Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis. The most notable cannabinoid is the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. There are at least 144 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects.

The Different Compounds

Cannabidiol (CBD):

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940.

Effects: CBD does not appear to have any intoxicating effects such as those caused by THC in marijuana, but is under preliminary research for its possible anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic effects.

Side Effects: CBD may cause tiredness, diarrhea, or changes in appetite as common adverse effects.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. With the chemical name tetrahydrocannabinol, the term THC also refers to cannabinoid isomers.

Effects: Common effects, which may vary dramatically among different people, include heightened sensory perception, laughter, altered perception of time, increased appetite, pleasant euphoria and sense of relaxation.

Side Effects: Some common side effects may include anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. These effects are more common when a person takes too much, the marijuana has an unexpectedly high potency, or the person is inexperienced.

Tetrahydrocannabinolate (THCA):

Tetrahydrocannabinolate (THCA) is found in fresh, undried cannabis; THCA becomes THC with drying, and especially under intense heating, such as when cannabis is smoked or cooked into cannabis edibles.

Health Benefits: THCA is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, anti-proliferative properties, neuroprotective properties and has antiemetic properties.

Side Effects: As THCA turns into THC when heated the side effects are the same.

Cannabinol (CBN):

Cannabinol (CBN) is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found only in trace amounts in Cannabis. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBN does not stem directly from cannabigerol (CBG) or cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), but rather is the degraded product of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA).

Effects: CBN works as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain relief, anti-insomnia and anti-convulsive agent. It may also increase appetite like THC, without psychotropic effects. Cannabinol also seems to exert healthy synergistic effects with THC, CBD and other cannabinoids.

Side Effects: CBN may cause tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness or a loss of appetite.

Cannabigerol (CBG):

Cannabigerol (CBG) is the parent molecule from which other cannabinoids are synthesized and a minor constituent of cannabis.

Effects: CBG works to fight inflammation, pain, nausea and works to slow the proliferation of cancer cells. Research also shows it significantly reduces intraocular eye pressure caused by glaucoma. Strains high in CBG will be beneficial treating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and cancer.

Side Effects: The limited research on CBG also means that there is no reliable information about potential side effects. From what we know, and from previous research on CBD, cannabigerol seems to be very easily tolerated, has very low toxicity, and there have not been any significant side effects observed as long as it is consumed in normal doses.

Cannabichromene (CBC):

Cannabichromene (CBC) also called cannabichrome, cannanbichromene, pentylcannabichromene or cannabinochromene and is therefore considered a phytocannabinoid. It bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids and its derivatives are as abundant as cannabinols in Cannabis. It is one of the 113 cannabinoids we are identifying in cannabis.

Effects: CBC has many health benefits that include Antimicrobial, Anti-Viral, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-Depressant, Anti-Proliferative, Stimulates Brain Growth, Analgesic and helps with Migraines.  

Side Effects: There is not enough information on CBC to know the risks or benefits by itself. Research is currently being studied to provide us with more information, but all signs point in a positive direction.

Cannabicyclol (CBL):

Cannabicyclol (CBL) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis. CBL is a degradative product like cannabinol (CBD), and produced from the natural irradiation of (CBC).

Effects: While recent studies show the possibility of positive effects in using CBL to treat inflammation and possible tumors, information is still limited, and results are inconclusive at this time.

Side Effects: Because research of CBL is still in its infancy, health benefits and potential adverse effects are unknown.

Cannabivarin (CBV):

Cannabivarin (CBV) is considered a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It has a similar structure to CBN, or cannabinol, and many other phytocannabinoids. Minor amounts of CBV are found in the hemp plant Cannabis sativa.

Effects: There are a few studies highlighting the potential of CBV to help reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting. It can also potentially be used as a treatment for neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and a number of other health issues, but it’s all still too early to say.

Side Effects: CBV is considered a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not produce euphoric side effects like those resulting from THC use. It is unknown whether particular dosages of cannabidivarin or combinations of CBV and other phytocannabinoids will yield negative side effects.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA):

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) converts to CBD when heated. In other words, CBDA is the raw form or predecessor to CBD. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis. 

Many people even juice raw cannabis to get a daily dose of CBDA. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to find in finished products. As most tinctures and rubs are made with extracts that use heat. 

Health Benefits: CBDA can relieve inflammation and associated pain. Scientists have demonstrated that CBDA can affect the body’s 5-HT serotonin-producing receptors, hinting at a potential use for CBDA as a medication for chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting (CINV) and other conditions that induce these symptoms. However, more research is needed.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV):

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a cannabis-derived compound with unique properties that set it apart from the more common cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THCV is used for diabetes, pain, swelling (inflammation), seizures, a mental disorder marked by hallucinations and delusion (psychosis), obesity, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Effects: THCV seems to affect certain nerve cells in the brain. These effects might reduce seizures, regulate emotional reactions to food, reduce cravings for addictive substances, and have other effects.

Side Effects: When taken by mouth: THCV is possibly safe for adults when used for up to 13 weeks. Side effects have not been reported in clinical research. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if tetrahydrocannabivarin is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP):

Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) is a phytocannabinoid, one of the hundreds of active compounds that cannabis plants produce in their resinous trichomes.

This cannabinoid is almost non detectable and has only been produced in effective amounts via chemical processes. Scientists have identified almost 150 of these chemicals to date, and THCP is the latest on the list.

Effects: Using advanced spectroscopic technology, laboratory analysis, and tests with mice, the researchers found Δ9-THCP, or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiphorol, had an up to thirty times more potent effect on human CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors, than Δ9-THC—also known as plain, old THC.

Side Effects: Because of the potency scientists are still testing the side effects.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV):

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis. It is a homolog of cannabidiol (CBD), with the side-chain shortened by two methylene bridges (CH2 units). It is one of the 113 cannabinoids we are identifying in cannabis.

CBDV is approved for use as a medicine in Europe for treating two rare conditions. It’s not approved for use as a medicine in the U.S. or Canada.

CBDV is used for seizure disorder, nausea, long-term swelling (inflammation) in the digestive tract, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Effects: While there still isn’t a lot of research into the full extent of its benefits and effects, scientists have found that CBDV shares several similarities with the CBD cannabinoid, including its molecular structure and its non-psychotropic qualities.

Side Effects: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if CBDV is safe. It might cause side effects such as diarrhea, dizziness, and nausea.

Cannabigerovarin (CBGV):

Cannabigerovarin (CBGV) is a derivative of cannabigerol, is one of the most useful cannabinoids derived from the cannabis herb. Research studies have attributed the compound to enhance the competency of the cellular receptors of the ECS to readily bind with THC molecules. It is also believed that CBGV enhances CBD metabolism therein making CBD more powerful when paired with CBGV.

CBGV is used for seizure disorder, curing and improving dry skin conditions as well as long-term swelling (inflammation) in the digestive tract. CBGV has painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties which make it effective in treating conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis. CBGV has great potential for treating cancer, it was shown to be cytostatic in leukemic cells and caused a simultaneous arrest at all phases of the cell cycle. 

Effects: CBGV is perceived to have no psychoactive effects when consumed or inhaled. 

Side Effects: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if cannabidivarin is safe. It might cause side effects such as diarrhea, dizziness, and nausea.

Cannabichromevarin (CBCV):

Cannabichromevarin (CBCV) is a phytocannabinoid found naturally in cannabis, and is a propyl cannabinoid and an effective anticonvulsant and used to treat brain cancer and epilepsy. It is one of the 113 cannabinoids we are identifying in cannabis.

CBCV was first identified at the University of Nagasaki in 1975 in Thailand. CBCV is not thought to be psychoactive or impairing in any way, and is believed to be safe for children and adults and is a compound found in medical marijuana.

Effects: CBCV can be beneficial for people who have chronic pain, major depression, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, crohn’s disease, epileptic seizures, cancer, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, ALS, muscular dystrophy and eczema.

Side Effects: Some of the side effects reported include drowsiness, lightheadedness, dry mouth and lowered blood pressure.

Cannabicitran (CBT):

Cannabicitran (CBT) is biosynthesized from CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). It was first synthesized in 1971 and it was called cyrildene cannabis. CBT is also considered a minor cannabinoid and therefore, there are not that many studies about it. 

Effects: In 2007, one study was conducted that focused on the addictive effects of THC. They found that CBT was “the major degradation product of this reaction, demonstrating the ability of an antibody to catalyze a complex chemical transformation with therapeutic implications for treating marijuana abuse.”

Meaning, that CBT is likely a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that, when present alongside THC, can lessen THC’s myriad psychoactive effects. It is speculated that this cannabinoid contributes to the entourage effect. Some older studies have found that it helps in reducing eye pressure and hence it could be a potential treatment for glaucoma.

Side Effects: Because almost nothing is known of CBT’s health benefits, there is also nothing known regarding CBT’s potential adverse effects.

Cannabigerol Monomethyl Ether (CBGM):

Cannabigerol Monomethyl Ether (CBGM) is a natural cannabinoid classified into the Cannabigerol (CBG) group. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that provides anxiety relief without giving the user the high they could get from THC.

Effects: Scientists have related CBGM to the treatment of various conditions such as glaucoma, cancer, psoriasis, Alzheimer’s and Crohn’s disease, nausea, chronic pain, and arthritis.

Side Effects: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if CBGM is safe. It could cause abdominal pain or vomiting.

Cannabielsoin (CBE):

Cannabielsoin (CBE) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. Scientists first discovered CBE in the early 1970s. They discovered that CBE is a metabolite of CBD, or cannabidiol, the primary cannabinoid in most types of Hemp. 

However, it wasn’t until more than 15 years later that a team of Japanese researchers officially confirmed that CBE is formed from CBD during the metabolic process in mammals.

Effects and Side Effects: Little is known about the therapeutic properties of CBE. Early results from limited animal studies indicate that CBE has little impact on inducing sleep or affecting body temperature. 

Despite the lack of knowledge about CBE, many scientists are proponents of the entourage effect. If this theory is correct, then CBE may be an essential component in producing those beneficial effects, especially considering its therapeutic parent, CBD. However, this is effectively just speculation; much more scientific research must be done before this theory can be considered conclusive.