Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis. The most notable cannabinoid is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects.

The Different Compounds

Cannabidiol (CBD):

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). This Phytocannabinoid was discovered in 1940 and is an essential component of medical marijuana. CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant itself. Out of the 100 different components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself.

Effects: CBD can be a great aide in helping with anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, addiction, and sleep. There also is strong scientific evidence for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).

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: 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: 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.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid(THCA):

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is found in fresh, undried cannabis. THCA becomes THC with drying, and especially under intense heating. For example, when cannabis is smoked or cooked into cannabis edibles it is turned into THCA.

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

Side Effects: THCA’s side effects may include tiredness or drowsiness, anxiousness (at high doses) and with some users, energizing effects.

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, and pain reliever as well as an anti-insomnia agent, and an anti-convulsive agent.

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 is considered to be 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 in 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 CBN 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.

Cannabicyclol (CBL):

Cannabicyclol (CBL) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis. CBL is a degradative product like 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: The research of CBL is still in its infancy, so the health benefits and potential adverse effects are unknown at this time

Cannabivarin (CBV):

Cannabivarin (CBV) is considered a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It has a similar structure to CBN, or CBD, 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 CBDV or combinations of CBV and other phytocannabinoids will yield negative side effects.

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA):

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is most abundant in the glandular trichomes on female seedless flowers. CBDA converts to CBD when heated. In other words, CBDA is the raw form or predecessor to CBD.

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. Most tinctures and rubs are made with extracts that use heat. 

Effects: CBDA can help to relieve inflammation and pain due to inflammation. 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.

Side Effects: Due to the lack of clinical trials, side effects related to CBDA usage are largely uncertain. We do know that CBDA shares a similar molecular structure to CBD, so it may have similar side effects. These may include lightheadedness, low blood pressure, dry mouth, and reactions to certain medications.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV):

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

THCV is used to assist with diabetes, pain, swelling, and inflammation, psychosis, obesity, and a few other conditions. Although, there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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

Side Effects: Side effects of THCV have not been reported in clinical research. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if THCV is safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

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 nondetectable 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: Due to the high potency levels of THCP, scientists are still testing to find the side effects.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV):

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is a homolog of 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 CBG, is one of the most useful cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. 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: Side effects of CBGV have not been reported in clinical research. 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, and inflammatory conditions. Some may include arthritis, Crohn’s disease, epileptic seizures, cancer, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, ALS, muscular dystrophy, and eczema.

Side Effects: Some side effects of CBCV 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, 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: Even though there is no research available to give the medical benefit of CBE in the human body, the researcher is proposing what is known as the “entourage effect“. Like consuming CBE with CBD, the therapeutic benefits of CBD will be provided. Some include anti-psychotic effects, anti-tumor effects and can help with treating substance use disorders.

Side Effects: Because almost nothing is known of the health benefits of CBE, there is also nothing known regarding the potential adverse effects of CBE.