Scientists call this list of minor cannabinoids “The Big Six.” Some of them can also be major cannabinoids, depending on the strain of plant they come from…
- CBN – Cannabinol (Always Minor)
- CBC – Cannabichromene (Always Minor)
- THCv – Tetrahydrocannabivarin (Always Minor)
- CBD – Cannabidiol (Major in some strains)
- CBG – Cannabigerol (Major in some strains)
- THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol (Major in most strains)
A May 2021 article in MJ Biz Daily explained why this list of minor cannabinoids is showing promising in the multi-billion dollar wellness industry.
Why This List of Minor Cannabinoids?
What makes this list of minor cannabinoids so appealing to consumers of health and wellness products? According to the story in MJ Biz Daily, it is the combination of the effects of these cannabinoid extracts (broad- or full-spectrum) and the unique benefits of each isolated molecule.
Minor cannabinoids are nonintoxicating. They can be used in multiple types of products including edibles, beverages, topicals, and even smokable flower. The benefits of CBD and the others in this list of minor cannabinoids are still subjects of intense research and debate.
The minor THC-V, which is more common in marijuana, is reported as less intoxicating and is used by consumers for its appetite suppression and stimulant potential. This is just one example of why consumers by and use products made with minor cannabinoids.
We currently know of 130+ unique cannabinoids, so the list of minor cannabinoids mentioned above is just the tip of the iceberg. Jonathan Vaught, CEO and founder of Front Range Biosciences, claims that there’s a huge opportunity in the wellness industry for products containing these ingredients. Many other experts seem to agree.
“Minor cannabinoids—particularly when they’re utilized in a purposeful manner for synergy—are going to be very important for the wellness industry,” said Dr. Jenelle Kim, a neurobiologist and co-owner of JBK Wellness Labs in San Diego.
Dr. Jenelle also cited broad-spectrum extracts as having the most potent effect, but that consumers who can only tolerate trace amounts of THC might prefer isolates.
Experts in the wellness industry are also talking about the benefits of this list of minor cannabinoids in multiple product types.
“CBD has this balancing effect with our sebum-producing cells in our skin, and CBG and CBD-V have shown to increase lipid production in the skin.” said Will Parker, a co-founder of Denver-based Color Up CBD Wellness Center. “On the other side of that, we have cannabinoids like CBC and THC-V, and they’re actually shown to decrease some of that sebum production, so we’re actually finding these minor cannabinoids fit really well with the skin-care products… Minor cannabinoids are doing multiple things at once. If we can put one action-packed ingredient in something and have it do multiple jobs, I feel like that’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Minor Cannabinoids Boost Other Ingredients
While the above list of minor cannabinoids are becoming more important in the wellness category, they also show promise for enhancing other ingredients. Product makers are combining these cannabinoids with other ingredients (nootropics, adaptogens, ayurvedic herbs, etc) to enhance their effects.
Dr. Jenelle Kim talked about cannabinoid formulations that combined topicals with supplements in her company’s skin care and beauty products. She cited nootropics (brain enhancers) and sleep aids as being two supplements popular with wellness product consumers.
Consumer Awareness and untapped Potential
Many consumers are still unaware of the benefits of minor cannabinoids. This suggests that big growth potential as marketers raise awareness about these products and their benefits.
“Consumers are still not 100% clear on what CBD does,” said Laura Fuentes, a pharmacist, CEO and co-founder of Florida-based Green Roads CBD. “So it’s just like throwing another layer on this cake, and it’s hard for consumers to understand because it seems like it does so many things—because it does do so many things.”
This sentiment was shared by other experts in the wellness industry…
“So many of us for so long used marijuana for sleep, and it does put you to sleep.” said Shawna Blanch, co-founder and chief operating officer at Color Up CBD. “But the THC can trigger us out of our REM sleep, so we’re not actually getting that full sleep, when we do most of our healing.”
Blance also mentioned that skin care clients don’t know whether full-spectrum or isolated CBD products are more appropriate for them. Again, this vacuum in consumer awareness shows the potential for these products to gain more traction as consumer education continues.
Moreover, medical professionals are likely to start researching minor cannabinoids more as they realize that more of their patients are using them. If this happens, the awareness about these products in the medical community could expand as consumer awareness increases.
Challenges for Raising Awareness About Minor Cannabinoids
Educating consumers about the benefits of this list of minor cannabinoids remains an uphill battle. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the FTC (U.S. Federal Trade Commission) have had the entire cannabis industry under a microscope, especially since 2018.
Multiple CBD manufacturers and retailers have been fined or received warning letters for unsubstantiated medical claims about minor cannabinoids and their effects. Legitimate companies who do honest advertising and consumer education are frustrated about the claims being made by hucksters. But they have a solution for dealing with them to.
The wellness industry relies on the knowledge and the marketing skills of naturopaths, nutritionists, yoga teachers, and other product vendors to aid in this consumer education effort. This is part of a collective effort to properly educate consumers about the benefits of cannabinoids AND how to recognize misinformation.
“I teach at a massage and aesthetics school, and (the brand) is fully in their program. We’re in the Paul Mitchell schools and the Aveda schools, and we teach their students about our cannabis products and how they’re utilized in treatments—why we’re using it, why we’re recommending it,”said Shawna Blanch, co-founder and chief operating officer at Color Up CBD. “And then, all of those people are out there educating for us. That’s how we have been able to get our education and marketing out to people without crossing the FDA lines or getting ourselves in trouble.”
Responsible wellness brands are also consulting attorneys and regulatory experts to make sure they do things the right way.
“We always will look to the attorneys on what exactly (is) correct and how it should be said,” said Dr. Jenelle Kim. “While sometimes it can be a little limiting … regulations and the laws are so very important, and there is a lot of gray zone, so people have to educate themselves well.”
This CBD industry news update is brought to you by CBD Manufacturer, Spring Creek Labs.