At this point in the age of legal weed and cannabis research, you have likely heard the term “cannabinoid” before. Cannabinoids are one variety of chemical compounds found in cannabis that interact with specialized receptors in our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. They are one of the reasons humans experience certain effects after consuming cannabis. You may already know of a couple examples of cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. However, there are over 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, all with their own potential benefits. Let’s take a look at three noteworthy cannabinoids; cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and Tetrahydrocannabivarian (THCv).
CBG – Cannabigerol
Cannabigerol or CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning it has no psychoactive properties (similar to CBD).It’s formed from cannabigerol acid (CBGa). CBGa is actually the foundation for almost every other cannabinoid, including THC and CBD. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the “parent” or “mother” of all cannabinoids. It is also most likely the reason we only see CBG in small quantities. Over the past few decades, many strains have been developed for higher THC percentages. This means most of the CBGa is converted to THC or other cannabinoids instead of keeping its CBG structure.
While CBG is converted to something else in many popular cannabis strains, it is still often found prominently in Hemp. Therefore, the best way to find products with high CBG content is to look at hemp flower or look for specific strains known to show higher CBG percentages, like Williams Wonder or Allen Wrench.
As far as benefits go, current research suggests CBG has the potential to aid the treatment of several prominent illnesses. Studies show it can cause a shift in intraocular pressure which has been known to help relieve symptoms associated with glaucoma. It also has properties that can reduce colitis and nitric oxide production, which can help patients diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBM). There are a variety of other studies related to CBG’s potential medicinal properties, but in the end, like all other cannabinoids, much more research needs to be conducted.
CBC – Cannabichromene
Cannabichromene or CBC is one of the many cannabinoids that comes from the aforementioned “mother” of all cannabinoids – CBGa. It’s another non-intoxicating cannabinoid with a variety of potential medicinal properties.
One of the most notable claims regarding CBC is inflammation reduction. By suppressing excess production of certain glands, or reducing acids that help create inflammation, CBC may have the potential to help with a variety of issues like colitis, acne, and edema. It also has been shown to increase production of our bodies’ natural endocannabinoids, like anandamide.
Currently very few strains are bred for their high CBC content, making it more difficult to find products with high percentages. Purple Cadillac and Birthday Cake are two strains that have been noted to present higher levels. However, research shows that landraces from India have been known to carry more CBC in comparison to other cannabinoids.
THCv – Tetrahydrocannabivarian
Finally, we have tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCv. Unlike the two previous cannabinoids, THCv can be an intoxicating cannabinoid, depending on the dose. Instead of forming from CBGa, like most other cannabinoids, THCv is the product of a different acid called CBGVa. Let’s go over some key differences, potential benefits, and what strains it can be found in.
If you compare THCv with THC, a known psychoactive cannabinoid, the chemical and structural formulas are very similar. However, THCv is only psychoactive like THC in high doses. In low doses, THCv actually does the opposite of THC and blocks the receptors in our bodies that cause those psychoactive effects. For that reason, THCv is thought to have properties that could be used to alleviate a variety of medical ailments. For example, the main conversations happening around THCv involve its potential to help with weight loss by decreasing appetite and increasing metabolism. It is also being looked at in regards to aiding diabetes treatment. There are studies that suggest it can help patients with type 2 diabetes through its effects on pancreatic cell function metabolizing glucose.
If you are looking to find a product with high THCv, there are a few types of strains you should have a look at. The general consensus is strains originating from Africa and Eastern Asia tend to have higher percentages of THCv compared to others. Some common strains known to have higher percentages of THCv are Doug’s Varin and Durban Poison.
Although current research already shows a variety of potential benefits for certain cannabinoids, much more research needs to be done. There are still hundreds of lesser-known cannabinoids just like these that have yet to have their potential realized. For now, scientific research has been restricted due to the plant’s status as a Schedule 1 drug. However, you can start your own research by recording the various levels of different cannabinoids you see reported on test reports or product labels and tracking the effects you feel after consumption. Let us know if you notice any interesting trends related to products containing certain cannabinoids!