This story originally appeared on Caliva Weekly.
You’ve probably heard of THC, the “active ingredient” in cannabis that gets you high. Perhaps you’ve also heard of CBD and its use for pain relief. But these are just two of more than 100 natural compounds – known as cannabinoids – that are found in cannabis. If you’re a little lost when it comes to all those acronyms, don’t worry: here are a few of the major cannabinoids and what you can generally expect when consuming each one.
What is THC?
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the king of the cannabinoids – this guy is the one that makes you feel that traditional “high” or “stoned” feeling. THC is measured by percentages in flower (the cannabis bud itself, used for smoking and vaping) and by milligrams in edibles. THC content is similar to alcohol content: the more there is, the bigger the buzz. THC can also help users with:
- Pain relief and relaxation
- Lack of appetite
- Anxiety and depression
- Energy levels
Looking for high levels of THC? Try: Caliva Collection Alien OG.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid used for medical and healing purposes. CBD has therapeutic and medical benefits but with none of the buzz. It has been shown to help with:
- Pain, nausea, convulsions, and inflammation
- High blood sugar
- Psychosis and anxiety
- Bone cell growth
Looking for high levels of CBD? Try: Select’s Lemon-Ginger CBD Tincture.
What is CBN?
CBN, or cannabinol, is a cannabinoid with little to no psychoactive effect, but powerful sedating effects. If you have insomnia, or you’ve been counting sheep to get to sleep, ditch the wool and try some CBN. Research shows that 5 mg of CBN is as effective as 10 mg dose of diazepam, a pharmaceutical sedative. CBN also shows promising results for:
- Pain relief
- Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsive needs
- Bone cell growth
- Stimulating appetite
Looking for high CBN levels? THC converts to CBN after exposure to oxygen over time, so you could always leave a nugget out in the open for a while (though we don’t recommend it). Try: CBN concentrates or tinctures.
What is THCV?
THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, breaks all the stereotypes – this cannabinoid is an appetite suppressant. Yup, smoking the right strains might make you put down the chip bag instead of picking it up. Research is still ongoing, but THCV may also:
- Help with diabetes and Alzheimer’s
- Reduce panic attacks
- Stimulate bone growth
Looking for high levels of THCV? Try: African sativas, like Durban Poison.
What is THCa?
THCa, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. THCa converts to THC as the plant dries. Studies have begun to show that THCa has:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Neuroprotective properties
- Anti-nausea properties
- Anti-proliferative properties (i.e., slowing the spread of malignant cells)
Looking for high levels of THCa? Try: juicing with high-THC, raw cannabis (like you would with spinach or other leafy greens).
What is CBDa?
CBDa, or cannabidiolic acid, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is a precursor to CBD; that is, CBDA converts to CBD as the plant material is heated. Therefore, many conditions that respond well to CBD may also respond to CBDa. Studies have shown the anti-nausea potential of CBDa, and it’s also thought to be an:
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea agent
- Antioxidant and painkiller
- Anti-proliferative and antibacterial/antimicrobial
Looking for high levels of CBDa? Try: juicing with raw cannabis strain that’s high in CBD.