It’s not just THC and CBD
Cannabis, a plant that has been both praised and criticized throughout history, is known for its distinct natural components called cannabinoids. Two of these components, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), are quite famous and often talked about because of their potential health benefits. But did you know there are many other less famous but equally interesting components, also called minor cannabinoids, in this plant?
In this article, we're going to explore these lesser-known components, discussing what they are, how they work, and why they're important for our health.
Understanding Minor Cannabinoids
Minor cannabinoids got their name because they're found in smaller amounts in the cannabis plant compared to the big players, THC and CBD. But don't let the name fool you, these minor cannabinoids are far from unimportant. In fact, they play a key role in how cannabis affects our body and might even have unique health benefits of their own that we're just starting to learn about.
All cannabinoids, both the famous ones and the minor ones, work with a system in our body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Think of the ECS like a control panel that helps keep everything running smoothly in our bodies. This system has special places called receptors that cannabinoids can interact with, sort of like how a key fits into a lock.
Even though many cannabinoids can have similar effects, they might still interact in slightly different ways with the ECS system and other things in our bodies, providing a variety of effects. Like the different kinds of fruits in a big fruit salad, there are many types of minor cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and each brings its own unique flavor to the mix. Some are found more often and in larger amounts, while others are rare and found in smaller amounts. And just like certain fruits can be found more often in some fruit salads than others, different cannabis strains can contain different combinations of these minor cannabinoids.
Most common minor cannabinoids
Just like each key on a keyboard plays a different note, each minor cannabinoid in the cannabis plant has unique properties and can create a different effect. Let's take a closer look at a few of these:
A. Cannabigerol (CBG)
CBG is like the parent of all other cannabinoids. It's the first one that's made by the plant, and then it changes into other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Although it's not present in large amounts, it's very important. Scientists think that CBG could have several health benefits, such as reducing pain and inflammation, and they're doing more research to find out about this.
B. Cannabinol (CBN)
CBN is interesting because it's created as THC ages. It's not very common in fresh cannabis, but can be found in larger amounts in older cannabis. Some people believe CBN can help promote good sleep, but we need more research to confirm this.
C. Cannabichromene (CBC)
CBC is another minor cannabinoid that may have some significant benefits. It's thought to help reduce inflammation and pain, and might also help brain cells grow, which could be very useful for people with conditions like Alzheimer's disease. More studies are needed to confirm these benefits, though.
D. Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
THCV is similar to THC, but it works a bit differently in our body. Some people believe that it might help with several health issues, like helping to manage diabetes and reducing panic attacks. But again, we need more research to fully understand its effects.
As you can see, every minor cannabinoid has a unique way of interacting with our body's control system, which means each one could offer different health benefits. This opens up a world of possibilities for using these minor cannabinoids to improve our health and wellbeing.
But while this all sounds promising, it's important to remember that we're still in the early days of understanding these minor cannabinoids. More research is needed to confirm these potential benefits and to figure out the best ways to use them. Nevertheless, the future looks bright for these lesser-known components of the cannabis plant.
Strains to try if you want minor cannabinoids
While exact cannabinoid content can vary based on cultivation practices and environmental factors, some strains are indeed noted for higher concentrations of certain minor cannabinoids. Here are examples:
- Sour Tsunami: The Sour Tsunami strain is a well-renowned player in the world of cannabis, chiefly due to its high CBD content. Bred over four years of careful selection by grower Lawrence Ringo of Southern Humboldt Seed Collective, Sour Tsunami is a cross of Sour Diesel, NYC Diesel, and a local California variety known as Ferrari. While it's primarily appreciated for its CBD richness, Sour Tsunami also carries a significant amount of CBG (Cannabigerol). Its unique blend of cannabinoids has made it popular among those seeking relief from certain health conditions.
- Doug's Varin: Doug's Varin is a rare and intriguing strain that has a high concentration of THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin). The precise genetics of Doug’s Varin remain a mystery, but its unique cannabinoid profile has attracted significant attention. Aside from THCV, it also offers moderate levels of THC, leading to a stimulating and clear-headed effect that's been reported to help with focus and energy.
- Black Beauty: Black Beauty is a unique strain that stands out for its high THCV content. With a 2:1 THC to THCV ratio, Black Beauty offers an array of effects that could be appealing to both recreational and medicinal users.