Some things about wellness are confusing, others are really simple: get enough sleep, drink enough water, eat your greens and take your CBD.
But it turns out that CBD is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to functional compounds found in the cannabis plant. In fact there are over 113 recognized cannabinoids! Currently, science and wellness pros are focused on uncovering the benefits of the “minor cannabinoids” CBG and CBN.
CBD became a mainstream wellness staple for its non-psychoactive benefits — deeper sleep, enhanced relaxation, lower inflammation, reduced anxiety just to name a few. Now, CBN and CBG are gaining popularity for their potential effects on sleep, chronic pain, and mental clarity.
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Which is the right fit for your needs? The differences between CBD, CBG and CBN are actually pretty easy to understand. We’re breaking it all down for you below with help from Vida Optima, a California-based CBD brand making rigorously tested products that can be easily integrated into your daily routine.
Before you learn more, take Vida Optima’s one-minute CBD quiz that’ll match you with the perfect cannabinoid for your lifestyle! Then read through some of the education around the cannabinoid that suits you best!
What Is CBN?
+ Ideal for sleep and deep relaxation
+ Found in lower concentrations than CBD
+ Can be taken in tincture or gummy form
+ Binds directly to the endocannabinoid system
CBN, which stands for cannabinol (not to be confused with CBD’s cannabidiol), is a minor cannabinoid that is often found in low concentrations compared to its big sister, CBD. Don’t get it twisted, though. Just because CBN is found in lower concentrations in the hemp plant doesn’t mean that it is not potent.
CBN is created when THC is oxidized through exposure to heat and light. Depending on how it’s grown, stored, or handled, manufacturers can actually play with its overall potency.
Unlike CBD, CBN is typically used in smaller amounts because it’s more potent than CBD, which is consumed in higher dosages, thanks to its higher concentration levels. Think of CBD as a plain white shirt (you see them everywhere) and CBN is that one special bracelet you find in a thrift store — small, but makes the look, if you know what we mean.
How Does CBN Work?
In the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), CBN may interact more with the “immune system” receptor (CB2) instead of CBD’s favorite receptor focused on the brain / nervous system portion, CB1.
There is so much to say about the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), but here’s what you need to know: The ECS may impact functions like hormone production, sleep cycles, pain responses, various immune processes, etc. You have different receptors in the ECS known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which help to regulate your body’s peripheral and central nervous system.
Because CBN interacts more with the “immune system” receptor (CB2), it may be able to help regulate a range of immune functions associated with pain signaling and inflammation. CBN engages with CB1 (the brain and nervous system) at just 1/10th the amount of THC, making it far less psychoactive, if at all!
What Are The Benefits of CBN?
Studies about the potency and benefits of CBN are still underway, but so far, there seems to be a lot of potential with CBN, including…
+ Anti-inflammatory effects
+ Possible pain management for conditions
+ Appetite stimulation
+ Antibacterial effects against bacteria like MRSA
+ Possible cognitive support to help delay the onset of neurodegenerative disorders
+ Sleep regulation and enhancement
While CBN has a plethora of potential benefits, it is becoming most widely known for its capacity to support better sleep — especially when working synergistically with CBD (also known as the “entourage effect”).
How Do I Use CBN?
Similar to CBD, you can take CBN in tincture or gummy form, and it can truly be taken any time (although we love it for sleep). Vida Optima’s CBN Sleep Gummies and Sleep Tincture combine CBN with CBD, flavonoids, and terpenes for an optimized sleep cycle. You’re basically getting the best of everything in one.
Like many cannabinoids that “build” in your system over time, taking CBN daily may lead to more consistent effects!
What Is CBG?
+ Ideal for brain function and mental acuity
+ Known as the “Mother of all cannabinoids”
+ Can be taken in tincture form
+ Has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects
When CBG is not being referred to as cannabigerol (say that five times fast), it’s known as the “Mother of all cannabinoids.” It is, like CBN, also a minor cannabinoid with less than 1% of concentrations in most strains.
Much like major cannabinoids (i.e. CBD and THC), CBG can be found in the leaves and stems of cannabis plants, but is most concentrated in the trichomes (hair-like structures) found on the plant’s flowers.
Researchers suspect that the minor cannabinoid may have powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects, making it one to watch.
How Does CBG Work?
This part is definitely complex, so we’ll keep it brief.
The precursor to CBG is CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), the acid form of CBG. The reason why it’s such a big deal is because it’s basically the foundation of cannabis. As one of the first cannabinoid-acids created, CBGA allows for the creation of other cannabinoids in a sort of cascading effect. Because of CBGA’s role as a cannabis “stem cell,” it’s thought to have substantial health potential.
Once exposed to ultraviolet light, these acids (like with CBN) turn to cannabinoids — in this case, CBGA turns into CBG.
Similar to CBD and THC, CBG may bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors, covering the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as the physical body. Because of CBG’s wide net being potentially cast in the ECS, it could promote overall balance within the body.
What Are The Benefits of CBG?
CBG is only just recently coming into the light as a standout cannabinoid with some major potential health benefits like…
+ Mood support
+ Appetite regulation
+ Possible pain alleviation
+ Possible neuroprotective properties
+ Antibacterial effects against bacteria like MRSA
+ Studies for potential to inhibit cancer cell growth
+ May reduce bladder spasms
There is some really interesting research underway to expand upon all of the incredible potential benefits of CBG, but most people are starting to use it for mood support and mental clarity. Similar to CBN, CBG is even more potent when used in tandem with CBD.
How Can I Take CBG?
As a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that also gives you energy, CBG is super easy to take during the day without worrying about getting drowsy or needing to lie down to take a nap.
Vida Optima’s Clarity CBG Mood Tincture is made using 99% pure CBG oil alongside CBD for a clean dose of energy throughout the day. Think: a cup of coffee without any jitters or caffeine-induced anxiety, only intense focus and an uplifting mood boost.
While Vida Optima recommends taking a dose in the morning before you get your day started, you can also opt to re-up in the afternoon if you need to refresh your state of mind. Pain management and reducing inflammation can also be added perks of taking CBG.
Take The CBD Quiz + Find Your Cannabinoid
Still not sure which cannabinoid is right for you? Take this CBD quiz to help you hone in on the right wellness supports for your specific needs, then shop the Vida Optima’s tinctures, gummies and chews for 20% off with code CHALKBOARD20
This story is brought to you in partnership with Vida Optima. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.
“Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
“Unraveling the Complexities of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) Immune Regulation in Health and Disease” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4624216/
“Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003996919302249?via%3Dihub
“Cannabinol Derivatives: Binding to Cannabinoid Receptors and Inhibition of Adenylylcyclase” https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jm970126f
“Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis” https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.201600646r