Cannabinoids Part 2:  CBG, CBN, And THCV

Cannabis has many organic chemical compounds, hundreds actually. Last week, we discussed two that are key to our cannabis high: THC and CBD. The week before, we reviewed the other half of the organic chemical compound equation: terpenes. And while these are all important, crucial even, there are definitely a few more cannabinoids that contribute to the beauty of the “entourage effect”: CBG, CBN, and THCV.

To review, we’ve established how essential cannabinoids are to our cannabis consumption. These organic puzzle pieces enhance our high; they change it, adding definition and dimension to the experience. Cannabinoids exist both in plant life (i.e., phytocannabinoids) and within our own body (i.e., endocannabinoids). In fact, our body has an entire system dedicated to the interaction between the two. Recently discovered in 1988 (after the discovery of THC and CBD in 1964), the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is critical for functioning. It governs the part of our body that regulates itself for survival. Our ECS oversees our “learning and memory, emotional processing, sleep, temperature control, pain control, inflammatory and immune responses, and eating,” just to name a few. Part of what makes ECS so critical is the location of its receptors, as a majority are found throughout our brain, nervous system, and immune system. So, if one is struggling with symptoms from a mental or physical health disorder, cannabinoids have a ton of potential for relief. 

First up is cannabigerol (CBG; canna-bih-jerol). She’s the momma bear of the cannabinoids. Without CBG, there is no THC or CBD since these two are derivatives of the CBG cannabinoid. CBG is non-intoxicating and is fondly remembered by a few of our staff as the cannabinoid that adds to the giggly high we sometimes stumble upon. Found in most varieties, CBG is especially prevalent in newly growing baby cannabis plants. Its properties add an uplifting effect and counteract the paranoia that’s typically associated with THC. CBG is also great for fighting inflammation and nausea, and given the brain receptors and regions that CBG works on, it can be used for pain relief and as a muscle relaxant.

Next up, we have cannabinol (CBN; canna-bih-nohl). Found more abundantly when THC ages, CBN is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that’s more prevalent in older cannabis. Research shows CBN helps in fighting against inflammation, with benefits to appetite stimulation and glaucoma, and can also serve as a neuroprotectant! You may have heard CBN is the “sleepy cannabinoid”; however, research has shown insufficient evidence to substantiate this claim. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is provided by leading cannabis research and neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo, who highlights an often overlooked variable that sways CBN’s “entourage effect” towards the sleepier side of things. That is, given that CBN is more prevalent in older cannabis plants, it’s possible that terpenes with a more volatile profile (terps that are associated with a more uplifting, energizing effect) dry out faster than the terps with the more “chill” properties. Ultimately, given the complex nature of the “entourage effect,” more research is needed to finalize where CBN falls and other effects it provides. In the meantime, one way to remember this cannabinoid is “N for nighttime.”

Finally, we have tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV; tetra-hydro-canna-biv-ar-in). THCV is similar to THC in its molecular structure and effects, so this cannabinoid is more commonly known as THC’s relative. Different in how it lacks significant intoxicating effects, THCV is another great cannabinoid to get familiar with. Research in rodents has shown THCV to help suppress appetite, increase the sense of fullness, and regulate energetic metabolism. THCV has also been shown to help with reducing anxiety without reducing emotion. Additionally, given the chain of effects that occur when THCV is processed in our body (specifically our serotonin receptors), it’s also possible THCV can help in coping with conditions like depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain (just to name a few).

And that’s a wrap on cannabinoids! 

If you’re interested in exploring these organic compounds a little more, check out our online menu! We have plenty of products that carry these neat cannabinoids. For example, if gummies or tinctures are more your vibe, then check out our Kanha’s Acai Blueberry Harmony (2:1 CBG: THC) gummies or Treeworks Jungle Drops (which has a 1:1:1:1:1 ratio with CBD: CBC:CBG: CBN: THC). And, if vapes or flowers are more up your alley, check out Maven Kind’s Chasing Fireflies or Root & Bloom’s Cherry Pie OG for a good percentage of THCV and CBG (respectively). 

Just know that here at COW, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. 

Stay tuned! Next week, we’re reviewing a few in-store strains and their effects.


Written by Coralys De Jesus

Edited by Laura Ellis



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