The term “cannabinoids” is a fancy word for chemical compounds found naturally in cannabis. And you are almost certainly familiar with the two most popular of these compounds: THC and CBD. Each of these cannabinoids come with a specific function. THC is known for its ability to cause euphoria and its psychoactive effects when consumed by humans and CBD is known for its medicinal uses like its anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure properties.
And while these two compounds are impressive, there are over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis! If you are surprised to learn that fact, don’t feel bad. There are dozens of beneficial cannabinoids that have been identified, but they are so rarely talked about that no one can blame you for being in the dark! This post will give you a run down on the top five cannabinoids you should know other than THC and CBD.
5 Cannabinoids other than THC & CBD
Just like THC and CBD, every cannabinoid has unique properties that produce certain effects when consumed by humans. Some of the cannabinoids on this list will have promising medical applications, but all of them need to be studied further to really understand their potential.
There are still dozens of cannabinoids researchers haven’t even begun to look into yet. And there could still be more out there waiting to be identified. This is a quick list of the top five cannabinoids that you should know other than THC and CBD, but is by no means exhaustive.
Cannabichromene is very structurally similar to THC, CBD, and CBN. The main difference between CBC and THC is that CBC is not psychoactive. But CBC not being psychoactive doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect the brain. Researchers believe that CBC plays a large role in the analgesic, or pain relieving, effects of cannabis in general.
It is thought that CBC achieves this by interacting with TRPV1 and TRPVA1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Both of these receptors are closely linked with the perception of pain in humans. Beyond that, CBC increases the release of feel-good chemicals like anandamide, also known as the bliss molecule.
Two added bonuses: CBC has anti-inflammatory properties that can make it very useful for irritated skin. Plus, according to some research CBC can work as an anti-depressant when combined with CBD. It truly is a wonder we don’t hear about this impressive cannabinoid more!
THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid)
Did you know many cannabinoids are stored in acid form until they come into contact with heat? THCA is the acid that turns into THC upon combustion (from a lighter, match, or blow torch, let’s say). Considering the popularity of THC, it’s surprising how little we know about its precursor.
But what we do know about THCVA is therapeutically impressive! It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can help ease nausea and increase appetite, a promising medical application for those undergoing chemotherapy. It also shows great promise against neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis by acting as a neuroprotectant. And like most of the cannabinoids on this list, it can help fight inflammation.
After THCA turns to THC, THC transitions into its next round of reincarnation in the form of CBN, another non-psychoactive cannabinoid. THC degrades to CBN upon contact with oxygen and light. So the longer your buds sit uncovered in a jar or in front of a window with direct sunlight, the more the THC will erode and instead turn into CBN.
While that will make cannabis less potent from a psychoactive perspective, CBN has its own unique benefits. First and foremost, CBN is an excellent sleep aid that can help battle issues like narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep apnea. CBN can also help fight the overgrowth of skin cells that lead to skin conditions like psoriasis and MRSA.
THCV is the only psychoactive cannabinoid on this list! So not only is THCV similar to THC in structure, it produces similar effects. The biggest difference between the two is that THCV actually acts as an appetite suppressant, rather than an appetite enhancer like THC does in the form of munchies. If you are hoping to benefit off this diet-friendly cannabinoid, be sure to increase the heat. The boiling point for THCV is higher than most at 428 degrees F.
In addition to its appetite suppressing abilities, THCV can also help regulate blood sugar and glycemic control in Type 2 diabetics. It is also known for its ability to fight seizures and other motor control problems.
If you are interested in trying a strain with a higher content of THCV than normal, ask your Buddy Boy budtender for a landrace strain from Africa like Durban Poison!
CBG is the parent to both THC and CBD, the precursor to both of these cannabinoids’ acidic versions. For a really long time, CBG was considered an essentially useless compound simply because it came in such small quantities (around 1% in the average strain). But CBG packs a lot of power into that small percentage!
This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is great for pain relief, especially when it comes to inflammation of the bowels or intraocular pressure from glaucoma. CBG acts as an antimicrobial, working against bacteria like MRSA. And in what is arguably the most promising application, CBG has shown neuroprotective qualities in mice treated with the cannabinoid. If those properties map onto humans, it could be an effective soldier in the fight against multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease.
You friendly budtender can help!
If you have any questions about cannabis, or the cannabinoids that make it up, feel free to pick the brain of any Buddy Boy budtender at any of our 7 convenient Denver locations. For advice on what strains have higher concentrations of a certain cannabinoid, ask to see the lab test results for any product!