Minor Cannabinoids: Potential Uses and Legality

These days, nearly everyone in the United States is familiar with CBD. Many people don’t know that numerous types of cannabinoids are currently being studied. Compounds known as minor cannabinoids have a variety of different effects, applications, and legal restrictions. As these compounds continue to be studied, it could lead to new products for retailers to add to their inventory.

In this article, we’ll explore the known minor cannabinoids, discuss their potential uses, and examine their current legal status. If you’re already familiar with minor cannabinoids and want to skip to a particular section, select one of the following links.

What is a Minor Cannabinoid?

Minor cannabinoids are compounds that can be derived from the cannabis plant that are neither THC nor CBD (which are considered “major cannabinoids”). To date, researchers have identified over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. In addition to being less widely known, minor cannabinoids tend to be present in smaller quantities than either THC or CBD, with some not even being present in a majority of cannabis plants.

Notable Minor Cannabinoids and Their Potential Uses

Finding out about minor cannabinoids hardly matters if there is not a useful application for them. But much like CBD, researchers are already looking into these compounds to see how they affect the human body. We’ve identified five of the most notable minor cannabinoids to explore their potential uses and explain what is known about them.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

Despite its title as a minor cannabinoid, CBG is often referred to as the “stem cell cannabinoid” and even “the mother of cannabinoids.” The reason for this title is that the compound is produced early in the plant lifecycle, and then other cannabinoids are synthesized from CBG through the natural metabolic processes of the cannabis plant.

CBG works similarly to CBD, but it may have even more potential benefits. Tests are currently being done to see if we can take advantage of the stem cell-like nature of CBG to induce different effects in humans. Because of this potential, CBG has been rapidly growing in popularity, and is likely to be one of the first minor cannabinoids to hit retail shelves.


Cannabichromene (CBC)

CBC is among the rarer varietals of cannabinoids as it is produced by a recessive gene that can only be activated under certain conditions. Much like CBD, CBC is non-intoxicating, which automatically makes it of interest to researchers. From what they’ve been able to study, CBC may naturally support mood elevation by activating the endocannabinoid system. Notably, it also seems to stimulate the effects of other cannabinoids, enhancing their potency.

Cannabinol (CBN)

CBN is notable for its synergistic relationship with THC. In particular, it pairs with THC to enhance the natural lethargy that comes with the consumption of THC. While the effects of CBN are not fully understood, it has potential use as a safe sedative but leans slightly more towards the recreational cannabis application end.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

THCV was one of the first minor cannabinoids to gain interest from the CBD community. At low doses, THCV is non-intoxicating, and research indicates that it has a wide range of potential benefits. Because it does have intoxicating effects, though mild, it represents a major step forward in the quest to find a medical application for THC.


THC-A is a chemical present in the cannabis flower before heat is applied to it. From what researchers have been able to find out, this chemical activates the intoxicating effects of THC. By isolating this compound, researchers may be able to find a way to block the activation of certain effects that THC induces. This would allow for more effective research into both substances.

Right now, minor cannabinoids are unregulated by the federal government, and the harvest of cannabis remains illegal outside of certain states. The U.S. government is waiting for additional research to come in before taking any definitive steps towards the regulation of these compounds.

The good news is that many of these same compounds are found in the hemp plant, which is legal to cultivate in the United States. As hemp enjoys increased popularity, interest in these compounds is sure to grow, creating new opportunities for easy-to-understand minor cannabinoid regulations.

Looking to Invest in CBD?

If the recent attention surrounding minor cannabinoids and CBD has caught your interest, you should consider investing in CBD products. There are dozens of potential applications for CBD that can help you succeed in the ever-changing retail market. If you have any questions regarding hemp, contact us, or better yet, fill out our vendor form to see the amazing range of products that we can put on your shelves.

Want to learn more about CBD? Check out one of the following articles and find out what there is to know about this remarkable compound.

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