oh high there
oh high there
The trichomes (resin glands) of cannabis plants contain special molecules called cannabinoids and terpenes, which are manufactured during the final flowering stage of growth.
Any given strain of cannabis may contain up to 200 different terpenes and 113 variants of cannabinoids. The two most well known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Other 'major' cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabidivarin (CBDV).
THC - tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid primarily responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. Unfortunately, THC can also produce disorientation and even panic attacks - especially when larger doses are consumed by inexperienced users.
Cannabis plants contain tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), the ‘non-active’ version of THC. When cannabis is decarboxylated (heated to a high temperature), dried or cured, the acid molecule (the “A” in THCA) drops off, and the THC is activated. This results in the effects we associate with consuming THC. It also means that cannabis in its fresh form is not yet active with THC.
CBD - Cannabidiol
CBD is a specific chemical component of cannabis. It delivers a benign psychoactive effect in comparison to THC.
CBD offers none of the disadvantages of its stereotyped and stigma related cousin. Individuals can consume CBD with confidence, without the risk of getting stoned or high.
CBD is one of the very few molecules that can cross the blood/brain barrier. It’s half-life in humans is relatively long, meaning that you can gradually build-up a functioning amount in your body over several days. When consumed orally, large doses of CBD are necessary to compensate for its relatively low bioavailability.
CBD offers a variety of purported health benefits to consumers, and it should be noted that many users report greater efficacy when consuming CBD combined with other cannabinoids like THC, as opposed to CBD alone (isolate). CBD is also a “pleiotropic drug,” meaning it produces several beneficial effects through multiple molecular pathways and intricate feedback mechanisms. More than 65 molecular targets of CBD have been identified to date.
Recent scientific consensus runs counter to the popular perception that CBD is a fully non-psychoactive cannabinoid. While it is certainly considerably less psychoactive than THC (non-intoxicating would actually be a better term), the latest science reveals a nuanced and complex manner in which CBD interacts with the human body and, more specifically, how it influences the effects of THC and other cannabinoids in an 'entourage effect'.
CBG - Cannabigerol The "Mother of Cannabinoids"
Of the 100+ currently identified cannabinoids, few are as important as cannabigerol (CBG). Like CBD, CBG produces no intoxicating effect, and it plays a special role in the production of a variety of cannabinoids.
CBG is usually present in relatively low quantities in most strains of cannabis (typically below 1 percent). Despite its low volumes, this cannabinoid is very common. The importance of CBG is rooted in the fact that it is the genesis-molecule, or source, for many other cannabinoids—including the most well-known examples, CBD and THC.
All cannabinoids evolve from something called an acidic precursor.
The acidic precursor to CBG, CBGA (sometimes denoted as CBG-A or CBGa), is even more important than CBG. This is because it's the source of the acidic precursors of other critical cannabinoids, including those for CBD (CBDA), THC (THCA), and CBC (CBCA).
For example, CBGA converts to CBCA, which in turn yields CBC after exposure to ultraviolet light or heat. If not for CBGA and resulting CBG, molecules such as CBD and THC would not exist.
THCV - tetrahydrocannabivarin
THCV is mildly psychoactive - basically like a lite version of THC. Discovered back in 1970, this molecule is just a few carbon atoms shy of THC. High doses sometimes result in psychoactivity because, like THC, it crosses the blood-brain barrier to reach the CB1 receptors that populate the brain and central nervous system.
THCV is almost never consumed as an isolate, meaning that it works together with other cannabinoids like THC and CBD in an 'Entourage Effect'. The most striking characteristic of THCV, however, is its purported ability to suppress appetite.