Minor cannabinoids have been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. What exactly are minor cannabinoids and why have they been trending?

What are minor cannabinoids?

When it comes to cannabis, THC and CBD often take the spotlight. But they’re just two of at least 110 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

Recently, the lesser-known cannabis compounds—minor cannabinoids—have been getting their moment in the sun, thanks to groundbreaking research. Consumers are eager to reap the benefits, too, with the cannabinoid market expected (1) to reach $44 billion by 2024.

In simple terms, like THC and CBD, minor cannabinoids are compounds found in hemp and marijuana. As their name indicates, minor cannabinoids are found in less frequency than major cannabinoids (THC and CBD). While found in smaller quantities, they’re just as beneficial as their major cannabinoid cousins. Additionally, not all cannabinoids can be found in every single strain or product, which makes cannabinoid production all the more exciting.

While still unknown to many, minor cannabinoids are paving the way towards a new frontier—and new discoveries—in cannabis consumption.

Why are minor cannabinoids trending?

It wasn’t until the past few years that scientists and producers are finally getting a more thorough understanding of how cannabinoids work, and how they can benefit people. While research is still in its infancy in some areas. Scientists are already discovering the sheer number of unique therapeutic and medicinal benefits that can be found by consuming these still-mysterious compounds.

What are the benefits of minor cannabinoids?

Like THC and CBD, each cannabinoid comes with its own unique benefits. Minor cannabinoids can treat a wide range of illnesses and ailments—from inhibiting cancer cell growth to clearing up acne.

While there’s too many cannabinoids to name (and still more that have yet to be researched), let’s take a look at the benefits of the four most common and most talked about minor cannabinoids today: CBG, CBN, CBC, and THCV.

CBG aka cannabigerol

Of all the cannabinoids, CBG, also known as the ‘Mother of Cannabinoids’ has been getting the most attention. It’s called the Mother of Cannabinoids because it is the starting point for all cannabinoids before they turn into other compounds, like CBG-A, THC, and CBD, to name a few.

CBG is non-psychoactive (a plus for those seeking a purely medicinal treatment), and is found to have a number of benefits, including:

  • Treating glaucoma
  • Reducing anxiety (2)
  • Improving bowel disease
  • Slowing the spread of cancer cells
  • And reducing nausea

It’s a contender for CBD and THC in terms of treatment, and we’ll certainly be seeing more of CBG in the near future.

CBN, or cannabinol

As strange as it may sound, CBN is essentially aged THC. CBN forms when THC is exposed to air and light over a period of time. This cannabinoid is known for:

  • Aiding in sleeplessness and insomnia
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Reducing inflammation
  • And even promoting the healing of bone cells and bone growth.  

CBC aka cannabichromene

This non-psychoactive cannabinoid was discovered decades earlier than its counterparts, though its benefits weren’t discovered until recently. CBC is known to:

  • Reduce edema
  • Treat depression (3)
  • Remove acne (4)
  • Reduce pain
  • And even inhibit the growth of cancer cells

THCV aka tetrahydrocannabivarin

THCV is a small (even smaller than the others), but powerful, cannabinoid. Like THC, THCV is biphasic, meaning that at low doses it has very specific effects, like –

  • Treating panic disorders and PTSD
  • Reducing glucose levels (5)
  • Reducing blood pressure

But at high doses, it has the exact opposite effect, like inducing psychoactive intoxication.

Of all the cannabinoids listed, THCV is also the least understood. So, it likely won’t be a while until it is available to consume on a wider scale.

What does the future hold for minor cannabinoids?

Recently, scientists discovered two new cannabinoids—THC-P and CBD. And found that the former could be 30 times more powerful than THC. For minor cannabinoids, the potential medicinal applications are endless. And scientists are still discovering more about these mysterious, but powerful compounds.

What’s your experience with minor cannabinoids? Are there any specific ones you’re excited to explore? Let us know in the comments.

Footnote(s)

1. Prnewswire.com. 2021. Global Medical Cannabinoid Market Expected to Reach $44 Billion by 2024. [online] Available at:
2. Zagzoog, A., Mohamed, K.A., Kim, H.J. et al. In vitro and in vivo pharmacological activity of minor cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa. Sci Rep 10, 20405 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77175-y
3. Abir T. El-Alfy, Kelly Ivey, Keisha Robinson, Safwat Ahmed, Mohamed Radwan, Desmond Slade, Ikhlas Khan, Mahmoud ElSohly, Samir Ross, Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L., Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 95, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 434-442, ISSN 0091-3057, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004.
4. Oláh A, Markovics A, Szabó-Papp J, Szabó PT, Stott C, Zouboulis CC, Bíró T. Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. Exp Dermatol. 2016 Sep;25(9):701-7. doi: 10.1111/exd.13042. Epub 2016 Jun 15. PMID: 27094344.
5. Jadoon KA, Ratcliffe SH, Barrett DA, Thomas EL, Stott C, Bell JD, O'Sullivan SE, Tan GD. Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Care. 2016 Oct;39(10):1777-86. doi: 10.2337/dc16-0650. Epub 2016 Aug 29. PMID: 27573936.