Indica strains can contain higher levels of CBD and more balanced mixtures of CBD and THC. Although not always the case, Indica strains are often associated with a heavier, more calming experience.
Sativa strains are almost exclusively THC dominant. Although not always the case, Sativa strains are often associated with a more energetic or uplifting experience.
Hybrids are created by breeding two strains of cannabis together, where one strain is, in some part, Indica and the other is, in some part, Sativa.
Cannabinoids are found predominately in the cannabis plant, and activate cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. Dozens of cannabinoids exist within each unique plant at varying levels, and most develop from Cannabigerol Acid (CBG-A).
Terpenoids are the compounds responsible for a plant’s fragrance. They are found within the resin glands (or trichomes). They interact with cannabinoids, called ‘entourage effect’, which helps define a given strain’s unique effect.
Decarboxylation is the conversion of a cannabinoid from its acid form to its neutral form, which occurs during heat exposure. For example, Delta-9-THC is the result of THC-A (‘A’ for acid) decarboxylating. The difference? Only Delta-9-THC causes the euphoric sensation associated with cannabis! THC-A is not psychoactive! Delta-9-THC is the best way to measure a cannabis product’s psychoactive potency. A typical cannabis flower contains between 13% and 25% THC.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A), like other acid cannabinoids, is not psychoactive. THC-A is strongly anti-inflammatory, encourages appetite, is antitumor, combats insomnia, and is antispasmodic. THC-A is the most abundant terpenoid (and Cannabinoid) in the vast majority of Cannabis grown in the U.S., reaching levels over 30% of dry weight for flowers from female, un-pollinated plants (sensimilla). Many “high THC” strains, when grown and harvested optimally, produce about 15% THC-A by dry weight, though this can vary widely.
Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly referred to as “Δ9-THC,” “D9-THC,” “d9-THC” or simply “THC”) is a neutral cannabinoid, well known for being strongly psychoactive. Of all the scientific discoveries that have been made about THC, probably the single most important was how THC enabled scientists to discover the existence of the endocannabinoid system in vertebrate animals (including humans): a critical part of physiology that, up until then, was unknown. THC has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a variety of ailments and disorders including pain, tumors, nausea and ADHD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is “non-psychoactive” (in that it does not produce the euphoria, time dilation, or anxiety normally produced by THC) and has been shown to be extremely valuable in the treatment of seizure disorders such as MS and Epilepsy. Its lack of psychoactivity makes it ideal in treating children, the elderly and patients that prefer to remain clear headed and focused. CBD is often as effective as THC in the management of pain and tumors. CBD also lowers blood sugar, and has been used in the treatment of Diabetes. CBD has a calming effect, and is useful in the treatment of stress related disorders and sleep loss.
Until recently, Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD-A) was much more commonly found in higher concentrations in Ruderalis than in Cannabis. In the last few years, strains of Cannabis have been hybridized that produce more CBD-A than THC-A, including “Cannatonic-C6” and “ACDC.” CBD-A has been shown to be both anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor.
Cannabichromene (CBC) is also non psychoactive, and has been shown to be about ten times more effective than CBD in treating anxiety and stress. It also displays efficiency in treating inflammation, pain relief and is both antiviral and antitumor. CBC has been shown to stimulate the growth of bone tissue.
Cannabichromic acid (CBC-A) is one of the three compounds synthesized by the plant, out of CBG-A. CBC-A is anti-inflammatory, weakly antifungal and strongly antibacterial.
Cannabigerol (CBG) is non psychoactive, and has been shown to stimulate the growth of new brain cells, including in the elderly; it should be noted that genuinely neurogenic compounds are extremely rare. CBG also stimulates bone growth, is antibacterial and antitumor, and combats insomnia.
Cannabigerolic Acid (CBG-A) is consider the ‘mother’ of all cannabinoids, because from it, the plant transforms it into all the other cannabinoids the plant makes. Besides it’s natural medicinal properties as a cannabinoid acid, it is the direct parent compound of CBG, a rare neuroregenerative medicinal compound.
Cannabinol (CBN) is an oxidation product of THC. It normally forms when THC is exposed to oxygen and heat. A high level of CBN often reflects cannabis that is old or has been exposed to significant heat. CBN is known to be very slightly psychoactive and more strongly sedative than other known Cannabinoids. As such, samples with significant CBN (approaching 1% by weight) can be useful to treat insomnia. CBN is also somewhat effective as an antiemetic and anticonvulsant.
Cannabinolic Acid (CBN-A) is the parent compound that decarboxylates into CBN. Curiously, in the plant, very little CBN is derived from CBN-A, and we do not see very much CBN-A in the plant; most CBN being derived from the oxidation of THC. CBN-A is anti-inflammatory, and likely anti-biological.
Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol is an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) binds to the cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptor CB1, which inhibits adenyl cyclase, increases mitogen-activated protein kinase activities, modulates several potassium channel conductances and inhibits N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC).
Cannabicyclol (CBL) is a degradative product – with exposure to light, cannabichromene converts to CBL. Its medical properties are not known as it appears in such minuscule concentrations in comparison to other cannabinoids.
Very little is known about Cannabicycol Acid (CBL-A), as the plant produces very little of it. Curiously, it is the most stable of the cannabinoid acids to heat, resistant to decarboxylation. As a result it yields very little CBL on heating. Cannabicyclol acid is both anti-inflammatory and antitumor.
β-Myrcene is a monoterpene, and for a wide variety of reasons, one of the most important terpenes. It is a precursor in the formation of other terpenes, as well. β-Myrcene is found in fresh mango fruit, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemongrass and many other plants. β-Myrcene is known to be antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and used in the treatment of spasms. It is also used to treat insomnia, and pain. It also has some very special properties, including lowering the resistance across the blood-brain barrier, allowing itself and many other chemicals to cross the barrier easier and more quickly. In the case of cannabinoids, like THC, it allows it to take effect more quickly. More uniquely still, β-Myrcene has been shown to increase the maximum saturation level of the CB1 receptor, allowing for a greater maximum psychoactive effect. For most people, the consumption of a fresh mango, 45 minutes before inhaling cannabis, will result in a faster onset of psychoactivity and with greater intensity. β-Myrcene can be used in this same manner to improve uptake with a wide variety of chemical compounds.
Less well known is the fact that high β-Myrcene levels in cannabis (usually above 0.5%) result in the well known ‘couch lock’ effect of classic Indica strains of cannabis; Sativa strains normally contain less than 0.5% β-Myrcene.
D-limonene is a cyclic terpene of major importance with a strong citrus odor and bitter taste. D-limonene was primarily used in medicine, food and perfume until a couple of decades ago, when it became better known as the main active ingredient in citrus cleaner. It has very low toxicity, and humans are rarely ever allergic to it. Medicinally, Limonene is best known for treating gastric reflux and as an antifungal agent. It’s ability to permeate proteins makes it ideal for treating toenail fungus. Limonene is also useful in treating depression and anxiety. Limonene also assists in the absorption of other terpenoids and chemicals through the skin, mucous membranes and digestive tract. It’s also been shown to be effective antitumor while at the same time being an immuno-stimulant. Limonene is one of two major compounds formed from α-Pinene.
α-Pinene is one of the principle monoterpenes, and is important physiologically in both plants and animals, and to our environment. α-Pinene tends to react with other chemicals, forming a variety of other terpenes (like D-Limonene) and other compounds. α-Pinene has been used for centuries as a bronchodilator in the treatment of asthma; ever notice how your lungs seem to open up when hiking through a pine forest in the warm summer? α-Pinene is also anti-inflammatory. It is found in conifer trees and orange peels among others, and known for it’s sharp sweet odor. α-Pinene is a major constituent in turpentine.
Terpinolene is a monoterpene, part of the terpinene subfamily of terpenes. This family of four isomers is known for being antioxidant, immune-modulating and anti-biologically (antitumor, antibacterial, antifungal). It has also been used, for hundreds of years, in the treatment on insomnia. Terpinolene is found in oregano, marjoram, cumin, lilac, some citrus rind and conifers.
Linalool is simple terpene alcohol, probably best known for the pleasant floral odor it gives to lavender plants. It is also known as β-linalool, licareol and linalyl alcohol. Linalool has been isolated in several hundred different plants including lavenders, citrus, laurels, birch, coriander and rosewood. Linalool has been used for several thousands of years as a sleep aid. Linalool is a critical precursor in the formation of Vitamin E. It has been used in the treatment of both psychosis and anxiety, and as an anti-epileptic agent. It also grants relief from pain and has been used as an analgesic. Its vapors have been shown to be an effective insecticide against fruit flies, fleas and cockroaches.
Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in many plants including Thai basils, cloves and black pepper, and has a rich spicy odor. Research has shown that β–Caryophyllene has affinity for the CB2 endocannabinoid receptor. β–Caryophyllene is known to be antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antitumor and anti-inflammatory.
Caryophyllene oxide is the oxidation product of beta-Caryophyllene. It is well known for its anti-biological activity against fungus and tumors. It is also antioxidant. It may well play a roll in improving uptake of CBD/CBC in the CB2 receptor.
Citronellol is a monoterpenoid, closely related to Geraniol, and is found in geraniums, rose, some citrus rind. It has been used as a natural mosquito repellent for over 2,000 years, and to preserve fabric from moths. Like many other terpenoids, it is anti-biological, anti-inflammatory, immuno-regulating. As an anti-biological, it is well known for being aggressively antitumor. Also like many other terpenoids, it has a very low toxicity, having a high level of GRAS status and a high LD50 of 2650mg/kG of body weight.
Humulene is a sesquiterpene also known as α-humulene and α–caryophyllene; an isomer of β–caryophyllene. Humulene is found in hops, cannabis sativa strains, and Vietnamese coriander, among others. Humulene gives beer its ‘hoppy’ aroma. It is antitumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (suppresses appetite). It has commonly been blended with β–caryophyllene and used as a major remedy for inflammation, and is well known to Chinese medicine practitioners.
When the Chlorophyll molecule degrades, it breaks down into two parts. The ‘tail’ portion is Phytol, an oily diterpene. It is used in the synthesis of vitamins E and K and is known to have antioxidant properties.