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Know Your Cannabinoids - (3 of 7) Seven Elements of Cannabis

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Picture taken by Michelle

Cannabis is a powerful medicinal plant with many compounds working together. Cannabinoids are one aspect to understand as each cannabinoid produces different effects and provides its own medicinal value.

There is more to the cannabis plant than THC and CBD, although both cannabinoids are very valuable on their own when used with other cannabinoids they can allow for improved benefits.

Each cannabinoid has its unique medicinal properties and, when combined, can enhance your experience and help achieve the desired effect you are looking for when treating conditions like ADHD, anxiety, chronic pain, IBS, and many other conditions.

This article is not a fully comprehensive list of all the benefits of each cannabinoid. I focus on specific conditions that I feel qualified to speak about.

This list is also not all the cannabinoids, there are around 113 and each have their own benefits. I speak about 8 of them, the more common ones, and ones that you actually have a chance of buying either through hemp cannabis with less than 0.3% THC or through a local dispensary and it may or may not have THC.

I’m going to start with the most popular and move on to the less popular ones. While you are reading make note of other cannabinoids that you think may help you. Creating a little mix of weed with different cannabinoids can change your weed experience.

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol

Picture taken by Michelle

This cannabinoid is famously known for its euphoric high. What many don't know or even understand is that cannabis has been around for a long, long time. (see Series 1 History of Cannabis) Although even in ancient times they knew about the euphoric high, they also realized the amazing medicinal effects. THC has been used to help treat arthritis, nausea, ADHD, chronic pain, insomnia, and many more conditions for hundreds of years.

This doesn't mean THC doesn't have side effects, we should always remember that good things always come with bad things. Learning moderation and learning your sweet spot is the most important.

Learn more about how to consume THC in the upcoming Series 6 article - How to Consume Cannabis.

THCV - tetrahydrocannabivarin

The THCV cannabinoid was discovered in the 1970s but hasn't gained the same popularity as THC or CBD. THCV has shown to be an appetite suppressant, may help reduce panic attacks and THCV is known to stimulate new bone cells.

It can be challenging to find strains with high THCV or to find it isolated but there are certain popular strains known to be higher in THCV. Most strains only contain trace, undetectable amounts of THCV. But here are some useful hints for locating this rare gem

  1. Look for African sativas - THCV is abundant in sativas, particularly landrace strains from Africa. Durban Poison is a common strain and my personal favorite.

  2. Ask for parent genetics - plenty of strains have hybridized African genetics that makes it predisposed to a higher THCV level. Cherry Pie is an example.

  3. Request test results - The above two tricks can help, but you don’t know what you are getting unless you see the lab results. So ask your budtender.

Lastly, here are some strains that are known to contain higher THCV levels - this is not a comprehensive list, and there is no guarantee of their levels.

  1. Doug’s Varin

  2. Pineapple Purps

  3. Durban Poison

  4. Power Plant

  5. Willie Nelson

  6. Red Congolese

  7. Jack the Ripper

  8. Durban Cheese

  9. Skunk #1

CBDA - cannabidiolic acid

CBDA is the raw form or predecessor to CBD. CBDA converts to CBD over time or when exposed to heat. CBDA can be found in capsules, tinctures, and topicals. Some people even juice raw cannabis to get a daily dose of CBDA.

CBDA is known to relieve inflammation and associated pain. Try searching online for CBDA isolate or your local dispensaries.

CBD - Cannabidiol

Picture taken by Michelle

CBD is very popular and can be found just about anywhere. This makes this cannabinoid one you need to do your homework before you purchase. Check out this article from Weedmaps for “What to look for when buying CBD”. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and you will not achieve that euphoric high. The CBD cannabinoid can be found in the hemp and cannabis plants.

CBD become popular because of Charlotte Figi and her battle with epileptic seizures. Charlotte specifically suffered from Dravet syndrome a debilitating form of epilepsy.

Now CBD is used for much more anything from pain, anxiety, ADHD and sleep.

CBN - Cannabinol

CBN is a non-intoxicating compound, best known as the cannabinoid created when THC ages. Meaning if you leave your THC long enough you will end up with high amounts of CBN.

CBN is a great appetite stimulation and you can achieve that without the high. It's also believed to be great for anti-inflammation and helping with arthritis. It's also known to be sedating, so it may best to use this in the late evening or night.

Finding CBN is becoming somewhat easier and is usually found as an isolate, transdermal, tinctures, or edibles. You could just leave some weed to age but knowing how much is CBN vs THC you have to send it for testing.

CBG - cannabigerol

CBG is a lesser-known cannabinoid and generally has low levels in most strains, I'm talking less than 1% in most cannabis strains. CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid. Thankfully Growers are starting to experiment with obtaining higher yields of CBG by pinpointing the optimum extraction time. CBG has many medical benefits like decreasing inflammation characteristic of IBS. This benefit is just one of many like cancer-fighting properties, protecting neurons, inhibiting muscle contractions so it may help with bladder dysfunction.

I know Plain Jane sells CBG in many forms, I have tried the flower CBG for when my IBS flares up and it definitely helped me. Be on the lookout at your local dispensary or check out Plain Jane.

CBC - Cannabichromene

CBC is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid and is only now starting to gain some popularity. Thanks to its benefits in the skincare world. CBC is starting to be found in some products in conjunction with CBD normally. CBC like all the cannabinoids here works better when used with other cannabinoids and the properties of the cannabis plant created the entourage effect.

CBC’s potential benefits include helping with pain and inflammation, especially when paired with THC and CBC can help with depression when paired with CBD and THC.

CBC products are still somewhat limited but check online or your local store and dispensary.


As you can see, each cannabinoid has its benefits. Being able to find products for all of them is not always possible, but don’t let that discourage you! Ask your dispensary for lab-test results, don’t be scared to mix your cannabinoids to get the right medicinal effects for you.

Do you ever mix THC and CBD? Or any other isolated cannabinoids you can find in your area?

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Next Articles to Check Out in the Seven Elements of Cannabis Series

The Seven Elements of Cannabis Series:

Hemp: Coming Soon! (7of 7) Seven Elements of Cannabis

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