The hemp and cannabis market has expanded in recent years. Gone are the days when THC was the solo star of the show. Today, there are many different cannabinoids to choose from, and consumers are interested in more than just the THC content of their bud. With all of these recent developments, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s what. Consider this your complete cannabinoid guide. Read on to learn more about cannabinoids, and the distinct properties of some of the most popular varieties on the market.
In the meantime, shop our extensive selection of cannabinoids! Choose from delta 8, THCA, or HHC blunts and prerolls. Are edibles more your vibe? Check our our delta 8 corn puffs, or our multi-cannabinoid gummies! Our gummies are made with various combinations of HHC, delta 8, HHCP, and THCP. There truly is a cannabinoid for every occasion.
What are cannabinoids?
It’s only fair to start off this cannabinoid guide at the beginning. What exactly are cannabinoids, anyway? There are different types of cannabinoids- phytocannabinoids, and endocannabinoids. Both are chemical compounds. Phytocannabinoids refer to those found in plants (for example, THC found in cannabis). Endocannabinoids refer to these compounds within our own bodies that bear a structural similarity to the cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Both of these types of cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system located in the human body. The cannabinoids in our body interact with the ECS to regulate functions within the body. Since the phytocannabinoids in cannabis are so similar to these endocannabinoids, they also interact with the ECS. This interaction is responsible for the effects we feel when we consume hemp or cannabis.
Over one hundred cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis. Some are better understood than others, and more research is still needed to fully understand all of their effects and potential. Not all of these cannabinoids produce a high. Our ECS is made up of different receptors- the CB1 receptors, and the CB2 receptors. If a cannabinoid is unable to attach to the CB1 receptors, then it does not produce a high. Each cannabinoid’s interaction with both of these receptors is unique, and this interaction determines the effects a person will experience when consuming the cannabinoid.
Delta 9 THC
First up on our cannabinoid guide is the most famous cannabinoid of all, delta 9 THC. When people mention THC, they are referring to delta 9. It is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis, and famously produces psychoactive effects when consumed.
Delta 8 THC
Delta 8 is another form of THC, initially discovered in the 1940s by American chemist Roger Adams. Due to its slightly different molecular structure, delta 8 attaches less securely to our CB1 receptors than its more popular cousin. This means its effects are milder than those of delta 9. While both delta 8 and delta 9 are found naturally in the cannabis plant, delta 8 is not as abundant. Cannabis chemist Raphael Mechoulam innovated the process of isomerization in 2002 to convert naturally abundant CBD into delta 8. This is how most delta 8 is produced today.
Delta 8 users can expect to feel a milder high. Its reduced potency means less potential for anxiety and paranoia. 74% of participants in this survey denied feeling anxious after using delta 8, and 83% reported that they did not experience paranoia.
HHC or hexahydrocannabinol, is a hydrogenated form of THC initially pioneered by Roger Adams in the 1940s. Its potency lies somewhere between delta 8 and delta 9. Aside from its stimulating high, HHC is known for being extremely shelf-stable. This means it is less susceptible to damage from light, heat, and oxygen.
HHCP is an extra-potent form of HHC. It’s essentially HHC with an enhanced carbon side chain. This little bit of chemistry results in an extremely strong bond with the CB1 receptors. Specifically, HHCP bonds with these receptors at a rate that is up to thirty times as efficient as HHC. This extra attachment makes HHC potentially ten times as potent as HHC.
THCP was only discovered a few years ago, in 2019 by a team of Italian researchers. This naturally occurring cannabinoid has a great affinity for our CB1 receptors. It binds to these receptors up to thirty-three times as often as THC. Since it’s a relatively new discovery, not much is known about THCP. That being said, it’s clear that a much lower dose of THCP would be needed to produce psychoactive effects. Consumers looking for a wild ride, this is the cannabinoid for you.
THCA is the acidic form of THC. It is found naturally, in abundance, in raw hemp and cannabis plants. In its raw form, THCA is not psychoactive. However, when you add heat, its chemical structure changes, and THCA transforms into THC. The heat in question can come from a lighter, a vape, or the heat from an oven when you decarb your flower before making edibles. In fact, this chemical reaction is the entire reason you do these things in the first place. If you want to experience non-psychoactive THCA, you need to consume raw cannabis, or enjoy a specially made tincture. Looking to get high? Smoke one of our THCA blunts or prerolls, and do a little bit of cannabinoid conversion of your own.
The bottom line
There you have it, a cannabinoid guide to help you navigate our site. The difference in effects produced by each different cannabinoid all comes down to chemical structure, and how each cannabinoid interacts with our ECS. Whether you’re looking for a milder experience, or to get totally toasted, there’s a cannabinoid out there for everyone. Even more exciting is that there are still more cannabinoids to be discovered, and more research to be completed on the cannabinoids we do know about.