CBG and CBN: A Closer Look at These Novel Cannabinoids

You’ve heard of CBD and THC, but what about CBG and CBN?

During the latest years, the cannabis market has experienced a tremendous growth spurt. Nowadays, most people are aware of cannabis compounds, with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) being the most popular, due to their therapeutic effects. In fact, CBD in particular is gradually being recognized among health professionals as an alternative to other medication, as it has been proven to help with anxiety, neurological disorders and muscle pain, as well as gastrointestinal issues.

However, there are other compounds slowly entering the cannabis market, like CBN and CBG. Like THC and CBD, they are made up of cannabinoids, the compounds that give cannabis its effects. Though less popular and usually found in smaller percentages within hemp flower and cannabis products, those two can be very beneficial.

Let’s see what they’re about.

What are CBG and CBN?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is the precursor to other cannabinoids: when the acidic form of CBG, CBG-A, heats up, it breaks down to form CBG, CBD, THC, and CBC (cannabichromene). In other words, CBG is the decarboxylated form of cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A, which cannabis experts call the ‘stem cell’ cannabinoid).

Cannabinol (CBN), in turn, derives from the oxidation and decomposition of THC. This compound does have a mild psychoactive response, which is less than THC does, but slightly more so than CBD ―which, contrary to popular belief, is psychoactive, just non-intoxicating, given that it doesn’t stimulate the brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors to a large extent.

How Do CBG and CBN Work?

Not everyone is aware that the human body is equipped with the endocannabinoid system, consisting of receptors that help regulate processes such as sleep, digestion, the feeling of pain, sleeping patterns and more. Phytocannabinoids like CBG and CBN attach to these receptors and interact with them, enhancing the physiological processes that naturally occur in the body.

Like other cannabinoids, CBN and CBG reach their ultimate potential when combined with other cannabinoids. This is known as the entourage effect: the phenomenon during which the effects of certain chemicals become much more potent when they’re paired with other chemicals. For example, despite THC’s potential ability of easing the pain of a migraine attack, it might not provide the much needed relief on its own; however, if combined with CBG and CBD ―with proper precautions, of course― the pressure, pain and other symptoms could be dramatically reduced.


In particular, CBG has been known to help reduce ocular pain, headaches and pain relating to glaucoma ―even with doses as low as 3%. You should be aware that a lot of cannabis strains contain a small amount of CBG, even if the companies don’t advertise it on the packaging, since it’s not widely recognized yet. But if you’re interested in this cannabinoid, you should look through products’ contents and recent test results, and you can specifically ask for the hemp strains with the highest CBG percentage at a licensed store.

If you’re not into smoking or vaping but want to try the healing effects of CBG, high-quality full-spectrum CBD oils should be a brilliant choice for you, as they often contain an amount of CBG. In any case, make sure to check in with your healthcare provider first before you try any cannabis products, especially if you’re on medication. Despite its growing popularity, as it happens with other cannabinoids, the research around CBG’s long term effects is still quite limited; though numerous tests have been and are still being conducted regarding cannabis’ effect on the human body, we must not forget that a sufficient number of years needs to pass in order for scientists to conclude on what happens in the long run.

On the other hand, CBN is gradually becoming a customer favorite due to its calming and analgesic effects, and the fact that it helps those who have trouble sleeping, dethroning CBD as the best cannabis derived sleeping aid. Strains and products with a high THC also offer a solution to those who can’t sleep well, but it’s a known fact that too much THC could be dangerous, inducing lethargy, or even anxiety and insomnia.

Although derived from THC and enhanced by its effects, CBN isn’t as psychoactive, meaning that it doesn’t cause the ‘high’ THC does. And except for being a sleep aid, CBN can also potentially help patients suffering from epilepsy and other neurodegenerative conditions, and ease pain as well as inflammation. It’s also known to be a powerful antibacterial agent and can be used as an alternative to traditional antibiotics. Plus, in some cases it can even help stimulate appetite and reduce nausea. Given those effects, it is currently being studied whether CBN can be used as a non-intoxicating alternative to THC in the future.

How To Try

As previously stated regarding the entourage effect, even though CBG and CBN each have their own unique qualities, they work best when used together, or/and in combination with THC and CBD. As for the products, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum extracts are usually rich in just one cannabinoid, but premium cannabinoid suppliers offer a range of CBD, CBG and CBN tinctures that are easier to combine with other types of hemp extracts to achieve the full benefits with non-intoxicating results.

Finally, it goes without saying that whether you want to try the pain relieving qualities of CBG or seek out an alternative sleeping remedy like CBN, you should always make an informed and well-researched decision. Consult your trusted health professional, shop from acclaimed vendors and never be afraid to ask questions.

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