Introduction to Cannabis: Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in cannabis. When consumed, these compounds interact with the human endocannabinoid system, which helps you regulate the processing of physical and mental sensations.


Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical compound in cannabis that's psychoactive—it's the thing that can get you "high." However, THC also offers possible therapeutic uses, including pain relief, relaxation, help with sleep, appetite stimulation, mild anti-depressant effects, and more.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most common non-intoxicating compound in cannabis. CBD is also the most medically valuable cannabinoid and has been used to treat pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, PTSD, ADHD, anxiety and more. CBD can also counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.


Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the cannabinoid that becomes THC through a process called decarboxylation. THCA may share some of the therapeutic benefits of THC but has no psychoactive effects.


Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is similar to THC, but usually only present in trace amounts. THCV isn't psychoactive, and while THC is generally an appetite stimulant, THCV can act as a suppressant.


Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is very similar to CBD and is found in higher levels in certain indica strains. It's currently being studied for its anti-convulsant effects, which may benefit people who suffer from epilepsy.


Cannabigerol (CBG) has no psychoactive effects but has been researched for its ability to relieve pain and inflammation. It may also act as a mild antibiotic.


As THC oxidizes, it releases cannabinol (CBN). CBN has mild psychoactive effects but may contribute to feeling groggy after consuming some strains of cannabis. It's thought to have analgesic properties.


Cannabichromene (CBC) is rare and usually only present in tiny amounts. It can, however, have powerful anti-depressant effects.