Full Metal Spectrum: The Lesser-Known Cannabinoids | Burns & Levinson LLP


The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The most familiar is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most potent psychotropic chemical compound in cannabis that is responsible for the “getting high” aspect of consuming cannabis. A close second in notoriety, which has garnered huge commercial and consumer support in recent years, is cannabidiol (CBD), known for its calming and anxiety-relieving effects, among other wellness-related effects. There is immense depth to the science of cannabinoids. However, this blog offers an introduction to some of the popular, lesser-known cannabinoids that you will see promoted and sold at dispensaries.

Each cannabinoid offers a unique (and often complementary) effect, but the majority do not possess sufficient potency to be noticed when consumed. Research conducted with respect to the effects of these lesser-known cannabinoids has skyrocketed over the last decade, alongside the rise in popularity and legalization of cannabis nationwide. Despite the continuing need for further research, current data indicates that a number of the more potent and active cannabinoids have incredible health and wellness capabilities. As our understanding of various cannabinoids and their interplay amongst each other continues to grow, manufacturers are designing and marketing products that highlight certain cannabinoids that, either individually or in cooperation with other cannabinoid(s), produce a desired effect (e.g., combat inflammation, aid sleep, foster energy, or promote focus). Rarely will you see any single cannabinoid make up the entire “profile” of a cannabis product. Rather, a manufacturer will work with cannabis strains that possess a range of cannabinoids working together to create a balanced, smooth experience. A cannabis product that utilizes the full range of known and active cannabinoids is referred to as a “full spectrum” product.

Below, I introduce some lesser-known cannabinoids that will likely run across when consuming dispensary-procured cannabis products. Each is an amazing chemical compound that participates in the choreography of active cannabinoids in any given cannabis product, resulting in a superior quality product aimed at addressing the discrete health concerns of the consumer.

Ask a budtender at your local dispensary for more information, research the medical findings online, or discuss experiences with your friends to discover if using products that include some of these lesser-known cannabinoids could benefit your own personal wellness. I am a CBN fanatic myself. I recommend pairing it with candlelight and a fantasy book.

Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Effects include alleviation of inflammation, aches, and pains, and nausea.
  • While the research is in its nascent stages and human studies are minimal, CBG shows promise in treating the symptoms of bowel-related diseases, glaucoma, and Huntington’s Disease.
  • Reputed to be effective as an anti-depressant.
  • No psychotropic effects; in fact, there is evidence that CBG blocks THC’s psychotropic effects.
Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Effects include elevation of mood and alleviation of inflammation and the pain associated with migraines and headaches.
  • Reputed to possess anti-cancer and anti-tumor capabilities that slow the growth and spread of cancerous cells by blocking receptors of the afflicted cells in the human body.
  • Reputed to be effective as an anti-depressant.
  • One of the most abundant cannabinoids in the plant – first isolated in 1966.
  • No psychotropic effects.
Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Effects include sedative qualities that can aid in relaxation and sleep.
  • Popular to combat insomnia and support a healthy sleep schedule routine.
  • First isolated in the 1930s.
  • Possesses mild psychotropic effects.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Effects include suppression of appetite and an energetic, clear-headed psychotropic buzz.
  • Reputed to help with weight loss and counteract the “munchies” that consumers report experiencing after consumption of cannabis.
  • Dubbed in some communities as the “diet weed.”
  • Psychotropic effect amplifies THC but only last about half as long as the psychotropic effects of THC.


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