You’ve probably already heard of the cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, THC and CBD. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most prominent compound in the cannabis plant, with a number of medicinal and psychoactive effects. CBD, or cannabidiol, the second most common cannabinoid, is non-psychotropic, but has a number of medicinal effects, especially popular for treating pain, inflammation, and seizures. However, there are dozens of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, most of which get little to no attention. That said, the way you experience a particular strain of cannabis depends on the entourage effect, or the synergistic relationship among all the chemicals in the plant, cannabinoids and terpenes (aromatic molecules) combined.
To broaden your knowledge of cannabis, we’ve put together a list of the top cannabinoids, other than THC and CBD. Next time you’re at a dispensary or looking to diversify your stash, watch out for these cannabinoids in picking out a strain.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, emerges early in the cannabis plant’s growth cycle. Non-psychotropic, CBG is known to have antibiotic, anti-tumor, antidepressant, and pain relieving properties. Because it reduces intraocular pressure, CBG could also be useful in treating glaucoma, while as an anti-inflammatory, it’s particularly useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease. There’s some speculation that CBG could function as an analgesic, and psoriasis therapy agent, as well.
Cannabichromene, or CBC, is the third most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. In some strains, it might even be more prominent than CBD. CBC is non-psychoactive, but has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-tumor, and antidepressant effects. It might also encourage brain growth, according to a study that found it may actually help you form new brain cells, making it particularly suited to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Cannabinol, or CBN, is not directly made by the cannabis plant. Rather it presents itself only in dry flower that’s a bit stale, or once THC breaks down and becomes CBN. Nonetheless, this cannabinoid has been shown to to act as an appetite stimulant, an antibiotic, a sedative, an anti-inflammatory, an anticonvulsant (anti-seizure), and a pain reliever. It could also be used to treat glaucoma, having been shown to reduce ocular pressure.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCv, works in conjunction with THC. Well less psychoactive than THC, THCv has been shown to actually aid with some of THC’s less pleasant psychoactive effect. Otherwise, it can also enhance the euphoric effects of THC. This cannabinoid is energetic, giving users a bit of a sativa-like buzz, and suppresses appetite, perfect for those trying to curb the munchies. It’s been shown to be useful in treating diabetes, anxiety, PTSD, and Alzheimers. It can also help stimulate the growth of new bone cells, so could also help with osteoporosis.
Cannabidivarin, or CBDv, is like a lighter version of CBD. While there’s fairly little research on CBDv, it’s been shown to help with epilepsy (not surprising, since CBD is famous for epileptic treatment), and with nausea. Cannabinoids like CBDv and THCv have shorter chemical structures than their more robust counterparts.