CBG and CBN
Cannabigerol — CBG, the mother cannabinoid
Cannabigerol (CBG) is the first cannabinoid to develop in the cannabis plant (both marijuana and hemp). All other cannabinoids in cannabis are the result of changes to CBG due to exposure to air, sunlight, or a number of other chemical processes. For this reason, CBG has been referred to as the “mother cannabinoid”.
Like CBD, CBG is not psychoactive. That means it won’t get users high or cause mental and physical impairment. A further similarity is CBG’s range of powerful potential benefits. As with CBD, research into the full effects of CBG use is ongoing, but early existing research has linked CBG to the following:
- Reducing glaucoma symptoms and intraocular pressure
- Improved bladder function
- Neuroprotective for Huntington’s disease
- Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Appetite stimulation
- Antibacterial properties
While several of these possible benefits are shared with both CBD and CBG, several are unique to CBG. These effects, both overlapping and distinct, are important contributors to the entourage effect — that pleasant whole body sensation that many CBD users believe improves CBD’s effectiveness.
Unlike CBD, CBG is typically found in only very small quantities in the mature hemp plant. That’s because, as hemp grows and is exposed to environmental factors like oxygen and sunlight, its chemical structure changes into hemp’s 100+ other cannabinoids. As public awareness of CBG grows, however, some manufacturers have begun to isolate and concentrate CBG, creating new, unique, and powerful wellness products that harvest the full potential of the mother cannabinoid.
Cannabinol — CBN, the sleepy cannabinoid
At this point in time, very little is known about Cannabinol (CBN), as very little research has been done on it. Moreover, CBN is usually found in only very small quantities, as it forms only very late in hemp’s lifecycle.
CBN is formed when hydrocannabinols, such as THC, are exposed to oxygen for long periods. That means that CBN is present only in aged hemp, and usually only in very small amounts.
Although CBN has some potential therapeutic benefits, these are still very poorly understood. It has, however, shown great potential for one particular field: treating sleep disorders. A number of studies have shown that CBN is effective for fighting insomnia. More and more research is now being aimed at understanding exactly how CBN’s mild sedative effects function.
There is another crucial difference between CBN and other cannabinoids like CBD and CBG: CBN might have a mild psychoactive effect, though one that is far less potent than THC. Some growing and extraction methods may be able to eliminate this effect, creating a non-psychoactive CBN compound.
Just like with CBG, a number of manufacturers are now beginning to isolate and concentrate CBN. These products are still somewhat rare, due to how poorly understood CBN is — but the sleep-aid benefits of the compound have already made for a number of potent anti-insomnia oils and other products.