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The Cannabinoid Spectacle of THC, CBD, and Other Cannabinoids.

Photo by Rick


In cannabis research, cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system. The two main cannabinoids that have been most widely studied are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). However, other lesser-known cannabinoids are steadily gaining recognition, each with its unique contribution to the entourage of effects.


The Two Main Cannabinoids

1. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol):

  • Effect: THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is often regarded as the most infamous and well-known cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects or the “body high” commonly associated with cannabis use. THC’s potential medical use has proven therapeutic benefits, offering relief from pain, nausea, and muscle spasms. However, THC can also lead to side effects like impaired memory, anxiety, and panic attacks at high doses.


2. CBD (Cannabidiol):

  • Effect: CBD is a non-intoxicating compound due to its versatile therapeutic potential and the ability to modulate the endocannabinoid system without inducing a “high,” which has gained immense popularity and propelled it into the spotlight for a wide range of health and wellness uses. CBD may help reduce seizures, relieve inflammation and pain, alleviate anxiety and mental health issues, and provide neuroprotection. More importantly, CBD can mitigate some of the adverse psychoactive effects of THC when the two are taken together.


Photo by Fulvio Ciccolo on Unsplash

Other Cannabinoids

3. CBG (Cannabigerol):

  • Effect: Well known as the “mother of all cannabinoids,” CBG serves as the precursor stem cell from which cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and others are synthesized. CBG is a non-psychoactive precursor to other cannabinoids and has potential anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-microbial properties. In addition, CBG may play a role in managing conditions such as glaucoma and inflammatory bowel disease.


4. CBN (Cannabinol):

  • Effect: CBN is psychoactive and often associated with sedative effects and is created when THC ages over time. CBN may amplify intoxication and optimize the “high” effects of THC, and research is minimal, with very few studies demonstrating its impact on the human body. However, CBN may offer potential benefits in terms of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, neuroprotectant, appetite stimulation, and glaucoma.


5. CBC (Cannabichromene):

  • Effect: CBC is non-psychoactive and doesn’t bind to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain but interacts with the endocannabinoid system, potentially contributing to the overall therapeutic effects of cannabis and promoting the growth of new brain cells. Its potential benefits include anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-fungal properties.


6. THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin):

  • Effect: THCV is a psychoactive and has a similar molecular structure to THC but with a different set of effects. THCV is found in landrace Sativa strains from Africa and has gained popularity due to its energizing and stimulating effects. Also, THCV’s potential benefits may suppress appetite, lower diabetes, reduce panic and seizure attacks, help with Alzheimer’s disease, and stimulate bone growth.



There are more than 200 synthetic cannabinoids, and many of them are still being studied for their benefits.

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