You’re probably familiar with the two best known cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant: THC and CBD. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active ingredient in marijuana, the one that gets you high. CBD (cannabidiol) is THC’s non-intoxicating cousin, legal across the United States and typically sought out for its stress-relieving or sedating properties. But did you know cannabis contains hundreds of other minor cannabinoids, many of which we’ve only just begun to study? Here’s a handy guide to a few of the best known rare and minor cannabinoids—and how one edibles company is harnessing them to enhance their customers’ lives.
What is a Cannabinoid Anyway?
All mammals have what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex network of transmitters and receptors that help regulate things like sleep, stress and pain management to keep your body in a state of balance.
Cannabinoids are molecules that activate the ECS’s receptors. Your body produces plenty of cannabinoids on its own (these are called endocannabinoids). Meanwhile, Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are produced by the cannabis plant and are known as phytocannabinoids. It’s also possible to synthesize cannabinoids in a lab, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll stick to those found in nature.
Just like your body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids, plant-derived phytocannabinoids help send signals throughout your body—signals like, “Hey, we’re safe right now, you don’t have to feel so stressed,” or, “We should probably have a snack,” or, “Don’t you think it’s time to go to sleep?” In other words, they’re messengers that enhance your body’s natural regulatory processes.
What Kind of Rare Cannabinoids Are There?
The cannabis plant produces well over 100 known phytocannabinoids, and science has barely scratched the surface of what they can do. Let’s take a look at three of the best-known rare and minor cannabinoids, and the ones you’re most likely to encounter in commercial cannabis products.
- CBN (Cannabinol): CBN is probably the third most famous cannabinoid after THC and CBD. That’s because it’s developed a reputation as an effective sleep aid. In point of fact, there’s really only one study that suggests CBN can make you drowsy–and it was conducted in 1975 with just five participants–so the jury is out on whether CBN truly deserves to be known as “the Sleepy Cannabinoid.” That said, some studies do suggest that CBN may have some anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. So, if stiffness or soreness is keeping you up at night, CBN may indeed help you get to sleep – just not in the way most people think it does.
- CBG (Cannabigerol): In its acidic form (CBGA), CBG is sometimes called “the Mother Cannabinoid” because it’s the first cannabinoid the plant creates, which is eventually converted to THC or CBD. For this reason, CBG is actually pretty rare, but its potential benefits make it worth keeping an eye out for. For one thing, CBG may have some anti-bacterial properties. Some scientists are even hopeful it could aid in cancer treatment! And in terms of everyday usefulness, there’s also evidence that CBG can help make consumers feel less anxious–another important quality in a stress reliever or sleep aid.
- THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin): Even though it’s only one letter off from THC, this fascinating cannabinoid is, in many ways, the total opposite of its more famous counterpart. THCV does not get you high. Rather, it’s believed to sharpen focus. THCV doesn’t stimulate appetite in the way that THC is known to either. In fact, early studies suggest that THCV may actually curb appetite by disrupting the reward patterns in your brain, making you less likely to crave junk food and more able to make thoughtful, controlled choices about what you eat.
Where You Can Find These Cannabinoids
The more we understand about rare and minor cannabinoids, the more we can use them to improve our wellness and quality of life. Wana Brands, North America’s #1 manufacturer of THC and CBD-infused edibles, understands this and is an industry leader when it comes to harnessing cutting-edge cannabis technology.
Wana has recently launched a new first-of-its kind line of daily wellness solutions known as Wana Optimals. These vegan, organically sweetened gummies are infused with both rare and major cannabinoids, terpenes and other plant derived ingredients in order to target problem areas that keep people from living their best lives. In other words, they’re meant to achieve specific results like better sleep and an enhanced fitness routine.
So far, there are two Optimals products currently available in Wana’s home state of Colorado. The first, Fast Asleep Gummies, are powered by a custom sleep blend including CBD, CBN, CBG, a small amount of THC and melatonin, and more than 30 specialized terpenes. This carefully calculated formula doesn’t just induce drowsiness, knocking you out and leaving you groggy the next day. It targets the root causes of sleeplessness, like stress and physical discomfort. Fast Asleep Gummies are also powered by a fast-acting nano-technology that delivers effects in just 5 to 15 minutes.
The second Optimals product, daily Fit Gummies, are infused with THCV to help disrupt unhelpful eating habits and empower consumers to make healthier dietary choices. They’re not diet pills made with jitter-inducing chemicals, and they won’t get you high. They’re simply a plant-based tool to help you feel like the healthiest version of yourself.
Looking to the Future
More Wana Brands Optimals products are on the horizon, and you can sign up on their website to be notified when they launch. Are you ready to start exploring the brave new world of rare cannabinoids?