6 Different Types Of Cannabinoids: Their Uses And Effects
Consuming cannabis can cause a variety of effects on an individual’s body. These effects may range from simply making you high to helping manage cancer. Depending on the strain of the cannabis, it may also vary in the speed and duration of effectiveness. This diversity is mainly due to cannabinoids—the chemical substances found in the cannabis plant responsible for its effects.
The two most common types of cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, apart from these two, cannabis plants are known to produce over 100 more types of cannabinoids, and this number is expected to grow as more research is being done on cannabis.
For that reason, the best way to enjoy a specific benefit from cannabis is to choose a strain that contains a specific type of cannabinoid that stimulates a particular effect. Of course, that won’t be possible unless you know how each type of cannabinoid works and its effects. On that note, below are five of the most popular types of cannabinoids.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
The most popular type of cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This cannabinoid makes up most of the composition of cannabis plants, and it’s the component responsible for making you high when consuming cannabis. This effect is mainly because THC attaches to receptors that affect memory, coordination, perception, and pleasure.
Scientists suggest that THC can potentially have the following effects on the body:
- Makes a person ‘high’
- May minimize unpleasant experiences, such as nausea and vomiting
- May increase the appetite
- May improve memory
There are several types of THC, but the most popular ones are the Delta 8 and Delta 9 versions, both of which carry similar properties and effects, although some things may differ. Delta 8 THC, for example, is more lightweight and doesn’t get you high as much as Delta 9 does.
Hence, one can enjoy its benefits without being high, which can be handy for work. Of course, that also means that its others effects are slightly reduced, but it’s an appealing option nonetheless. Since it only became popular recently, you should do your research before consuming Delta 8-rich cannabis, such as how the substance works or how Delta 8 is made.
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
The second most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis is cannabidiol or CBD. Unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t cause a ‘high’ to individuals. It accounts for up to 40% of the composition of a hemp plant, making it the most abundant cannabinoid, which might be the main reason why it’s one of the most popular despite not causing a high, unlike THC.
But, apart from its accessibility, CBD is also known to have the supposed effects:
- May relieve pain
- May reduce seizure activity and other neurological problems
- May minimize the appearance of acne
- May help manage depression and anxiety
- May alleviate cancer symptoms
- May improve heart health
Cannabidiol is most commonly used to help reduce inflammation and pain, making it perfect for senior citizens, blue-collar workers, and pretty much everyone who often experiences pain.
- Cannabinol (CBN)
When THC breaks down due to UV light, heat, and oxygen, it creates a new substance that’s no longer as psychoactive as before, and that would be cannabinol or CBN. Of course, it’s still psychoactive, but its effects on that department are negligent.
Despite being called a discount version of THC, CBN shows promise in the health department due to these purported effects:
- May relieve pain and inflammation all over the body
- May help you sleep better
- May promote bone growth
- May slow down the growth of harmful bacteria
- May reduce the frequency of seizures
- May stimulate the appetite of individuals
- May reduce nausea and vomiting
One can say that CBN lives in the space between THC and CBD, as you can see from its effects. But, among these benefits, CBN is believed to be a potent cannabinoid for promoting sleep, which may help those suffering from insomnia. Perhaps, its main difference is that it doesn’t have neurological benefits, like helping minimize anxiety and depression.
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
From here on, you’ll notice that the rest of the entries in this list have not been a part of the CBD trend. However, that’s not to say they’re entirely useless. Cannabichromene (CBC), for example, may have several effects similar to THC and CBD, such as the following
- May slow down bacterial growth
- May eliminate weak viruses
- May minimize the appearance of acne
- May minimize pain caused by migraines
- May help fight depression and anxiety
- May stimulate brain growth
Despite the purported benefits, CBC is best known for being the cannabinoid with the strongest antibacterial property, so it may be effective in helping manage disorders caused by bacterial infections.
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
Although not as popular as the previously mentioned types, every cannabinoid starts out as cannabigerol (CBG), making it the primary type of cannabinoid. But, despite being the precursor of THC, it’s not psychoactive. The main reason why it’s not as popular as CBD or THC is that since most cannabinoids evolved from CBG, most cannabis strains don’t contain much CBG, making it one of the least accessible cannabinoids.
Apart from its role as the predecessor of all cannabinoids, it may also have the following effects:
- May slow down the growth of bacteria or ultimately kill them
- May reduce inflammation and pain
- May inhibit the growth of cancer cells or tumors
- May stimulate bone growth
- May cause a feeling of relaxation, but not enough to get you high
Due to its supposed effects on tumors and bacterial growth, it may be the best cannabinoid to help manage glaucoma, psoriasis, and many other disorders.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
As you may have guessed, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is directly related to THC, and that’s because it’s the homologous version of the most prevalent cannabinoid. For your reference, homologous means having the same structure, but it’s worth noting that THCV results in different effects from THC.
Here’s a look at its potential effects:
- It may get you high and give a stimulating buzz
- It may dull the appetite
- It may regulate blood sugar levels
- It may reduce the frequency of panic attacks
- It may curb anxiety attacks
- It may promote bone growth
THCV is also psychoactive, like THC, except it lasts for a shorter duration and is more intense. Furthermore, if THC increases your appetite, THCV dulls it, making it the perfect substance for weight loss enthusiasts. So, as you can see, even if the two have the same structure, their effects aren’t identical as you’d think, although there are some similarities.
Different strains of cannabis contain different types of cannabinoids, and in varying levels, too. For example, one strain may contain 20% THC, and the rest are made up of other cannabinoids, while others may contain only 10% THC. If you’re looking to get high, the former would be the better option, and you’d be right. In other words, knowing what each cannabinoid does would help you determine which strain is best among several choices.