What Are the Main Cannabinoids and What Do They Do?

Cannabinoids are one of the main compounds in the cannabis plant, and there are more than 120 different ones. These compounds are responsible for the benefits you get when you use a particular product. 

Every strain has varying levels of cannabinoids. The various concentrations mean that different plants can provide different results. Read on to learn a bit more about the main cannabinoids and what benefits they can offer you. 

Where Do Cannabinoids Come From?

The cannabinoids in cannabis develop over time. Young plants contain cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Over time, exposure to different enzymes causes this acid to turn into cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), and cannabichromic acid (CBCA).

For these cannabinoid acids to become active cannabinoids, they have to undergo something called decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the process of exposing the cannabis plant to heat and light, such as illuminating flowers to smoke or baking them in the oven. The process of decarboxylation is critical to reaping the benefits that the various cannabinoids have to offer. 

THC and CBD: The Two Most Abundant Cannabinoids

THC and CBD are the two most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis. Most people, whether they use cannabis or not, know that THC is a high-inducing cannabinoid. CBD, on the other hand, has a different effect. 

THC does more than make you high. One of its most well-known benefits is pain relief. The cannabinoid can also ease nausea, increase your appetite, and, in small doses, ease your anxiety. Some studies suggest that it may also play a role in improving cognitive function.

CBD won’t get you high, but it still has several benefits of its own. CBD can help ease inflammation and anxiety, boost your mood, and help with drug-resistant epilepsy. It can also help treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. CBD can also temper the effects of THC, which can give you a mellower high. 

The Main “Minor” Cannabinoids

THC and CBD tend to get all of the attention, but they’re far from the only cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The following main cannabinoids may be called “minor,” but research is showing that they can provide some significant benefits.


Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can ease pain and improve symptoms associated with depression. Studies show that it can help treat psoriasis by stopping the excessive growth of certain cells. It may also promote cancer cell death, which could make it an anti-tumor agent


Cannabichromene (CBC) is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid. It possesses pain-blocking properties and can help you fight inflammation. It may also aid in alleviating depression and treating cancer.


Cannabinol (CBN) is a byproduct that develops as a result of the degradation of THC. That means it has certain psychoactive properties. It’s present in higher amounts within older flowers. Much like CBG, CBN may help ease psoriasis symptoms. It’s also shown promise as an anticonvulsant. Finally, it may aid with improving sleep, especially if you combine it with THC. 


Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) typically occurs in small concentrations. It’s generally non-psychoactive unless you consume large doses. It may help with conditions such as diabetes, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also aid in weight loss, acting as an appetite suppressant


Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is another cannabinoid that occurs in small amounts of certain strains. Early research has shown that it could help to delay neurological defects in mice. It may also offer stronger anticonvulsant properties than CBD, and it can help ease nausea and vomiting.

Find Products to Meet Your Needs

Knowing the benefits of the main cannabinoids will help you understand more about the various products on the market. Cannabis labels offer insight into the cannabinoids each product contains, so you can make a more informed decision and find items that will provide you with your desired results. 

For the highest quality cannabis products in a Massachusetts dispensary, Campfire Cannabis has what you need. We offer an array of flowers, pre-rolls, concentrates, edibles, and more. 

As one of the best marijuana shops in the state, we can help you find products that will provide you with the results you want. Check out our store online and place your order for pick up from our West Boylston location today.

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