THC to CBD: What Chemicals are in Weed?


When it comes to marijuana, the chemical make-up can make all the difference. Strains may differ, but what chemicals makes cannabis cannabis?

As medical cannabis is being studied more and more, discoveries are being made left and right on the effects of breeding cannabis at varying levels of cannabinoids. In addition to trying to create the perfect high, testers and growers work hard to tailor their cannabis strains for treating epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cancer and other ailments.

There are 483 different chemical compounds in cannabis. The majority of these have unknown medical effects. However, most research is done on just a few of the compounds and the effect that it has on the brain.

 THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

This is the most well-known cannabinoids. It is the one that causes the effects that people call “getting high,” and reduces pain, causes relaxation and increases appetite. THC tends to be higher in indica strains.

 THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid)

THCa also has medicinal properties, especially when raw cannabis is juiced. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative abilities, which may be able to inhibit cancerous cell growth.

CBN (Cannabinol)

This chemical is known to have some psychoactive effects and seems to increase THC’s overall effect on the body. It is reported to have anti-spasmodic and anti-epileptic properties and may even help with depression.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

This is a non-psychoactive compound that has anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-rheumatoid arthritic and anti-nausea effects. It also has sedative properties, and is higher in popular medicinal strains such as Charlotte’s Web, and tends to be higher in sativa strains.

CBC (Cannabichromene)

Studies have found that this chemical has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to the analgesic (pain-reducing) effects of medical marijuana. It may have the potential to inhibit tumor growth and even fight breast cancer. New studies have found that CBC also contributes to healthy brain growth.

Potential Pesticides

Unless grown organically, marijuana plants may contain pesticides that are sprayed on the plant when cultivated. 70 percent of these harmful toxins transfer to inhaled smoke and can have adverse effects on users, especially those that are using it for medicinal purposes. Because of this, marijuana users are much better off smoking organic bud that contain no harmful pesticides or fertilizers.

Different levels of these chemicals can impact the effects of different cannabis strains. Ask your bud-tender of the different chemical make-ups of your strains.


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Charlotte’s Web

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