How to read a cannabis label: Minor cannabinoids

Published on February 3, 2023 by David Wylie

A hemp leaf in cupped hands Photo: Adobe Stock/the oz.
There's a growing body of evidence that minor cannabinoids add to the entourage effect.


This is part of our ‘How To Read The Label’ series. We decode the language and figures used on Canadian legal cannabis labels to help you better understand the information you’re seeing.

Stories in this series:


Minor cannabinoids are increasingly being listed and promoted on labels.

They are emerging in marketing campaigns, and have growing anecdotal and research evidence that they add to the entourage effect—in other words, the overall experience and feeling.

Exploration of minor cannabinoids is in its infancy. There are more than 120 identified cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis.

While there’s a growing body of information and studies about THC and CBD, information about less common cannabinoids is limited and not presented in plain language.

CBG and CBN are becoming more widely discussed in the mainstream, as recreational cannabis products—especially edibles and oils—increasingly focus their packaging efforts on marketing minor cannabinoids.

Here’s a look at the anecdotal effects of four minor cannabinoids: CBG, CBN, CBC, and THCv.

How does CBG make you feel?

CBG is associated with a calming effect as well as pain relief.

MTL Cannabis grows Sage N’ Sour a strain high in CBG, which has been popular with veterans. “MTL understands how important CBG is to patients; we know that a veteran looks at the terps on a jar just as much as THC and CBD,” says co-founder Richard Clement.

How does CBN make you feel?

CBN is associated with couch-lock and sleepiness.

Numerous cannabis companies are producing gummies that include CBN, including Monjour and Sunshower. There are also oils that feature CBN, including one from Glacial Gold. All the products are marketed along the lines of ‘sleepy time’ and nighty night.’

How does CBC make you feel?

CBC is described as energizing.

There are very few products highlighting CBC on the market, but that’s changing. In talking about its CBC-infused gummies, recreational cannabis brand Spinach says the THC + CBC Feelz gummies are formulated to be energizing and uplifting.

How does THCv make you feel?

THCv has been called diet weed.

It’s been shown in research to reduce appetite. So far nothing in the Canadian legal market has featured THCv; however, it’s beginning to make its way into press releases from cannabis corporations.

For a much more detailed and scientific dive, which shows promising evidence of pain relief, read this study in the National Library of Medicine.

Photo: Adobe Stock/the oz.
Chemical formulas of natural cannabinoids are pictured.

Variations of minor cannabinoids include:

  • cannabinol (CBN)
  • cannabichromene (CBC)
  • cannabigerol (CBG)
  • cannabidioloic acid (CBDA)
  • cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
  • tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
  • cannabinolic acid (CBNA)
  • cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • cannabigerovarin (CBGV)
  • cannabichromevarin (CBCV)


Want to keep reading?

We explored how the amount of THC and CBD are measured.