Cannabis is an amazing plant with more than 100 distinctive compounds known as cannabinoids. While we have identified this many cannabinoids to date, many researchers agree there are many more still waiting to be discovered and understood. This is a big reason why the fullest spectrum products (like ours at The Hemp Collect) are so important!
Many of these cannabinoids are found in products that are readily available from online retailers like us or licensed recreational cannabis dispensaries.
The sheer number of different product options may seem confusing and can be overwhelming to many consumers. If you have ever perused the offerings of an online shop or brick-and-mortar retailer, you may have ended up asking yourself, “Which cannabinoid is right for me?”
If that’s the case, this cannabinoid guide can help you sort out the differences between these many compounds, including the two most common cannabinoids, THC and CBD. You will also find information on many other cannabinoids available in cannabis products, such as THCa, CBN, Delta 8 THC, and more.
All of these compounds have psychoactive and therapeutic effects, and a few of them are psychotropic, meaning they have intoxicating effects that can get you high. This information can help you determine which cannabinoids are right for you and guide your purchase decisions at trusted retailers such as The Hemp Collect.
What Are Cannabinoids?
As mentioned, cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They interact with the human endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating various physiological and cognitive processes throughout the body.
Most of them are psychoactive, meaning they can alter the mind in some fashion, including relaxing effects or help falling asleep. Some are also psychotropic and can get you high or have other intoxicating effects.
The two most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychotropic compound in cannabis and is largely responsible for the characteristic “high” experienced while using the plant. CBD is non-psychotropic and has been shown to have therapeutic benefits.
There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis, each with its own unique properties and potential therapeutic benefits. Some of the most commonly studied cannabinoids include THC acid (THCa) and cannabinol (CBN). Many other cannabinoids have also become available over the last several years thanks to the legalization of hemp with the 2018 Farm Bill, including Delta 8 THC, THCv, CBDv, and others.
The therapeutic differences between cannabinoids are complex and not yet fully understood. However, research into these amazing compounds suggests that different cannabinoids may have varying effects on the body and mind. For example, THC has been shown to be effective in treating pain, nausea, and appetite loss. CBD, on the other hand, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antipsychotic properties, among other therapeutic effects.
It is important to note that the psychoactive and psychotropic effects of cannabinoids can vary depending on the individual and the specific cannabinoid being consumed. THC is known for its psychotropic effects, which can include feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychotropic and does not produce a high like THC and some other cannabinoids.
Experienced cannabis consumers likely have a good idea of how a particular product will affect them, but caution should be taken by novices or when trying a cannabinoid you have less experience with. A good rule is to start slow and go slow until you get a better idea of how a particular cannabinoid or product will affect you.
Consumers should consult with a physician about any medical condition they may be experiencing and check with them before trying cannabinoids or supplements. It is recommended that you start with a small amount and increase the dose gradually as needed.
Delta 9 THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, also known as Delta-9 THC) is the most well-known of all cannabinoids commonly found in cannabis products. It is the primary psychotropic compound in cannabis and is largely responsible for the high that people experience when they consume cannabis. THC interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating various physiological and cognitive processes. These interactions are in turn responsible for the therapeutic and psychoactive effects of THC.
Therapeutic Benefits Of Delta 9 THC
THC has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits, including pain relief, nausea reduction, and appetite stimulation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved THC-based medications, dronabinol (Marinol), and nabilone (Cesamet), prescribed in pill form for the treatment of nausea in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and to stimulate appetite in patients with wasting syndrome due to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
A study published in the Journal of Pain found that THC was effective in reducing pain intensity and improving sleep quality in patients with chronic pain. A clinical review of research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that THC was effective in reducing nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Topical cannabis products have been shown to be effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, including acne, contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, pruritus, and psoriasis, according to a review of available research.
It’s important to note that while THC has potential therapeutic benefits, it can also have negative side effects such as anxiety, paranoia, and impaired memory and coordination.
Psychotropic Effects Of Delta 9 THC
THC is known for its psychoactive effects, which can include feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating a sense of pleasure and reward. The cannabinoid also interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, which is part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. THC can induce hallucinations, change thinking, and cause delusions.
The psychoactive and psychotropic effects of THC can vary depending on the individual and the way it is consumed. The duration of these effects can also vary depending on how THC is taken. For example, when THC is smoked or vaporized, its effects are felt almost immediately and can last for a few hours. When THC is consumed in an edible form, its effects can take longer to onset and last for a longer period of time.
How To Take Delta 9 THC?
THC can be consumed in many different ways, and each method can have somewhat different effects. The most common way to take THC is by smoking cannabis flower, either in a joint, pipe, or bong. The cannabinoid can also be vaporized, either as cannabis flower or by using cannabis extracts such as oil, wax, badder, crumble, and more. THC can also be taken orally, either through cannabis edibles, beverages, or other oral products such as capsules. Additionally, THC can be absorbed through the skin in topical products to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and treat some skin conditions.
How THC is consumed can have an impact on the effects of the cannabinoid. When smoking or vaping cannabis, THC enters the lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream, while edibles are processed in the stomach and liver. The effects of edibles generally feel stronger and last a lot longer than smoking. Eating weed will produce a much stronger and more intense high, while smoking gives you a more predictable and manageable hit.
Delta 9 THC Products Available
The huge number of THC products available on the market today reflects the many different ways the cannabinoid can be consumed. Cannabis flower commands the biggest share of the market and can be purchased in different quantities for smoking or vaping including eighths (one-eighth of an ounce or about 3.5 grams), quarters (a quarter-ounce, or about 7 grams) half-ounces, and full ounces. Cannabis flower is also available as pre-rolled joints, which are a convenient and increasingly popular way to buy herb that is ready to smoke.
Cannabis extracts and concentrates are additional examples of popular THC products, many of which can have a relatively high potency. Many experienced consumers find these products to be an efficient and effective way to achieve the psychotropic effects and therapeutic benefits of the cannabinoid. Extracts can be purchased for convenient vaping in cartridges, pods, or disposable vapes. Jarred extracts such as wax, crumble, badder, or sauce are used for doing dabs, usually through a glass rig with the help of a butane torch to heat a bowl, nail, or banger.
Many cannabis edible products have THC, making it easy to consume the cannabinoid in a tasty and discreet fashion. The effects of edibles will likely feel stronger and last a lot longer than smoking. Eating weed will produce a much stronger and more intense high, while smoking gives you a more predictable and manageable hit. Cannabis edibles are available as gummies, candies, baked goods, and beverages.
Other THC products are also administered orally, including cannabis tinctures that are taken sublingually (under the tongue for one or more minutes). The benefits of the cannabinoid can also be obtained through other oral formulations such as capsules, pills, and lozenges.
Cannabis topicals with THC are also available and can be an effective way to treat pain and inflammation, generally without psychotropic effects. Product types including lotions, creams, balms, oils, and ointments can be found at trusted retailers. Transdermal patches are another way to obtain the benefits of THC topically.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that is notable for its health and wellness benefits. Contrary to popular belief, CBD is psychoactive, with relaxing and anti-anxiety effects, among others. CBD is not psychotropic, however, so taking the cannabinoid will not make you high or intoxicated. Like THC, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce its effects.
Therapeutic Benefits Of CBD
Research has shown that CBD has several therapeutic benefits. CBD is the primary active ingredient of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved medication for treating severe forms of treatment-resistant pediatric epilepsy. The cannabinoid has also been shown to have anti-anxiety effects in a randomized controlled trial conducted in 2011, and further research into the anxiolytic effects of CBD.
There is also evidence that CBD can help relieve pain and inflammation. An animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests that CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to the skin. Separate animal research showed that CBD could help suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance.
Other research has shown that CBD can help people with insomnia and addiction, according to Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician, educator, and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Psychotropic Effects Of CBD
Cannabidiol is a non-psychotropic, so it does not cause intoxication or a high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does. However, CBD does have psychoactive effects including feelings of calm, relaxation, and drowsiness. CBD can also help elevate mood by treating pain and other symptoms to improve your quality of life. Some CBD users report an absence of negative symptoms, rather than feeling intoxicated.
How To Take CBD?
Because the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and products from coast to coast, CBD products are readily available through online retailers such as The Hemp Collect. Like THC, CBD can be taken in many different ways, and many of the same types of products are available on the market. CBD cannabis flower can be smoked or vaped, and CBD concentrates can be vaped or dabbed. CBD can also be taken orally through edibles and other oral formulations. Cannabidiol topicals are also available to treat pain and inflammation.
CBD oil is one of the most popular ways to take CBD. It can be taken sublingually, added to food or drinks, or applied topically. The effects of CBD oil can be felt within 15-45 minutes and can last for several hours. CBD flower including pre-rolls is also commonly available from online or brick-and-mortar retailers. CBD concentrates are available for dabbing, and ready-to-use vapes as cartridges, pods, or disposable can also be purchased.
CBD gummies are the most popular edible, although other foods including snacks, baked goods, and beverages can also be found. Other oral formulations such as capsules, gelcaps, and pills offer a convenient way to take advantage of the benefits of CBD.
THCa is the acidic form of Delta 9 THC, the cannabinoid primarily responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis. In this acid form, THCa does not have psychoactive effects and cannot get you high. However, THCa is easily converted to THC with heat through a process called decarboxylation.
THCa that is vaped or smoked is naturally decarboxylated, or activated, into THC and will thus be psychoactive and get you high. Although THCa in its natural form will not get you high when ingested, decarboxylation converts it to nearly 90% THC, making the precursor nearly as powerful as THC. Decarboxylation of THCa also occurs as cannabis is dried and cured, although at a much slower rate.
Therapeutic Benefits Of THCA
Scientific research has shown that THCa has many potential therapeutic benefits, although much more investigation of the medical uses of the cannabinoid is needed. A 2011 study published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan found that THCa and other cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory qualities.
One year later, a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Phytomedicine found that THCa has neuroprotective benefits. A separate study published by the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration had similar findings, with the authors noting the research could have implications for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In 2023, Forbes reported that a study found that cannabis consumers who contracted Covid-19 had better medical outcomes than non-users.
Research into THCa has also revealed that the compound might have applications for people with cancer. A study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2013 found that the cannabinoid reduced vomiting in an animal study, noting that THCa’s anti-emetic qualities make it a potential treatment for those experiencing nausea and vomiting commonly associated with cancer treatment. The same year, another study published in the same journal found that THCa had non-proliferative qualities in vitro, meaning the cannabinoid inhibited the growth of cancer cells in a lab study.
Psychotropic Effects Of THCA
In its natural form, THCa is not psychotropic and will not get you high. However, the THCa in many products is decarboxylated when they are used, converting the cannabinoid to psychotropic THC. For example, THCa products that are smoked or vaped will undergo decarboxylation and be converted to psychotropic THC.
THCa tinctures and other oral formulations will not be decarboxylated during use, preserving the THCa in its original form. However, those subject to drug screenings should note that consuming THCa could result in a positive test for cannabis. THCa that is decarboxylated into THC before or during use will have the same effects as similar THC products, including feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.
How To Take THCA?
Consumers who wish to obtain the benefits of THCa should ensure that they do not purchase products that decarboxylate the cannabinoid during use. Tinctures and other oral products are the best solution to avoid converting THCa into THC.
Consumers should consult with a physician about any medical condition they may be experiencing and check with them before trying THCa or any cannabinoid or supplement. It is recommended that you start with a small amount and increase the dose gradually as needed.
The most popular THCa products that preserve the cannabinoid in its natural form include tinctures and gummies. Vapes and smokable forms of THCa including cannabis flower, moon rocks, and pre-rolls can also be found at some retailers, but remember that these types of products convert THCa to THC during use, meaning they will get you high.
Delta 8 THC
Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by cannabis but is not found in significant amounts in the cannabis plant. Delta-8 THC is chemically similar to Delta-9 THC (commonly known simply as THC), with a double bond in its structure that produces the intoxicating effects that make you feel high. The two forms of THC are chemically different in the placement of the double bond. Both cannabinoids have a chain of carbon atoms, but Delta-8 has the double bond on the eighth carbon, while Delta-9 has it on the ninth.
Delta-8 THC can be extracted from either hemp or cannabis. Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp can be legally grown and used for extractions all across the United States, making Delta-8 legal in many states where Delta-9 THC is illegal. However, some states have passed laws to regulate Delta-8 THC, so consumers should check the local laws in their area to be sure. Nearly all of the Delta-8 THC products on the market today are manufactured from hemp-derived CBD.
Therapeutic Benefits Of Delta 8 THC
Not as much research on Delta-8 THC has been conducted compared with the major cannabinoids CBD and THC. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, Delta-8 THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, which constitute the endocannabinoid system, the major regulatory network that helps keep us in homeostasis.
The affinity with CB1 and CB2 receptors may mean that Delta-8 THC has similar health benefits to Delta-9 THC and CBD. More research is needed, but anecdotal evidence suggests that Delta-8 THC may be helpful as a pain reliever, sleep aid, and anti-inflammatory. The cannabinoid may also help relieve anxiety, reduce nausea, and stimulate the appetite.
What Are The Psychotropic Effects Of Delta 8 THC?
Because of its similarity to Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 has similar psychotropic effects, although these effects are generally milder with comparable doses. Delta-8 consumers report many of the same effects as THC, such as mild euphoria, happiness, and uplifting feelings, although the compound is much less potent, so the effects are not as strong.
How To Take Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC products can be taken in a variety of ways, including vaping and oral formulations such as gummies, soft gels, and tinctures. Some retailers also offer smokable forms of Delta-8 THC, which consist of cannabis flowers enriched with Delta-8.
Delta 8 THC Products
Many different Delta-8 THC products can be purchased from online retailers. Gummies are one of the most popular forms of the cannabinoid, and other oral products such as tinctures and soft gels are also available. Smokable forms of Delta-8 THC include pre-rolls and moon rocks.
Delta-8 THC can also be vaped and dabbed, leading to many more product choices for consumers. Vape cartridges and all-in-one disposables are available, as are Delta-8 THC concentrates such as wax and crumble for dabbing.
THCv, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. THCV is structurally similar to THC but has a different effect on the body. THCv is not as well-known as other cannabinoids and has not been researched as much, but it has the potential to be a valuable addition to the medical cannabis toolkit.
Therapeutic Benefits Of THCV
THCv has not been the subject of many research trials, so the therapeutic effects of the compound have not been firmly established. THCv is probably most known for its reported ability to suppress appetite, offering the potential to be used as a weight loss aid. Other evidence suggests that THCv may help regulate blood sugar levels, perhaps someday leading to treatments for diabetes. The compound may also help relieve anxiety, according to anecdotal evidence, but more research is needed.
Psychotropic Effects Of THCV
THCv is not psychotropic and cannot get you high. Its psychoactive qualities have not been firmly established, but some evidence suggests that THCv may have anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic qualities.
How To Take THCV?
THCv is found in minor quantities in some cultivars of cannabis, particularly African landrace strains such as Durban Poison, so smokable products are available. The cannabinoid can also be vaped or taken via oral formulations manufactured by reputable cannabis operators.
The number of THCv products on the market is not as high as more well-known cannabinoids. Some retailers offer disposable vapes, gummies, and tinctures with THCv. Cannabis flower from strains with relatively high levels of THCv is also sold by some retailers, with products including jarred flower and pre-rolls available.
Cannabidivarin (CBDv), is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis plants that is structurally similar to CBD and THC, but it has unique properties that make it a promising therapeutic agent for various medical conditions. Research is limited, but the available studies suggest that CBDv may have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective qualities, as well as other potential benefits.
Therapeutic Benefits Of CBDV
Several scientific studies support the therapeutic and medical effects of CBDv. For example, a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBDv had anticonvulsant effects in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.
Another study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that CBDv had anti-inflammatory effects in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). CBDv may also have neuroprotectant qualities, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.
Psychotropic Effects Of CBDV
CBDv is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, meaning it does not produce the high associated with THC. Instead, CBDv has psychoactive effects that are similar to those of CBD, such as feelings of relaxation and calm.
How To Take CBDV?
CBDv can be taken via oral formulations such as capsules, oils, and tinctures. Capsules are a convenient way to take CBDv, as they provide a pre-measured dose of the cannabinoid. CBDv can also be applied topically in the form of creams, balms, or salves. These products are designed to be applied directly to the skin and can be used to treat localized pain and inflammation. Additionally, cannabidivarin can be inhaled using a vaporizer. This method allows for fast absorption of the cannabinoid into the bloodstream through the lungs.
CBDv products are available in various forms, including oils, capsules, gummies, and vapes. CBDv extracts are available in a variety of different forms, including isolate, distillate, and water-dispersible preparations. CBDv oil products are typically hemp-derived tinctures, infused with full-spectrum extract or isolate.
Cannabinol (CBN) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is formed when THC degrades due to exposure to heat, air, or light, so CBN is usually present in high amounts in older cannabis. While it is not as potent as THC, CBN has several potential therapeutic benefits. CBN is probably best known for its reported sedative effects, which has led manufacturers to offer sleep aids with the cannabinoid.
Therapeutic Benefits Of CBN
CBN has several reported therapeutic effects. As mentioned above, CBN is known to have sedative effects and can help with sleep disorders. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with pain relief. Cannabinol can also help with glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure.
A 2019 study found that CBN relieved pain in rats and concluded that the cannabinoid might be able to relieve pain in people with conditions like fibromyalgia. Another study from 2005 determined that CBN has neuroprotective qualities, finding that it delayed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rats.
Psychotropic Effects Of CBN
Some research indicates that CBN has very mild psychoactive effects, most notably as a sedative, but it is generally considered to be non-psychotropic. Unlike THC, CBN does not produce a high or any other mind-altering effect. However, more research is needed to fully understand the psychoactive and psychotropic effects of CBN.
How To Take CBN?
CBN products are available for oral use in various forms, including oils, tinctures, and capsules. The appropriate dosage of CBN varies depending on several factors, such as body size, age, changing tolerance levels, and the form of CBN.
Consumers should consult with a physician about any medical condition they may be experiencing and check with them before trying CBN or any cannabinoid or supplement. It’s best to start with a small amount and increase the dose gradually as needed. Until you have a little experience and know what effects to expect, avoid taking CBN when you have things to do or places to go.
CBN products are available in various forms, including oils, tinctures, capsules, and gummies. CBN products are also offered as disposable vapes by some retailers.
There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis, each with its own unique properties and potential therapeutic benefits. This incredible diversity can make it difficult to determine which cannabinoid is right for you, so guides like this one can be a valuable resource for consumers eager to take advantage of the many benefits of cannabis. Consumers should consult with a physician about any medical condition they may be experiencing and check with them before trying any cannabinoid or supplement.
Once you have decided which cannabinoid is right for you, be sure to visit a reputable dealer such as The Hemp Collect. Products that are sourced from federally legal hemp are also legal and can be shipped to most states.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are naturally produced by the cannabis plant. They interact with receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating various physiological processes such as mood, appetite, and sleep.
What is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis use. It has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits such as pain relief and reducing nausea and vomiting.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits such as reducing anxiety, inflammation, and pain.
What is CBN?
CBN (cannabinol) is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits such as reducing pain and inflammation.
What is THCV?
THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) is a psychoactive cannabinoid that has been shown to have potential therapeutic benefits such as reducing appetite and promoting bone growth.
What are the side effects of using cannabinoids?
The side effects of using cannabinoids can vary depending on the type of cannabinoid used, the dose, and the method of consumption. Some common side effects include dry mouth, red eyes, impaired memory, and impaired motor skills.
How do I choose the right cannabinoid for me?
Choosing the right cannabinoid depends on your individual needs and preferences. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any cannabis products to determine which cannabinoid and dosage would be best for you.