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved cannabinoid-based therapy for certain forms of epilepsy), but with the amount of needed research going into the compound, it is likely that we will soon be hearing about new, data-backed uses for CBD.

Learn more about CBD

Tetrahydrocannabinol Icon

Tetrahydrocannabinol

THC

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is the marijuana plant's primary component for causing psychoactive effects. When smoked, tetrahydrocannabinol is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels parts of the brain responsible for thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and movement.

While those cognitive effects can have a variety of advantages or disadvantages depending on the individual, THC offers other potential health properties that should not be overlooked. For example, studies show that the compound directly address the underlying drivers of chronic pain and inflammatory disorders.

THC is also said to help with:

  • Reducing nausea
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Aiding in sleep
  • Managing glaucoma
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Protecting the nervous system


Getting the right dose is key to enjoying the benefits of THC. New patients should always start with a very low dose, around 2.5 – 5 mg, and gradually increase the amount according to how well they tolerate it.

Learn more about THC

Cannabidiolic Acid Icon

Cannabidiolic Acid

CBDA

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. CBDA is the chemical precursor to cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidol is derived through the process of decarboxylation.

Cannabidiolic Acid is also said to help with:

  • Anti-Nausea
  • Anti-Tumor
  • Anti-Inflammation
  • Anti-Seizure

Consumers have access to CBDA-rich products, including CBD extract. CBDA is available in many cannabis products, such as CBDA capsules and CBDA tinctures. Users ingest or add oils to food and drinks or take tinctures sublingually.

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid Icon

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid

THCA

THCA is found in fresh, undried cannabis and is the non-psychoactive precursor to THC. THCA is progressively decarboxylated to psychoactive delta-9-THC with drying, and especially under intense heating such as when cannabis is smoked or cooked into cannabis edibles. THCA is often the majority constituent in concentrates, such as hashish and hash oil.

Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid is also said to help with:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-Emetic
  • Non-Intoxicating
  • Anti-Obesity

THCA is beginning to demonstrate therapeutic potential despite the infancy of its research.

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Cannabigerol

CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of more than 120 identified cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis and considered a minor constituent of the plant. During plant growth, most of the cannabigerol is converted into other cannabinoids, primarily tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), leaving about 1% cannabigerol in the plant.

Cannabigerol has been linked with the following benefits:

  • Anti-Pain
  • Anti-Nausea
  • Anti-Inflammation
  • Reduces Eye Pressure
  • Antibacterial
  • Fights Cancer Cells
  • Helps with Glaucoma

CBG has a host of promising potential benefits. CBG is often compared to CBD; they share many similarities and both act on the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinol Icon

Cannabinol

CBN

Cannabinol (CBN) is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. CBN is often found in aged and stored flower, and is derived from the plant's main psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Cannabigerol has been linked with the following benefits:

  • Antibacterial
  • Stimulates Appetite
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Neuroprotectant


CBN isn’t particularly plentiful in fresh or cured cannabis. It can be found in older cannabis, especially that which has been exposed to oxygen. The minor cannabinoid is touted as an effective sleep aid.

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Cannabichromene

CBC

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is a phytocannabinoid. It bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN).

Cannabichromene has been linked with the following benefits:

  • Anti-Pain
  • Anti-Inflammation
  • Inhibit Acne
  • Antidepressant

While CBC definitely has benefits, researchers think it may work in tandem with other cannabinoids, a term known as the "entourage effect."

Tetrahydrocannabivarin Icon

Tetrahydrocannabivarin

THCV

THCV is prevalent in certain strains of cannabis, particularly those from central Asia and south Africa. THCV is an antagonist of THC and lessens the psychoactive effects of THC.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin has been associated with the following benefits:

  • Decreases Appetite
  • Increases Satiety
  • Helps Manage Obesity
  • Reduces Panic Attacks
  • Stimulates Bone Growth

Most strains contain trace amounts of THCV. THCV is most abundant in what are colloquially considered sativa strains.

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Cannabidivarin

CDBV

Cannabidivarin, also known as cannabidivarol or CBDV, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids identified from the Cannabis plant that can modulate the physiological activity of Cannabis.

Cannabidivarin has been associated with the following benefits:

  • Reduce Seizures
  • Antiepileptic


CBDV is found mainly in indica strains from Asia and Africa and those lower in THC. Strains high in CBD typically are higher in CBDV too.