• Working Hours - Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:00

What Do the Other Cannabinoids Have to Offer? What Will Be the Potential Regulatory Challenges?

What Do the Other Cannabinoids Have to Offer? What Will Be the Potential Regulatory Challenges?

Cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are widely known across the world, even to those who don’t partake in their use. CBD has taken the world by storm and is known for the many health benefits it has been linked to. This has propelled the market for cannabis to new heights, with the Global Cannabis Report estimating that the global legal market for cannabis will be worth £74.8 billion by 2024. 

However, although CBD and THC are the most widely known cannabinoids, they’re not all that the cannabis plant has to offer. Numerous other compounds may be able to provide health benefits. According to recent studies, there are more than 100 different cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. 

With so many other cannabinoids present and available to us, it’s important to look into the popular ones and what they have to offer. Read on to discover some of the most common cannabinoids outside of THC and CBD and the potential regulatory challenges they can face. 

Different Cannabinoids and Their Benefits 

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds from the cannabis plant that work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to induce different effects. The different cannabinoids produce various effects depending on the type of cannabinoid and the receptors they interact with. Here are some of the most popular cannabinoids outside of CBD and THC.

Cannabinol (CBN) 

Unlike CBD, CBN is known to be psychoactive. However, it’s not as psychoactive as THC and is already present in some of the strains used globally. That being said, it has not been as widely researched as some other cannabinoids, and its effects are still being understood. Preliminary research shows that it may help with arthritis and can be used as a sleeping aid. As a result, many tout it as a treatment for insomnia. 

CBN is developed from THC. THC is heated and exposed to carbon dioxide to create CBN, explaining its mild psychoactive effect. Unlike CBD, CBN may act as a sedative and stimulates an individual’s appetite instead of suppressing it. It has also been linked to controlling ADHD symptoms in human beings. 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

One of the most promising cannabinoids out there, THCV has been shown to help with weight loss, improve glycaemic control, and lower fasting insulin levels in animals. In addition to animal studies, the compound has been shown to have minimal side effects in human beings and has the potential be a gamechanger in the fight against diabetes and obesity. 

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)

This non-psychoactive compound is found in raw hemp and transforms into CBD when it is decarboxylated. While it was previously thought to have no significant benefit until it was turned to CBD, studies have shown that it does. 

Like CBD, it doesn’t interact with the endocannabinoid system directly. It works by activating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors and has been linked to regulating anxiety, nausea, mood, and sleep. One study even found that it had anti-depressant-like effects on rats.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

Like CBD, CBC is also non-psychoactive and acts as a buffer against THC. It has been linked to brain health, development, neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and anti-inflammatory effects without activating the endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, it works by interacting with other cannabinoids that bind to receptors. 

Cannabigerol (CBG)

CBG is non-psychoactive like CBD and is garnering attention because of the many health benefits it has been linked to. Some of the illnesses it has been said to affect include irritable bowel syndrome, tumours, glaucoma, and Crohn’s disease. It has also been linked to neuroprotective properties in Huntington’s Disease. 

Cannabigerol (CBG)

Similar to CBD, CBDV is also non-psychoactive. It is increasingly being incorporated into research and is primarily known for being an anticonvulsant. However, it has now also been linked to modulating pain. According to this 2013 study, CBDV may be able to reduce the expression of genes related to epilepsy. 

Potential Regulatory Challenges

While THC and CBD are available in large quantities, the same cannot be said for cannabinoids like CBC and CBG. These may be present in the cannabis plant but are found in lower levels. Additionally, THC is the only cannabinoid that causes definitive psychoactive and intoxicating effects. There has been research to suggest that other cannabinoids may also product psychoactive effects, but this has not been conclusive. 

Upon first glance, this may seem perfect because a lack of psychoactive effect may negate the stigma surrounding these cannabinoids and ease the path to legalisation. However, there are potential regulatory challenges associated with these different compounds. 

One of the most troubling aspects may be that while these compounds may not be intoxicating on their own, their presence can impact how much of an effect THC has on an individual. In fact, this effect can be seen in CBD as well. Despite CBD being non-psychoactive, THC can interact with the CB1 receptors in an individual’s endocannabinoid system to influence the effect it has. 

Because of this, it may be difficult to regulate how much of a single cannabinoid is in a product, its interactions with different cannabinoids, and their combined effects on individuals. This is made significantly harder since these lesser-known cannabinoids are also not studied as widely, and we don’t know as much about them as we do with CBD and THC. 

Further complicating is the fact that most of the research performed on these substances has been on animals such as mice. Thus, we cannot generalise the effects to human beings, making regulation even harder. Until safety has been fully assured and the effects of these substances fully understood, regulation remains an uphill battle. However, with more interest in medicinal cannabis and growing acceptance across the world, there is more research being conducted every year.  

The Importance of Rigorous Testing

The challenges surrounding cannabinoid regulations makes testing even more important. Rigorous testing is one of the best methods of protection available since it protects consumers from harmful effects while also supplying them with integral information.