By Spencer Brooks
There’s a good chance you’ve heard about THC, the main intoxicating compound in cannabis [*]. But did you know that there’s a lot more to cannabis than just THC?
THC is one of more than 100 cannabinoids -- compounds found in cannabis that influence your brain function [*]. Until recently, most cannabis research has focused on THC. But in the last decade, scientists have begun to explore the many other compounds in cannabis, and the potential benefits they may offer.
Here’s a look at the most promising non-THC cannabinoids in cannabis, as well as the latest research on what each one may offer.
CBD is probably the second most famous compound in cannabis. It’s THC’s non-intoxicating cousin, meaning it won’t make you feel ‘high’ [*]. That’s a major benefit for a lot of patients as CBD may still offer similar symptom relief as THC without the intoxicating effects [*].
Research shows that CBD may be supportive for:
High-CBD cannabis strains:
After discovering THCV and doing a couple preliminary studies, researchers set THCV aside for several decades, focusing instead on THC. In the last few years, however, there’s been renewed interest in THCV.
While we’re still just beginning to understand what THCV does, research has found a couple interesting potential benefits. This cannabinoid may help with:
Blood sugar balance. Diabetics who took THCV saw a significant decrease in their blood sugar levels [*], and rats given THCV showed better blood sugar control [*]. THCV may help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, and the energy dip that comes with them.
Quick note: if you’re vaping and you want THCV, you’ll want to turn your vaporizer temperature up pretty high -- to at least 220 °C (428 °F). That’s the temperature at which THCV vaporizes.
High-THCV cannabis strains:
THCA is the raw, unheated form of THC. Heating cannabis (and, to a lesser extent, drying it) converts THCA to THC.
However, you can also use unheated cannabis and get THCA instead of THC. THCA is non-intoxicating and may have a few potential benefits. It may help with:
Any high-THC flower that hasn’t been heated will have plenty of THCA. One of the most popular ways to consume THCA is by juicing it. Many people also add raw cannabis to smoothies to get THCA.
High-THCA cannabis strains (as long as they’re unheated):
Keep in mind that these strains may also contain some THC, even if they’re unheated, so you may still feel the intoxicating effects.
Juicing, adding to a smoothie, or otherwise consuming raw high-CBD cannabis will give you a big dose of CBDA. While this cannabinoid doesn’t have any human research backing it yet, several animal studies have found that CBDA may help with:
High-CBDA cannabis strains (as long as they’re unheated):
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different cannabinoids, and researchers are just starting to learn about most of them [*]. As cannabis research continues, we may discover even more therapeutic uses for cannabis.
In the meantime, THC and CBD have a wide variety of potential benefits that are pretty well-established, from pain management to improved mood [*]. If you want to give them a try, talk to a medical professional today and find out if cannabis is right for you. You can do your evaluation online in just a few minutes, and if you’re approved, you can have cannabis delivered right to your door.