The Lesser Known Compounds of Cannabis

The cannabis plant has hundreds of compounds, and over a hundred of those are classified as cannabinoids. While we’ve discussed many of them in this blog previously, in this article, we’ll break down a few of the lesser-known ones and take a quick look and their effects and potential benefits.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A)

The precursor to the more famous compound THC, THC-A, is found in the raw or unprocessed cannabis plant. As opposed to its later form THC-A is non-psychoactive. When heated in a process known as decarboxylation, chemical reactions transform the compound into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, the effects of which include relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief. THC has even been known to show medical use as a pain-killer and anti-inflammatory. THC-A itself has numerous benefits, including as an anti-inflammatory and as a neuro-protectant.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

THCV has a similar molecular structure and psychoactive properties to THC but does not produce the same effects. THCV has been used as an appetite suppressant to reduce anxiety, regulate blood sugar levels, and stimulate bone growth. Additionally, THCV has been known to improve motor control, relieve tremors, and lessen brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Although less common in a majority of strains, THCV is found most abundantly in African Sativas.

Cannabinol (CBN)

CBN is the naturally occurring product produced when THC is exposed to air. Cannabis left to dry in the open air contains higher concentrations of CBN, which is why most users store their cannabis in airtight containers. CBN is an extremely mild psychoactive, especially when compared to THC, and is usually found in low concentrations of below 1%. It is mainly used to treat sleep issues such as insomnia and has similar effects to pharmaceutical sedatives. It has also been known as a pain-killer and anti-inflammatory.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

CBG is non-psychoactive but serves as the foundation for psychoactive compounds such as THC and CBD. It begins to develop in early stages of flower development and is found in lower quantities as the plant matures. Higher CBG content has been found to minimize the negative side-effects of THC for many users. In addition, it has been known to have antibiotic and anti-fungal effects, pain-relieving properties, and the potential to treat tumors.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

Like CBG, CBC is non-psychoactive and is the second most common cannabinoid in cannabis after THC. Its properties include anti-tumor effects, mild anti-fungal effects, and antibacterial effects. Additionally can be used as an anti-depressant or to reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract. Studies also show that it may be used to encourage the growth of new brain cells. While it can be used for pain relief, its pain-relieving effects are mild, especially compared to other cannabinoids.

In Conclusion

Although these compounds exist in the shadow of the better-known THC and CBD, each has unique benefits. While these benefits have made considerable contributions to science and medicine, most scientists agree that each compound’s individual strength can’t match up to the entourage effect created by using the whole plant.

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