Cannabis is a very complex plant that contains over 400 compounds, 60 of those being cannabinoids. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD have taken the stage as the stars of the show, but there are other key compounds in the complex cannabis plant that contribute to its therapeutic qualities. Today we will be discussing four of these key compounds.
Out of the hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant there are about 60 cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are usually categorized by their degree of psychoactivity. THC or delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive component of cannabis and CBD or cannabidiol is the star of the non-psychoactive compounds. Those are only 2 of 60 cannabinoids, so why don’t we hear about the others more often?
Cannabis cannabinoids begin as their acid-based sisters. Once they are decarboxylated that become the names that may ring a bell. All cannabinoids contribute to the therapeutic quality of the plant, and each, just like terpenes has its own unique properties. Here is a list of the most common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant:
- THC (Delta9–tetrahydrocannabinol)
- THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)
- CBD (Cannabidiol)
- CBG (Cannabigerol)
- CBC (Cannabichromene)
- CBGV (Cannabigerivarin)
- CBDV (Cannabidivarin)
- CBCV (Cannabichromevarin)
Terpenes are organic compounds found in cannabis, as well as many other plants, that are responsible for the plant’s noteworthy smell. But, that is not all that these powerful compounds do! Over 100 terpenes naturally occur in the cannabis plant, with the purpose of protecting the plant from predators in the wild. Terpenes not only make each individual strain of cannabis smell differently, but also pack their own therapeutic qualities.
Terpenes work together in the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids and other compounds to contribute to the entourage effect. Terpenes act on serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and GABA receptors, all of which directly affect mood, making these a key player in the way that you experience cannabis. The common terpenes like Myrcene, Beta-Caryophyllene, and Linalool have properties for relaxation, inflammation, and more. Check out our past blog posts to learn more about the properties of each terpene we add into our products.
Flavonoids are not something you hear as commonly as cannabinoids and terpenes, but they also contribute to the therapeutic qualities of the cannabis plant. There are about 20 Flavonoids, which all contribute to the color of the plant, but they also play a role in the synergy of the entourage effect. Cannabis has its own unique flavonoids called cannaflavins that studies have revealed to have properties like: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and neuroprotective effects. So we can thank flavonoids for the beauty of the cannabis plant, but do not overlook them for the unique qualities that the cannaflavin compounds bring to the plant.
LIPIDS & OMEGA FATTY ACIDS
Lipids and omega fatty acids naturally occur in the cannabis plant, and are not usually discussed when it comes to smoking or vaping cannabis flower, but they do contribute to the entourage effects in products like tinctures. Lipids are insoluble fats that are removed from flower, but are important to maintain the full spectrum oils used in tinctures, mainly for the absorption process. Omega Fatty Acids are notorious for their heart healthy and anti-inflammatory properties. These small but mighty fat based compounds are a key compound.