What Are Cannabinoids?

What are cannabinoids? You’ve probably heard of the most popular cannabinoids already and didn’t even know you had! Delta 9 THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol, often referred to just as THC) is the most renowned cannabinoid. However, it often has a negative connotation due to the antiquated government regulation that has persecuted the cannabis plant for the past 85+ years. Did you know that there are other cannabis derivatives that also contain THC, have a psychoactive effect, and are federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill? If not, it’s time you were educated. Below is a quick-hit glossary of the major cannabinoids in today’s hemp-derived alternative cannabinoid market. Want to take an even deeper dive into hemp-derived terminology? Head to our full Glossary of terms HERE.


What Are Cannabinoids? – The Basics of Cannabinoids


Simply put, a cannabinoid is a natural compound found in cannabis and hemp plants.  There are currently well over 60 known cannabinoids; and though the chemical structure of all cannabinoids is similar, the effects they have can differ.  THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, is probably the most common cannabinoid; but every cannabinoid is different and can provide unique effects.


CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp.  Though the effects of CBD can vary from person to person, many have reported that CBD can relieve stress, headaches, and muscle pain.


CBN is also a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.  It forms when THC breaks down and ages.  CBN has been known to have sedative properties and aid in stopping insomnia.  Along with that, some have claimed that CBN can serve as an appetite stimulant; potentially giving the user the positive effects of a cannabis high without the psychoactive elements.

Delta 8

Delta 8 is yet another cannabinoid. Found in trace amounts of cannabis plants, Delta 8 is much less potent than traditional THC but is still known to bring a strong buzz to the user.  As with CBD, effects can vary from person to person.

Delta 9

Better known as traditional THC, Delta 9 is the most abundantly found cannabinoid in cannabis.  When a cannabis user experiences a high, it is mainly due to Delta 9.  Though some consume THC recreationally, studies have been conducted that have found many medical benefits to Delta 9 as well.

Delta 10

Similar to Delta 8, Delta 10 is also a cannabinoid found in trace amounts of cannabis plants that is less potent than Delta 9 but can still produce a buzz to the user.  The buzz itself is what differentiates Delta 8 from Delta 10.  While some claim Delta 8 can cause drowsiness, Delta 10 can create more of an energetic buzz.  This has led many to compare Delta 8 to an indica; with Delta 10 acting more like a sativa.


With reported effects similar to THC, HHC is a cannabinoid that is naturally found in hemp and cannabis.  Although more research needs to be conducted, there are also reports of HHC not appearing on drug screens.


With more amplified effects than regular HHC, HHC-O is also a naturally occurring cannabinoid that draws many comparisons to THC.


THC-O’s main appeal is its potency.  Known to be roughly 3x stronger than THC, THC-O is known to cause borderline hallucinatory effects and is often referred to as the “the psychedelic cannabinoid.”


Similar to THC-O, THC-P is also known for its potency.  Sometimes considered a cannabinoid “multiplier,” THC-P is known to be an astonishing 33 times more potent than conventional THC. 


Although similar to THC in its molecular structure and psychoactive effects, THC-V can provide different effects.  Unlike many other cannabinoids, THC-V is known to boost energy and (unlike THC) even dull the appetite.

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