Minor cannabinoids could be a major deal

Did you know that cannabis doesn’t actually make THC or CBD? More accurately, it doesn’t make those compounds directly. Heat or light applied to cannabis activates cannabinoid acids that become neutral (decarboxylate, if we’re getting scientific) and, boom, you have THC and CBD, the most famous of the major cannabinoids, and the ones getting all the glory and research. 

But there are approximately 140 minor cannabinoids, and you can expect to see some of them popping up in products in the near future — if you haven’t already. 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin acid (THCV) is pretty hot right now. Medical marijuana resource website Medical Jane calls it THC’s “propyl cannabinoid cousin.” It’s basically a THC molecule with the end snapped off.

Just like CBD and THC, THCV comes from a precursor acid, tetrahydrocannabivarin acid (THCVA), which itself comes from cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGV). 

As for whether THCV gets you high, current science — scant as it is — says that depends on how much you consume. 

A quick biology lesson: All cannabinoids interact with the human endocannabinoid system, attaching to receptors that help regulate functions like appetite, mood, sleep, pain and memory. Humans have at least two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1, which is in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and CB2, which is in the peripheral nervous system, the digestive system and some specialized cells in the immune system. 

Read more at boulderweekly.com


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