Cannabinoids are natural plant compounds that are believed to be responsible for most of the therapeutic and mind-altering effects of the cannabis plant. Well over 100 different cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis, but most of them can only be found in tiny trace amounts. Here are the 6 most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis and what you need to know about them!
The Most Common Cannabinoids in Cannabis
THC: The Intoxicating Cannabinoid
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most abundant cannabinoid by a mile. Some strains have been specially bred to feature THC content that can reach over 30%.
THC is responsible for the intoxicating, euphoric, and mind-altering effects of cannabis. THC works by binding directly to protein cell receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. Additionally, it’s also been found to have therapeutic potential when it comes to stimulating appetite, treating insomnia, and alleviating certain kinds of pain. However, high doses of THC have been known to bring on side effects like anxiety, paranoia, and loss of coordination.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, though it can also be extracted from hemp. This non-intoxicating compound has gained a reputation for being a medicinal cannabinoid due to its massive therapeutic potential. CBD seems to produce a calming and sedating sensation and can counteract some of the stimulating effects of THC. CBD is commonly used to manage anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and more.
Many people think that the shiny trichome crystals that cover cannabis buds are THC, but they’re actually THCA. THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the acidic precursor to THC. In order for THCA to turn into THC it must be exposed to heat, like from a lighter or a vaporizer. The process of converting THCA to THC is called decarboxylation. If you’re looking to take advantage of THCA’s benefits, you may be able to find it in certain waxy concentrates that feature a high THCA content.
CBG (cannabigerol) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is believed to have a range of therapeutic benefits. This minor cannabinoid was first discovered in 1964 and is believed to interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBG typically exists in small amounts, but some cannabis strains have been specially bred to feature a high CBG content. It’s believed that CBG could have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.
This non-intoxicating cannabinoid is created when THC ages. As THC gets older it naturally begins to degrade and break down, creating CBN (cannabinol) in the process. As a result, there are no high-CBN strains on the market and you can usually only find it in aged cannabis. CBN may have potential as an appetite stimulant and an anti-inflammatory. When consumed in combination with THC, CBN is known to produce a sedating and sleepy couchlock type of high.
CBC (cannabichromene) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Similarly to CBD, CBC does not bind directly to CB1 or CB2 receptors but instead stimulates other receptors in the network, like TRPA1 receptors. Additionally, research indicates that CBC may also have potential as a tumor fighter and shrinker. It has shown serious potential as an anti-inflammatory and may even be a “highly efficient” novel treatment for acne.
To note which cannabinoids you enjoy, make sure to keep a cannabis journal with the different strains you try from our Akwesasne dispensary and their cannabinoid content.