Did you know that Cannabis produces over 100 Cannabinoids? With so many Cannabinoids produced by the plant, there’s only a select few that are actually produced in significant quantities. Cannabinoids are categorized into ten different structural types, with four of them being primary.
THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid or THCA)
THC is one of the most common Cannabinoids produced the Cannabis plant. Certain Cannabis plant varieties can produce up to 25 percent the Cannabis plant’s dry weight in THC acid. The most fascinating thing about this is the fact that it’s a phenomenal amount for a single secondary metabolite in any plant species. A small group of genes controls the production of THC within the plant. These genes are dominant in most drug forms of Cannabis. An enzyme reaction within the Cannabis plant using CBG as its precursor, produces THC.
Even though THC is the primary psychoactive component of Cannabis, in its raw acidic form, it is not psychoactive at all. In order to produce a psychoactive effect, THCA must be converted (decarboxylated) into THC by heating through smoking, vaping, or cooking. Once it’s heated-it becomes highly psychoactive. CB1 and CB2 are the endocannabinoid receptors that THC interacts with.
CBDA or cannabidiolic acid is the most common of phytocannabinoid produced by hemp varieties. It’s the second most in some drug Cannabis varieties. CBDA is converted to CBD by being heated over time, just as with THC.
CBG is an analgesic non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBG is the third most widespread cannabinoid produced by the Cannabis plant following THC and CBD. CBG is the forerunning cannabinoid used by the Cannabis plant to produce THC and CBD. There are very few Cannabis plant varieties have significant amounts of CBG remaining at full growth. Another important thing to note is that CBG is often produced by hemp than by marijuana.
CBC (CBCA or cannabichromemic acid)
CBC is a rare type of phytocannabinoid which is produced extremely early in the Cannabis flowering cycle. When growing specifically for CBC, it requires collecting immature flowers six weeks prior to floral maturity. It’s also thought that CBC may be concentrated in Cannabis plant parts other than just the trichome heads. CBC at this time does not seem to intercept with cannabinoid receptors.
CBN is the breakdown byproduct of THC. It’s important to understand that CBN is not produced by the Cannabis plant itself. CBN is found in old samples or poorly stored Cannabis, Cannabis oil, and Cannabis resin. CBN does not produce psychoactive effects on its own, however, it does become interactively sedative combined with THC.