Glossary of Terms
Terminology and quick reference guide of common cannabinoids and potential uses.
Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. In 2018, clinical research on cannabidiol included preliminary studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.
Cannabidiolic acid is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and the acidic precursor to CBD. CBDA can be found in the live or raw form of cannabis, particularly in the hemp plant and strains bred to cultivate higher CBD levels. CBDA converts to CBD through decarboxylation, which occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat or sunlight.
CBDA shows promise as an anticonvulsant, anti-nausea and vomiting agent, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. CBDA may also have antibacterial, antioxidant and cancer preventing properties.
Cannabinol is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found only in trace amounts in Cannabis, and is mostly found in aged Cannabis. Pharmacologically relevant quantities are formed as a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol. CBN acts as a partial agonist at the CB1 receptors, but has a higher affinity to CB2 receptors; however, it has lower affinities relative to THC. Degraded or oxidized cannabis products, such as low-quality baled cannabis and traditionally produced hashish, are high in CBN.
CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t produce the “highs” that are synonymous with THC. Because it is present in low levels (usually less than 1%) in most cannabis strains, CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid.
Cannabichromene is one of the 120 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, and is therefore a phytocannabinoid. It bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, and cannabinol, among others.
Cannabicyclol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis. CBL is a degradative product like cannabinol. Light converts cannabichromene into CBL.
Cannabivarin, also known as cannabivarol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in minor amounts in the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It is an analog of cannabinol (CBN) with the side chain shortened by two methylene bridges (-CH2-). CBV is an oxidation product of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV, THV).
Tetrahydrocannabivarin is a homologue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) having a propyl
(3-carbon) side chain instead of a pentyl (5-carbon) group on the molecule, which makes
it produce very different effects from THC.
Cannabidivarin is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis. It is a homolog of cannabidiol (CBD), with the side-chain shortened by two methylene bridges(CH2 units). Cannabidivarin has anticonvulsant effects.
CBCV typically exists in cannabis strains at lower levels than THC and CBD. It’s related to cannabichromene), another cannabinoid that appears in smaller amounts than the two main ones. Compared to CBC, CBCV has a similar but shorter chemical structure. It is a propyl cannabinoid, which means it has a propyl chain in its molecular structure.
One of the most beneficial medicinal cannabinoids offered by the cannabis herb is cannabigerovarin, a derivative of cannabigerol, a molecule that has been described as the “mother of all cannabinoids” due to its role as the molecular source of all other cannabinoids — including THC and cannabidiol.
Like most cannabinoids, CBGV produces no psychoactive effects when ingested or inhaled. Researchers theorize that it may boost the ability of the cellular receptors in the ECS to more readily bind with THC molecules. Some researchers believe that CBGV also boosts CBD metabolism within the body, making CBD more potent when paired with this cannabinoid.
CBGV has been found to display analgesic (painkilling) and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective for conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. Although many cannabinoids have been found to improve the quality of skin or combat diseases of the epidermis, CBGV features the relatively unique characteristic of improving and sometimes cure dry-skin conditions.
Like other cannabinoids, CBGV provides great promise in cancer treatment, especially for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Clinical research has observed CBGV to be cytostatic in leukemic cells, meaning that it inhibits the growth and division of these cancer cells.
Cannabigerol monomethyl ether is a natural cannabinoid classified into the cannabigerol — CBG — group. These cannabinoids are grouped together because they possess properties similar to CBG. Like many other cannabinoids, not much is currently known about CBGM.
Cannabielsoin (CBE) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from CBD. It is produced metabolism of CBD, or exposure of CBD to the elements. Little else is known about CBE.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis.
THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Like most pharmacologically-active secondary metabolites of plants, THC is a lipid found in cannabis, assumed to be involved in the plant's self-defense, putatively against insect predation, ultraviolet light, and environmental stress.