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By the year 2025, the industrial hemp market is expected to thrive, becoming worth an astounding $26.6 billion. That’s up from $4.6 billion in 2019, highlighting a massive growth spurt. so how many cannabinoids in hemp?
That’s an annual growth rate of 34%! Not many industries can claim such high predictions.
How Many Cannabinoids in Hemp
There’s no denying the popularity of hemp in its many forms—hemp oil, hemp seeds, flowers, concentrates, in food and beverages, in personal care products. But there underlies some confusion about the product, such as questions many current and potential users have about how many cannabinoids in hemp.
While there are dozens of cannabinoids in hemp (and we can’t name them all here), we’ll discuss some of the most common ones—plus, what their role in how many cannabinoids in hemp.
THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s what gives marijuana users the different “high” sensations, such as elation, pain or anxiety relief, euphoria, and much more.
Although THC and CBD have the same chemical make-up—21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, two oxygen atoms—it’s how these atoms are arranged that accounts for their different reactions within the body.
THC specifically affects the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters control things like stress, immune function, and pain, which is why THC has such a different effect on the body than CBD.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
When you look at marijuana plants, you may assume that THC is living right there on the buds. However, what you’re really getting is THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid—a precursor to THC.
Like CBD and THC, THC and THCA have nearly identical chemical structures. The main difference between the two is at a molecular level. This small difference actually contributes to a stark contrast in how they interact with the brain and body.
For example, THCA is not psychoactive like THC. It does, however, have its own set of therapeutic benefits separate from THC. It can offer feelings like pain relief, inflammation relief, and more.
At extreme temperatures (such as when something is smoked), THCA turns into THC. This heat-induced transformation can make someone feel high.
CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana. It’s non-psychotropic, typically containing less than 0.3% THC.
While CBD does interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, it does so much differently than THC.
We have cannabinoid receptors in the brain, called CB1. CBD binds very weakly (if at all) to CB1 receptors, whereas THC binds very well. CBD can even interfere with the way THC binds to CB1 receptors, and therefore reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
Although CBD and THC are how many cannabinoids in hemp.
They offer similar effects, such as:
- Reduction of inflammation
- Pain relief
- Decrease of anxiety and depression levels
- Nausea relief
Of course, cannabinoids affect individual people differently based on several factors.
Therefore, it’s always wise to consult with a medical professional before using anything for medicinal purposes.
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
It’s scientifically accurate how many cannabinoids in hemp to say that CBD wouldn’t exist without CBDA.
Before any cannabinoids are deemed pharmacologically active, they appear in their acidic form, which is why you’ll notice similar terms for these cannabinoids (ending in “A”).
The main difference between CBD and CBDA is that CBDA isn’t pharmacologically active, whereas CBD and how many cannabinoids in hemp.
Only when the acidic forms have been decarboxylated can they be considered to have pharmacological effects—as we explained above with THCA.
You’ve likely heard more about THC and CBD than any other cannabinoid combined. But another familiar name in the cannabinoid family with how many cannabinoids in hemp.
What’s the difference between CBD and CBG?
Well, CBG acts as a precursor to all cannabinoids, including CBD, THC, and CBC (discussed later). All cannabinoids begin as CBG, or cannabigerol. Cannabidiolic acid (CBGA) is an inactive form of CBG that gets broken down, then becoming the molecule that creates other cannabinoid compounds.
CBG appears in minimal amounts in the cannabis plant. Its rarety earns it a higher price tag in products that contain it. Like CBD, it’s non-psychoactive, and therefore both legal and safe to consume.
Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA)
Say “hello” to the mother of all cannabinoids!
This compound is where every single other cannabinoid originates. Thanks to an enzymatic reaction that occurs in the plant’s trichomes, parts of CBGA turn into the cannabinoids we know and love—CBD, THC, CBC, etc.
It’s helpful to think of CBGA (and, therefore, other cannabinoids) like a pie, working in inverse proportions of how many cannabinoids in hemp.
Say one-third of that pie turns into a cannabinoid such as THC. That means only two-thirds of the pie is leftover to transform into other cannabinoids. Therefore, cannabis with high THC levels has lower CBD levels, and high CBD levels equate to lower THC levels—and so on and so on.
CBC, like CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in hemp.
Cannabichromene is known for being a tremendous topical compound. It’s frequently found in skincare products that contain cannabinoids. It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-acne, and antibacterial properties!
While CBC does have more significant results than CBD when it comes to acne and blemishes, CBD and CBC work best when used hand-in-hand. In fact, the same can be said for all the other cannabinoids!
This working together has a name—the “entourage effect.”
The entourage effect is when all the cannabinoids come together to amplify each other’s benefits. That’s why you’ll find that most hemp products contain a healthy mix of multiple cannabinoids. This is much more common than finding how many cannabinoids in hemp in isolation.
Learn More About Cannabinoids in Hemp
This list is certainly not exhaustive about how many cannabinoids in hemp.
As we mentioned, there are dozens of cannabinoids in hemp. If you’d like to learn even more, you can take a deep dive into the world of hemp and familiarize yourself with the many, many cannabinoids. We’ve only begun to dip our toes.
It’s a fascinating world!
For more interesting information like this, keep scrolling our page and coming back often.