Minor Cannabinoids with Major Benefits
If you’re a Blue Sky Hemp customer, you’re probably already familiar with CBD and perhaps you know a thing or two about THC. These chemical compounds are commonly found in plants from the cannabis family, including hemp, psychoactive cannabis, and lesser-known varieties. These chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, react with our bodies to create different physical and mental effects.
In the last year or so, you may have noticed lots of talk about some new “acronyms” making their way into the cannabis press and on the shelves of your local dispensary. New compounds with names like CBG, CBN, and CBC are popping up alongside CBD products. As scientists are learning more about the complex chemical structure of hemp, they are finding unique uses for these “minor cannabinoids”.
Blue Sky Hemp Ventures is proud to be one of the first licensed producers in Canada to offer these extracts and a range of custom formulations for the licensed wholesale market.
How many compounds like this are there in hemp?
As far as we know, well over 100. Cannabinoids are largely stored in “trichomes” which form a sticky pollen on the outside of hemp flowers. There are other chemicals in hemp plants besides cannabinoids, such as scent-creating terpenes, which can also affect humans— but that’s a blog for another day.
In this article, we will look at minor cannabinoids known as the “big six.” These are the most commonly found cannabinoids on the market and those we know the most about. We’ll talk about what they are, their benefits, how you can use them, and where to find minor cannabinoid products.
But first, let’s talk about how cannabinoids are able to affect human bodies.
The Endocannabinoid System
Did you know that research into cannabis and hemp actually led scientists in the 90s to discover a whole new bodily system?
Like the nervous system and lymphatic system; the endocannabinoid system is made up of a series of neurotransmitters located throughout your body. These receptors regularly perform a variety of functions such as regulating mood, memory, pain, appetite and more. The endocannabinoid system reacts to compounds in hemp, which is why you can see changes in these bodily functions when you use hemp products.
There are 2 types of endocannabinoid receptors in our bodies. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found among the immune system, digestive tract and other areas of the body.
Our increasing understanding of the science behind cannabinoids is already helping consumers get the ideal benefits out of hemp and carefully target their supplement routine.
Here’s a rundown on the “big six” minor cannabinoids:
Although CBD or cannabidiol is well known on the market today, only a decade ago it was as taboo as THC in psychoactive cannabis. CBD was actually discovered in the 1940s, although serious research into its medical benefits didn’t come until 40 years later.
In the 1980s, scientists began looking into CBD as a potential treatment for rare types of epilepsy. Following the turn of the millenia and the rise of the internet, CBD started to get mainstream media attention for its potential medical value.
Changing attitudes towards hemp over the following decade led Canada and the US to legalize the growing and processing of hemp in 2018. This opened the door to the biggest market for hemp products in over 50 years.
Since then, hemp products containing CBD can be found in abundance online and in headshops, vape shops, essential oil stores and dispensaries. CBD has gained popularity among everyone from celebrities to holistic health gurus and made huge waves on social media. Millions of consumers find daily benefits from supplementing CBD, such as reduction in anxiety and improved sleep.
Potential Benefits of CBD:
- Relieves pain
- Reduces anxiety
- Boosts mood
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
- Fights inflammation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Fights insomnia
CBG, or cannabigerol, was first discovered in the 1960s, but because of its low concentrations in hemp plants, it was largely ignored until recently. This is an important cannabinoid because it is considered a precursor, or foundational molecule, from which other cannabinoids like CBD and THC are made. However, CBG is gaining popularity in its own right for its ability to address conditions like glaucoma and inflammatory bowel disease.
Remember the two types of endocannabinoid receptors that are found in different areas of the body: CB1 in the brain and CB2 in the rest of the body? CBG binds to both types or receptors, increasing the function of anandamide; a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure, motivation, appetite, sleep and pain. This means CBG has effects all throughout the body, and can also change reactions to other cannabinoids like CBD through the entourage effect.
Potential Benefits of CBG:
- Fights inflammatory bowel disease
- Decreases symptoms of glaucoma
- Slows development of Huntington’s disease
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
- Decreases intoxicating effects of THC
- Stimulates appetite
Believe it or not, cannabinol, or CBN, was actually the first compound to ever be extracted from hemp in 1899. Prior to prohibition, scientists in the 1930s were able to determine the chemical structure of CBN and by the 1940s had created a synthesized version of the chemical. So what happened?
For most of the early 20th century, scientists believed that CBN was actually the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. That is, until Isreali researchers isolated THC in the 1960s, discovering that THC was the far more dominant psychoactive chemical.
Further research determined that CBN is actually a byproduct of THC breaking down in aged cannabis. As a result, CBN is mildly psychoactive and has many similar effects to THC. Many consumers find CBN to be the best cannabinoid for use as a sleep aid.
Potential Benefits of CBN:
- Improves sleep
- Reduces chronic pain and fibromyalgia symptoms
- Fights arthritis
Cannabichromene, or CBC, is one of the cannabinoids on this list with the least known about it. Although it has a similar chemical structure to more popular cannabinoids like CBD, it works on different receptors to other cannabinoids, meaning it could provide vital medical research on how cannabis compounds interact with our bodies.
While CBC interacts to some extent with CB2 receptors, its main functions are on TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors. These are strongly linked to our perception of pain and integrating of physical stimuli. CBC also increases levels of anandamide, sometimes called “the bliss molecule” in the body. CBC may play a major role in the pain-relieving effects of cannabis and hemp.
Potential Benefits of CBC:
- Relieves chronic pain
- Reduces inflammation and fights acne
- Slows dementia through neural regeneration
- Antimicrobial and antiviral
- Stimulates brain growth
- Reduces migraines
Delta-8 is an exciting compound for consumers who enjoy the mental benefits of cannabis. That’s because delta-8 is a psychoactive compound, or “legal high” derived from hemp rather than illegal cannabis. Delta-8 is short for Delta-8 THC. As a type of THC, it is very chemically similar to its more famous cousin, Delta-9 THC. The presence of over a certain amount of Delta-9 THC is what classifies a plant from the cannabis family as “hemp” or “cannabis” and determines its legal status.
Delta-8 is about half as strong as Delta-9 THC, meaning that you would have to use about twice the amount to get a similar effect to smoking cannabis. Many people enjoy the reduced mental effect, reporting that the high feels more clear-headed, manageable, and with less chance of an anxious reaction compared to Delta-9 THC.
Many consumers use Delta-8 for similar purposes to THC, such as improved mood, increased appetite and better sleep, as well as for recreational purposes.
Potential Benefits of Delta-8:
- Increased creativity and focus
- Relieves depression
- Reduces anxiety
- Calms nausea
- Boosts appetite
- Reduces pain
- Lowers blood pressure
- Causes drowsiness
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (try saying that 10x fast!), or THCV, is chemically similar to other THC compounds. However, THCV works in a unique way that gives it distinct benefits. In small doses, THCV can work to reduce the effects of a cannabis high, but at high doses, it will get you high. A high from THCV is much shorter, more intense and less enjoyable than typical cannabis highs, so it is generally not used for these purposes.
Instead, THCV is valuable for its physical effects, which occur most noticeably in the digestive tract and inflammatory responses. One of the most promising applications of THCV might be as a natural weight-loss supplement.
Potential Benefits of THCV:
- Promotes weight loss
- Treats glucose intolerance from diabetes
- Reduces anxiety
The future of minor cannabinoids
As we’ve seen in only the past few years since legal hemp derivatives have been available; the wellness market is itching for more and better cannabis-based products. Increased understanding of minor cannabinoids is already paving the way for more targeted products that blend or isolate cannabinoids to achieve a very specific effect.
Hemp and cannabis executives are already describing minor cannabinoids as a “huge opportunity,” indicating that we will continue to see more of these products, with even more options of formulations. This is good news for consumers, as it means that cannabis products will continue to improve and become more targeted to specific needs.
Where to purchase minor cannabinoids
If you’re a Canadian Licensed producer and you’ve made it to Blue Sky Hemp Venture’s blog, you are already in the right place to provide minor cannabinoids to your customers! This fall, we are releasing new minor cannabinoids including CBN distillate and CBG isolate, with more minor cannabinoid products being released in upcoming months.
Our CBN distillate is great as a sleep aid, to reduce pain and fight inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease and arthritis. CBG isolate is 98% pure powdered CBG. This is a super versatile product that can help with pain, sleep, dopamine levels, depression, and fighting cancer growth.
Be sure to ask us about our customized blends: we can blend any of our cannabinoids in a neutral carrier oil (may we suggest Blue Sky hemp oil?) to create a uniquely formulated product. Find out more about these products here.
About Blue Sky Hemp Ventures
When you buy from Blue Sky Hemp, you can trust that you are purchasing hemp products sustainably grown from industrial hemp and 3rd party tested for strength and purity. Blue Sky Hemp Ventures is different in our commitment to using all parts of the hemp plant. This philosophy allows us to create more sustainable farming practices by reducing our waste and carbon footprint, as well as offering lower costs to our customers.
Blue Sky Hemp Ventures offers wholesale CBD, hemp seeds, hemp protein, hemp seed oil, hemp biomass and now minor cannabinoids. We also offer private and white label services for licensed producers in Canada.