From its history as an unfairly categorized and misunderstood plant, to cannabis’ current status as a now legal (in some areas) and yet still misunderstood plant, everything about cannabis is complicated.

Of the over 400 chemical compounds found within cannabis, more than 60 of them are cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are primarily responsible for producing the vast array of effects most commonly associated with cannabis.

While we’ve just begun to understand the full scope and complexity of this beautiful and historically misunderstood plant, we do know a few basics. Let’s break them down for you.


Until the emergence of CBD (more on that below), of all the significant cannabinoids, THC was the most commonly referenced and understood. THC is the abbreviation for a scientific label you’re likely to forget—Delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. And, as previously mentioned, it is the most well-known cannabinoid. THC is responsible for most of the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis. To put it simply, THC gets you high. That’s not all it does, however. THC has proven to have numerous therapeutic effects and is considered an antioxidant, helping to protect your brain and providing general relief from pain and inflammation..

From farmers markets to your local pet store, to sparkling water, CBD is all the rage (we published a blog about CBD), and because of this, there’s a ton of misinformation floating around about it. What is CBD and what does it do? Let’s start with the basics.

CBD is the second most common cannabinoid found within cannabis. Unlike its psychoactive cousin, THC, CBD doesn’t bind itself to the same CB1 or CB2 Receptors (learn more about those here), which means, in basic terms, CBD doesn’t get you high. That said CBD has a whole range of positive attributes that help to explain its newfound fame. CBD has been shown to help relieve nausea, inflammation, and anxiety. It is for this reason many consumers prefer CBD to THC—they can get the benefits of cannabis without experiencing the head-high from THC.


Concentrates extracted with PHO are made exactly the same way as with the BHO process, except the processor uses propane as the solvent instead of butane.

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CBN isn’t as widely known as THC or CBD; this is due mainly to the lengthy history of cannabis prohibition (ongoing in many parts of our country) which has kept researchers from being able to study the lesser-known compounds found within cannabis. As THC oxidizes, it becomes CBN. It is for this reason that old or improperly stored cannabis has higher-levels of CBN than fresh flower stored in an airtight container. Like CBD, CBN is non-psychoactive and is known to assist with general pain relief, is anti-convulsive, and, most importantly, helps to provide restful sleep.

As researchers continue to study cannabinol, CBN-rich products will begin to hit the market. For now, there are very few products available specific to CBN. Drop by your favorite Lightshade location to discuss available products.

CBG (cannabigerol), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and like CBD, it won’t get you high. CBG plays a critical role in the biochemistry of cannabis, as it is the foundation of THC and CBD. While only minimal amounts of CBG have been identified in cannabis strains, there are hemp strains cultivated specifically to contain higher yields of this cannabinoid. Researchers have found CBG to possess potent antibacterial properties. They’ve also been able to uncover positive attributes related to CBG such as the reduction of intraocular pressure (fluid pressure inside the eye), making this cannabinoid an excellent option for patients experiencing glaucoma. CBG has been discovered to be a neuroprotectant, aids with skin ailments, stimulates appetite and is helpful in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

Written by canna center

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