Short Story: The most common cannabinoids tested for in cannabis are THC and CBD. Other cannabinoids that add to the effectiveness of your medicine include CBN, CBG, CBC, and THCV. Studies find each compound acts differently with the body, but remember they all work together.
Long Story: There are many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Here are some that exist in larger amounts. These have been studied a bit more than others.
THC (Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most widely known cannabinoid and the component of marijuana that gets you “high”. THC is also what seems to treat a majority of symptoms and ailments. Currently there are synthetic versions invented in an attempt to simulate what nature has already succeeded at. One FDA approved drug is Marinol. Other synthetics are “fake weed” which are chemicals sprayed on marijuana-like flowers and sold in gas stations. They are sold under “herbal incense” mostly targeted at kids. This is NOT what you are going for.
CBD (Cannabidiol) by itself has almost no effect on normal physiological processes according to science (read here). HOWEVER, CBD seems to activate when taken with other cannabinoids. An excellent argument for WHOLE PLANT MEDICINE. If you follow Facebook comments by those using CBD for their kids, many are getting results from CBD but most of the time there is a little THC as well. Many are getting better results by using a little more THC. And some with very high THC strains. CBD has hit the headlines and has taken over as the all important component. Especially for children with seizures.
CBN (Cannabinol) is a cannabinoid that is formed from THC over time or with heat. It is considered a “weak psychoactive”. CBN is generally noted for use in insomnia and other sleep disorders.
CBG (Cannabigerol) is known as an analgesic (pain-killer). It is used by the cannabis plant to produce both THC and CBD. CBG interacts with a range of receptors other than those of the endocannabinoid system found in this scholarly article. It is also an antidepressant and helps psoriasis.
CBC (Cannabichromene) is another cannabinoid found to interact with different receptors, particularly pain receptors. Many labs do not test for this cannabinoid and it seems to be rare but perhaps that is because not many are testing for it! Along with other cannabinoids, CBC has shown to be an analgesic, antibiotic, and antifungal. I imagine as more is known about this cannabinoid it will prove to be just as important as the others if not more.
Delta-8 THC another cannabinoid gaining recognition. Also produces psycho-activity. Also studied as an appetite simulator and anti-nausea.
Propyl Cannabinoids (CBGVA-CBGV, THCVA-THCV, CBDVA-CBDV) are produced by some plants as a varitaion to CBG. Again CBGVA turns into CBDVA and THCVA which decarb into CBDV and THCV. Both seem to be anti-epileptic . In fact GWPharm announced a patent on CBDV and is currently in trial phases after the initial mouse-experiment thing. THCV is currently being studied for diabetes.