What is CBN and CBG?
It has been some time since we have been able to discover many different uses for this amazing plant, thanks to both advances in science and research. The popularity of Cannabis products has indeed grown rapidly in recent years.
The various compounds found in the Cannabis plant and their many benefits are still being studied. The most notable of these are THC and CBD. The last one is used in a variety of products, from food to lotions and even coffee. This time about two fairly new compounds – CBN and CBG.
Traditionally, obtaining these compounds and creating an isolate has been a time-consuming and expensive process, so they were not so readily available.
Over time, farmers have also been able to grow Cannabis strains containing higher concentrations of CBN and CBG.
The Cannabis industry is slowly starting to move beyond the CBD, and it is only a matter of time before CBN and CBG will become the next big compounds.
What is an isolate?
As the name suggests, an isolate of a particular compound is the purest form of that particular chemical compound and is often available as a white powder.
For example, in the case of a CBD isolate, you have 99 +% pure CBD that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be mixed with food or used in the preparation of various CBD-containing products. You can also create your own CBD oil.
As the isolate is the purest form of compound, the measurements become quite simple. One milligram of isolate almost always means 1 mg of CBD.
The isolates are also odorless and tasteless, which makes them quite diverse with several applications.
Read more about the isolate in our blog post.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol, also known as CBN, is one of the many chemical compounds in the Cannabis plant. Not to be confused with cannabidiol (CBD) oil or cannabigerol (CBG) oil.
Let’s talk about what CBN is and the process through which it is formed. One of the unique aspects of CBN is that its concentration will increase in the Cannabis plant as the plant ages.
This is especially the case when the plant is exposed to both heat and oxygen. The THC inside is broken down by CBN.
Unlike other compounds, however, CBN is not derived from CBG. For this reason, CBN was considered a waste by-product, and it was only a few years ago that researchers really began to realize the many benefits it could offer.
CBD vs CBN.
The main difference between CBN and CBD is that CBN is slightly psychoactive, whereas CBD has no psychoactive properties.
This is because CBN is derived from THC. However, like other cannabinoids, CBN acts by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of our endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for regulating many of the internal functions of our body.
Many people confuse CBN and CBD – it’s hard to trace all these similar acronyms. This means, however, that there are some key differences between CBN and CBD.
We know a lot more about the CBD. Although research on the benefits of CBD is still in its infancy, it has been studied much more than CBN.
You may also notice that CBN oil is harder to find than CBD oil. As the latter is more well known and researched, many companies manufacture CBD. CBN is less available (at least for now).
How is a CBN isolate prepared?
As already mentioned, CBN is formed from THC.
In nature, CBN occurs when the Cannabis plant is exposed to oxygen and heat. Then the chemical compound in the Cannabis plant, THC, begins to convert to CBN over time.
However, under laboratory conditions, we can mimic this process and convert the THC in the distillate to CBN. We can then isolate the cannabinoid itself from this CBN by removing all other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This results in a white powder containing 99% pure CBN, known as CBN isolate.
What are the benefits of CBN?
While research is still ongoing, CBN is already showing many valuable properties. As it is a little psychoactive, it can help you relax and feel calmer.
The medical benefits of CBN are currently being tested in clinical trials and be a very potent antimicrobial agent.
Again, it is worth noting that CBN has not been sufficiently studied. While some studies on CBN are certainly very promising, none of them conclusively prove that CBN has health benefits – or what those health benefits might be.
What are the potential benefits?
CBN is likely to be able to improve the following health conditions:
- CBN could relieve pain. The 2019 study found that CBN relieves pain in study subjects. It concludes that CBN could reduce pain in people with conditions such as fibromyalgia.
- It could stimulate the appetite. Stimulation of appetite is important for people who may have lost their appetite due to diseases such as oncology or HIV. The study showed that CBN caused the study subjects to eat longer and more food.
- It could be neuroprotective. One study, dated 2005, found that CBN delayed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in study subjects.
- It could have antibacterial properties. A study was conducted in 2008 on the effects of CBN on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA bacteria that cause staphylococcal infections. The study found that CBN can kill these bacteria, which are usually resistant to many types of antibiotics.
- This could reduce inflammation. Many cannabinoids are associated with anti-inflammatory properties, including CBN. A 2016 study found that CBN reduced inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Individuals with glaucoma have long used Cannabis to support their health, and research is beginning to reveal why. Studies have shown that cannabinoids, such as CBN, are effective in reducing intraocular pressure. If left untreated, intraocular pressure, a common symptom of glaucoma, can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and even blindness.
- Companies that sell CBN oil often sell it as a sleeping aid, and indeed there is some evidence that CBN could have a sedative effect. Many people use CBN to improve sleep, but there is very little scientific research to suggest that it can really help.
Further research could test the benefits of CBN. Studies in humans are particularly necessary.
Does it interact with any medications?
CBD is known to interact with certain medications, especially those with a “grapefruit warning”. However, we do not know whether this also applies to CBN. See our blog post.
However, it is best to exercise caution and consult a family doctor or treating physician before trying CBN oil.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid, meaning it is one of the many chemical compounds also found in Cannabis plants.
CBG is considered a precursor to other cannabinoids. This is because CBG-A, the acidic form of CBG, decomposes on heating to form CBG, CBD, THC and CBC (cannabic chromene, another cannabinoid).
CBG is a pretty special compound. The reason for this is that it can essentially be considered the mother of all other cannabinoids.
Other cannabinoids can be synthesized from CBG. For this reason, CBG itself can offer several benefits, and it is not psychoactive, which is important for many people when considering any Cannabis product.
CBD vs CBG.
As CBG is the precursor to other compounds, all of them are synthesized except CBN but including CBD. Both are not psychoactive and can therefore be used in different ways.
According to a 2018 study, they both interact with the same receptors in the body and have anti-inflammatory effects.
However, CBG seems to have some different functions and health benefits than CBD.
The main difference between CBD and the CBG is the number of studies conducted. A fair amount of research has been done on CBD, but not so much on CBG.
This means that as CBG becomes more popular, much more research is likely to be done soon and we will be able to learn more about the potential benefits.
How is a CBG isolate prepared?
The process of creating CBG is very similar to CBD isolate.
Initially, the Cannabis plant had very low CBG concentrations, sometimes as high as 1%. This meant that more biomass was needed to obtain a certain amount of this isolate.
However, in the last few years, farmers have really improved the development of CBG-containing strains. Using these new strains, we can treat the flower in distillate and then isolate CBG together in a way that is quite similar to how CBD is obtained.
What are the benefits of CBG?
Like CBN, research is being done to understand the potential benefits of CBG. Some studies have been carried out, such as the 2008 study, which found that CBG could be useful in the treatment of MSRA bacteria due to its antibacterial properties, in the treatment of staphylococcal infections.
What are the potential benefits?
Although research on CBG is limited, research shows that it offers several benefits.
The CBG is likely to be able to improve the following health conditions:
- Inflammatory bowel disease. CBG appears to reduce inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease, according to a 2013 study in mice.
- Glaucoma. Medical Cannabis appears to be effective in treating glaucoma, and CBG may be partly responsible for its effectiveness. A study published in 2008 suggests that CBG may be effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure.
- Bladder dysfunction. Some cannabinoids appear to affect bladder contractions. A 2015 study looked at the effects of five different cannabinoids on the bladder and concluded that CBG shows the greatest promise in treating bladder dysfunction.
- Huntington’s disease. According to a 2015 study in mice with a neurodegenerative condition called Huntington’s disease, CBG could have neuroprotective properties. The study concluded that CBG may offer promise in the treatment of other neurodegenerative conditions.
- Bacterial infections. A 2008 study showed that CBG can kill bacteria, especially MRSA, which causes drug-resistant staphylococcal infections. These infections can be difficult to treat and quite dangerous.
- Oncological diseases. A 2014 study looked at colon cancer and concluded that CBG can reduce the growth of cancer cells and other tumors.
- Loss of appetite. A 2016 study suggested that CBG could stimulate appetite. Appetite-boosting chemicals could be used to help those with conditions such as HIV or oncological diseases.
Although these studies are promising, it is important to remember that they do not confirm the benefits of CBG. Much more research is needed to fully understand how CBG works in the body.
Does it interact with any medications?
Not much is known about how CBG can interact with over-the-counter or prescription medications, as well as vitamins or supplements.
If you are taking any type of medication, it is best to contact your family doctor before trying CBG oil. This is especially important if you are taking a medicine that contains a warning about grapefruit. See our blog post.
CBD can affect how your body metabolizes this medicine. It is not clear whether CBG has the same effect, but given its similarity to CBD, it is best to exercise caution.
Do not stop taking medicines to start take CBG, unless your doctor or family doctor tells you to.
Which should I choose?
It all depends on which connection works best for you and creates the effects you are looking for.
If you want, you can experiment with both CBG and CBN with moderation and noting the effects of each on you. The dose can also be adjusted in this way.
Are they completely safe?
CBN and CBG have no known side effects, but this does not mean that they do not exist. They just aren’t researched enough to know.
Regardless of your medical condition, it is always advisable to talk to your family doctor or treating physician before trying any supplement, including CBN and CBG oil.
In conclusion. CBN and CBG are becoming increasingly popular, but research on them is still quite limited. Although they may offer several potential benefits, not much is known about their side effects or how they might interact with certain medications.
If you want to experience the benefits of CBG, it may be easier to find high-quality full-spectrum CBD oils that should also contain some CBG. And often it is the “entourage effect” that works best.
We will definitely look at these two newcomers CBN and CBG in the near future.
The information on the internet about CBD products and their use will be ambiguous, so we always recommend reading safe and reliable sources. We also use websites related to the Cannabis industry, research and education to prepare information.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only. We are not medical experts and this should not be interpreted as medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor before undergoing CBD or other treatment.
The chemistry of every human body and brain is unique, so the use of CBD to improve mental as well as physical health does not guarantee results. However, many GWEEPRODUCTS CBD oil users have included it into their daily routine as one of the therapies for improving mental, physical health and quality of life.
References: healthline.com; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; cbdoilreview.org; faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com
Photo from Unsplash.