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List of Marijuana Cannabinoids and Their Effects

Cannabinoids are the components of cannabis that affects your body in different ways. The psychoactive chemicals are responsible for making you high and feel incredibly happy. Others are responsible for relaxing you and making you want to sleep.

While there are more than 100 cannabinoids identified and researchers are finding more, we will talk about the five that have a known effect onyour body. Let us give you a close look at the well-known cannabinoids in your marijuana stash and discuss what they do to your system.


Quite possibly the most popular cannabinoid that nearly every marijuana user knows. Dispensaries will often display the THC content of each strain they have for sale. Even marijuana edible labels show the THC potency for each serving portion.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the psychoactive components of THC that hits you with a euphoric high. While under this effect, you will feel a drastic improvement to your mood. The cannabinoid also has other effects on your body such as pain and inflammation reduction. THC will also soothe your nerves and muscles. A certain amount of it can even help you control nausea and gag reflex.

To understand how THC affects your body, let us cover the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body. ECS is a network of cell receptors that interact with THC and other cannabinoids. People who do not have these receptors will not experience most of the cannabinoid effects.

You have two types of cannabinoid receptors in your body. The first type is CB1 is inside your brain, eyes, and retina. They are also inside both genders sexual organs. The second type or CB2 is inside your immune system. Majority of these receptors are within your spleen.

When you smoke or consume weed, THC binds with the CB1 receptors present in your brain. When the two mingle together, your brain releases certain chemicals in your system. One of the notable effects of these chemicals is a rise in dopamine release.

Dopamine is an organic chemical that many refer to as the pleasure hormone. This is what spreads around the body when you are working hard on a project and get a big payout or reward for it. Think of participating in an intense leg race with other people.

When you push your body to the limit and be the first one to cross that finish line, that incredible joy and body shaking excitement that hits you like a truck come from dopamine. This is why smoking THC makes you feel like winning or that every dark part of your world just became brighter.

THC can also affect the cannabinoid receptors in various parts of your brain that is responsible for bodily functions and behavior. One of which is the hypothalamus that regulates your appetite and sexual arousal. THC can also affect the amygdala, a part of your brain that controls your emotions and behavior.

You will not have any problem with finding strains, concentrates, or even edibles that contains THC. The highest amount of THC levels to expect from strains are around 20 to 30 percent. Moderate THC potency is around 10 to 20 percent.

Marijuana with low THC potency of around 1 to 10 percent is often those rich in CBD such as the ACDC or Harlequin. Concentrates often have a much higher THC level since you smoke them in small amounts.

It is important to note that having too much THC in your system can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as heightened paranoia and anxiety attacks. Overdosing in THC is common among those who eat edibles because of its cannabinoid’s delayed effect.

Fortunately, these symptoms are not as lethal as other substances such as alcohol. The effect of the THC gradually fades over time. Here is an educational video to show how too much marijuana is not as dangerous as drinking too much beer.
Marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol

hTreating THC overdose is to wait it out. It helps if you have someone to give you assurance and to calm you down if you feel a wave of a panic attack coming up or are hallucinating. The key is to relax as much as possible. Listen to your favorite chill music or watch some comedy movies. Taking a long bath can also help you kill time as your system purges the cannabinoid from your body.


Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the raw or unheated version THC. This cannabinoid is the acid form of the psychoactive THC since they have nearly the same molecular structure. What sets the two apart is the added carboxyl group in THC, which occurs when marijuana is heated. This decarboxylation process changes THCA to THC.

Nearly every cannabis plant has THCA within them, even the dried up strain in a joint or pipe. When you light the strain with fire, you turn the THCA into the high inducing THC. In the case of edibles, it already has THC content instead of THCA. This is due to the decarboxylation method most recipes use to add the psychoactive ingredient to oil or butter.

Unlike THC, THCA does not bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your system. On the other hand, THCA still has some medical benefits such as being able to inhibit the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes in your system. These enzymes are responsible for the inflammation of your body. THCA acts like aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications that stop the enzyme.

The cannabinoid can also interact with your system’s TRPA1 receptors. These are responsible for controlling your body’s response to pain and irritation.

Researchers are also seeing various benefits of the cannabinoid. THCA can decrease the risk of experiencing an early onset of diabetes. The cannabinoid even has an anti-emetic trait that controls nausea and prevents you from losing your appetite. THCA offer a wide range of medical uses due to its non-psychoactive properties. You can easily get this cannabinoid from juicing raw marijuana plants. If you are cultivating cannabis strain at home, you can turn your male plants into nutritional green juice instead of just discarding it to the trash. Otherwise, you can also add parts of the plant such as the leaves to your meals.


Apart from THC, Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second popular cannabinoid among marijuana users. Even people who do not consume cannabis are familiar with CBD. The reason for its popularity is the many medical application of the cannabinoid minus the psychoactive properties. Basically, CBD allows you to enjoy the benefits of marijuana without getting high.

Unlike THC, CBD does not bind with CB1 receptors directly. The cannabinoid can even prevent THC from bonding with the receptors as well. This is why CBD rich strains barely make you high as other weed.

The cannabinoid interacts with other receptors in your body such as transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V (TRPV1). The receptor is responsible for how your body reacts to pain as well as inflammation and body temperature regulation. It also interacts with other receptors within your immune system and brain that is responsible for pain. This is how CBD helps you find relief from various pain and inflammation around your body.

The effect of the cannabinoid is beneficial for people suffering from serious medical conditions such as arthritis and musculoskeletal problems.

Apart from pain, CBD also helps ease away anxiety and nausea by activating your hydroxytryptamine (5-HT1A) serotonin receptor. The receptor controls various neurological functions within your body such as cravings for certain substances or food as well as drowsiness. When the 5-HT1A activates within your system, it sends out signals to different parts of your body to encourage the production of specific chemicals or inhibit the production of compounds.

Many researchers have been studying CBD’s anti-cancer traits through their interaction with other receptors. One of which is a G protein-coupled receptor GPR55 or the orphan receptor. This receptor works within your cerebellum and is responsible for modulating your body’s bone density, blood pressure, and other physiological functions.

When the GPR55 receptor is overactive, it often leads to osteoporosis due to its promotion of bone reabsorption. It can even promote the proliferation of cancer cells in your body when the receptor is active. CBD blocks the GPR55 activity in your body to lower the rate of bone re-absorption and increase in cancer cells.

The non-psychoactive cannabinoid may likely be the reason why most government offices are working on legalizing marijuana. CBD has an incredible number of health benefits aside from the ones mentioned above. Here is a video to give you most of the medical uses of the cannabinoid.

You can find this cannabinoid in marijuana strains that are rich in CBD. Some of the popular ones include ACDC and Harle-Tsu. Other smokeless alternatives to enjoying CBD is through various edibles. The most common of which are CBD oils, which you can find in certain pharmacies apart from marijuana dispensaries. Some of these oils contain a number of other cannabinoids such as THC.

However, most of them are for medicinal uses only. Most CBD oils do not have any psychoactive trait to them. The cannabinoid is also available in an edible form such as chocolates and cookies.


Cannabichromene (CBC) comes from the same precursor as THC and CBD, which is cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). While not as popular as its cannabinoid siblings, CBC is one of the six important marijuana compounds among medical studies more than five decades ago. This is due to its interaction with various receptors in the body.

CBC does not bind or interact with CB1 receptors like THC. This cannabinoid’s activity is similar to CBD because of its interaction with TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors. The two receptors are responsible for how your body interprets the pain you feel. CBC binds with these receptors to encourage the production of your body’s natural endocannabinoids such as anandamide. These compounds help ease pain and inflammation.

Apart from providing pain relief, the production of your body’s endocannabinoid has other benefits. Studies show that anandamide can inhibit tumor growth within your cells. CBC further boost the efficiency of anandamide by inhibiting your body’s uptake of the endocannabinoid. This allows anandamide to stay in your bloodstream much longer.

When THC is present, CBC works with the cannabinoid to create an entourage effect. The two can act on inflammation and offer pain relief. Studies also show that THC and CBC are efficient at treating inflammation when working together than by themselves. The entourage effect of the two cannabinoids can also boost your mood to help you break free from depression.

Many marijuana strains have a good amount of CBC apart from THC and CBD. CBC rich strains include Charlotte’s Web and Purple Cadillac. The cannabinoid is not available in other forms like THC, THCA, and CBD. However, certain marijuana producers have CBC oil available.


Cannabinol (CBN) is another psychoactive cannabinoid within marijuana. CBN interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. CBN is actually the result of oxidizing THC or in degrading this cannabinoid. Oxidation occurs when THC chemically binds with oxygen.

While THC is all about hitting you with a euphoric high, CBN delivers a strong sedative effect. This is due to the binding of the CB2 receptors that are in your immune system. Unlike THC though, CBN has a mild psychoactive trait that makes you high. Instead, you get a tranquilizing wave of euphoria washing over your body. The effect of CBN is that of a stoned high that has a more narcotic trait.

CBN also interferes with the TRPV2 receptor, which is responsible for maintaining many of the biological functions within your body. This leads to better pain and inflammation management in your body. It can even calm you down when you are feeling anxious or nervous. The cannabinoid can also lower your blood pressure, which is beneficial if you are suffering from hypertension.

You can enjoy the full effect of CBN among pure or dominant indica strains. This type of cannabis has a strong sedative characteristic that relaxes you the moment you consume it.

If you are growing cannabis plants, you can turn the THC within the buds of your plants to become CBN. This involves harvesting the plants to pass its peak potency window. A good way to know if your bud is producing CBN is to check on the color of the trichomes that are surrounding the sugar leaves. When these show an amber color, most of the THC in the buds will become CBN. To know more about harvesting your plants here is a useful instruction video.


You now have a good grasp on the five major cannabinoids. By knowing the different effects they have in your body, you can pick the right cannabis products for your needs.

Among the give, be wary of the THC content of any marijuana products. If you are looking to try cannabis for the first time, consider strains that have an equal mix of CBD and THC for a mild effect. This will help you avoid overloading your system with the psychoactive cannabinoid.