The active chemical compounds in medical marijuana are known as cannabinoids. Users of certain cannabinoids have claimed to experience many positive effects. THC and CBD are the most popular and recognizable cannabinoids. Explore several key cannabinoids below.



THC (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is most widely known for its psychoactive effects, which gives users a feeling of being “high.” THC is used to stimulate appetite and mental focus, as well as assist with sleep.




Cannabidiol, most widely known as CBD, has helped to popularize medical marijuana with the public. Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects on its users. In addition to being non-intoxicating, CBD offers a wide range of potential medical uses.


Cannabinol is a cannabinoid known as CBN. THC is converted to CBN when it oxidizes. Medical marijuana contains a much smaller amount of CBN than both CBD and THC. CBN has a sedative effect which could assist with sleep. Researchers are also studying the possible benefits of CBN with regard to appetite stimulation, pain relief, anti-inflammation and alleviating convulsions.




The cannabinoid cannabichromene is commonly referred to as CBC. A higher quantity of CBC is found in cannabis than CBD. CBC is non-psychoactive, so it won’t give you the feeling of being “high.” Whether by itself or in conjunction with other cannabinoids, CBC has the potential to help with health issues such as cancer, depression, pain and inflammation.


Cannabigerol is a cannabinoid referred to as CBG. Like CBD, CBG is non-psychoactive. It is prominently present in hemp, but much less so in medical marijuana. Potentially, CBG may have a wide variety of uses including the treatment of cancer, depression, psoriasis and glaucoma.




The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin, known as THCV, is similar to THC. The structures of both chemicals closely resemble one another. THC and THCV are both psychoactive. However, they attach differently to the cannabinoid receptors in the human body, and THCV has different effects. Research is currently being done to study the potential for THCV’s ability to decrease muscle convulsions, suppress appetite, stimulate bone growth and reduce panic attacks.

Cannabidiolic Acid

The cannabinoid cannabidiolic acid, known as CBDA, is the precursor to CBD. This cannabinoid is present in the cannabis plant as the plant is growing. However, once the plant is harvested, dried and heated it converts to CBD. Studies have suggested that CBDA has the potential to help with the treatment of anxiety, cancer, nausea, vomiting and inflammation.



Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid is known as THCA. Though THC may be in this name, THCA’s properties differ from it. One of the biggest differences is that while THC is psychoactive, THCA is not. However, THCA can convert to THC through drying of the cannabis plant. THCA may be able to treat inflammation, appetite loss, nausea and neurodegenerative diseases.