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minor cannabinoids

What Are Minor Cannabinoids?

Tatum Blakeney

In 2018 when hemp became legal, so did all of its compounds –– including the major and minor cannabinoids found within hemp. 

Within the vastly growing list of cannabinoids, there are some found in higher concentrations and some found in smaller concentrations. These are classified as major and minor cannabinoids. 

As more and more people are learning about all the different chemicals that are active in cannabis plants, one of the biggest questions is: “What are minor cannabinoids?” 

What Are Minor Cannabinoids?

Minor cannabinoids are simply chemicals that are found in smaller concentrations in cannabis plants. Like major cannabinoids, minor cannabinoids can still connect with cannabinoid receptors. There is a growing body of cannabinoid research that explores these topics. 

Here’s a quick list of cannabinoids that fit into the “minor” category. 

  • CBN - Cannabinol
  • CBC - Cannabichromene
  • CBDA - Cannabidiolic Acid
  • CBG - Cannabigerol

In addition to having smaller concentrates, these chemicals on our minor cannabinoid list also have a lighter impact on our cannabinoids receptors. So for example, while CBN may be able to make its presence known, these minor cannabinoids will not have as much of an intense effect as THC. 

Now, we should take a look at the major cannabinoids. 

What Are Major Cannabinoids?

No answer to the question “What are minor cannabinoids”” would be complete without looking into major cannabinoids. Major cannabinoids differ from minor cannabinoids because they are found in greater abundance within cannabis plants. 

A list of major cannabinoids may include THC, CBD, and CBG among other major players. These cannabinoids tend to have a greater impact on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. THC is probably the most notable substance to come from cannabis plants and is one of the most popular major cannabinoids. 

So, what does cannabinoid research have to say about these chemicals? The research around major cannabinoids tends to be more robust because there are more of these chemicals to study. Studies have found that major cannabinoids have been linked to pain relief, improved diet, and even lower stress. 

Even though these cannabinoids might be in the major leagues, there are some popular versions of their minor counterparts. 

When considering all of the minor cannabinoids, there are definitely a few that stand out above the rest. These cannabinoids are going through a renaissance. So, what’s driving their popularity? 

Cannabinoid research is demonstrating that these substances may bond with cannabinoid receptors in new ways. Recent legislation, such as the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized some minor cannabinoids which caused a huge spike in their popularity. 

This is why you’ve been hearing more people ask “What are minor cannabinoids?” Here’s a list of cannabinoids that are playing such a major role in the scene you might not have known they were actually minor. 

  • CBN - This is arguably the most popular minor cannabinoid. CBN is actually one of the chemicals that is created when THC degrades over time. It's significantly less powerful and lacks a lot of the psychoactive potential THC itself. CBN might be linked to use as an anticonvulsant and a sleep aid
  • CBG - Did you know that CBG is actually the most abundant non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants? It's also used in the production of CBD products. CBG is currently being studied for its use in pain relief, cancer treatment, and Crohn's disease. 

How Does Your Body Process Cannabinoids?

Answering “What are minor cannabinoids?” isn’t complete without a discussion of how major and minor cannabinoids are processed by the body. This is the science of metabolism. 

First, the body intakes cannabinoids. This is usually through the lungs if they are smoked or through the digestive tract in the case of edibles. Cannabinoids then pass through the bloodstream and arrive at the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. 

The bonding of cannabinoids to these receptors is what causes everything from euphoric highs to the calming, pain relieving properties of cannabis. After that, it’s time for your body to clear out the cannabinoids. 

No matter which chemical you pick off our cannabinoid list, they all wind up being metabolized by the liver. They are broken down into special types of glucose molecules and then excreted from the body.  

One of the main reasons that minor cannabinoids are gaining popularity is because of the extensive cannabinoid research that is highlighting the potential benefits of these substances. While we touched on the potential benefits in our cannabinoids list, it's worth taking a closer look at how these chemicals can improve our lives.

There is current scientific research that has pointed to the positive effects of minor cannabinoids, but continued research is still looking at more potential benefits. There's currently a lot of promising work being done for how these cannabinoids can be used in medical settings. 

One of the most promising areas is pain relief. This is especially the case for cannabinoids like CBN and CBD. It's been well documented that consuming the cannabis plant can have significant benefits when it comes to managing pain, but researchers are still refining their understanding of which cannabinoids are responsible for what types of pain relief.

Tatum Blakeney

Tatum Blakeney

Tatum is the Digital Marketing Manager at VIIA Hemp Co. His passion for helping people finding the benefit in Cannabis flows through in the expert industry coverage and trending topics he provides. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn

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