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The Top Cannabinoids: Top 10 Cannabinoids Ranked & Explained

cannabinoid cbd thc health

What are the top cannabinoids you can find to use? Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis that interact with the cells of the body to create the high feeling and medical benefits people experience when they consume the drug. There is no way to say which are the "best cannabinoids" exactly. Rather, it's more beneficial to familiarize yourself with the different types of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and what they offer. This way you can find a strain of marijuana that fits the needs and has the side effects you're seeking.

Cannabis is positively filled with top cannabinoids, each of which does something different and produces a different medical benefit or effect on the endocannabinoid system. Expert growers can manipulate these cannabinoids to create specific desired results like inducing sleep, increasing appetite, easing pain, reducing the number and frequency of seizures, among other things.

Consume your cannabis any way you like. Toke it with a classic bong, take it on the go with a hand pipe, vape it wherever you are, or dab some concentrate.

 science research cannabinoid

You get the medicinal benefits from cannabinoids when consuming marijuana. Photo from: High Times

The list of top cannabinoids present in marijuana is fairly lengthy. We've ranked the top 10 cannabinoids and explained just what it is they can do for you.


1) THC

Of course, top billing has to go to tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC. THC is the primary cannabinoid that contributes to the psychoactive effect. This cannabinoid is responsible for the high feeling marijuana is known for.

There are many known medical benefits to THC, including but not limited to the following:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Crohn's Disease
  • PTSD
  • Cancer
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Alzheimer's Disease


2) CBD

While THC has always been the top cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) is certainly enjoying its time in the limelight. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that provides a long list of various health benefits. You can now find it in stores all over the US in products ranging from infused waters to lotions.

The following conditions can be treated with CBD:

  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Psychotic Disorders

If you want to skip THC CBD can be found in a variety of products including:


CBD healthy benefits medicinal marijuana

CBD is found in a wide variety of products. Photo from: Hempika

3) CBC

Cannabichromene (CBC) may be slightly lesser known than THC and CBD in the list of top cannabinoids, but it offers a wide range of medical benefits. The following are all benefits CBC offers:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Tumor
  • Anti-Depressant
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Encourages Brain Growth

4) CBN

Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the top cannabinoids that appear once your bud has gotten a bit stale; it's actually the THCa broken down. The following are known medicinal properties of CBN:

  • Antibiotic
  • Appetite Stimulant
  • Pain Reliever
  • Sedative
  • Potential Treatment for ALS
  • Potential Treatment for Glaucoma
  • Anti-Asthmatic


CBN medicine healthy cannabis
Medicinal marijuana is growing in popularity. Photo by WebMD

5) CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid that is found relatively early in the growth cycle of cannabis and is non-psychoactive. CBG is enjoying some popularity with researchers because of the following medicinal benefits:

  • Potential Treatment for Psoriasis
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-Tumor
  • Pain Reliever
  • Anti-Depressant
  • Mood Stabilizer

6) THCv

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) is yet another of the top cannabinoids that work with THC. Recent research suggests that THCv mitigates some of the negative psychoactive impacts THC can have. The following medical benefits can be encouraged by THCv:

  • Neuroprotective
  • Encourages Weight Loss
  • Anticonvulsant


marijuana joints smoke

These beautiful buds rich in cannabinoids brought to you by Leafbuyer

7) CBDv

Cannabidivarin (CBDv) is a cannabinoid that hasn't been researched all that much. CBDv is like a watered-down version of CBD, meaning that it contains many of the same properties and benefits but a few slight differences. The following are benefits of CBDv:

  • Anti-Epileptic
  • Anti-Nausea

8) Delta (8)-THC

The THC mentioned earlier (number 1) is Delta (9)-THC. Delta (8)-THC, on the other hand, is less psychoactive in adults and some studies suggest it could have anti-anxiety and neuroprotective properties. There's still tons of research left to do on Delta (8), but the following benefits are known:

  • Anti-Nausea
  • Appetite Stimulant

One of the best advantages of Delta-8 over Delta-9 is that, if it is derived from a hemp source (like CBD) then it is technically legal under federal law, even in states that don't allow recreational marijuana. You can even find it in convenient oral Delta-8 dissolving strips, for a fast-acting, discrete "buzz" on the go!

farm grow cannabis

These beautiful buds contain all these cannabinoids and many more. Photo by The Green Optimistic

9) THCa

Before marijuana is decarbed, it contains the cannabinoids THCa and CBDa the latter of which we will discuss next (number 10). These cannabinoids can be applied topically or eaten as a nutritional supplement. THCa cannot be

smoked or inhaled; heat breaks THCa down into the psychoactive THC. THCa is not psychoactive. The following are medicinal benefits THCa can provide:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Improved Neural Function
  • Improved Intestinal Function
  • Cancer and Pre-Cancerous Detection

10) CBDa

CBDa, as we mentioned above, is only found in raw marijuana that has yet to be decarbed. Like THCa, CBDa can't be smoked or inhaled, as the heat breaks it down. The potential medicinal benefits of CBDa are the same as those of THCa.

marijuana terpenes nug

This trikey beauty is chock full of cannabinoids and brought to you by Healthline



These are just 10 of the over 400 chemical compounds that can be found in marijuana. Each cannabinoid found in your precious bud provides a different benefit and effect. As research continues, we eagerly await the developments and the discoveries of what these cannabinoids can do.

Megan Medeiros Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)

Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.

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