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Whether you are new to cannabis wellness or a long-time enthusiast, you have probably heard a lot of acronyms thrown around.

CBD? THC? THC-what? Delta-huh? What does it all mean?

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis. They are directly responsible for the effects we feel when the plant is consumed.

The human body has cannabinoid receptors that help the compound produce many effects.

There are over 100 known cannabinoids present in cannabis, each having various effects on the body.

These cannabinoids are separated by various subclasses, including cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V), tetrahydrocannabinol acetate ester (THC-O), and delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 10).

This article will compare and contrast some of the most popular cannabinoids available on the market today. Read on to find out more!

CBD vs. THC 

Let’s start by comparing the two most popular cannabinoids: CBD and (Delta-9) THC.

THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has a lot of CBD.

Structurally, both cannabinoids are chemically identical: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms.

The difference between CBD and THC lies in the way the atoms are arranged. That gives CBD and THC different chemical properties, and they affect your body differently.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. It is what makes people feel “high.” Whereas, CBD does not cause that high. Instead, it is thought to work with other elements in the body linked to feelings of well-being. 

The last significant distinction we will examine is their legality.

Although many states allow medical and recreational marijuana (with THC) for personal use, it is still illegal under U.S. law.

In 2018, the ratification of the Farm Bill federally legalized hemp, and subsequently, CBD.

However, there are still rules about how and where you can sell CBD products.

For example, you can’t sell CBD across some state lines, and many states have still chosen to outright ban the substance.

Always check your state’s laws before buying products with CBD or THC.


THC-V is a compound in cannabis that offers a unique array of effects and medical benefits that sets it apart from other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. 

As its name suggests, THC-V is similar to THC in molecular structure and psychoactive properties, but it provides a variety of pronounced and altogether different effects.THCV is a naturally occurring analog of THC.

Unlike THC, which is psychoactive and an agonist at the CB1 and CB2 receptors, THCV is a non-psychoactive, neutral CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist and may act as an agonist or antagonist at the CB2 receptors depending on its dose.

While most people associate cannabis with increasing appetite, THC-V might have the opposite effect.

This claim is backed by a few animal studies. For example, a 2009 study suggested that THC-V may reduce food intake and weight gain.

Another 2013 study found that it may reduce glucose intolerance related to obesity.

The theory behind this discovery is based on THC-V’s affinity for blocking the cannabinoid receptor that is known to stimulate appetite.

Although there are many other potential benefits of this particular cannabinoid, THC-V is still under-studied. But, thanks to consumer interest, it seems like that might be changing.

Just be cautious of overenthusiastic claims about weight loss or other effects, as the research on THC-V is still in the very early stages, especially on its effects on humans.


THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid manufactured from hemp that is quickly gaining attention due to its potency.

Unlike the aforementioned THC-V, which is non-psychoactive, according to industry experts, THC-O can be especially potent; up to three times as powerful as the Delta-9 THC we are familiar with!

This bump in potency can be attributed to the chemical process, Acetylation, which replaces the THC hydroxyl group with an acetyl group, increasing the cannabinoid’s solubility and permeability, making it more available for our bodies to absorb. 

THC-O is a relatively new and potentially beneficial innovation for both consumers and patients alike. However, because it is so new, there is little research on its safety and efficacy. 

The synthesis of THC-O from hemp sources and the resulting products are not regulated, meaning that, at present, there is no way for consumers to be sure of the safety or purity of products.

If you want to try THC-O products, be aware that THC-O seems to be significantly more potent than THC so proceed with caution.

THC-O vs Delta 10

Delta 10 is a cannabinoid found in trace amounts in the cannabis plant.

Its molecular structure looks similar to Delta 8 and Delta 9, however, Delta 10 does not share the double bond on the 8th carbon ring; it is on the 10th.

Like THC-O, it can get you high, but it will be far less potent. In fact, Delta 10 is less potent than regular THC as well.

While studies have been promising when researching these latest cannabinoids, more research is needed to make any definitive statements on Delta 10. 

Additionally, because Delta-10 is typically processed from hemp-derived CBD, it is considered legal in all 50 states. However, certain states have outlawed the compound on their own. 

The cannabinoid is usually available in vape carts, gummies, or other edibles, and can be mailed to certain states.

Final Take 

Despite their chemical similarities, these cannabinoids can have a wide range of different effects on our body’s Endocannabinoid System.

Each one brings its own unique properties and benefits and we have only just begun to understand how they all work.

Many are already used for several purposes with more potential uses on the horizon. 

Make sure to visit PureKana’s online store, your number one resource for the best cannabinoids available on the market.


‘CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference Between the Two?’ by Livvy Ashton. Published July 5, 2021.

‘Farm Bill’ by FDA. Published December 2018.

‘Tetrahydrocannabivarin’ by Wikipedia. 

‘What is THC-O?’ by Jesicca Walters. Published September 2021.

‘What is Delta-10-THC and Why Do I Need To Know About It?’ by Elena Schmidt. Published

January 22, 2021.

‘Synthetic and plant-derived cannabinoid receptor antagonists show hypophagic properties in fasted and non-fasted mice’ by Gernot Riedel, Paola Fadda, Susan McKillop-Smith, Roger G Pertwee, Bettina Platt, and Lianne Robinson. Published February 2009.

‘The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity’ by E T Wargent, M S Zaibi, C Silvestri, D C Hislop, C J Stocker, C G Stott, G W Guy, M Duncan, V Di Marzo, and M A Cawthorne. Published May 2013.

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