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Cannabinoid Profiling
Analytes of Interest

Cannabinoids
Cannabis Leaf
Cannabis Leaf

The terms "phytocannabinoids" and "cannabinoids" can sometimes be used interchangeably, but there's a distinction in their broader meanings:

Phytocannabinoids refer specifically to the cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. "Phyto" means "plant" in Greek, so phytocannabinoids are plant-derived compounds. THC and CBD are the most well-known phytocannabinoids, but there are over 100 different types found in cannabis, each with its own structure and effects.

Cannabinoids, on the other hand, is a broader term that includes not only phytocannabinoids but also synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. 


Synthetic cannabinoids, are man-made chemicals that can mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids but often have more potent and unpredictable effects, sometimes used in research or as part of pharmaceutical drugs.


Endocannabinoids, are produced naturally by the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). These molecules, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), play a crucial role in regulating various physiological functions.

In summary, while all phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids, not all cannabinoids are phytocannabinoids. The distinction lies in their origin: whether they are produced by the cannabis plant, synthesized in a lab, or generated within the human body.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
Major Cannabinoid

THC's chemical structure includes a phenol ring and a pyran ring, with a pentyl (5 carbon) chain. This configuration allows THC to bind effectively with CB1 receptors in the brain, inducing psychoactive effects. The presence of a cyclic ring system enables interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system.

Delta-9 THC

Analyte of Interest

THC is like the famous celebrity of the cannabis world, known for its psychoactive effects that give people a "high." At a molecular level, it's built with a ring structure that allows it to fit perfectly into receptors in the brain, affecting how we think, feel, and perceive the world around us.

CBD (Cannabidiol)
Major Cannabinoid

CBD features a cyclohexene ring and two hydroxyl groups, which contribute to its non-psychoactive properties. Unlike THC, CBD's structure does not allow it to bind strongly with CB1 receptors, minimizing its psychoactive effects while offering potential therapeutic benefits.

CBD

Analyte of Interest

CBD is THC's non-psychoactive cousin, famous for its potential therapeutic benefits without making you feel high. Its molecule is similar to THC but with a slight twist in its structure that changes the way it interacts with our body, supporting feelings of relaxation and calmness without altering your mind.

THCA
(TetrahydrocannabinolicAcid)

Minor Cannabinoid

THCA contains a carboxylic acid group attached to the phenolic ring, distinguishing it from THC. This additional group makes THCA a non-psychoactive precursor to THC, with heat or UV light triggering the loss of this group and converting THCA to THC.

THCA

Analyte of Interest

THCA is the raw, non-active form of THC found in the cannabis plant. Its molecular structure includes an extra carboxyl group that disappears when heated, transforming THCA into THC. Before heating, THCA may have its own set of benefits, without the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBDA features a carboxyl group attached to the resorcinol ring, which is absent in CBD. This carboxyl group is responsible for CBDA's acidic properties and is removed through decarboxylation to convert CBDA into CBD, affecting its bioavailability and interaction with the body.

CBDA

Analyte of Interest

CBDA is CBD before it's fully matured, existing in raw cannabis plants. Its molecular structure contains an extra carboxyl group that, when heated, breaks off to become CBD. This raw form is being researched for its potential health benefits distinct from CBD.

CBN (Cannabinol)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBN is characterized by the oxidation of THC, which alters its chemical structure by breaking down the tetrahydrocannabinol ring. This results in a slightly reduced affinity for CB1 receptors compared to THC, contributing to its less psychoactive nature.

CBN

Analyte of Interest

CBN is what you get when THC ages and breaks down; think of it as THC's older, more mellow sibling. Its molecular structure changes slightly when THC is exposed to oxygen and light, making it less potent but with distinct potential benefits, like promoting relaxation and sleep.

CBG (Cannabigerol)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBG contains a phenolic ring and is structurally similar to CBD and THC but with a different arrangement of side chains. This slight variation affects how CBG interacts with cannabinoid receptors, potentially leading to its unique effects, such as reducing inflammation.

CBG

Analyte of Interest

CBG is often called the "mother of all cannabinoids" because other cannabinoids are derived from its acidic form. Its molecular structure is the starting point that, through various processes, transforms into THC, CBD, and others. It's like the stem cell of cannabinoids, with potential health benefits of its own.

CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBGA, the precursor to many cannabinoids, features a carboxyl group that makes it acidic. Its structure serves as the foundational building block for the synthesis of other cannabinoid acids, such as THCA and CBDA, through enzymatic reactions within the cannabis plant.

CBGA

Analyte of Interest

CBGA is the chemical parent to many cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. Its molecular structure is the building block that, through specific plant enzymes, converts into the other cannabinoid acids like THCA and CBDA before they become their more famous versions.

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)
Minor Cannabinoid

THCV is structurally similar to THC but with a propyl (3 carbon) side chain instead of a pentyl (5 carbon) chain. This shorter side chain alters its psychoactive effects and its affinity for cannabinoid receptors, making it less potent than THC but with distinctive properties.

THCV

Analyte of Interest

THCV is like THC's racier cousin, with a molecular structure that's nearly identical but slightly shorter. This small change makes a big difference in how it affects the body, potentially suppressing appetite instead of stimulating it, along with other unique effects.

CBDV (Cannabidivarin)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBDV shares a similar structure to CBD, with the key difference being its shorter side chain. This structural variation maintains CBDV's non-psychoactive status while potentially modulating its therapeutic effects, especially in the context of neurologic disorders.

CBDV

Analyte of Interest

CBDV is to CBD what THCV is to THC—a compound with a similar structure but shorter chains. This small molecular difference suggests it may have unique benefits, particularly in the realm of neurological disorders, without psychoactive effects.

CBC (Cannabichromene)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBC's structure is similar to that of other cannabinoids but features a unique arrangement in its molecular chain that distinguishes it from THC and CBD. This difference influences its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, particularly in non-neuronal tissues.

CBC

Analyte of Interest

CBC is a lesser-known member of the cannabinoid family, with a molecular structure that's similar to the others but with its own unique twist. It doesn't bind as well to the brain's receptors, suggesting its effects are more subtle, focusing on potential anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.

CBCA (Cannabichromenic Acid)
Minor Cannabinoid

CBCA is the acidic precursor to CBC, with an additional carboxyl group in its molecular structure that changes to CBC when decarboxylated (heated). This molecular form is part of the early stage of cannabinoid development in the cannabis plant.

CBCA

Analyte of Interest

CBCA is the acidic precursor to CBC, featuring an additional carboxyl group that is lost upon decarboxylation. This structural element defines its role as a precursor in the biosynthesis of other cannabinoids and its potential unique properties.

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