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What Does Marijuana Contain? Components and Effects

Dani Walton
Dani Walton

Cannabis is one of the oldest medicinal herbs known to humankind. According to archaeological findings, marijuana was used as far back as 2500 years ago, mainly in Southeast Asia. Some of the earliest cannabis uses include relieving headaches, soothing wounds, and aphrodisiac purposes.

Modern science has since uncovered additional medicinal benefits of marijuana. Just like kratom, cannabis might help with various medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, nausea, inflammation, seizures, and insomnia. You can get wholesale kratom in order to reduce pain and anxiety.

Now, marijuana produces hundreds of compounds that account for its pharmacological properties. This post examines what cannabis is and the plant’s various components and its effects.

What Exactly Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that produces numerous species. These species are also frequently called strains or cultivars.

You’re probably already familiar with popular cannabis species such as Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. But as you shall find, there are scores of other cannabis strains out there, including Cannabis ruderalis and Cannabis hybrid.

Cannabis species differ across various parameters, including their maturation period and cannabinoid profile. Cannabinoids are bioactive compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant.

Is cannabis the same as marijuana?

The terms “cannabis” and “marijuana” appear interchangeably in numerous publications (including this one). But scientifically, marijuana is a unique cultivar of the cannabis plant characterized by significant psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. Marijuana is often contrasted from hemp, another popular cannabis variant that produces high yields of the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD).

This post will refer to cannabis using its various popular monikers, including marijuana, pot, and weed for convenience.

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Cannabis Components and Their Various Effects

When looking for the best hash products, you may stumble upon products containing more than one marijuana extract. Therefore, it pays to understand what those compounds are and their distinctive effects.

As we already mentioned, cannabis contains hundreds of compounds. These chemicals broadly fall under two distinct groups, namely cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids refer to the specific compounds in marijuana that account for the vast majority of the plant’s medicinal properties. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most widely studied cannabinoids.

Both THC and CBD contain immense healing benefits. And like all other marijuana compounds, these substances exert their therapeutic effects by impacting the endocannabinoid system. The difference lies in the exact manner in which each cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

When consumed, CBD alters the chemical structure of specific endocannabinoid receptors located in the body’s peripheral organs and tissues. Such receptors are known as CB2 receptors. CBD’s effects on CB2 receptors are believed to offer relief from a wide range of diseases, particularly conditions whose primary symptoms include pain, anxiety, seizures, inflammation, and insomnia.

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system by enhancing the body’s access to its neurotransmitters. For instance, CBD increases serotonin signaling. Serotonin is a chemical associated with happiness. CBD might also increase anandamide’s signaling, the neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in pain and anxiety relief.

Tetrahydrocannabinol also impacts the endocannabinoid system. When consumed, the compound binds directly to endocannabinoid receptors near the brain and central nervous system, called CB1 receptors.

THC’s effects on the endocannabinoid system might also offer relief from pain. Since the substance interacts directly with the brain, it can produce effects similar to opioid drugs. Like CBD, THC might also provide relief from anxiety disorders, inflammatory conditions, sleep issues, and seizures.

In terms of individual effects, it’s important to note that tetrahydrocannabinol induces euphoria while cannabinol does not. THC’s mind-altering properties come down to the compound’s direct interactions with brain receptors.

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The following are other cannabinoids besides CBD and THC.

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabivarin (CBV)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabicitran (CBT)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabigerovarin (CBGV)
  • Cannabigerol monomethyl ether (CBGM)
  • Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiorcol (THCC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP)

Although these compounds are not as widely studied as CBD and THC, numerous preliminary findings suggest that they also contain specific medicinal properties.

For instance, Cannabigerol (CBG) has been shown to relieve inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome and glaucoma. CBG might also improve bladder functions, improve appetite, and reduce tumor growth.

Cannabichromene (CBC) might help relieve pain and inflammation, according to a recent study. The compound is also a renowned antidepressant.

To determine the effects of these cannabinoids, you only need to check their names. Generally, cannabinoids that begin with the TH- prefix are psychoactive, whereas those that start with the CB prefix are non-psychoactive.

What About Terpenes?

Terpenes refer to marijuana compounds that give cannabinoids their respective flavors and aromas. Many terpenes also offer additional therapeutic benefits. That explains why marijuana doctors generally recommend using cannabis products formulated with significant amounts of terpenes.

Because terpenes mostly stand out for their aromatic effects, it’s also essential to choose a marijuana product formulated with terpenes that produce your favorite aromas. The table below identifies the most popular cannabis terpenes, along with their individual aromatic and therapeutic effects;

Myrcene Sedation
LimoneneCitrusyEnergizing and Mood-lifting
TerpinoleneWoody or SmokeySedation
Beta-CaryophylleneWoody and PepperySedation
Eucalyptol Analgesic and mood-lifting
Delta-3-CareneConiferous and PepperyAnalgesic and anti-inflammatory
HumuleneHoppyAnti-inflammatory and appetite-suppressing
TerpineolLimeyAnti-inflammatory and antifungal


Blimburn has selected our iconic MAMBA NEGRA to develop a new CBD line from our growing center located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a selection of feminized marijuana seeds specially created to obtain a THC below 2%.

Secondly, it is a cross between Critical Mass, 2004 Highlife champion, and a very fruity and compact skunk variety with red hairs. It is also a great producer, producing very uniform plants with large central colas. In addition, its buds are large, compact, and extremely fragrant with strong fruity notes that give it both a physical and cerebral effect.

Finally, Mamba Negra CBD also grows well outdoors where it flowers early and shows a good resistance to mold.



The Bottom Line

Despite their reported medicinal effects, it is important to remember that cannabis compounds are still illegal in many countries around the world. Therefore, always check your local marijuana laws before administering any cannabis extract.

Strains featured in this article:

Dani Walton

Dani Walton is a highly accomplished cannabis expert and entrepreneur hailing from the Bay Area. With an impressive track record spanning over 20 years, Dani has amassed a wealth of experience in the cannabis industry. Her journey has taken her across the globe, as she traveled with the executive team of Harborside for more than 11 years, passionately advocating for the positive impacts of the cannabis plant.

During her tenure at Harborside, Dani excelled in managing wholesale and distribution for Harborside's farm, while also playing a pivotal role in the development of their in-house brand, Key. Following her departure from Harborside, Dani embarked on a new venture, co-founding NXTLVL, a women-owned concentrate delivery service that quickly gained recognition and Agris Farms. A beautiful 5 acre light dep farm located in Woodland, near Sacramento.

Her extensive knowledge encompasses the latest consumer trends, cannabis sales, extraction techniques, cultivation methods, new brands and products, as well as the evolving science of cannabis medicine. Recognized as a respected authority in the industry, Dani has served as a judge for esteemed cannabis competitions such as Chalice, High Times, Dab- A- Doo, The Organic Cup and The Emerald Cup. Her expertise and insights have been sought after by renowned publications and media outlets, including Forbes, The Guardian, The Independent, and many others.

With her remarkable background and unwavering commitment to advancing the cannabis industry, Dani Walton stands as a true pioneer and an influential figure in the field.

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