There are over 420 known constituents, or components, of the cannabis plant. (Yes, you read that fitting number correctly.)
Of those elements, more than sixty belong to cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid is unique—from its molecular make-up to its effects on the body. These cannabinoids are present in all preparations of cannabis.
In this guide, we’re discussing three different types of cannabinoids, aka the tip of the iceberg! Since there’s a ton of data out there about CBD and THC, we’ll highlight some lesser-known types below.
CBN, or cannabinol, is an important chemical component found in cannabis.
Like CBD, CBN is widely considered non-psychoactive (a caveat on that later), meaning it doesn’t produce the “heady” effects that get you high. Unlike CBD, CBN isn’t as widely tested or studied, so it’s not as accessible as CBD products. Still, many researchers claim it offers potential benefits for things like sleep and pain management, though trials are still ongoing.
CBN is formed when THC breaks down, making it about 25% weaker than THC. Because of this, in highly-concentrated amounts, it actually can be mildly psychoactive. It’s rarely found in this form, or even at all—it’s still actively being studied.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is often called “the mother of all cannabinoids.”
The reason behind this moniker is that other cannabinoids are derived from CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), which is an acidic form of CBG. That includes both CBD and THC.
Despite this fact, CBG is only found in tiny quantities in the cannabis plant, especially compared to other cannabinoids. For example, where you might find 20% CBD and 30% THC, you’ll only discover 1% CBG.
Because of its rarity, products containing CBG tend to be expensive. Consumers might be willing to pay the cost when they review its potential benefits.
CBDv, short for Cannabidivarin, is a well-known natural variant of CBD.
When looking at CBDv on a molecular level, the differences are obvious. CBDv has a “tail” of atoms trailing from the end of its molecule, much like other cannabinoids ending in the letter ‘V’: CBGv and THCv, for example. These cannabinoids, called “varin,” are different enough to earn their own category, but researchers are still looking into differences beyond the chemical level.
CBDv does not stimulate the body’s CB1 receptors as THC does. Rather, it interacts in a way that’s similar to CBD, while still maintaining a different relationship with the body’s neuroreceptors than CBD.
Still, CBDv is often thought of as useful when dealing with issues of anxiety, nausea, inflammation, and even neurological conditions.
Because CBDv is available in small concentrations, it’s proven difficult to yield high-CBDv strains. While there is no naturally-occurring high-CBDv strain, scientists can perform a simple conversion process to create it.
So Many Different Types of Cannabinoids, So Little Time!
The cannabis plant is a fascinating one to study.
As these different types of cannabinoids prove, there’s no lack of depth and wonder to cannabis.
We hope you enjoyed learning about some interesting cannabinoids. For more fascinating insight like this, click back to our home page—where cannabis is only one topic of many we discuss!