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CBG, CBN and CBD Cannabinoids: What's the difference?

The recent surge in popularity of CBD and THC products has renewed interest in the potential uses and benefits of the 400 other compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant. What researchers have discovered is a range of cannabinoids numbering more than 100, a few of which demonstrate exciting promise and have unique properties of their own. CBG and CBN - two of these cannabinoids - are particularly important, and studies have shown that they may have distinct benefits that can elevate your wellness routine. 

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant, which includes both cannabis and hemp. Cannabis contains THC (meaning it will get you high), while hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC by weight and won’t get you high — making it a great place to start for newbies to this powerful plant.
We experience effects from cannabis and hemp because cannabinoids — including THC, CBD, CBG, CBN and others — interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system that plays a critical role in human survival. 
Essentially, the ECS is like a thermostat, initiating processes that help every organ in your body maintain optimum functionality (homeostasis) when something like a fever or toxin throws your body out of balance. Your ECS communicates with the rest of your body through endocannabinoids — cannabinoids that your body naturally produces — and receptors around your body that function like docking sites for endocannabinoids to work. The two main receptor types are CB1 (found mostly in the brain and throughout the body) and CB2 (found mostly in the immune and gastrointestinal systems).
It’s hard to understate the importance of the ECS. It’s believed to play a role in appetite, sleep, inflammation, mood, stress response and much, much more, though scientists are still trying to understand the full extent of its functions. When you inhale, ingest or apply a CBD or THC product, you’re taking in cannabinoids which can mimic your body’s natural endocannabinoids and latch onto the receptors in your ECS, allowing you to experience a variety of effects.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa. After THC, it’s the second-most-abundant cannabinoid in the plant. If you’re new to cannabis products, CBD is a safe place to start. Since it won’t get you high, it’s the perfect option for people who want to experience soothing effects without the trip.

Uses of CBD
Studies have shown that CBD may help you feel more relaxed as well as support healthy sleep and stress management, improve mobility, soothe inflammation and more. Every person’s body will react differently to CBD depending on a variety of factors, including your individual biochemistry, the quality of the product, the consumption method and more. We recommend you start with a low dose and gradually work your way up.

CBD Strains and Forms
CBD is derived from both hemp and cannabis. Note that CBD from hemp doesn’t contain THC, while CBD from cannabis will contain both CBD and THC — be sure to read the label of every product carefully!  You can purchase CBD in a variety of forms for convenient on-the-go use, or stash it by your bedside for easy access to relief. We offer CBD edibles (chocolate and gummies), pre-rolls, capsules, topicals and more at our online dispensary and brick-and-mortar store in West Los Angeles. When buying online for pickup or local delivery, apply the “CBD” filter on the left-hand panel to explore our CBD menu.

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is also known as the “mother” cannabinoid because it’s the precursor to other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. In other words, cannabinoids exist as cannabigerolic acid (CBG-A) in the Cannabis sativa plant itself, and only break down to form CBG, THC, CBG, CBN and others when heat is applied. Only one percent of CBG can be found in most strains of cannabis/hemp, making it a rare and prized cannabinoid.

Uses of CBG
Research is still uncovering the most exciting benefits and uses of CBG, but existing studies have suggested that it may help with inflammation, offer antibacterial properties and support a healthy appetite.

CBG strains and forms
CBG is typically derived from strains that are grown specifically because they are high in CBG. These strains include White CBG, Super Glue CBG and Jack Frost CBG. CBG is also derived from younger plants, which contain higher levels of CBG. Shop our menu of different CBG strain products.

CBG vs. CBD — what’s the difference?
Both CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating, so you can enjoy them without getting high. However, they don’t interact in the same way with our body’s ECS. Whereas CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBG does.

Cannabinol, or CBN, is special as a cannabinoid because it’s the result of oxidation. You won’t find CBN naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. Instead, manufacturers make CBN by exposing THC to heat and oxygen, which break it down into CBN.

Uses of CBN
While CBN is still being heavily researched by scientists to understand its benefits, CBN seems to offer indica-like sedative effects. One study revealed that CBN may help with sleep. It may also help your body manage inflammation, though more studies are needed to confirm its exciting potential effects.

CBN strains and forms
CBN is derived from THC, and thus growers can’t cultivate “high-CBN” strains of Cannabis sativa. However, CBN is typically produced from flowers in later harvests, since these plants are higher in THC (having been exposed to heat and UV light for longer periods of time). You can buy a variety of products that contain CBN (and potentially other cannabinoids, like THC and CBD) from our online dispensary.

CBD vs. CBN — what’s the difference?
Unlike CBD, CBN is mildly psychoactive — more so than CBD but much less than THC. Take CBN with caution if you know you’re sensitive to the effects of THC. CBN works in the body by binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors in your ECS (with a higher affinity for CB2), though it may also bind to TRPV2 receptors on your immune cells.
To learn more about the cannabinoids and how you can experience their benefits in your everyday routine, head to our blog. If you’d like to explore our online dispensary but don’t know how, check out our step-by-step walkthrough of how to order CBD, CBG or CBN conveniently from your own home.

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