Getting started with cannabinoids can be a huge trial and error experience. There is a wide array of cannabinoids available on the legal hemp market, but picking the right one for you may be a tricky or confusing process. A good starting point is focusing on the major cannabinoids, and some of the most popular cannabinoids in the market. The top three most utilized cannabinoids in 2022 are: Delta 8 THC, CBD, and CBG. These three cannabinoids are either used by themselves or blended together with other major and minor cannabinoids. What are these cannabinoids, and what are they used for?
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is a hemp-derived cousin to Delta 9 THC, though Delta 8 exhibits lower psychoactive effects, it binds to our CB1 receptors in the same way as Delta 9. The National Cancer Institute has acknowledged both types of THC have potential antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective activities. Delta 8 THC has been noted as an “efficient cannabinoid in pediatric oncology” (Abrahamov, 1995) for its promising results in stopping vomiting/nausea.
Delta 8 was first partially synthesized in 1941 by Roger Adams, the same scientist who also first isolated CBD. Delta 8 THC differs from Delta 9 THC in the positioning of its double bond between carbon atoms, which gives it a different set of effects and potency.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the most prevalent cannabinoid in hemp. CBD offers no psychoactive effects and dulls the effects of THC. In general applications, CBD’s most notable effect is as an anti-anxiety aid as well as a sleep aid in some people. In more extreme cases, CBD has been found to help with chronic pain; particularly with inflammation from arthritis, and with addiction in people quitting tobacco and heroin under certain conditions.
Of the Americans who use CBD, the most common uses are for pain relief (64%), anxiety (49%), and insomnia (42%). (SingleCare, 2020)
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is the direct derivative of CBGA (the mother cannabinoid). All three cannabinoids we are discussing here; CBD, CBG, THC, all derive from CBGA. Though CBGA and CBG are more prevalent during the early stages in a cannabis plant’s growth, by the time a plant reaches harvest CBG accounts for only about 1% of total cannabinoids. In comparison to a plant’s 1% CBG, that same plant will have up to 25% CBD. CBG is commonly used for digestive ailments and diseases, but it has also been known to help with glaucoma and neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s Disease .
What are the basic effects of these cannabinoids?
Delta 8 THC effects
Psychoactive, euphoric, roughly 50-75% as potent as Delta 9 THC. Very similar effects to Delta 9 THC, may cause dry mouth, red eyes, appetite stimulation, and mood enhancement.
Non-psychoactive and non-impairing, cancels/rounds out THC effects when taken together, calming and potentially effective for inflammation.
Synergistic with both cannabinoids, uplifting but also non-psychoactive, anti-inflammatory, calming, yet may be beneficial for focus and a stable mood.
What Kind of Product Should I Take?
The methods of vaping/dabbing are a fantastic way to side step any potential concerns pertaining to traditional methods, i.e. smoking and edibles. With vaporization techniques, you avoid the inhalation of carbon from charred plant matter and the sugar content of typical edibles.
It may be hard to believe, but these methods trace back to the 1970’s, but more modernized applications that most consumers would be familiar with started in the early 2000’s. Fast forward two decades and we now see many useful options and gadgets on the consumer market.
With vaping and dabbing temperature is your best friend. Optimal temperature range is between 315°F – 600°F (157°C – 315°C). A lot of avid users prefer low temp starts due to a much better flavor profile and a reduced harshness. At higher temps, terpenes will be progressively burned off causing you to lose substantial flavor on the high ends, but you will allow for larger, thicker cloud production. There is no innate benefit to a high temp start, it’s merely up to preference.
Much like edibles and capsules, tinctures are another method of oral ingestion. Also running in the same vein as edibles, tinctures can take about upwards of 30 to 60 minutes for the onset of effects, but with you can bypass the liver’s part of the job by dropping solution under the tongue. When using a tincture, it is a good idea to have eaten prior to ingesting, or to mix it into your food.
One of the modern classics of imbibing is the edible, and in recent years we’ve seen more companies begin to offer capsules as well. Edibles typically take around 30 to 60 minutes to take effect, but capsules tend to be a little quicker, staying more consistently at around 30 minutes. Some things to keep in mind when deciding between these two; edibles are enjoyable sugary treats that are easy, while capsules are great for people with children due to their bottles having locking lids. When it comes to which one is better for you, it ultimately comes down to preference.
A suppository is inserted into the rectum or vagina, dissolving once inside then being absorbed into the bloodstream. The beneficial side of using suppositories for cannabinoid consumption is it’s efficiency. The pelvic region houses a large amount of nerves, being a junction between the abdomen/spine and the legs. Rectal insertion is especially effective as the rectum is the last section of the colon, of which contains both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Rectal suppositories can be used treat anal fissures, hemorrhoid inflammation, Crohn’s and IBS, restless leg syndrome, lower back pain, prostate issues, post-operative pain, and can be used to mitigate pain from anal intercourse. Vaginal suppositories have noteably been used to ease menstrual cramps, endometriosis, post-coital pain or inflammation, vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse, as well as for relaxation and sexual enhancement.
Infused lotions, balms, and oils are quite popular on the market for local pain relief and inflammation. This method will offer no such results of an intense “high”, even in topicals with THC in the ingredient list. In the case of most topicals, cannabinoids won’t be able to break through into the bloodstream and will only penetrate as far as to offer localized relief. Though it can be said that there are transdermal patches that can allow cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream and offer more universal and long-lasting effects
Tincture Dosage Calculator
How much should I take?
First Time or Low Tolerance to Cannabinoids:
For people who are trying any cannabinoids for the first time or have a low tolerance, our recommendation for edibles would be trying a 5-10mg dosage, waiting around 4-6 hours between doses. If vaping, inhale for a few seconds, once or twice, and give it about 15 minutes to set in.
Medium Tolerance to Cannabinoids:
For those who have worked their way up to a mid-tier tolerance, you’ll probably be at home with edibles in the 10-25mg range, though we still recommend waiting a few hours between doses. This is also the level where most people start moving into dabbing. With dabbing, you can inhale as deeply as you’re comfortable with, but do not hold the cloud in your lungs. Upon that initial inhale, your body has absorbed all of the cannabinoids and you are fine to exhale immediately.
High Tolerance to Cannabinoids
Once you’ve built up to the higher tolerances, edibles 25-50mg+ are good to go and you’re good to dose as you feel fit. You should be pretty comfortable with dabbing now, and you can start loading up globs into your banger.
So Why Should I Be Using These Cannabinoids Together?
At the end of the day, Delta 8, CBD, and CBG all have their own individual applications, but one of the best ways to consume them is altogether. Studies suggest that compounds found in cannabis work better when consumed together, with the subsequent effect being known as the Entourage Effect. This means that most people will have a more enjoyable experience from full-spectrum products opposed to individual isolates. In a 2003 letter published in Psychopharmacology, researchers showed full-spectrum cannabis was two to four times more effective than THC alone, and in one study that full-spectrum was 330% more effective in mice than THC alone. With the way that our endocannabinoid system works, it is more beneficial to use full-spectrum products. No matter which of these cannabinoids you are most interested in, you should never discount the others. We always recommend that you try blended products to enhance your desired effects.