In today’s day and age there are more buzzwords to keep up with than ever in the cannabis industry. What was once considered a simple, low key vice for high schoolers and burnouts has become legal, medicalized, socially acceptable, and more researched than ever before. We know more about this amazing plant than the generations that came before us, and that means there’s a ton of “new” terminology to be hip to. One of those terms that has really made an impact is “cannabinoid”. What are cannabinoids, exactly, and how do they differ from each other?
What are cannabinoids?
According to ScienceDirect, “cannabinoids are a group of compounds that are biologically and structurally similar to the chemical compounds of Cannabis sativa.” Cannabinoids are actually present within our bodies (these are endocannabinoids); the cannabinoids found in cannabis are phytocannabinoids because they come from a plant. Both sets of cannabinoids work with our body’s endocannabinoid system. Here, we’re going to focus on the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp.
There are many different cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp, but for decades the only one talked about outside of the scientific community was delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC. This cannabinoid is famous for being the reason people get high when they smoke weed. It naturally occurs in significant amounts in the cannabis plant (the amount present depends on the specific strain). For years, this was really the only cannabinoid getting people high, but thanks to modern technology and scientific advancements, that is no longer the case.
The first cannabinoid (aside from THC) to enter mainstream news and conversation was cannabidiol aka CBD. I’m sure we all remember about four or five years ago when CBD first started getting a lot of hype. It was the answer to everything, and unlike THC, legal everywhere in the US. The sudden hype was due to the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp on a federal level. This opened the door for people to work with the plant without dealing with legal repercussions or facing the stigma that comes along with anything that makes you feel as good as weed does.
Like THC, CBD naturally occurs in significant amounts of cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike THC, CBD does not get you high, so this cannabinoid was the answer for people who wanted to enjoy the benefits of the cannabis plant without the high. While the hype has died down a little, you can still find CBD in everything from drinks, to gummies, to topical creams, or even available as an addition to your latte or cocktail.
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (aka delta 8) was the next cannabinoid to make waves in the US. Again, this is thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Delta 8 occurs naturally in cannabis and hemp but in very small amounts. For years, delta 8 was a pain in the ass to extract because there just wasn’t a lot of it so you would need tons of plants to yield a usable amount. This all changed in 2002 when “Grandfather of Cannabis” Raphael Mechoulam filed for a patent for the process of isomerization. This was a process that would convert the naturally abundant cannabinoid CBD to delta 8.
While isomerization was innovative and exciting, cannabis and hemp were still mostly illegal in the US. After the Farm Bill was passed, people realized they could legally use hemp-derived CBD to make delta 8. This sparked a new wave of new ways to get high. Choose from our selection of delta 8 prerolls and blunts to see this innovation for yourself.
Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, was the next cannabinoid to make an impact across the country. Like delta 8, HHC naturally occurs in the plants in small amounts. After the Farm Bill was passed, scientists once again turned to hemp-derived CBD. By adding hydrogen to CBD, chemists could create HHC. The process is actually similar to the way margarine is made. Like delta 8, HHC provides a high without all the paranoia and anxiety that accompanies delta 9. Choose from our selection of HHC prerolls or vapes; we have a flavor for every mood.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, would be most comparable to CBD. This cannabinoid doesn’t get you high, but works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce relaxing effects. It is super prevalent in young plants, but the amount decreases as the plants mature. In recent years farmers have been able to breed plants to have higher concentrations of CBG. According to the entourage effect, cannabinoids work better together than they do alone. You can experience this for yourself by trying our HHC or delta 8 prerolls which both contain CBG.
So despite one cannabinoid getting all the attention for several decades, laws and perception on cannabis and hemp have finally evolved enough to grant us access to several other components of hemp and cannabis. Today, we understand more than ever about this magical plant. There truly is a cannabinoid out there for everyone. Whether you’re looking for delta 8, HHC, or CBG, we’ve got you covered here at DVNT.