Phytocannabinoids: The Structures and Formulas


let’s talk about some PHYTOcrannabinoids (I should’ve wrote backwards) #ouidtiktok #science #stemlife #ouid

♬ Strawberry – Prod by Rose

To best understand the structure of phytocannabinoids, it’s important to watch Riley’s video! She uses a lot of visuals to map out the structures and formulas of cannabinoids to show her viewers exactly how they work.


The first structure Riley talks about is THC. She draws out the structure with all of the hydrogen atoms filled in, and even provides the formula for THC which is C21H30O2. This is so viewers can have a general overview of the specifics of the formula. For the rest of the video, though, Riley shows the structure in its most simplified version. 


Using three different cannabinoids, Riley shows her viewers that each of them have similar core structures. The three cannabinoids she uses as examples are Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and CBD. Remember, these are all phytocannabinoids which means they come from a plant, and they all have the THC same chemical formula. While the structures are very similar, they each have subtle differences which makes each cannabinoid unique. The differences in these structures lead to completely different pharmacology. 

Structural Differences

Riley shows her viewers the differences in the chemical structures for Delta 9 THC and CBD. The basic structure is the same, but in the CBD structure there is an opening in one of the rings. That is the main difference that makes CBD separate from THC. When Riley contrasts Delta 8 THC to Delta 9 THC, she shows that the one and only difference between the two is how Delta 9 has a double bond between the ninth and tenth carbon while the Delta 8 has a double bond between the eighth and ninth carbon.

Keeping Up With Riley

You can keep up with Riley Dee on her Tik Tok account named Cannabichem, as well as right here on the Arbor Vita8 website! 

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Clip Transcripts

Riley Dee:
Hi friends. If you just watched my gen chem overview video, I’m going to bring that information to a molecule we actually care about. This here is THC with all of the hydrogens drawn in, but for the rest of the videos on this channel, I’m going to draw it in the simplified version with just the core structure. This gets more fun when we compare some different cannabinoids. So all three of these molecules have the exact same chemical formula, C21H30O2 but they have subtle differences.

First comparing Delta-9 THC to CBD, we see that the Delta-9 contains this ring here, whereas that ring is opened in CBD, and that is the main difference that leads to a completely different pharmacology. Now, the difference between our Delta-9 THC versus or Delta-8, we see that the double bond in this ring is between the 9th and 10th carbon in Delta-9, and between the 8th and 9th carbon in Delta-8, and that’s the only difference between these molecules.


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