Scientists have identified almost 500 chemicals in marijuana. However, only a few of them are known to be active. They are called cannabinoids, and include THC, THCA, CBD, and CBN.
THC is by far the best known cannabinoid. Among the chemicals in marijuana, it is most associated with getting “high”. It’s psychoactive qualities contribute much to the euphoria which is the desired result of inhaling, smoking, or consuming marijuana. In fact, the chemical is actually created during the process of drying, smoking, or extraction.
Side effects associated with THC include disorientation, hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks, short-term memory loss, and dry mouth. On occasion, the user may experience depression or anger.
THCA does not inherently have psychoactive effects, but is an antecedent of THC. THCA is basically the primary component in fresh cannabis and will decarboxylate to its active form (THC) when being dried or heated.
THCV is the corresponding component to THC. It shares many characteristics which contribute to THC’s effects, especially in small doses. It is currently believed that THCV’s effects in larger doses may reduce the desired effects of THC. It is a psychoactive component, but to a lesser degree than THC.
CBD (Cannabidiol )
CBD has very limited psychoactive effects, but it is thought to lessen the potential isolating effects produced by THC. Currently, it is believed to have positive effects on epilepsy.
CBG can be found in low quantity in THC, but can be found in high concentrations of hemp.
Fresh marijuana plants do not usually present with much CBN. When there is more CBN, there will consequently be less THC. High levels of CBN usually indicate age or poor handling.
Also, high CBN is also associated with side effects such as lightheadedness and confusion. CBN is considered to be just mildly psychoactive.
Other less important cannabinoid chemicals in marijuana include CBC (Cannabichromenes), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannnabinodiol (CBDL), Cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabielsoin (CBE), and cannabitriol (CBT).