Guide to Cannabinoids

Learn how different temperatures affect cannabinoids and how these chemicals help regulate our bodies

What is a Cannabinoid?

Cannabinoids are chemicals found both in cannabis, and naturally in our bodies and brains. There are over 480 natural components in cannabis, about 66 are cannabinoids.

Cannabinoid effects are based on the parts of the brain they interact with. Research shows cannabinoids affect different distinct parts of our brains, like our limbic system (a part of the brain that affects memory, cognition and psychomotor performance), the mesolimbic pathway (associated with feelings of reward), and all over parts of the brain responsible for pain perception.

Jump to a deeper dive

Chart of Cannabinoid Temperatures

Boiling Points of Various Cannabis Chemicals and their Effects

View in celsius or fahrenheit

THC ∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

157°C / 315°F

THC-A ∆1-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

105°C / 220°F

CBN Cannabinol

185°C / 365°F

CBG Cannabigerol

-°C / -°F

CBC Cannabichromene

220°C / 428°F

CBD Cannabidiol

180°C / 356°F

CBD-A Cannabidiolic Acid

120+°C / 248°F


198°C / 388°F


160°C / 320°F


168°C / 334°F


176°C / 349°F


198°C / 388°F


155°C / 311°F

Source for info: Steep Hill Lab here in California.

A Deeper Dive into Cannabinoids

Not all cannabinoids are psychologically active

CBG, CBC and CBD are three classes known to have no psychological effect. However, THC, CBN, CBDL and some other cannabinoids are very well known to be psychologically active, but their strength and effects differ.

What’s so great about CBD in medical marijuana?

CBD is likely the most abundant cannabinoid, nearly 40% of a cannabis plant’s resin. CBD appears to have anti-anxiety effects and lessens the psychoactive effects of THC. Medicating with plants low in CBD has been shown to have more psychological impact and make people feel anxious.

Now, some places are developing special strains of cannabis without THC, Charlotte’s Web is such a strain developed specifically with low THC, high CBD, which is great for kids and other medical uses where the euphoric effects of cannabis aren’t necessarily desireable.

So here’s a case where removing THC from the plant makes it less effective for treating seizures. In other words, everyone needs different medicines for different symptoms, so it’s probably best if we let doctors and patients figure this out instead of state and federal government.

Whilst standardized cannabis extract (SCE) inhibited spasticity in the mouse model of MS to a comparable level, it caused a more rapid onset of muscle relaxation, and a reduction in the time to maximum effect compared with THC alone. The THC-free extract or cannabidiol (CBD) caused no inhibition of spasticity. SCE was a more potent and again more rapidly-acting anticonvulsant than isolated THC, but in this model, the THC-free extract also exhibited anticonvulsant activity. Cannabidiol did not inhibit seizures

Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoids affect our central nervous system by interacting with specific receptors, so far we’ve discovered two kinds of cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, also called anandamide (discovered in 1992) and the whole system of both recepters and naturally occurring substances that bind to CB1 are referred to as our endogenous cannabinoid system.

CB2 receptors differ because they’re confined to the immune system, this receptor has been found in the marginal zone of the spleen.

Is CBN bad for weed?

Well it’s not bad, but CBN is what happens when THC is exposed to air, it oxidizes and forms CBN. So leaving your cannabis out in the open will decrease its potency by increasing CBN. It’s basically a chemical timestamp indicator of how old cannabis is. CBN is a very weak psychoactive, and not unlike CBD interacts with THC to reduce its effects.

What’s Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?

First discovered in 2004, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a disorder where people who abuse cannabis suffer from nausea, vomiting and colicky stomach and abdominal pain. Symptoms can be reduced by taking a hot shower or abstaining from using cannabis. More research is here and here and here.

More updates to this page soon...

I’m working on researching cannabinoids and cancer as well as how synthetic cannabinoids work compared to natural plant forms. Sign up for the mailing list if you want email updates about things like this. Thanks for reading!

Research and Institutions Related to Cannabinoids

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