An Overview of the Different Types of Cannabinoids

Here we will go over the different types of cannabinoids.

The cannabis plant contains over 480 compounds, many of which are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are responsible for how marijuana makes you feel and offer many health benefits.

Over 100 cannabinoids have been found in the cannabis plant, many of which have been discovered over the last decade.

Keep reading to learn about the most popular cannabinoids and the health benefits they provide.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC is the most famous cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant because it is the one that gets you high.

However, THC offers many benefits other than its psychoactive effects. Medically, this cannabinoid is used for pain relief, inflammation, mood regulation, mild sedation, and muscle disorders. THC is also an antioxidant, neuroprotectant, bronchodilator, appetite stimulant, and antispasmodic.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is another cannabinoid that has gained popularity over the years. 

This cannabinoid is primarily known for its ability to relieve or minimize pain, depression, and anxiety.

CBD is also an immunosuppressant, neuroprotectant, antipsychotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. Most individuals use CBD via topicals, edibles, bath bombs, and smokeable flower.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCa)

THCa is the precursor to THC, and THC is not created until decarboxylated with heat. 

This cannabinoid is antiemetic, neuroprotectant, anticonvulsant, and anti-inflammatory. 

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa)

Like THCa, CBDa is the precursor to CBD and does not synthesize until decarboxylated.

CBDa is great for anxiety, mood disorders, nausea, and digestion. Additionally, CBDa has been shown to decrease the growth of breast cancer cells.


Cannabigerol (CBG)

CBG is found in small concentrations but plays a major role in creating marijuana’s signature effects.

CBG is referred to as the “mother of all cannabinoids” because, without it, many other cannabinoids like THC and CBD would not exist.

All cannabinoids start as CBG, and its precursor CBGa is the precursor for the most infamous cannabinoids-THCa and CBDa.

On its own, CBG is a pain reliever, muscle relaxant, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antidepressant, and antihypertensive.


CBN has recently gained the interest of researchers and cannabis consumers because of its extremely sedative effects. Since CBN is another cannabinoid found in minute concentration levels, researchers were unable to recognize its benefits until the last few years.

Research is still limited; however, it is known that CBN is one of the best cannabinoids for achieving therapeutic effects because it is a strong sedative and anticonvulsant. Many consumers that use CBN for insomnia and anxiety report a large decrease in symptoms. 

CBN is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-MRSA, and antibiotic, making it great for the immune system.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

CBC is the third most abundant cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, behind THC and CBD. Many people refer to CBC as the “sibling” cannabinoid to THC and CBD because it shares the CBGa precursor.

CBC is non-intoxicating and offers many health benefits. The most notable benefits are its pain-relieving and pain-desensitizing effects. Additionally, this cannabinoid is great for reducing inflammation. 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv)

THCv is similar to THC on a molecular level but has a longer hydrocarbon chain. Although similar, THCv interacts with our bodies differently than THC. 


This cannabinoid is most commonly known for its appetite-suppressing qualities, and ability to help with diabetes, panic attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, and bone growth.

If used in high quantities THCv can get you high, and many consumers report a more hallucinogenic experience.

Hydrox4phc (PHC)

PHC is thought to be the newest cannabinoid discovery in the hemp plant; however, PHC is not a naturally occurring compound. PHC is a lab-created cannabinoid created by extracting CBD from hemp and exposing it to acetate. This process creates a product that is similar to THC.

The effects of PHC are thought to be more intense than THC and provide the consumer with feelings of euphoria and a boost of energy. Additionally, PHC has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.


The most commonly discussed, used, and researched cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Before becoming THC and CBD, these cannabinoids are THCa and CBDa, which are synthesized into their well-known forms through the decarboxylation process of heating the plant.

THCv and PHC are similar to THC but in different ways.THCv is similar on a molecular level, and PHC provides similar intoxicating effects to THC but is lab-created. 

CBN is known for being a sedative cannabinoid. CBG is the mother of all cannabinoids because it is the precursor to all other cannabinoids, and CBC is the sibling cannabinoid because it shares the same CBGa precursor.