Minor Cannabinoids: A Short Guide
Many people are familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) and 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD and THC are just 2 of the 113 phytocannabinoids currently identified by science. While THC and CBD are the most heavily studied phytocannabinoids, more research is coming to light about these other cannabis compounds. It turns out that minor cannabinoids play a major role in the effects of CBD oil!
What Are Minor Phytocannabinoids?
Phytocannabinoids are lipid-based molecules that develop within the oils of cannabis plants. They interact with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) in our bodies, which influence our endocannabinoid system. The goal of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis (balance).
We know that THC stimulates cannabinoid receptors that cause psychoactive side effects. This realization caused all cannabis products to be illegal for over a century. Thankfully, science revealed that not all phytocannabinoids cause a high.
For instance, CBD doesn’t promote intoxicating effects. In fact, CBD can counteract THC’s effects!
Now that hemp products are legal, there has been more research on other phytocannabinoids. Scientists believe that each phytocannabinoid has a unique interaction with our cannabinoid receptors.
A full spectrum of phytocannabinoids maximizes the effectiveness of CBD. This synergistic benefit is known as the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is the reason full spectrum and broad spectrum (0.0% THC) CBD products are so effective in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Let’s get to know the cast of characters that support your CBD routine.
Types of Minor Cannabinoids
More research needs to be conducted on minor phytocannabinoids. However, preliminary studies on many of these cannabis compounds are promising.
Each cannabis strain has varying levels of phytocannabinoids. Refer to third-party lab reports to verify the minor cannabinoid content of your products.
CBG is the OG cannabinoid. THC, CBD, and other compounds use this minor cannabinoid as a stem cell to populate 100+ types of phytocannabinoids.
CBG was actually the first cannabinoid to be discovered and was initially believed to be behind the high caused by marijuana. We know now that CBG doesn’t promote intoxicating effects. Actually, CBG can inhibit the effects of THC by blocking CB1 receptors in the brain.
CBG is produced when heat or pressure is applied to cannabigerol acid (CBGa). Scientists believe that CBG can be useful in bone and joint maintenance.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
This molecule is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabis cannabinoid. Yet, when heat is applied to THCA, it becomes THC!
THCA is highly absorbable in the body and is used by many cannabis juicers. Experts believe THCA promotes an array of benefits for brain health. Its presence can assist a good mood and focus.
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
Much like THCA, CBDA is the precursor to CBD. It has many benefits we also see in CBD. CBDA can support clear thinking, a healthy digestive system, and more.
Delta-8-THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid. Cannabis smokers feel Delta-8 is a less intense high than Delta-9-THC (what is commonly known as “THC”).
Medical marijuana programs cultivate high Delta-8 strains for people who prefer the health benefits of cannabis over the psychoactive effects.
THCV is a unique minor phytocannabinoid. It exhibits biphasic properties, causing two different effects, depending on serving size.
In small servings, THCV can cause one effect. However, the opposite reaction happens at higher servings.
THCV does incite a high by indirectly activating CB1 receptors in the brain. However, it doesn’t attach to them like THC. So, the effects won’t last as long.
CBN is not part of cannabis’ genetic makeup. It’s a derivative of THC degrading through storage, handling, and heat. This THC byproduct is believed to be the reason smoking cannabis can cause people to become sleepy.
We use a proprietary 0.0% THC hemp extract with high levels of CBN to produce Joy Organics’ CBD Softgels with Melatonin for Sleep. CBN supports CBD in promoting a calm state conducive to a restful night’s sleep.
CBC is a lesser-known phytocannabinoid because cannabis plants produce very little of it. This minor cannabinoid is a product of a recessive gene. It will only develop in specific conditions.
CBC encourages the production of anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These are our bodies’ natural endocannabinoids. Like CBD oil, endocannabinoids maintain homeostasis throughout the endocannabinoid system.
As scientists learn more about CBC, they’re starting to uncover more information involving CBCV. It is a non-intoxicating molecule.
CBCV seems to have many similar effects to CBC. This phytocannabinoid degrades with heat, so it is best consumed via cold-pressed oils or in raw juices.
How to Get Minor Phytocannabinoid Products
Products highlighting minor phytocannabinoids are growing in popularity. CBG oil is growing in demand. Meanwhile, companies are creating sleep-supporting supplements with CBN.
It is essential you read third-party lab reports to ensure the purity of your CBD oil. These important records will also indicate traceable levels of all phytocannabinoids.
When shopping for products that promote the entourage effect, don’t buy CBD isolate. While pure CBD can provide some health benefits, you won’t have the robust effects promoted by minor phytocannabinoids. Instead, purchase broad spectrum or full spectrum products.
Full spectrum hemp products, like Joy Organics’ Organics Fresh Lime CBD Tincture, contain a variety of minor phytocannabinoids and naturally occurring terpenes. They also have less than 0.3% THC. Therefore, full spectrum hemp products will not produce a high.
Broad spectrum CBD products, like Joy Organics’ CBD Topicals contain 0.0% THC. They contain all other phytocannabinoids that promote the entourage effect. Easily verify minor phytocannabinoid content by scanning the QR code on the label!
Are Minor Phytocannabinoids the Future?
The more we learn about minor phytocannabinoids, the more beneficial they appear to be. It’s easy to look at cannabis as your local community and phytocannabinoids as the town’s workers.
Each person in a society has a specialty. You wouldn’t necessarily want your locksmith to cater your wedding or your landscaper to cut your hair.
Minor phytocannabinoids help pick up the slack of other cannabinoids. Their presence plugs in any potential holes that can disrupt homeostasis.
Many cannabis caretakers are already tailoring people’s wellness routines by cultivating or recommending strains with high minor phytocannabinoid counts. As we understand their effects better, cannabis care can become even more customizable to help everyone live a happy and healthy life.
Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.