Major and minor cannabinoids

Major cannabinoids

▲-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. They are the first to have been isolated, studied and used. They are as complementary as they are different.

Scientific studies regarding CBD have intensified with the numerous discoveries about the endocannabinoid system. They have increased 45-fold over the last 20 years.

Since the early 2000s, clinical trials including CBD for chronic pain have revealed effects ranging from placebo equivalence to high efficacy. Phase 3 of these trials (clinical validation) must nevertheless still be carried out.

2 drugs based on CBD or THC on the market


Epidiolex is the first and only CBD-only medication that is used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex.

Sativex or Nabiximol , a medicine based on CBD and THC (1:1 ratio) is used to treat pain and improve sleep in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Minor cannabinoids

Cannabigerol (CBG)

  • Alpha-2 adrenergic receptor AGONIST
  • 5-HT1A receptor ANTAGONIST
  • Potent ANTAGONIST of TRPM8 and TRPA1
  • WEAK AGONIST of CB1 and CB2 receptors

CBG or cannabigerol is the common biosynthetic precursor of all cannabinoids. The plant does not contain much CBG, as it has been converted into other cannabinoids. This is the reason why it attracts all the scientific curiosity.

Cannabinol (CBN)

  • AGONIST at the CB1 receptor
  • ANTAGONIST to the CB2 receptor

Cannabinol, a particular cannibonoid since it is not synthesized by the cannabis plant itself, but is formed from the oxidative degradation of THC due to long storage or heat. As a result, a large amount of CBN can be found in older cannabis sativa plants. CBN is non-psychotropic, has growing therapeutic interest, and is beginning to be incorporated into studies across a wide range of diseases.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

  • AGONIST at the CB2 receptor
  • TRPA1 receptor AGONIST

Cannabichromene, a minor cannabinoid, produced from its acid form CBC-A, is generally found in low amounts compared to CBD and THC. Plants whose cannabinoid profile is dominated by CBC are very rare. However, like other cannabinoids, CBC appears to have notable therapeutic potential.

> Les cannabinoïdes majeurs et mineurs