What Cannabinoid Will be the Next Big Thing in Cannabis? Here’s a Look at Four Breakout Candidates.

CBD is only one of hundreds of unique cannabinoids found in cannabis, each with its own unique properties and potential benefits. So it’s fair to ask: What’s next?

By now, everyone knows the deal with cannabidiol, or CBD.

It's the non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis, providing all the plant's therapeutic benefits minus the high. Given that it's infused into everything from face masks to bug sprays, and occupies its own shelves at New Seasons and Walgreen's, even your parents have probably tried it—which, of course, means that CBD is totally over.

OK, maybe not. In fact, it's probably only going to get bigger. But CBD is only one of hundreds of unique cannabinoids found in cannabis, each with its own unique properties and potential benefits. So it's fair to ask: What's next?

That's hard to say, of course. But to get an idea of what the next big thing might be, we asked Anna Symonds, director of East Fork Cultivars' CBD Certified program, to walk us through a brief primer on four other cannabinoids gradually making their way into the marketplace.

CBG (cannabigerol)

What is it? It's the granddaddy of them all—the cannabinoid from which all others descend. By the time cannabis plants are harvested, only trace amounts of the compound remain, having already been converted into raw forms of THC and CBD at that point in the growth cycle, meaning that isolation and extraction is difficult, and expensive.

What can it do? According to Symonds, CBG has shown particular promise as a potent anti-inflammatory, perhaps even more than CBD.

Where can I find it? Oregon CBD Co. (oregoncbdseeds.com) has bred what it claims is "the world's first pure CBG flower," a strain called Stem Cell CBG.

CBN (cannabinol)

What is it? Old weed, basically. As THC ages, the molecules break down, changing the chemical composition. "I won't use the word 'degrade,' because that implies it's a lesser something," Symonds says, "and it's really value neutral." Symonds says you don't even necessarily need to breed for it—if you've got some ancient nugs rotting in a forgotten stash box in your closet, you've got CBN.

What can it do? CBN has gained a reputation for its sedating properties, making it an effective sleep aid—some have referred to it as "the new Ambien."

Where can I find it? Washington company Green Revolution's Beauty Sleep tincture contains 20 mg of CBN and can be found at several Vancouver, Wash., dispensaries (greenrevolution.com).


What is it? Think of it as "THC light." While it shares many of the same characteristics with its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol—that's your garden-variety THC—the high is more moderate, even at higher percentages. "It was like this little mood boost," Symonds says of her experience with delta-8. "I felt altered, but I didn't feel impaired at all. My functioning was fine, but I just had a little floatiness to my day."

What can it do? Many of the same things "regular" THC does—tamps down nausea, quells anxiety, stimulates appetite, etc.

Where can I find it? Oregrown (oregrown.com) sells Delta 8 in concentrated form.

THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin)

What is it? As the name suggests, its molecular makeup is also similar to THC, except it's found to be non-intoxicating in small doses, and is thought to have unique therapeutic benefits—it's also rare enough to earn the nickname "the sports car of weed."

What can it do? Call it bizarro weed—it actually suppresses appetite. Early research also shows it could be effective in treating type 2 diabetes, liver disease and various forms of addiction.

Where can I find it? SoFresh Farms' award-winning Durban Poison contains high amounts of THCV (sofresh.farm).

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