Cannabis produces a variety of compounds known as plant cannabinoids which may not be detected in other plants. Cannabinoids refer to every chemical substance that joins the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain and has similar effects to those produced by the Cannabis Sativa plants. There are three major types of cannabinoids used by consumers. They are medicinal, recreational and synthetic. There are over 100 plant cannabinoids produced by cannabis. Most of them are lower levels which makes it difficult for scientists to identify them. Let’s further see which are the major cannabinoids and what are their effects.
The two main cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Comparing the two, THC is the most popular as it contains the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The psychoactive effects make it the main difference between THC and CBD. CBD is the non-psychoactive effect that controls the ‘high’ caused by THC. CBD also manages and reduces the other components such as anxiety caused by THC products.
What are the types of cannabinoids?
Cannabis – this is the most common form of cannabis. The dried leaves and flowers also known as buds are smoked in a joint, bong or even used in edibles.
Medicinal cannabinoids – these are cannabis products that are used to treat medical conditions and need approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as it undergoes trial and testing first. This cannabis can be obtained from a doctor upon receiving a prescription and necessary approvals.
Hemp – the fibre from the cannabis plant is extracted from the stem and used to make strong fabrics, ropes and paper.
UR-144 – this has similar effects to THC but it is less potent than THC.
5F-ADB – this cannabinoid was first identified in the late 2014s from postmodern samples of an individual who died using a product containing this substance.
What are the other major cannabinoids?
As we all know CBD and THC are the main well-known cannabinoids let us further see what are the other main types:
This is the acidic parent of THC and this is found in the raw cannabis plants. When THCA is exposed to heat or sunlight, it will convert to THC. THC is non-psychotic and helps in medical conditions such as reducing nausea, seizures, muscle spasms and fighting tumour cancer cells.
CBDA is the acidic parent of CBD in raw plants. When exposed to heat and sunlight, CBDA turns to CBD. CBD is also great for reducing nausea, inflammation and fighting cancer cells.
CBN is a breakdown product of THC. THC gradually converts into CBN. CBN helps in sleeping and reducing pain and muscle spasm.
CBGA is a molecule that turned into THCA and CBDA as the cannabis plants develop, hence it is only found in tiny amounts.
CBG is used as an antidepressant, helps in relaxing the muscles, is used as an antifungal agent and reduces blood pressure.
CBC is found in tiny amounts in the cannabis plant and this helps in reducing pain, antibiotics and reduces cancer effects.
THCV is known to have psychotic effects but is lower than THC. this can suppress appetite and aid weight loss.
It is always best to consult your doctor to find which cannabinoid is the best for you. Buying illegally will only bring more harm to your body as they are not tested. Doctors will advise you when to start and stop and can even customise a dose according to your need after getting all approvals from the TGA.