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Ashley Keenan: 2 Uncommon Cannabinoids The Canadian Cannabis Market Needs Now

There are hundreds of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, many of which we have only begun to discover (let alone understand). We all know about buzzy compounds like THC and CBD but what about the lesser known CBG, CBN, Delta-8 THC, and others? 

Preliminary research shows that like THC and CBD, other cannabinoids may also have therapeutic properties. If we look to U.S. markets, emerging products are featuring these less common cannabinoids. These rare, or rarely researched, chemical compounds are popping up in a variety of cannabis products from edibles to extracts. 

Consumers are beginning to understand that the industry has barely scratched the surface of the diverse, nuanced benefits that the cannabis plant can provide us,” says Kristi Palmer, cofounder of Kiva Confections. “Like with any other health and wellness products, people are looking for the most cutting-edge and effective ways to support their unique lifestyle.”

Canadian consumers are still wrapping their heads around the many nuances of cannabis and it remains to be seen if there will be a demand for such niche products. We have the technology to isolate these compounds, and laboratories can test for trace cannabinoids and cannabinoid acids. But despite the popularity of CBN and CBG specifically, the Canadian cannabis market has yet to see a significant effort to establish these kinds of products. 

CBG: A superbug killing antibiotic?

A research paper out of the McMaster University showed that CBG killed a variety of strains of MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. Along with CBD, these cannabinoids could potentially treat serious and deadly infection. There is also preliminary evidence that CBG might help treat glaucoma, bladder dysfunction, and inflammatory bowel disease.

While we are a long way from using CBG to treat conditions like the ones above, wellness products in the U.S. feature the rare cannabinoid. Heylo Cannabis’ CBG Blend PAX pod cartridge features 16 percent CBG is available in Washington state. Level Blends offers sublingual tablets called The Calm (CBG) Tablingual in California. Both brands claim that CBG has a calming effect on the consumer. 

CBN: The stuff that dreams are made of?

“In the regulated cannabis market, supporting better sleep is one of the top three uses of cannabis. We saw some exciting studies coming out that showed that CBN can promote restful sleep- particularly when paired with THC,” shares Palmer. Kiva offers their Midnight Blueberry Camino Gummies with 5 milligrams of THC and one milligram of CBN per serving. 

The cannabinoid has a reputation for having sedating effects, especially when combined with THC. The science says that CBN could also have anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic properties. Products featuring CBN may also increase the felt effects of THC, amplifying feelings of euphoria.

After Midnight Blueberry experienced off-the-chart sales, Palmer says that Kiva developed Midnight Mint Bars and Petra Blackberry Mints with varying potency. Each product uses a unique ratio of THC and CBN so consumers can meet their individualized needs.

“[The popularity of] CBN products revealed there is an untapped demand for highly-tailored experiences using lesser-known cannabinoids,” says Palmer. “There is no doubt in our minds that the further exploration of cannabinoids will reveal increasingly effective new experiences that are wholly embraced by consumers.”