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Ask a Bud: Minor Cannabinoids

By July 19, 2022No Comments

THC and CBD might get all the attention, but there are a host of other cannabinoids that deserve to share the spotlight. Krystal Elento, budtender at Purple Tree Cannabis in Toronto explains what minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, delta-8 THC can contribute to your favourite products.

Most consumers are familiar with THC and CBD, but as more Licensed Producers are spotlighting minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, delta-8 and delta-9 THC, consumers are curious about what this means and have lots of questions about how to consider the balance of cannabinoids when shopping.

We spoke with Krystal Elento from Purple Tree Cannabis in Toronto about how she helps educate her customers about minor cannabinoids, the unsung heroes of the cannabis plant.

What exactly are minor cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis. When consumed, some may contribute to effects, including, but not limited to, euphoria, pain relief, appetite stimulation and anxiety reduction. “Minor cannabinoids are found in much smaller quantities in cannabis compared to THC and CBD. There are over 100 different cannabinoids that can be isolated from a cannabis plant.”

If they are such a small part of the plant, why are they important?

We’re still learning, but we know that the way various cannabinoids interact may affect our experience.  “For example, CBD doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects on its own, but it can influence the way THC interacts with the CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. Because of this, using CBD in addition to THC may influence your overall cannabis experience.” These interactions are very complex, but researchers are exploring the balance.

What are CBN and CBG, and what’s the difference?

“Cannabigerol, also known as CBG, is a cannabinoid obtained from cannabis strains, usually with low THC and high CBD. It is often referred to as the ‘mother of all cannabinoids’ since every cannabinoid actually starts off as CBG before most convert into other cannabinoids like THC or CBD. For this reason, younger cannabis plants contain higher amounts of CBG.” Researchers are exploring how CBG contributes to the effects of cannabis (for instance, if it may help regulate appetite).

CBG and Cannabidiol (CBN) are both non-psychoactive cannabinoids, like CBD, but they interact with the body’s receptors uniquely and so may produce different effects. CBN develops as the plant matures, so there are often higher concentrations of CBN found as a plant ages. Researchers are looking into potential CBN benefits: it may be of use to help regulate relaxation and sleep.

What are delta-8 and delta-9, and what’s the difference?

“Delta-8 THC, also known as delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is mainly hemp-derived and occurs naturally in trace amounts. It can also be made from extracted CBD that’s chemically altered, through human intervention, to become psychoactive.” Delta-9 THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the more well-known and potent psychoactive — and technically not a minor one — it’s the THC found in abundance within cannabis plants and the main active ingredient in many strains and products.

Delta-8 and delta-9 THC both may produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation and potential pain relief, but there is still more research needed to determine the differences between how our body interacts with delta-9 and delta-8 THC.

A Little Budtender-to-Budtender Advice

“When discussing minor cannabinoids, I try to stick to their potential benefits as opposed to guaranteeing any effects. Since there is still a lot of ongoing research on minor cannabinoids, it’s difficult to speak on accurate benefits and side effects. As budtenders, we do our best to keep things simple and typically let studies and first-hand experience lead our answers, while making no guarantees.”

Are you a sought-out budtender with answers at the ready for all your customers’ questions? Want to be featured in an upcoming Ask a Bud article or video? We’d love to hear from you. Learn how to apply for our next content call here.

This content has been assessed for accuracy by an unpaid scientific reviewer.
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Sources

The Pharmacological Case for Cannabigerol
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Review of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC): Comparative pharmacology with Δ9-THC
British Journal of Pharmacology

Cannabinoids, Insomnia, and Other Sleep Disorders
American College of Chest Physicians: CHEST Journal

Information for Health Care Professionals
Government of Canada,

Individual and combined effects of acute delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on psychotomimetic symptoms and memory function
Translational Psychiatry