It’s impossible to ignore CBD anymore. Different types of CBD products are dominating the health market. From oils to salves and capsules, this all-natural compound is turning heads for its amazing effects that are backed by science and expand with every new research. You’ve probably heard good things about what CBD oil can do or experienced it firsthand. But where do all these benefits come from? What makes cannabis so special and different from other plants? The answer lies within the plant’s chemical composition, namely its cannabinoids. Specific to the cannabis plant, cannabinoids interact with the body and make unique changes in the body. Here we have prepared a cannabinoids guide for you with a thorough list of cannabinoids that covers the major cannabinoids found in today’s CBD products. So without further ado, let’s dive in and learn more about them.
What Exactly Are Cannabinoids and What Do They Do?
Cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids are natural components of the cannabis plant that upon entering the body, interact with our own endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors. Different parts of our bodies, like our immune system and nervous system, contain these receptors. They play an important part in interacting with natural endocannabinoids of the body and regulating our homeostasis through managing different functions such as pain, inflammation, mood, appetite, and sleep. If enough endocannabinoids don’t interact with these receptors, our ECS will be in danger. Now if we receive phytocannabinoids from CBD products like CBD oils and CBD capsules, they will bind to these receptors and bring balance back to various bodily functions by inducing psychological and physiological effects.
With over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, it’s no wonder that people and the science community are demanding revisions in the laws surrounding hemp and marijuana-based products. Out of this long list, there are some major cannabinoids that have been studied more extensively, and here in our cannabinoids guide, we will talk more about them. So let’s see which ones have made it to our list of cannabinoids.
THC is the most famous cannabinoid in our list of cannabinoids and you’ve probably heard about its euphoric properties. This psychoactive cannabinoid binds to the CB-1 receptors throughout the body and creates a relaxing effect in the user.
THC is also the most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and has been studied more than the other ones. All of these studies point to its potential medicinal benefits that can be used for pain management and handling symptoms in epileptic patients to name a few.
Unlike other cannabinoids that are generally safe, THC might have side effects in some users due to its psychoactivity. Short-term memory loss, increased heart rate, and anxiety are among these side effects. Although the THC limits in today’s CBD products along with other cannabinoids present in them will usually prevent users from experiencing these side effects.
CBD is another major cannabinoid with promising benefits for its users. It has all the good things that THC offers, but with one key difference. CBD is not psychoactive. So it won’t create the euphoric state and won’t have the side effects associated with THC. In fact, CBD is one of the cannabinoids that when combined with THC, reduces its negative effects. Its benefits are so remarkable that people of different age groups and even pets can use it.
Research not only shows CBD’s potential for reducing pain and inflammation but also for fighting the side effects of chemotherapy and helping addicts quit opioids. An anti-seizure drug containing CBD has even been approved by the FDA for people suffering from epilepsy.
THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid)
THCa is the initial form of the most well-known cannabinoid in our cannabinoids guide (THC) and an acidic compound in the fresh cannabis plant. It turns to THC after decarboxylation, and only then does it have psychoactive effects.
Studies on this cannabinoid are limited despite its importance, although the findings are promising. In 2013, scientists found that THCa has antiemetic effects in rats and can prevent them from vomiting. Other studies showed that THCa can stop cancerous cells from proliferating and has therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases.
This is one of the non-intoxicating compounds in our list of cannabinoids that balances the psychoactive effects of THC. CBG is only present in low amounts at the initial stages of the plant's cycle. One reason that scientists study CBG less than other cannabinoids is its higher cost of extraction. Nevertheless, scientists are trying to create plants with higher concentrations of this cannabinoid due to its wide range of benefits.
Research on CBG shows it can help glaucoma patients by decreasing intraocular eye pressure. It also has the potential to help with irritable bowel syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases.
CBC is even more abundant than CBD in some strains of cannabis. This non-psychoactive compound works better in combination with other cannabinoids like CBD and THC by creating the entourage effect. One such example of this positive cooperation is CBC and THC's anti-inflammation properties. Another one of CBC's unique effects is its potential to help patients suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. A research performed in 2013 on mice's nervous system showed that CBC has positive effects on their stem cells. This finding can help advance research in this area.
CBGa (Cannabigerolic Acid)
Probably the most important chemical in our list of cannabinoids is CBGa. This non-intoxicating compound is famous as the mother of all cannabinoids because the rest of cannabinoids such as CBDa, CBGV, CBCa, CBG, and THCa are all made from it by going through various chemical reactions. Up until now, research has been focused on its resulting cannabinoids, but CBGa has recently attracted scientists’ attention.
The first-ever cannabinoid that was discovered in our cannabinoids guide is CBN. This compound has low psychoactive properties and is a product of THC's oxidization. So it's found less in fresh flowers of the plant and more in old cannabis plants that have been stored in bad conditions.
Research performed on mice has found that CBN can help delay the start of ALS. It can also act like CBG and reduce intraocular eye pressure in glaucoma patients. Combined with THC, CBN’s sedative effects increase and can help fight insomnia and pain.
THCV’s chemical structure is similar to THC for the most part but the difference in the number of carbon atoms gives it a more psychedelic effect that doesn’t last as long as THC’s effects and creates a burst of energy in the consumers. This cannabinoid is mostly present in Sativa strains and in higher concentrations in cannabis plants across China and Pakistan.
Research suggests that THCV can be useful for diabetic patients in controlling their levels of blood sugar.
CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid)
This cannabinoid is the acidic precursor to CBD so it’s mostly found in the raw form of the plant before it’s decarboxylated and turned to CBD.
Studies on CBDa show its stronger antidepressant properties in mice models compared to CBD. That is because this cannabinoid has more interaction with serotonin receptors and can induce a stronger effect. CBDa also has the potential to fight nausea, pain, inflammation, and breast cancer.
CBDV is one of the other non-psychoactive chemicals in our list of cannabinoids that has a chemical structure like CBD.
CBDV’s strong anticonvulsant effects have been discovered and there is even a drug with this cannabinoid in its second trial phase. Other studies performed on CBDV show its potential in fighting nausea and helping patients suffering from Rett Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
CBGV is the precursor to CBG and a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is best known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties like most other cannabinoids.
Studies show CBGV’s unique effects in healing dry skin which is not a common effect among cannabinoids. Other studies highlight CBGV’s potential against cancer as one study showed it inhibited the growth of cancerous cells in leukemia.
CBCa (Cannabichromenic Acid)
CBCa turns to other cannabinoids such as CBC and CBL when it ages and decarboxylates.
The few studies on this cannabinoid show its potential in reducing the size of tumors in rats and preventing the cancer from getting worse. CBCa also has promising anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and pain-relieving activities, but more research needs to confirm its effects.
Scientists identified this non-psychoactive cannabinoid in the 1970s at a university in Thailand. CBCV has many similarities with CBD and scientists speculate it could have the same potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. But unfortunately, there is not enough research on CBCV to confirm these findings.
The last compound in our list of cannabinoids is another form of THC, Δ8-THC. This cannabinoid is similar to Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol but is present in lower concentrations in the cannabis plant. It offers the same antiemetic effects as THC but it’s not as psychoactive. So you’ll be able to get the same potential benefits with less of an intoxicating effect.
But like most major cannabinoids in our cannabinoids guide, it needs to be studied more.
Our List of Cannabinoids Is Only Just a Glimpse Into Cannabis
Even though our cannabinoids guide includes the major cannabinoids found in the plant, this is not at all a complete list of cannabinoids. The main reason is that there just hasn’t been enough research to unlock the full potential of this amazing plant. But as scientists witness the benefits that cannabinoids like THC and CBD offer different aspects of our health, they pay more attention to this plant and the potential of its other cannabinoids. Not only that, but they are also paying closer attention to how these cannabinoids interact together and affect the body differently. This way they can engineer plants with higher concentrations of the more beneficial cannabinoids and balance the euphoric effects of psychoactive ones so everyone can enjoy the new CBD products.
So we still have a long way to go in understanding how this plant and its components work, but what we currently do know is that it has significant potential to improve our lives. But do keep in mind that the information here cannot replace a physician’s opinion. So if you have an underlying condition and want to use CBD, check in with your doctor first to make sure it’s ok.
If you’re good to go and want to experience the effects of these cannabinoids for yourself, check out Silver Tuna CBD. We offer the best full spectrum CBD oil in Missouri and ship it to the whole US. Let us know what you think about CBD in the comments and share this article with your friends to spread the word about CBD.