What Minor Cannabinoids are the Most Popular? (Hint: CBC, CBN, CBG, and THCV)

Minor Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical components of cannabis plants that interact with human biology. Nowadays, most people are familiar with the two most common ones: THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that causes people to feel high, while CBD is better known for its own properties. However, THC and CBD are only two out of more than a hundred cannabinoids that scientists have been able to identify. Thanks to a growing body of cannabis research, minor cannabinoids are now becoming popular.

More On Cannabinoids

Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human body. They are part of the endocannabinoid system, which was named for the marijuana (Cannabis sativa) plant. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, and they seem to play a role in a variety of mind and body functions. The cannabinoids in cannabis plants bind to the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system,1 affecting the same functions and activities.

New Knowledge About Minor Cannabinoids

Thanks to a growth in research on cannabinoids,2 a lot of new information has become available. Not only do scientists have a better understanding of how THC and CBD work in the human body, but they have also discovered a host of other less-prevalent cannabinoids. Although these rare or minor cannabinoids occur in very small amounts, they make important contributions to the overall effect of the plant. They also have unique beneficial properties in isolated form. The following is an overview of the four most popular minor cannabinoids: CBC, CBN, CBG, and TCHV.

What Is CBC?

CBC’s full name is cannabichromene, and like CBD, it has no psychoactive effects. Only some plants contain CBC because the conditions that produce it result from a recessive gene. Although CBC is a rare cannabinoid, it is one of the most plentiful non-psychoactive compounds when it does occur. CBC is a product of cannabichromenic acid, which releases carbon dioxide over time or when heated to a high temperature to produce the cannabinoid.

Research has mainly looked at how CBC interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system. One potential benefit of CBC is that it causes the body to produce more anandamide, a natural endocannabinoid that elevates the mood. 3

What Is CBN?

Cannabinol, or CBN, is a chemical that results from the degradation of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is mainly found in cannabis that has been harvested and stored for a while. Exposure to air and light causes the tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in cannabis to convert to a different type of acid, cannabinolic acid. Over time, cannabinolic acid will shed carbon dioxide and convert to CBN. Like THC, CBN can have a psychoactive effect, but it is very mild. Though there is as yet little research on this cannabinoid, some studies suggest that it may be useful.

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What Is CBG?

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a product of cannabigerolic acid, and it forms as the acid sheds carbon dioxide molecules over time. Cannabigerolic acid is also a parent to the two best-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD. Most strains of cannabis contain a small amount of CBG, usually less than 1%, and CBG is most prevalent in strains that are lower in THC. CBG has no psychoactive effects, but it does seem to interact with human biology in some positive ways.

What Is THCV?

THCV is tetrahydrocannabivarin, a cannabinoid that is found mainly in Cannabis sativa strains. Unlike THC, THCV does not seem to be a psychoactive compound that produces a high. The two cannabinoids are both biphasic, meaning that the effects vary according to the dosage. However, THCV is different from THC in several ways.

Final Thoughts

Though CBC, CBN, CBG, and THCV are all relatively rare, they have a significant impact on the effects of the whole plant, and they have unique beneficial properties in isolation. Chances are, these and other minor cannabinoids will continue to grow in popularity as scientists and consumers learn more about them.

Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
  2. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/05/30/1000867189/after-50-years-u-s-opens-the-door-to-more-cannabis-crops-for-scientists
  3. https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cannabinoids-cbc-and-cbg-exhibit-anti-tumour-properties-on-cancer-cells/97058/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25252936/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337703/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/