The Basics of Chemistry

Before learning about all of the different chemistries involved in cannabis, it is important to know the very basics of chemistry. Riley is here to help! She reviews general chemistry to help her viewers better understand the more in-depth chemistries of cannabis later on.

Organic Molecules

To be considered organic, molecules must contain both carbons and hydrogens. They can contain other atoms as well, but carbons and hydrogens are what makes an organic molecule, well, organic! All of the molecules in a cannabis plant are organic molecules. 

Inorganic Molecules

Inorganic molecules are ones that do not contain any carbons, any hydrogens, or neither carbons nor hydrogens. Riley uses water as an example. Water, or H2O, contains hydrogens and oxygen. It may look like water is an organic molecule because it does contain hydrogen, but it does not contain carbon. Remember, organic molecules must contain BOTH hydrogens and carbons! Since there are no carbon atoms in water, that makes it an inorganic molecule.

Chemical Structures

Chemical structures and formulas are key to understanding how the chemistry works. Using a drawing, Riley shows her viewers the chemical structure and formula of gasoline (C7H16). The formula means that gasoline contains 7 carbon atoms and 16 hydrogen atoms. Since the only atoms gasoline contains are hydrogens and carbons, this makes it a hydrocarbon. Riley goes on to explain that each kink in a chemical structure represents a carbon. Still using her gasoline drawing, Riley explains that carbons bond in sets of 4, and fills in the 14 hydrogens in the gasoline chemical structure.

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 Transcript

Riley Dee:
Before we get too far into the chemistry of cannabis. I’d like to do a very quick overview of gen chem. So as a general rule, organic molecules are classified as molecules that contain carbons and hydrogens. So all of the molecules that we’re going to talk about in the cannabis plant are organic molecules.

However, water is not an organic molecule because the formula is H2O. There are no carbons in it. Next let’s talk about how we draw chemical structures. So, this is the structure and the chemical formula of gasoline, C7H16. So there’s seven carbons and 16 hydrogens. This would be called a hydrocarbon because it only contains hydrogens and carbons.

Now, each kink that you see in the structure represents a carbon. And we know that carbons like to make four bonds. So we’re going to fill in the rest of the hydrogen with that knowledge. And this is what this molecule is going to look like with all the hydrogens drawn in. Comment if you have any questions.


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