Cannabinoids, alkaloids, terpenes, and the rest: How many cannabis compounds now?

by Duncan Fisher

November 30, 2022 - 2 min read

Cannabis sativa is a complex mixture of secondary metabolites, consisting, as research continues, of ever-more cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid constituents. More than 500 compounds have been reported so far, of which 125 are cannabinoids – the C21 terpeno-phenolic compounds specific toCannabis– and the others are mostly phenols, flavonoids, terpenes, and alkaloids. In the last five years 12 new compounds had been isolated (five cannabinoids, one cannabispiran, three flavonoids, and three terpenes). 

Because this constantly updated catalog of molecules is complicated, and because our blog posts at DiolPure use this molecular vocabulary quite a lot, it would seem reasonable to lay it out in its present state, for the benefit of clarity in future posts. 

Cannabinoids are a group of 125 compounds (so far) with the characteristic C21 terpenophenolic backbone. This nomenclature applies to parent cannabinoids, cannabinoid derivatives, and transformation products. These all divide into 11 cannabinoid sub-classes, of numerous compounds each, namely cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabielsoin (CBE), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabinol (CBN), cannabinodiol (CBND), cannabitriol (CBT), (−)-Δ8-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), (−)-Δ9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), and miscellaneous-type cannabinoids. Note, that when we speak of ‘CBD’ or ‘CBG’, or any of these, we refer to a subclass, of which there is actually a number of sub-sub-variants. There are 10 forms of CBD currently known, and 16 CBG’s. There are 29 Δ9-THC’s. 

More than 400 non-cannabinoid constituents have been identified in the cannabis plant. Most of these classify as phenols, flavonoids, terpenes, or alkaloids.The phenols, of which there are 42, are mostlyspiro-indans, dihydrostilbenes, dihydrophenathrenes, or simple phenols.The flavonoids, numbering 34 at the moment, organize into seven basic chemical skeletons, that are methylated, glycosylated, prenylated, or geranylated. The seven aglycone flavonid structures are orientin, vitexin, isovitexin, apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol and quercetin.There are at least 120 terpenes, or ‘isoprenoids’, in cannabis. These compounds give the plant its smell. There are 61 structural monoterpenes, 51 sesquiterpenes, 2 diterpenes, and 2 triterpenes, and 4 others, unclassified yet.Only 2 alkaloids have been identified in cannabis sativa yet. 

DiolPure products contain PureForm CBD™ transformed from aromatic terpenes for pharmaceutical-grade purity. PureForm CBD™ is bioidentical to CBD extracted from hemp and cannabis, but free of any residual cannabinoids like THC or impurities or chemicals that can associate with traditional plant-derived production processes. 

The foregoing is a report on trends and developments in cannabinoid industry research. No product description herein is intended as a recommendation for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease or syndrome. 

Beyond glaucoma: Cannabinoids in ophthalmology

Beyond glaucoma: Cannabinoids in ophthalmology

Cannabinoids appear to have therapeutic potential in glaucoma. Beyond this, there may be further promise in ophthalmology.
Read More

December 05, 2022 1 min read

The endocannabinoid system and bone disease

The endocannabinoid system and bone disease

Stimulation of the endocannabinoid system modulates bone formation and bone resorption. There may be a role one day for targeted drugs in osteoporosis and some forms of bone cancer. 
Read More

December 02, 2022 1 min read

Sex differences, endocannabinoids, and pain

Sex differences, endocannabinoids, and pain

Sex differences in pain perception and analgesia is a burgeoning research field overall. What about cannabinoid analgesia specifically? 
Read More

December 01, 2022 2 min read

Follow us on Instagram

Net Orders Checkout

Item Price Qty Total
Subtotal $ 0.00

Shipping Address

Shipping Methods