THC – There is much more to it than you think

“One main type of THC is hogging the limelight; casting a grand shadow making the other important forms almost invisible to the mainstay of the recreational and medical communities.”

Strangely, there is a gaping hole in the knowledge set. Few people know that there are five main kinds of THC.   Fewer still have even a vague idea about what the different types do.  For example, running against the stereotype, one type of THC increases appetite/sedates and another version of THC suppresses hunger and energises.  Another example, raw THC types don’t get you high and allow massive medicinal dosing without major side effects.


  • D9-THC (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) – The main one psychoactive component of most marijuana, produced from the burning or heating of raw cannabis


  • D8-THC (Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol) – The main non-psychoactive component of raw hemp

  • THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic – Acid)  – The raw non-psychoactive form of THC

  • THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) – A psychoactive and minor component of marijuana

  • THCVA (Tetrahydrocannabivarin – Acid) – The raw, non-psychoactive form

  • CDN (Cannabinol) – Oxidized THC, forms when marijuana ages

In common speak, THC in scientific speak, refers to decarboxylated tetrahydrocannabinol, the wacky tobacco component of lore.  Lost in the woodwork are the other important forms of THC.

An unofficial in-house survey of growers, physicians, self-anointed gurus and weed aficionados found that there is a general lack of understanding about the very famed marijuana molecule, THC.  Previously, one main type of THC hogged the limelight; casting a grand shadow, making the other important forms invisible to both the recreational and medical communities.


“Other lesser known forms of THC account for varying, important psychoactive effects of both rec and med cannabis.”

Non psychoactive Cannabis strains


Let’s erasing the first misconception; THC is not one thing. One type of THC is dominant in most strains of medical and recreational marijuana. THC in folk-speak refers to the most abundant form of this type molecule that is produced from burning or baking, as in a joint.  However, there are actually three important types of THC commonly found in hemp and marijuana, and each of these forms can be altered chemically. Heating and aging changes the structure of the core THC molecule in important ways. These minor changes in molecular structure produce major functional differences in action.


Each type of THC changes its molecular structure and properties upon heating.  When common psychoactive THC ages or is exposed to ultraviolet light, it converts into yet another form called Cannabinol, again with differing medicinal and psychoactivity.

While this article focuses on THC, it is noted that there are many other cannabinoids present in cannabis, (such as CBD) that have outstanding therapeutic properties,as well.  Further, terpenes (essential oils) affect cannabinoid (THC, CBD, etc.) activity with receptor systems that modulate pain, inflammation, emotional responses, neurological activity, and virtually every bodily response.

The takeaway is that the different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes deliver a wide variety of experiences. The consensus opinion of elite researchers (doctors that focus on cannabis medicines) is that mono-THC strains are not the best choice.


Veteran growers, weed alchemists, self-anointed gurus and dabbling affectionados know a lot about their bud, but there are usually gaping holes in their repertoire.  Some have in depth of in-the-field knowledge about cloning, selection, varieties, seeds, hydroponics, the stoning effects; other essentials.  Generally speaking, the weakness is that these folk are generally not so well endowed with scientific knowledge,protocol and technique.  Few few posses post-university work experience in sophisticated testing, clinical trials, and mature research techniques.


Growers might say.. the strain Hush-Bush is Sativa dominant hybrid with Indica overtones, but where do they get those ideas?  The reality often plays out contrary to urban myth; when a strain goes for testing and the genetic test results come back – low and behold, the strain Hush-Bush turns out to be not sativa dominant after all, there’s as much Indica as Sativa, with something else apparently mixed in.   Then there are the two THC types, the cannabinoid and terpene profile to consider, and how they might interact via the entourage effect?

“MMJ World vs Big Pharma. It is the difference between free market and communism, the difference between email and snail mail. We think so.”  – MMJDOCTORONLINE

In you like THC, you're probably going to love THC-V


Despite this gaping hole in the general scientific knowledge and etiquette of MMJ. It should be mentioned that innovators with substantial acumen are moving the science forward in leaps and bounds.  The tendency of the marijuana group is toward transparency and the sharing information. Via the internet, cannabis  science has exploded.  This organic rag-tag group threatens to overtake the brute-force archaic, clumsy pharmaceutical model, overridden and overburdened with regulation and documentation. In other words, the MMJ community is a friendly, cooperative and freedom loving bunch; as opposed to the so very droll and ethically challenged corporate pharmaceutical bunch.

Back to point, self taught cannabis professionals need to consider that some of their ideas are based on hearsay, and their assumptions need to be backed up with fact; clinical trials and laboratory testing especially.

THCA non-paychaletic decarboxylation to THC psychadelic

“THCV doesn’t appear to suppress emotions, only the ability to panic, associated with Fight or Flight response.” – GW Pharmaceuticals


THCA molecule

THCA – Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid – The Most Common Ingredient of most Raw Marijuana

Though this ingredient exists naturally in the plant, until recently its subtle but incredibly medicinal properties have been overlooked.  THCA is the raw, unheated form of non-psychoactive of THC.  It’s found in abundance (10-25%+) in most western recreational and medical marijuana.  Once thought to be inert, unless smoked or heated, THCA turns out to be more effective in treating several disorders in selected conditions and individuals; gastrointestinal issues, nausea, insulin issues, inflammation and circulatory problems.  Large amounts of THCA can be taken safely using juice or cold press extracts.

THC Molecule - The famous type
THC Tetrahydrocannabinol – The most common form of psychoactive THC in most Strains

THC is produced from THCA when heated or smoked.  This is the molecule made famous by Cheech and Chong.  This is the molecule that many recreational users describe as being abundant in the “good stuff”.  This is also the molecule that can make some people paranoid and anxious.  It has been found that certain terpenes (essential oils) and other cannabinoids (such as CBD) interact with THC and several types of receptors to produce, not only a better recreational experience, but an enhanced therapeutic event as well.

Strains high in THC are not natural.  They’ve been specially bred to contain the maximum of psychoactive (stoning) product.  Medically speaking, these strains are recommended only for THC tolerant individuals with conditions the respond best to THC alone.  Historically, Indian Hemp, Hemp and Hasish did not contain THC levels above 10% and hovered around 5%.  The other cannabinoids present were CBD, d8THC, (non psychoactive), THCV (energising) and other cannabinoids.  The consensus opinion among scientists is that a mixture of cannabinoids is preferable for both business and pleasure, in the vast majority of scenarios.

THC Main Indications: :

  • Analgesic – painkiller most conditions

  • Antispasmodic – seizure and neurological normalizer

  • Anti-tremor – neurological aid

  • Anti-inflammatory – immune system modulator

  • Appetite stimulant – aids, cancer, anorexia

  • Anti-emetic properties – anti nausea, pms, morning sickness

CBN - Aged THC

CBN Cannabinol – Main Degradation THC product of Cannabis and especially Hash

Depending on the conditions, moisture, heat, microorganisms and light, a little or a lot of raw THCA can convert into Cannabinol.  Rather than think about this form as rancid THC, it might be more accurate to consider of aged cannabis akin to vintage wine.

Cannabinol is very close in structure to THC, but the subtle difference in the bonds changes its activity / affinity for the CB1 and CB2 receptors entirely. CBN is THC less four hydrogen atoms which are lost in the aging process.  Cannabinol is an antagonist to the CB1 receptor, which slows the action of THC, while it activates another receptor (CB2) which modulates non-psychoactive (i.e. anti inflammatory) medicinal responses.

In this way, Cannabinol moderates the effect of THC and reduces episodes of psychosis and anxiety.  CBN’s special claim to fame is its use as an especially effective sleeping aid.  Cannabinol also provides benefits antibacterial resistance, anti-inflammatory relief (especially Crohn’s), and moderate immune system dysfunction. CBN is also as an analgesic – pain killer and is beneficial to glaucoma patients because it reduces intraocular pressure.  Future It applications include epilepsy, as it acts as an anticonvulsive.

It is the loss of these atoms during exposure to air, when oxidation occurs, that produces CBN. This is why patients might want to keep their medicine in airtight jars, that is, if they want maximum psychoactive effect.  On the other hand, if they want both cannabinol and THC, then its best to move the jar into the sun and let in a little air.  In any case, you don’t want mold so best to keep the product dry, in any case. It is a good idea to throw a non-toxic desiccant pouch into the storage jar.

Chemdawg Sour,  will surely be at the top of the marijuana charts in the near future.


THCV - The most rare but greatest type?

THCV Tetrahydrocannabivarin, Possibly the most medicinal of all types of THC?

THCV is identical to THC except its “tail” is chopped off or half size.  Without getting into the nuances of the chemistry that even the scientists struggle to understand, this compound responds differently with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and probably other receptors as well.   The takeaway is that THCV delivers similar and sometimes opposing effects to the more well known THC molecule.  OK then, what does THCV do?

“While THC activates cannabinoid receptors, THCV works in the opposite way by blocking receptors from being activated. Since most strains tend to have much higher levels of THC, the effects of THCV are usually not achieved by using cannabis in its natural form.”

THCV Cannabis Strains

  • Durbin Poison and Spin-off varieties

  • South African Select Varieties

  • Doug’s Varin and Pineapple Purps

  • Crosses of Jack the Ripper and Black Cherry Soda can have 2.4 % THCV

  • Agent Orange Nug Run Shatter can have about 2 % THCV

  • Tangie, Girl

  • Scout Cookies

  • Pie Face OG

  • Hawaiian Dutch

“THCV and THC both possess pain relieving properties, but they differ in one very big way. Whereas THC induces appetite, THCV suppresses appetite. THCV also increases energy. That’s very significant when one considers how many health problems are directly tied to diabetes and obesity, which THCV can help combat.” – GW Pharmaceuticals

THCV Properties

  • Psychoactive but different from common D9THC

  • Euphoric, as opposed to sedating (THC)

  • Energising, stimulating

  • Good for day tasks, clear headedness

  • An appetite suppressant

  • Helps regulate blood sugar, improve insulin production

  • Curbs anxiety and blocks panic attacks from THC

  • Stimulates bone growth

  • Research suggests that it might improve motor skills

  • Good results with Alzheimer’s patients

  • African Sativas seem to contain the most THCV

 What are the best strain of Cannabis for a good night's sleep?


There is a large amount of THCV in Pakistani cannabis, plus cannabinol and d8 (non psychoactive THC) which is the one used to make a medicine called ‘tincture of cannabis’. That contained about equal amounts of THC and THCV.

D8THC - Hemp THC nonpsychoactive ever.

D8THC – Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol – Hemp Source

This molecule is the most abundant cannabinoid in common hemp.  Its medicinal effects are very poorly studied, according to the literature..  Recently, a growing body of evidence suggests that D8THC has substantial therapeutic activity, but strangely, documentation is very sparse.   This form of THC is nearly-completely non-psychoactive and is legal in most countries in the world.

HU-210 The first wild Spice ingredient.

HU-210  Man made THC (most famous); 1,1-dimethylheptyl- 11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol

HU-210 is 100 to 800 times more potent than natural THC from cannabis and has an extended duration of action.  This molecule was synthesized from a heated extract ot THC by Dr. Mechoulam of Hebrew University. Dr. Mechoulam was the discoverer of THC no less (1970).

While the literature generally finds whole cannabis to be among of the safest of medicinal substances, HU-210 is not something you play with at home.  Synthetic cannabinoids might be compared to the difference between gunpowder and TNT.

HU-210 might be called the first spice ingredient (synthetic cannabinoids mixture with god knows what).  While HU-210’s medicinal effects might are well documented, other synthetic cannabinoids are not and really to be avoided until the clinical evidence comes in toward the efficacy and safety of these unnatural molecules.   Self titration and use is definitely a no no.  With that said, HU-210 might be beneficial to treat extreme conditions.

HU-210 Medicinal Properties include:

  • Promotes proliferation of some types of stem cells

  • Increases neural growth

  • High powered anxiety, antidepressant effects

  • Potent painkiller and anti inflammatory

THC molecules - Chromatography Lab Testing


  • THC (D9) psychoactive taken alone or in strains containing almost no other cannabinoids should be avoided, unless proven otherwise.

  • Strains high in THC, CBD and THCV are highly recommended for both recreational and medicinal use.

  • Aged marijuana and hashish that contains both THC and Cannabinol is particularly good for pain relief and sleep.

  • THCA and other raw cannabinoids are non-psychoactive and can be highly medicinal and substituted or used in conjunction with THC (psychoactive) for some conditions.

  • CBD, THCV and Cannabinol can substitute for THC in some cases and conditions.

  • Terpenes such as those found in black pepper can be used to offset the negative effects of THC.

Grow Your Own Blue Dream - 6 plants for 30 oz



Durban Poison; Pick a strain with A cannabinoid profile showing at least 1% CBG and 1% THCV and whatever THC content.  CBD while desirable won’t be found in therapeutic quantity.

“Durban Poison is like the “espresso” of cannabis. The raciest sativa I know of, it’s a stimulating and clear headed high with no trace of numbing or “stoning.” It wakes you up, cuts through the bleary fog and leaves you clearheaded and bright, gives you energy to go and seize the day. Gives tons of energy and also an intense emotional euphoria… where everything is vibrating and you can’t take the smile off your face…” – Leafy

Durban Poison Cannanbinoid Profile

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes:  To buy weed with the best cannabinoid profile, whether its for recreational or medicating effects, in California, you’re going to need a 420 recommendation.  We provide fast and affordable medical doctor’s evaluations completely online.  The process is 100% online and our process complies with the guidelines for Telemedicine set by the Medical Board of California.  We also provide Cannabis ID Cards, Grower’s permits, renewals, all online and same day.  Our documents are accepted by licensed Cannabis Clinics, Marijuana Dispensaries, Delivery Services, and Cooperatives in both the State of California and Nevada.


Genetic Testing Services

These genetic tools when combined with our already existing strain chemical profiling program (Steep Hill’s Strain Fingerprint™) provides end users with better ways of identifying the important medicinal compounds and properties.

GO DEEP Method for producing an extract from cannabis plant matter, containing a tetrahydrocannabinol and a cannabidiol and cannabis extractsjavascript:

An elaborate fantastic resource for raw data about Cannabis composition and the chemistry thereof.

D8 – THC  All about, fill your boots.

Supplemental Research Reports.  Isolation of Delta9-THCA-A from hemp and analytical aspects concerning the determination of Delta9-THC in cannabis products. Dussy, F.E. et al. Forensic Sci Int. 2005 Apr 20; 149(1):3-10.

“Heat exposure of Cannabis sativa extracts affects the pharmacokinetic and metabolic profile in healthy male subjects. Eichler, M. et al. Planta Med 2012 May; (70)7:686-91.

Handbook of Cannabis, ElSohly, M. and Gul, W. Constituents of Cannabis Sativa. R.Pertwee; Oxford U Press: 2014
Mass Spectromic Methods for Determination of Cannabinoids to Physiological Specimens. Marijuana and the Cannabinoids, Foltz, Rodger.  ed. M. ElSohly 2007.

Psychopharmacological Activity of Some Substances Extracted from Cannabis sativa. Grunfeld et al.  Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiol 27(2);219-220. 1969.

Cannabis Review. Department of Plant Metabolomics, Leiden University, 2008-9.
Jung, J. et al. Hazekamp, A. Detection of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A in human urine and blood serum by LC-MS/MS. J Mass Spectrom 2007: Mar; 42(3): 354-60.

Determination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (Δ9-THCA-A) in whole blood and plasma by LC-MS/MS and application in authentic samples from drivers suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis. Raikos et al. Forens Sci Int 2014 Oct 243:130-6.

Effect of low doses of cannabidiolic acid and ondansetron on LiCl-induced conditioned gaping (a model of nausea-induced behaviour) in rats. Rock, E. and Parker,  Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;169(3):685-92

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid reduces nausea-induced conditioned gaping in rats and vomiting in Rock, E. et al. Suncus murinus Br J Pharmacol 2013 170:641-48.

A comparison of cannabidiolic acid with other treatments for anticipatory nausea using a rat model of contextually elicited conditioned gaping Psychopharmacology, Rock, E. et al. 2014 Aug;231(16):3207-15.

Cannabidiolic Acid as a selective Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory component in cannabis. Takeda, S. et al. Drug Metab Disp 2008; 36(9):1917-21.

Determination of the relative percentage distribution of THCA and Δ(9)-THC in herbal cannabis seized in Austria – Impact of different storage temperatures on stability. Taschwer, M. and Schmid, M. Forensic Sci Int. 2015 Sep;254:167-71.

Sexy strains, and why not?


Turner et al. Constituents of Cannabis sativa L. XVII. A review of the natural constituents. J Natural Prod 1980 Mar-Apr; 43(2): 169-234.

Rapid isolation procedure for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA) from Cannabis sativa using two flash chromatography systems. Wohlfarth, A. et al. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol

Biomed Life Sci. 2011 Oct 15;879(28):3059-64

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