Out of 112 cannabinoids in the hemp plant, there is no question that THC and CBD are the most well known.
One is the active ingredient in one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world, and the other is one of the most popular and promising supplements of our time, CBD oil.
In recent years, more and more people across the world have used it for its restorative and balancing effects.
But for many, the knowledge of cannabinoids and their effects ends there.
What is CBG, for example? Have you heard of THCV? We’re willing to bet you don’t, but will do soon!
- Before we get started, do you know the difference between CBD vs THC? Check out our in-depth guide on our blog if you’re unsure.
Seeing as many people are using CBD for its ability to promote wellness and restore balance to the body’s natural processes, many are questioning what the other cannabinoids can do.
Let’s take a look at the known important cannabinoids other than THC and CBD, and what they can or can’t do for you!
But first, what exactly are cannabinoids, and why do they differ so much?
What's in this Guide?
What are Cannabinoids?
The hemp plant has many natural compounds, but among these, there are at least 66 confirmed cannabinoids and 113 suspected ones.
It is believed that these cannabinoids are able to influence the other parts of the plant and their effects.
For example, while THC is a psychoactive compound known for getting people high, strains of cannabis with high CBD content have been found to have the opposite effect, even when THC content remains high.
It is thought that in the same way, different ratios of cannabinoids can change the effect of CBD and its interactions with the endocannabinoid system.
While there are many unique cannabinoids, they are generally organised into specific subgroups:
- CBG (cannabigerols)
- CBC (cannabichromenes)
- CBD (Cannabidiols)
- THC (Tetrahydrocannabinols)
- CBN (Cannabinol)
- CBL (Cannabinodiol)
There is even CBDA, which is the acidic form of CBD and has its own benefits.
- Read more: CBDA vs CBD
What Do Cannabinoids Do?
Cannabinoids affect people by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, which are found all throughout the human central nervous system. The two known receptors are referred to as CB1 and CB2.
Anandamide is a substance that naturally occurs in the brain and binds to these receptors. Cannabinoids affect the brain by binding with these receptors and blocking any further anandamide from doing the same.
While the end result depends on the cannabinoid in question and the area of the brain it interacts with, most occur in the limbic system, the area responsible for our behavioural and emotional responses, including memory.
The receptors and the substances that bond with them are together known as the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and general wellbeing throughout the body through moderation.
What is the Difference Between Cannabinoids?
While most of the known list of cannabinoids are still relatively unknown in terms of their impacts, the most obvious difference between them is whether or not they have psychoactive effects.
CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to have any such effect at all.
On the other hand, THC, CBN, and CBDL are psychoactive to varying extents.
While CBD is by far the most common, with THC following close behind, the other cannabinoids are thought to vary in presence quite drastically depending on how the hemp or cannabis plant is grown.
For instance, more CBD in a cannabis strain means less of a “high” effect, even when THC content stays the same.
The ratios of cannabinoids in a hemp plant can vary based on a variety of factors, from soil condition and strain of hemp to nutrients and weather.
Even after a plant is harvested certain things can change. For example, THC turns into CBN when exposed to air which is significantly less psychoactive than THC itself.
What are the Benefits of Cannabinoids other than CBD and THC?
Seeing as all cannabinoids have their own infrastructure and properties of their own, they may offer differing wellness effects.
Properties of CBG (Cannabigerol)
- Increases the body’s response to natural processes, which improves health and wellbeing
Properties of CBN (Cannabinol)
- Improves mood and promotes balance
Properties of CBDV (Cannabidivarin)
- Balances the body’s homeostasis processes
Properties of CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid)
- Promotes general wellbeing and wellness of the body
Properties of CBCV (Cannabichromevarin)
- Encourages wellness
Properties of CBC (Cannabichromene)
- Encourages mental wellbeing
- Increases the body’s response for improved bodily wellbeing
How Can I Get the Best of All Cannabinoids?
While countless CBD products are available – such as CBD oils, capsules, balms, candy and tea – the vast majority are not broad spectrum and are instead CBD isolate.
This means they typically contain CBD only, isolated from the hemp plant and its other ingredients.
Broad-spectrum oils are considered to be the most effective for promoting wellness and balance. This simply means that nothing but THC has been removed, so the product will contain the full range of other cannabinoids, as well as other beneficial plant ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, terpenes, flavonoids, and omega fatty acids.
- Never heard of terpenes? Check out our guide “What Are Terpenes?” for an in depth rundown.
Not only this, but it means all of the above exist in their naturally occurring volumes and ratios as found in the hemp plant.
This means none of them is chemically or synthetically added later, which would throw the ratios off.
CBD is still the most popular cannabinoid among all others in the market for its balancing and restorative properties.
We may find, when that day comes, that new natural organic supplements and products exist based on other cannabinoids, just like CBD oil.
Until that day, it is best to trust nature and harness the known wellness effects of the hemp plant itself!
Have you tried our CBD capsules? They’re a great way to include cannabinoids into your daily routine, without the taste of CBD oil that some people find unpleasant.