There are at least 113 known cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. These compounds can interact with receptors in your body to create various effects. This is because cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can act similar to endocanninoids which are a natural chemical system within your body that keep it in homeostasis. Which roughly means they maintain your chemical equilibrium. Cannabinoids can trigger the same receptors that endocanninoids interact with to cause the various effects that you get from ingesting cannabis. These are the most common cannabinoids that we hear about:
Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is commonly referred to as THC. It’s the compound associated with most of the psycoactive effects of the cannabis plant. It stimulates the brain to cause euphoria, relaxation, hallucinations and drowsiness. Different strains of plant or concentrate formulations can vary the effects. Medically THC is used for appetite stimulation, nausea reduction, pain relief, and relaxation. Down sides included red eyes, dizziness, increased appetite and in high-doses, paranoia. Patients with schizophrenia should avoid THC because it’s effects can potentially trigger a relapse.
Products that contain more than 0.3 percent THC are still considered illegal on a federal level. State legalization rules vary.
Delta-8 THC is similar to Delta-9, but chemically different. It is produced from hemp-derived CBD rather than cannabis. It can give you similar effects of cannabis THC, but at a reduced level.
Delta-8 is a THC variant and it’s legality is in-transition. Because it is derived from hemp, it’s partially protected by the 2018 farm bill. However, many states are scrambling to redefine where it sits within their regulations and bring it inline with delta-9.
Delta-10 THC is a synthetic cannabiniod – essentially delta-9 bonded with a catalyst. Quantities that can actually be used and tested are a lab-created product. It’s still new and in need of more research, but shows promise as a future product. The main benefit of Delta-10 over other THC produtcs is a lack of traditional side-effects including paranoia. Early testing shows that users feel a mild relaxation. For some the effect is a euphoric, creative high similar to sativa. Delta-10 is still THC and considered illegal on a federal level.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a commom cannabinoid in both hemp and cannabis. While CBD itself is non-intoxicating, won’t make you high and presents no psychoactive effects, it can be used for pain relief and reducing anxiety.
Hemp produces more CBD, thus making it more lucrative, but it contains almost no THC.
Cannabis CBD on the other hand contains more THC resins and is more highly valued as having a larger diversity of canininoid compounds. These are generally referred to as ‘broad-spectrum’ CBD oils. CBD legality depends on how much THC is included. Federally-legal CBD would fall under the 0.3 percent THC.
Cannabigerol (CBG) is the precursor to all other cannabinoids. It’s the compound that cannibis breaks down into THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. Generally this is a low-concentration cannabinoid only harvested in quantity by scientists and specialty breeders. It is non-psychoactive and will not get you high.
Functionally CBG can be considered a regulator, countering the effects of THC, which may be desirable if you want to reduce the negative effects of super-high THC products. It also has many potential medical benefits that are being studied due to the way it interacts with the body’s endocrine system.
Cannabichromene, like other cannabinoids, is derived from CBG. CBC will not get you high. It is is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid is that binds with other receptors in the body. It’s currently being studied for it’s ability to block pain receptors, reduce inflammation, and potentially help fight cancer.
CBN is created when THC oxidizes and exists in high amounts in old cannabis. It’s non-intoxicating and only mildly psychoactive. Medically it’s being studied for antibacterial properties, treating neurological conditions, glaucoma and pain.