If you have ever indulged in cannabis, you have in turn interacted with Cannabinoids. So you ask yourself, what is a Cannabinoid? In short, Cannabinoids are the chemicals in cannabis that effect your mood directly. THC for instance is the main active cannabinoid in marijuana that gets you “high”, while CBD, CBG, CBN, and THCv are all secondary cannabinoids that alter the feeling you get when consuming cannabis.
The ratio of these cannabinoids varies from strain to strain, which is why some strains cause drowsiness while others cause a burst of energy. Terpenes are also at work in this synergistic relationship, but we will discuss terpenes in length in another article. The medical marijuana industry was built on a foundation of THC, however the sister compounds to THC are equally as important in terms of pharmacological effects on your body. CBD for instance is great for helping inflammation, so a patient who suffers from arthritis may find relief by applying a topical cream of CBD/THC. CBN is less explored but has been studied for its ability to help curb the negative feelings associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal. CBN can cause major drowsiness, so be careful when considering dosage. CBN is a byproduct of the degradation of THC.
THCa is the naturally occurring non-psychoactive form of THC within the marijuana plant. When heated either by smoking, vaping, or by cooking for edibles you effectively remove the “a” in THCa, this process is called “decarboxylation” which causes delta 9 THC to be formed. Delta 9 THC is the psychoactive compound most people have experience with. If you ingest THCa orally, it will not have any psychoactive affects. If you ingest Delta 9 THC orally, you will experience the most bioavailable method of consumption. If you are searching for relief from a specific ailment or condition, it may be in your best interest to explore the effects that different cannabinoids will have.