UNDERSTANDING MINOR CANNABINOIDS: A Look At The 5 Most Prevalent And Their Effects
Updated: Mar 29
Did you know that there are over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis and varying strains?
By this point in legalisation the average cannabis consumer may have a general understanding of the two most popular cannabinoids found in cannabis: THC and CBD. There also happens to be many more that contribute to the outcome of your buzz!
In this post we will be breaking down the five most prevalent minor cannabinoids and give you some insights into what products are available, how to use them, and what effects you may find.
Each cannabinoid and terpene helps to create a certain effect, and when combined together is what gives each of us something we call "the entourage effect". The entourage effect is why different strains illicit different effects. When created into an edible or vape-able product, we can start to have more consistent and reproducible effects.
THC - THE BIG ONE, BUT NOT THE ONLY ONE
Delta-9 THC is the most traditionally available and most well known cannabinoid with intoxicating effects. To even further confuse things, D-9 THC is found in the raw plant as D-9THCA which has to be converted into its active form THC before consumption.
What is THCA?
THCA (tetrehydrocannabinolic acid) is the precursor to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and is found in raw or freshly harvested cannabis. Unlike THC, THCA is non-psychoactive, which means it cannot product a "high" when consumed. Eating raw cannabis for example will not illicit any "high" feeling because THCA has a three-dimensional shape that makes it difficult to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body which are the receptors responsible for producing psychoactive effects. THCA only becomes psychoactive when converted to THC through a process called decarboxylation, which occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat or light. This process removes the carboxylic acid group from THCA, transforming it into THC. This is why cannabis must be heated or burned in order to produce psychoactive effects.
Effects of THC
Consuming Delta-9 THC can lead to a "stoned" feeling that could illicit the giggles, the munchies, dry mouth, red eyes, memory loss and all other effects typically associated with "getting high".
How to read Cannabis Cannabis labels - understanding THC conversions: When looking at a legal, Canadian cannabis product you'll find two THC numbers on the package. The first number is the amount of THC found in the fresh product which is usually nominal, whereas the second number is the assumed amount of THC that is produced once the fresh flower is burned or "decarboxylated". Ask your budtender for more information. These are represented as mg/g but simply moving the decimal point over will tell you the final THC %. As an example, if the product label reads 247mg/g simply move the point over to convert it to 24.7% THC.
DELTA-8 THC - NOT NECESSARILY SYNTHETIC
WHAT IS DELTA 8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp. It is not as naturally prevalent as Delta-9 THC. Many growers in the States and other "grey markets" were able to access a loophole by creating Delta-8 from previously harnessed CBD isolate from hemp in a process that some have considered "synthesising". This process has come under scrutiny as this legal loophole is allowed as CBD production is federallywhereas legal THC production is not.
Similarly in Canada, producers have found a legal loophole to achieve stronger edibles than technically allowed by Health Canada; Delta-8 is gaining popularity in the edibles market as Delta-8 is allowed to surpass the 10mg cap placed on most edible products.
Effects of Delta8
Those consuming Delta-8 can expect a slightly less potent effect than Delta-9 (75% potency roughly). The high from Delta-8 is also more "daytimey" as in it is a more uplifting, possibly "clearer" high, giggly and lighter than Delta-9. Users have also reported experiencing less munchies.
CBD, A SOOTHING NON-INTOXICATING EXPERIENCE:
What is CBD?
Next to THC, cannabidiol is the second most prevalent cannabinoid found in cannabis and is also prevalent in hemp. CBD can be extracted from either source. Some cannabis plants produce more CBD than THC and as a result, we do offer and carry many strains in pre-roll and flower that have less intoxicating effects that still offer a soothing, relaxing benefit. As a recreational retailer we are limited in regulation and cannot discuss the health benefits associated with CBD (a quick Google search could though!)
Effects of CBD:
CBD provides relaxation and an overall sense of well-being. Though the relaxation may be quite deep, ultimately CBD is non-psychoactive and will not cause an "intoxicating" feeling after consumption. THC cannabinoids also cannot be absorbed through the membrane of skin. CBD can be successfully applied topically or ingested orally through edibles or smoking.
Did you know Alberta produces tons of hemp for both food consumption and CBD extraction?
Check out True North Cannabis to understand how one of Alberta's producers has created one of the greenest extraction methods for CBD, while utilising fully organic carrying oils and honey.
CBG - "The Mother of All Cannabinoids":
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol is found within less than 1% of all cannabis. Derived from cannabigerolic acid, it is considered the mother of all cannabinoids including THC and CBD because it is the precursor to all other cannabinoids. CBG is produced in young cannabis plants, and as the plant matures it is converted into other cannabinoids. Since CBG has low concentrations in cannabis plants, extracting is difficult and expensive.
Effects of CBG:
CBG may have other therapeutic effects you will have to Google, but from a recreational standpoint CBG is known for it's uplifting and lengthy effects. Those who consume CBG along with THC or CBD have said to feel uplifted and energised, as well as experience more intense munchies than without CBG. It is often described as the "caffeine cannabinoid".
Take these effects with a grain of salt. All of these cannabinoids when combined with natural terpenes create what is called "the entourage effect" - this is what gives different strains different effects. When formulated into a vape or an edible, the benefit is that you will start to achieve reproducible effects - try different formulations and times of day to find the ones that work for you.
CBC - The Lesser-Known Cannabinoid
What is CBC?
Cannabichromene is the third most abundant cannabinoid after CBD and THC. This minor cannabinoid is naturally derived, may have therapeutic effects, and can add to your overall entourage effect. Some studies suggest it may help to reduce appetite associated with "the munchies" but more studies are needed.
Effects of CBC:
In many ways similar to CBD, CBC provides a wealth of wellness effects that can be found with a quick Google search. Some studies have suggested that CBC has an affinity for the receptors in our brain associated with pain perception. In our censored terms, CBC may provide an uplifting, non-psychoactive effect similar to CBD.
CBN - A "Heavy, Restful Experience"
What is CBN?
Cannabinol is arguably the fastest rising "new" cannabinoid. As cannabis ages, the CBN content found in the plant will rise through natural processes in the drying and curing processes. This process is what happens when THC-9 is exposed to heat, UV rays, or through age (due to oxidation) causing THC-Delta-9 to convert to CBN. CBN is still prevalent without this oxidation process however. Though this cannabinoid is not binding to our THCA receptors in the same fashion that THC does - CBN can still cause a slight psychoactive effect likened to being 1/4 as potent as THC.
Effects of CBN:
CBN is typically recommended for night-time use as it can be heavily sedating, along with promoting appetite and feelings of deep relaxation.
Find minor cannabinoid options on our website including vape-able, ingestible, and smokable options. Look for 5/10 vapes, edibles, beverages, and flower now available with minor cannabinoid filters! FivePoint prides ourselves on the best selection of minor-cannabinoids in Calgary (YYC) with many of our favourite Alberta cannabis producers always available. We carry everything from CBN Maple Sugar to CBD Honey. You can find CBN sprays, capsules and oils, as well as a variety of other minor cannabinoids in almost every format. We look forward to serving you at Calgary's Best Dispensary for Minor Cannabinoids.
Order ahead and save 5% off your total order with promo code "Online5" at check out.