The cannabis plant contains more than 500 compounds, including flavonoids, omega fatty acids, terpenoids, and cannabinoids. The cannabinoids are the ones that tend to get the most attention, as they’re the ones responsible for many of the effects you feel when you use a cannabis product. But how many cannabinoids are there? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that the cannabis plant makes in its trichomes. Trichomes are the “hairs” that cover the buds and other parts of the plant that secrete the cannabinoids and other compounds in a sticky, sap-like resin.

The cannabinoids of a cannabis plant are the main compounds responsible for the effects you feel. They’re the ones that give each strain its medicinal properties, providing relief from a wide range of symptoms of various ailments.

When you smoke, vape, or ingest cannabis, the cannabinoids travel into your bloodstream. They then travel to your brain and bind with cannabinoid (CB) receptors. When they do, they unlock various effects, providing you with the relief you’re seeking.

cannabinoid chart

How Many Cannabinoids Are There?

Here’s the thing. We don’t actually know how many cannabinoids exist in the cannabis plant. As scientists continue to conduct research, they’re uncovering more. Right now, research is a challenge. Cannabis is still a Schedule I drug. Even though more states are legalizing it for medicinal and recreational purposes, it’s still illegal on the federal level. Currently, we know that cannabis has more than 120 different cannabinoids, which occur in different concentrations in different strains.

What Do Cannabinoids Do?

Cannabinoids are what cause the effects you feel when you use a particular product. Not only do the cannabinoids have an impact, but the cannabinoid profile also impacts what you experience and the type of relief you feel.

One of the most well-known effects of cannabis is that it can get you high. If you’ve tried various strains, however, you’ve likely noticed that some get you higher than others, while some seem to produce little to no psychoactivity. A lot of that has to do with the plant’s THC content and overall cannabinoid profile.

Cannabis can also provide relief from a wide range of symptoms thanks to the cannabinoids within the plant. Depending on the strain you choose, you might find relief from:

Nausea and vomiting
Poor appetite

Top Cannabinoids in Cannabis

For a long time, two cannabinoids got all the attention. THC is the most abundant cannabinoid. It’s the one responsible for the high feeling you experience. It can also provide an array of benefits, such as relief from pain, nausea, insomnia, and more.

CBD is the other well-known (and second most abundant) cannabinoid. It doesn’t produce a high, but it can help alleviate inflammation, anxiety, and more. Other cannabinoids gaining popularity as more research becomes available include:


In Summary

The exact number of cannabinoids present in cannabis is currently unknown. Scientists have discovered more than 120 so far, but the plant may contain even more. Regulations make research a challenge, but that could change in the future as more states legalize and the US government contemplates legalizing cannabis on the federal level.