A Guide to the Different Types of Cannabinoids

By  //  February 6, 2023

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About 14% of Americans say they use CBD products.

However, not many people realize there are different types of cannabinoids beyond CBD. There are also full-spectrum products that include a range of cannabinoids.

What are the different types of cannabinoids, and which cannabinoid products suit your needs? Read on to find out!

After reading this guide, you can make a more informed choice as a buyer. Discover the various cannabinoid options available today.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Before we discuss the different cannabinoids available, let’s cover the basics. What are cannabinoids, exactly? 

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that can interact with receptors in human cells. Found in cannabis, there are now over 100 discovered cannabinoids. However, some are present in lower levels than others.

When cannabinoids react with receptors in human cells, they release chemicals throughout the body. Cannabinoids are able to cause different reactions based on the type of cannabinoid.

For example, THC is known for getting people high, while CBD can help us relax or even sleep.

In order to cause these reactions, cannabinoids react with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS features naturally occurring cannabinoids, which are called endocannabinoids. 

Cannabinoids found in plants, on the other hand, are called phytocannabinoids.  


In order to understand how cannabinoids interact with the human body, it helps to learn more about the ECS. The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system. The ECS was named with cannabis in mind, as cannabis was discovered first.

Everyone has an ECS, whether or not they use cannabinoid products. Without the ECS, we wouldn’t experience effects when using CBD or other cannabinoids. 

The ECS is designed to keep the human body in a state of homeostasis (equilibrium). An injury or illness might throw the body out of homeostasis. In these cases, the ECS steps in to ensure our internal systems continue functioning.

The ECS is responsible for various functions, including:

  • Sleep
  • Metabolism
  • Mood
  • Inflammation
  • Liver function
  • Skin and nerve function
  • Cardiovascular system function
  • Bone remodeling and growth
  • Muscle formation
  • Immune system responses
  • Motor control
  • Chronic pain
  • Learning and memory
  • Appetite and digestion

The ECS features endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors. These receptors are located in the brain, immune cells, connective tissue, organs, and glands. 

How do phytocannabinoids interact with our ECS? Cannabinoids like THC can bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. As a result, THC is able to cause mental and physical symptoms.

For example, you might feel hungry, paranoid, or anxious after using THC.

CBD, on the other hand, can cause soothing effects.

Though scientists are still determining how CBD interacts with the ECS, they believe CBD prevents endocannabinoids from being broken down. As a result, endocannabinoids can have a prolonged effect on the body.

Types of Cannabinoids

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look into the different types of cannabinoids available. Remember, there are over 100 known cannabinoids. The cannabis plant also contains around 540 additional chemical substances. 

Before you begin purchasing cannabinoid products, make sure to check the label. First, determine if the product is broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or an isolate.

Broad-spectrum products contain various cannabinoids without THC. Remember, THC is the cannabinoid that can get you high. 

Full-spectrum, on the other hand, contains all cannabinoids, including THC.

An isolate product only contains one type of cannabinoid. For example, you might prefer to start with a CBD isolate. 

Here are a few different cannabinoids to get you started as you explore the various products on the market.


THC is one of the better-known cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. They’re one of the only known cannabinoids that are psychoactive. Alone, THC can cause euphoric sensations, including hallucinations.

It might also alter your perception, cognition, memory, and mood. 

THC is able to cause effects by binding to both your CB1 and CB2 receptors. Binding to your CB1 receptors will cause psychoactive effects as chemicals are released in the brain. For example, THC can trigger the release of dopamine, which causes feelings of pleasure. 


Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the acidic form of THC.

THCA can offer anti-inflammatory properties. A little inflammation can help the body heal from illness and injury. Too much can cause pain and swelling, however.

THCA also offers anti-proliferation, antiemetic, and neuroprotective properties. It might ease muscle spasms, pain, and insomnia. However, everyone reacts to cannabinoids a little differently. 


The “8” in Delta-8 refers to the placement of a chemical bond, differentiating it from THC. Delta-8-THC has 70% of THC’s potency. 

Choosing a Delta-8 product might ease nausea symptoms. The lower potency might minimize the side effects associated with THC, too. For example, you might not experience anxiety or paranoia if you choose Delta-8 over THC.


Cannabichromene is the third-most common cannabinoid in cannabis. It interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to ease inflammation and encourage new cell growth.

Like CBD, CBC isn’t intoxicating. 

However, more research is needed to understand how CBC interacts with the endocannabinoid system. 


CBD is another better-known cannabinoid. It might have an effect on:

  • Seizures in epilepsy patients
  • Addiction management (curbing cravings)
  • Inflammatory conditions (like rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Pan and inflammation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, and other skin conditions
  • ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, MS
  • Chemotherapy side effects

However, scientists are still learning more about how CBD affects the body.


Cannabicitran is a lesser-known cannabinoid. Research indicates it acts similarly to CBD. For example, CBT is able to dampen the psychoactive effects associated with THC.

CBT might help ease tension and soreness. It could interact with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce results.

CBT is also able to prevent CBD vape oil from crystallizing. 

You can learn more about CBT distillate here.

Consider Exploring Your Cannabinoid Options

Learning more about the different types of cannabinoids can help you determine which products align with your needs. Use this guide before you begin shopping for cannabinoid products. Remember, new information will become available in time, along with the discovery of new cannabinoids.

Searching for more helpful tips and guides? You’ve come to the right place.

Check out our latest articles for more advice today.