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  • Alternative Cannabinoids

May 15, 2023

Estimated Read Time: 10 min

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By Valerie Orta on May 15, 2023

Dig deeper into CBN and CBG, two hemp cannabinoids with distinct benefits. One helps you achieve blissful slumber, while the other can take your productivity to new heights. See how the two compare.

So, you've probably heard a lot about CBD and THC, which have rightfully received much of the spotlight. But hold on a sec! Some other hemp cannabinoids also deserve your attention.

Today, we're talking about the widely unsung heroes: CBG and CBN. They may be minor cannabinoids and not as famous as their counterparts, but trust us; they have benefits you'll want to know and understand.

So let's dive into the CBG vs. CBN showdown. We'll break down the benefits of each, and by the end, you'll have all you need to decide whether one, or both, are right for you.

Key takeaways:

  • CBN and CBG are two non-euphoric hemp cannabinoids legal in the United States.
  • Need to chill after a long day? CBN is primarily used as a natural way to unwind in the evenings and promote better sleep.
  • On the other hand, if you need to conquer the day, CBG is more focus-promoting and mood-enhancing to help you be more productive.

Now that you've got a taste let's dig deeper into how CBN and CBG compare.

Why Compare CBN and CBG?

You're familiar with CBD, but now you've heard of CBN and CBG. Despite their similar acronyms, CBN and CBG are two hemp cannabinoids with distinct differences. Understanding what each offer will allow you to use each the right way to feel and function better.

What is CBG?

CBG is a minor cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. It's believed to offer many potential benefits, from promoting a better mood to enhancing focus and a sense of calm.

Despite being present in only small amounts in hemp plants, CBG holds a significant title as the "mother of all cannabinoids" because it is the precursor to other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. All other cannabinoids start as CBG.

To extract CBG, manufacturers must harvest hemp plants early before CBG converts into other cannabinoids.

As a non-euphoric compound, CBG doesn't produce noticeable elevating effects, making it an ideal choice for daytime use. It's often sought after for its ability to support focus, mood, and productivity.

Learn more: What is CBG and its Benefits?

What is CBG Good For?

Cannabigerol (CBG) offers various wellness applications, especially when combined with other cannabinoids like CBD, Delta 8 THC, CBC, and the natural terpenes found in the plant. While the potential benefits of pairing CBG with CBN are not yet well-documented, there's an intriguing possibility of enhanced effects when these two cannabinoids work together. Let's explore some of the potential health benefits associated with CBG:

Calming support

CBG has the potential to promote a sense of calm, assisting you in dealing with the challenges of daily life and overcoming naturally stressful situations. Many people turn to CBG during busy workday mornings or afternoons when faced with many responsibilities. When paired with CBD, which also encourages balance, CBG's centering benefits may be further enhanced.

Focus support

Users often report heightened alertness and focus when utilizing CBG, which can significantly contribute to productivity. Unlike stimulants, CBG doesn't induce a jittery feeling but instead helps you stay fully present at the moment, cutting through the fog and helping you stay engaged in your tasks.

Mood support

CBG may instill a sense of hope and motivation when facing a difficult situation. Early evidence suggests that CBG may encourage the body to maintain higher levels of anandamide, also known as the "bliss" molecule. This natural mood enhancer may contribute to an uplifted mind and overall well-being.

It's important to note that most of the reported benefits of CBG are based on anecdotal reports from CBG consumers. Further scientific research is necessary to provide robust evidence supporting these claims.

Additionally, it's crucial to remember that CBG, like other cannabinoids, can affect individuals differently. Therefore, your experience and the effects after taking CBG might differ slightly or entirely from others.

What is CBN?

Unlike CBG, which is present in the early stages of the hemp plant's life, CBN emerges towards the end. It's a distinctive cannabinoid that forms when THC is exposed to heat, light, or pressure.

Another way CBN is produced is through decarboxylation, where THCA, the precursor to THC, transforms. In essence, CBN is a byproduct of this activation process.

Although closely related to THC, CBN exhibits only mild psychoactive properties, if any at all. Instead, it stands out as one of the most sedative cannabinoids, often sought after for its ability to induce a restful night's sleep. CBN is your go-to choice to wind down and enjoy a peaceful slumber.

Learn more: What is CBN?

What is CBN Good For?

Regarding factual data supporting CBN's benefits, we find ourselves in the realm of the "mysterious cannabinoid." While a few preclinical studies exist, the true potential of CBN is still shrouded in uncertainty.

However, anecdotal evidence from users suggests that CBN may offer several health and wellness benefits. Whether combined with other cannabinoids or on its own, CBN has piqued the interest of many. Let's explore some of the potential benefits associated with CBN:

Sleep support

CBN's most widely reported benefit is its ability to promote better sleep. Users often describe how it helps induce a sense of sleepiness and quietens the mind, facilitating faster and more restful slumber. However, further research is needed to understand CBN's effects on sleep comprehensively.

Healthy eating support

Early evidence suggests that CBN may contribute to healthier eating habits. As a byproduct of THC, it's believed to inherit the ability to enhance the enjoyment of eating, thus potentially encouraging a more positive relationship with food.

Natural relief support

CBN shows promise in alleviating body tightness and tension. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBN may help ease muscle and joint soreness resulting from everyday physical activity. For optimal results, it's often recommended to consume CBN with other cannabinoids like CBG, Delta 8, Delta 9, and CBD.

CBG Vs. CBN – Differences in Effects

One of the most fascinating aspects of cannabinoids is their ability to coexist harmoniously within the same plant, each offering its unique effects and experiences. This makes every cannabinoid a valuable addition to your cannabinoid routine, and CBN and CBG are no exception. However, while they share many similarities, they also possess some distinct differences in the effects they produce. To help you visualize these comparisons, we've provided a chart below:

Comparison Chart of CBG vs. CBN:

CBG CBN
Effect Profile Motivating and focus-promoting, non-psychoactive Calming and sedative, minimal psychoactive effects (if any)
Cost Very expensive Very expensive
Product Availability Very limited Very limited
Serving Size 5-10 mg for beginners, 10-25 mg+ for regular users 2.5 mg to start, increasing until desired effects are reached
Percentage In Hemp Less than 2% in mature plants but up to around 30% in younger plants Trace amounts or none
Optimal Growth Stage Highest in under-ripe hemp Highest in overripe hemp

By examining this chart, you can better understand the general comparisons between CBG and CBN, allowing you to make informed decisions about incorporating them into your routine.

Chemical structure

Both compounds share a strikingly similar chemical structure. It's worth noting that CBN is derived from CBG but undergoes several processes to reach its final form, whereas CBG is converted to THC, which is subsequently converted to CBN. Structurally, the key distinction between these two cannabinoids lies in forming the carbon ring present in CBN but absent in CBG.

While this difference may seem subtle, it plays a significant role in shaping the unique effects of each cannabinoid. These slight variations dictate how cannabinoids bind to and interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, ultimately influencing the sensations they produce.

Purposes

The differences between CBG and CBN extend to the effects they produce, and it's important to consider your specific needs when choosing the better cannabinoid for you.

For sleep

For sleep support, CBN is highly regarded. While it may be effective on its own, combining CBN with other cannabinoids like THC and terpenes such as myrcene, linalool, and pinene, known for their sleep-inducing properties, can enhance its benefits. On the other hand, CBG is not stimulating and is more geared towards promoting mood and focus during the daytime. Therefore, many individuals find that taking CBN in the evenings and CBG during the day suits their needs.

For stress relief

Regarding stress relief, CBG and CBN can be helpful, particularly when combined with CBD. However, it's important to note that these conclusions are primarily based on consumer anecdotal reports, as more scientific studies are needed. Both cannabinoids offer a sense of calm that can help alleviate uneasiness. CBG may be more suitable for managing stress during the day, while CBN is often chosen for unwinding at night.

For productivity

If you're seeking a cannabinoid to enhance productivity and focus, CBG is worth considering. It's widely praised for stimulating focus, naturally elevating mood, and providing a sense of centered calm that can boost productivity. On the other hand, due to its drowsiness-inducing properties, there are better choices for productivity than CBN.

Are CBG and CBN Legal?

Both CBG and CBN are federally legal in the United States, granted they are derived from hemp and contain no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC by dry weight.

The 2018 Farm Bill has played a significant role in legalizing hemp and its derivatives, as long as they stay within the prescribed limits for Delta-9 THC. This means that products like CBN vape pens and CBG gummies are readily available and fall within the legal framework.

However, it's important to note that the legality of these cannabinoids may vary by state. Therefore, to ensure compliance and avoid any legal complications, we recommend checking the laws and regulations specific to your location before purchasing or consuming any CBN or CBG products.

Availability of CBG and CBN Products

CBG and CBN are classified as minor cannabinoids since they occur in small quantities within the hemp plant. As a result, it can sometimes be a challenge to find standalone CBG products and CBN products. However, you'll often encounter them in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products, such as tinctures and gummies.

The availability of these compounds may vary, and it may require more effort to find products formulated explicitly with CBN and CBG compared to those focused solely on CBD. While CBD has taken the spotlight in the market, the growing interest in CBG and CBN has increased the variety of available products.

Do CBG and CBN Show Up on a Drug Test?

In most cases, CBG and CBN will not register on a drug test. This is because drug tests are specifically designed to detect the presence of THC metabolites.

CBG and CBN are typically not included in standard drug tests as they are not classified as controlled substances and do not induce intoxicating effects.

However, it's important to note that standalone CBG and CBN products are not as standard. More often, these cannabinoids are combined with other cannabinoids or found in full-spectrum products that contain trace amounts of THC. Depending on the quantity consumed, the delta-9 THC may show up on a drug test. The same applies to other forms of THC, so you'll also want to consider Delta-8 THC and drug tests.

If you are subject to drug testing, it is advisable to avoid all cannabinoids. While rare, there have been isolated cases where the metabolites from consuming non-THC cannabinoids have led to false positive results.

Which One is Better: CBG or CBN?

Determining which of the two cannabinoids is superior is not a straightforward task. The reason is consumer preferences vary, and each of these cannabinoids has its unique strengths.

The choice between the two ultimately depends on your individual goals and preferences. CBG and CBN offer distinct benefits, and the better option for you will depend on what you're looking to achieve. Whether promoting focus and productivity or seeking relaxation and sleep support, each cannabinoid has its area of expertise.

Can CBG and CBN Be Used Together?

If you're a devoted hemp consumer, you've already experienced the combination of CBN and CBG. Like other cannabinoids, these two work harmoniously, offering enhanced benefits. Their synergy can be more potent and rewarding than using them individually.

You can also use them as standalone products but at the same time. For example, CBG makes a great way to start your morning, while CBN is the perfect way to end your day. Whether you choose to use them together or individually, these cannabinoids have the potential to help you feel and function better.

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