THC is the abbreviation for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and is the most well-known cannabinoid. THC accounts for most of cannabis’ psychoactive effects consumption results in the altered state commonly associated with consumption of cannabis. In addition to providing a “high” THC has proven to have numerous medical benefits as an antioxidant, providing neuroprotection and relieving pain and inflammation.
The second most common cannabinoid found in cannabis is CBD. Unlike psychoactive THC, CBD does not attach to the same binding sites on the CB1 or CB2 receptors. THC binds to orthosteric binding sites while CBD binds to allosteric binding sites on the same receptor. CBD opposes some actions of THC at the CB1 receptor, decreasing the psycho-activity, anxiety and tachycardia caused by THC.CBD has no psychoactive effects but has a number of medical applications, including relieving nausea, inflammation, and anxiety.CBD indirectly stimulates endogenous cannabinoid signaling by suppressing the enzyme fatty acid amidehydroxylase (FAAH). FAAH breaks down anandamid and CBD allows anandamide to remain for longer duration which enhances endocannabinoid tone by suppressing FAAH.CBD stimulates the release of 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that activates both CB1 & CB2 receptors.
CBN is less understood than THC and CBD due to the lack of medical and scientific research caused by the illegality of cannabis. Research does show that CBN is found in aging or stale cannabis and is created from THC when cannabis is exposed to air. Research has indicated that CBN, which is anti-psychoactive, does increase the effects of THC and has been linked to an increase in testosterone and can provide relief from inflammation and convulsions.
CBG, also a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is the building block for THC and CBD. Research has linked CBG as a potent antibacterial and has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure, making it ideal for glaucoma patients.CBG exists in much smaller amounts in cannabis then the other cannabinoids however since its biosynthetic precursors to the other cannabinoids, the body will convert CBG to another cannabinoid.
THCV is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid which interacts with THC by mitigating some of the negative psychoactive impacts of THC. Studies regarding THCV have highlighted the appetite suppressant effects of THCV along with other medical benefits.