Cannabinoid Contenders- Which Will Be the “Next CBD”?
It is fun and important to predict which, if any, of the minor cannabinoids will be the next big one or, as some say, “the next CBD”. In this post, I discuss three contenders for the title: cannabigerol (CBG), delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8THC), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). I discuss my personal pick, cannabinol (CBN) in a separate article, which you can read by clicking here.
Of the cannabinoids to consider, cannabigerol (CBG) currently appears to be in the lead, with many hemp growers across the US planning to cultivate CBG-rich strains this year. Based on my conversations with farmers, this plan is motivated by the belief that market demand for CBG will be considerable. Farmers may be right. CBG shows promise in aiding with a number of health conditions. As recently reported by Forbes, CBG is “thought to help regulate mood thanks to its ability to boost anandamide, the body’s native ‘bliss’ molecule, as well as act as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. CBG is also a potent neuroprotectant and is currently being evaluated for its ability to combat ailments like Huntington’s Disease. It also has cancer fighting properties and is a potent antibacterial that can even treat MRSA.”
It is important to note, however, that most farmers are also producing high CBG hemp strains as a strategy to mitigate the chances of growing a “hot” hemp crop that is non-compliant because its THC concentrations exceed 0.3%. Since CBG is the precursor (sometimes referred to as the “mother”) cannabinoid to THC, the idea is that a CBG dominant hemp crop is unlikely to produce excessive levels of THC. This risk mitigation strategy is independent and distinct from CBG’s anticipated market demand and value. Although this plan of action appears to make sense from a botanical and regulatory standpoint, it assumes there will be a viable market for CBG. This is a big assumption for a cannabinoid that is mostly unknown to the average consumer, has therapeutic benefits that overlap considerably with CBD, is currently expensive (though pricing may shift dramatically once it hits the market in earnest in 2021), and has no psychoactive effects.
Δ8THC and THCV
Two other contenders for the title of “the next CBD” are Δ8THC and THCV, both of which are THC analogs. The primary appeal of Δ8THC is that it is moderately psychoactive and lawful when derived from hemp, though I should note that if it is a product of delta-9 THC from hemp it faces some of the same unresolved legal questions as CBN, which you can read by clicking here.
THCV is also lawful when derived from hemp. Although only mildly psychoactive, THCV’s big draw is that it shows potential as a safe weight loss aid.
Click here to read a more in-depth discussion of Δ8THC, THCV, and other THC analogs, including an analysis of their legal status. Additionally, click here to read about CBN, my personal pick for the “next CBD”. I write about it separately because of its complicated legal status, which I discuss in depth in the article.
May 4, 2020
Rod Kight is an international hemp lawyer who resides in Asheville, North Carolina. He represents businesses throughout the cannabis industry. Additionally, Rod speaks at cannabis conferences, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. Rod also has extensive experience representing clients through periods of financial distress. You can contact him by clicking here.
1 comment on “Cannabinoid Contenders- Which Will Be the “Next CBD”?”Add yours →
Because of the stringent 0.3% total THC requirement outlined in the USDA interim final rules, I’d be betting on CBG as the next big cannabinoid; especially within the boutique flower market. The new CBG dominant strains can be grown to full maturity without too much risk of going “hot”, unlike almost every high-CBD strain currently available.