Cannabinoids

The Cannabinoid Family Tree

Here is a simple Family Tree of the major cannabinoids - scientists call it the biosynthetic pathway. Most of these cannabinoids are created naturally by the actual cannabis and hemp flowers and time, however some are manufactured from CBD (or other cannabinoids) by adding catalyst chemicals. Some cannabinoids can also be produced using yeast (much like alcohol). 

 

The Cannabinoid Family Tree or Biosynthetic Pathway Infographic in a colorful flowchart style

Cannabinoids are Bisphasic

Many of the cannabinoids are considered BIPHASIC, meaning a small dose may have one effect, but a large dose may have the opposite effect. That's why the phrase, "start LOW (dose) and go SLOW (increasing that dose)" is so important.

There probably is a "sweet spot" cannabinoid amount for your goals that is likely NOT the same sweet spot as your best friend. We all have a unique body chemistry and have different expectations, tolerances, and goals.

Boiling Points of Cannabinoids

We do not include the boiling points of the cannabinoids because they are very high. Here's a quote from the best reference we've found:

"There is no practical direct way of measuring the temperature at which the vapor pressures of THC and CBD reach normal room pressure (about 760 torr) [boiling point], since at such elevated temperatures, these cannabinoids are instable and decompose." - Vapor Pressure, Vaping, and Corrections to Misconceptions Related to Medical Cannabis' Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients' Physical Properties and Compositions, Aharon M. Eyal, Dana Berneman Zeitouni, Dor Tal, Daniel Schlesinger, Elyad M. Davidson, and Noa Raz
Published Online:18 Apr 2022, https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2021.0173ad

We have a summary of the above paper here.

But the evidence is fairly clear that the accepted "common knowledge" boiling points of most cannabinoids are not accurate. The true boiling point temperatures of cannabinoids at atmospheric pressure are over 400C, or 752F. 


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You don't need to boil a substance to get vapor

Matter doesn't need to reach its boiling point to start vaporizing. When a substance vaporizes at temperatures below its boiling point, it is just called evaporation and it is very common. A pot of water will eventually completely evaporate, even at room temperature - and it will evaporate very quickly at elevated temperatures below the actual boiling point.

We know from previous research on vaporizers that cured cannabis flower heated to 210C (410F) for 3 minutes will convert between 55% and 83% of THC into vapor, and between 46% and 70% of CBD into vapor. This study is referenced on our bioavailability page.

Terpenes Vaporize First

Terpenes have much lower boiling points than cannabinoids, and will evaporate much faster than cannabinoids. That's probably why the first part of a bowl, joint, or vape usually tastes better than the last: you're getting most of the terpenes at the beginning. The authors of the study quoted above found that "the vast majority of the terpenes are inhaled before a significant fraction of the cannabinoids".

Just remember: Lower boiling point substances will evaporate faster at ANY given temperature.

 

The cannabinoid colors on this page represent their place in The Family Tree: 

  • Stage 1: Precursor Acids (Purple)
  • Stage 2: Acids (Blue)
  • Stage 3: Neutral (Green)
  • Stage 4: Oxidized (Orange)

STAGE 1: Precursor Acidic Cannabinoids

These two acidic cannabinoids are the ancestors to all the other cannabinoids in this family tree. They specifically create a few other acidic cannabinoids that are present in high concentrations in raw and cured flower. Acidic cannabinoids get "decarbed" (usually by applying heat) and turn into the neutral cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The acidic cannabinoids are partially water soluble in isolation, but neutral and oxidized cannabinoids are only soluble in oils and fats (lipophilic).

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NONE of the acidic cannabinoids are psychotropic or euphoric. Only a few of the neutral cannabinoids, namely Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC & some of the "manufactured" cannabinoids are psychotropic or euphoric (that we have discovered so far). 

CBG-A, Cannabigerolic Acid
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, antiviral, anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory, gastrointestinal aid/nausea, hypertension relief

CBGV-A, Cannabigerovarinic Acid
Reported Benefits: anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory (very limited research)

STAGE 2: Acidic Cannabinoids

The stage 2 acidic cannabinoids below are the direct parents of the most well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD. These "acids" are what is in most flower products. Then AFTER blooming and harvest, these acidic compounds naturally transform into the neutral cannabinoids when heated (smoking, vaporizing, or baking) or exposed to light, time, and oxygen.

So remember, The Amazing Flower does not technically produce ANY psychotropic or euphoric compounds. It needs help from man or the environment for that.

CBC-A, Cannabichromenic Acid

Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, neurological aid

CBD-A, Cannabidiolic Acid 
Reported Benefits: antiemetic (reduces nausea), anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, gastrointestinal disorder relief


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CBL-A, Cannabicyclolic Acid
Reported Benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, (very limited research) 

CBN-A, Cannabinolic Acid 
Reported Benefits: very little research available
 

THC-A, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

Reported Benefits: antiemetic (reduces nausea), anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, antiviral, gastrointestinal aid, neurological aid, sedative (sleep aid) 

THCV-A, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabivarin Carboxylic Acid
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressant, sedative (sleep aid)


STAGE 3: Neutral Cannabinoids (Decarboxylated, or "decarbed") 

Diagram of acidic cannabinoid molecules becoming "decarbed" by losing their carboxyl group of molecules
  

These neutralized (they are no longer acidic) cannabinoids have been studied the most and have different effects than their acidic parents. They are fat soluble so they don't mix well with most of the liquids humans naturally drink (water based). If you swallow (ingest) neutral cannabinoids, studies show that more of them get into your bloodstream if you take them with fatty foods or drinks (think coffee with cream, hot chocolate, nuts, french fries).

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CBC, Cannabichromene

Reported Benefits: skin health, analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, bone stimulant, neurological disorder relief, gastrointestinal disorder relief. Overview of some research is here at ScienceDirect.com.

CBD, Cannabidiol
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, antidiabetic (reduces blood sugar), antiemetic (reduces nausea), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial/antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, appetite stimulant, bone stimulant, gastrointestinal disorder relief, hypertension relief (high blood pressure), neurological aid or protectant, calming/relaxing, and possibly a sleep aid. It also seems to help anxious pets.

CBDV, Cannabidivarin
Reported Benefits: anti-emetic (reduces nausea), anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, bone stimulant, gastrointestinal disorder relief, neurological disorder relief or protectant

CBG, Cannabigerol
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, appetite stimulant, bone stimulant, hypertension relief (high blood pressure), gastrointestinal disorder relief, neurological disorder relief, sedative (sleep aid) 

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CBL, Cannabicyclol
Reported Benefits: very little research available

THC or Delta-9 THC, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol 
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, antiemetic (reduces nausea), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, appetite stimulant, bronchodilator, gastrointestinal disorder relief, hypertension relief (high blood pressure), neurological disorder relief or protectant, sleep apnea relief, skin aid or protectant, sedative/sleep aid. 

THCV, Tetrahydrocannabivarin
Reported Benefits: mental focus, appetite suppressant, analgesic (pain reduction), anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic (reduces blood sugar), antispasmodic, anti-tumor, bone stimulant, neurological disorder relief or protectant. A summary paper of THCV research published in 2020 is here.

STAGE 4: Oxidized Cannabinoids 

The oxidized cannabinoids below are just a product of time and exposure to light and oxygen. It is a natural process that makes new cannabinoids that have their own unique effects. CBN and Delta-8 THC dominant products are now widely available.

CBN, Cannabinol
Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, appetite stimulant, bone stimulant, neurological disorder relief or protectant, sedative (sleep aid) 

CBDL or CBND, Cannabinodiol or Cannabidinodiol
Reported Benefits: very limited research

Delta-8 THCDelta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol 

Reported Benefits: analgesic (pain reduction), anti-anxiety, antidepressant, antiemetic (reduces nausea), anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulant, gastrointestinal disorder relief, neurological disorder relief or protectant


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