Cannabinoids act on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, present in the brain and the periphery. Binding to these receptors initiates pathways that directly affect a multitude of processes, which can include: cognition, reward, anxiety, and response to pain.
(+)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), C21H30O2 is the primary and best known psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis and makes up anywhere from 12% to 30% of the plant's dry weight. THC primarliy acts on the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system. Although many cannabinoids contribute to the psychoactive effects experienced when consuming cannabis, in many strains, the effects of THC predominate. Because of this, THC is largely responsible for inducing euphoria, changes in sensory experiences, and relaxation.
Cannabinol (CBN), C21H26O2, is a non-psychoactive compound found only in trace amounts of the cannabis plant. CBN primarily acts on the CB1 and CB2 but binds with a greater affinity for CB2. Although much less is known about CBN than THC, many studies have demonstrated its sedative effects. For those of us that prefer a clear minded night of couch-lock, CBN is ideal.
Cannabidiol (CBD), C21H30O2, is a non-psychoactive compound that makes up 1% - 4% of the plant's dry weight. CBD acts on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but binds with a higher affinity to CB2. Although there are many benefits to taking CBD, it is most often used to treat anxiety, insomnia, drug withdrawals, decrease incidences of seizures, and to reduce inflammation.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THV), C19H26O2, is a psychoactive compound when consumed in appropriate doses. Although not well characterized, it is thought to act on the CB1 receptor. Some believe that THV raises the siezure threshold for those with epilepsy. In contrast to THC, THV actually curbs appetite. Some think that this can potentiate the effects of THC.
Cannabichromene (CBC), C21H30O2, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and is structurally similar to the other cannabinoids. It has anti-antiinflammatory and anti-viral effects and may contribute to the overall anelgesic effects of cannabis.