Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid similar to CBD, though this compound interacts with your body through very different mechanisms than CBD. Initial research has indicated that CBG acts as an agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors without causing any intoxicating effects. CBG may also act as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. This means that CBG may have a relationship with both neuropathic pain and inflammatory pain. The main benefits attained through use of CBG include:
A mature cannabis plant contains hundreds of different compounds which can be further divided into categories of either flavonoids, terpenes, or cannabinoids, with each of these having different properties and effects on the human body. Two of the most prevalent compounds in medical marijuana are THC and CBD, with THC causing the intoxicating “high” that many people attribute to marijuana use.
While CBD has grown to be the most popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid in recent years, there are also several similar compounds which exist that have shown to benefit the human body as well.
Cannabinol (CBN) is currently only attainable by deriving it from CBD through a chemical conversion. While more structurally similar to THC than CBD once it reaches its final form, CBN lacks the psychoactive effects of THC which could allow more patients to utilize it without fear of intoxication or impairment. Some of the potential benefits of CBN include:
Cannabichromene (CBC) is “newer” to the cannabinoid scene as far as research is concerned, but has shown great potential as a medical supplement thus far. While its effects feel very similar to CBD when ingested, the chemical structure of the CBC is unique and offers it the capability to affect the body in a different way than CBD. So far, research has linked CBC with the following medical benefits:
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. It does not cause an intoxicating “high” like THC does, and according to the World Health Organization, it “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Several benefits of CBD use include:
At Remedy Pain Solutions, we strive to provide our patients as many natural treatment options as possible, including these compounds we have been discussing in this article. We have a full line of organic, medical-grade CBD products that are available for our patients at our Marina Del Rey office location. If you are suffering from pain and inflammation, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Remedy Pain Solutions to discuss what natural options might be available to treat your symptoms so you can return to pain-free life.
Similar to THC, CBN also binds to your body’s CB1 receptors. However, CBN interacts with these receptors with only around one-tenth the strength of THC. This is one of the primary reasons that the CBN cannabinoid does not give you the sensation of being high.
For example, a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that THC in combination with CBN may produce a more sedated, “couch-locked” body high. This may be why older cannabis products or those exposed to a lot of heat and sunlight, such as Moroccan hashish, are said to produce more pronounced relaxing effects than other forms of marijuana.
However, CBD has recently moved onto a very unique legal standing. Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, marijuana plants containing less than 0.3% THC are federally categorized as “industrial hemp” plants rather than regular cannabis, regardless of how much CBD these plants may contain.
At that point, our understanding of cannabinoids in general — and CBN in particular — began to morph. It was soon discovered that CBN is actually a by-product of THC content, produced when THC oxidizes. Basically, as THC is exposed to heat and light, it breaks down into CBN.
Challenges to CBN research
Bottom line: While it can be helpful to understand the difference between CBN vs CBD, if you want to tap into the full range of effects and health benefits of cannabis, it may ultimately be better to consume it as a whole rather than as isolated parts.
“We found that CBN slightly prolongs the sleep time in barbiturate-induced sleep in mice. There is no current information that I am aware of that proves CBN is a sedative, even though it is already being marketed as such,” says Zoe Sigman one of the principal researchers at Project CBD, a leading think tank and non-profit CBD information site.
“The pharmacokinetics of CBN seems to be in between 1/6 and 1/10 of the potency of the CB1 receptor (cannabinoid receptor type-1) that THC is,” Sigman elaborates.
Both CBN and CBD are known anecdotally to relieve symptoms of pain and inflammation, by potentially altering pain signals that the brain receives. One way to take advantage of these compounds’ pain-relieving properties is to apply a product topically to the affected area directly. By topically applying rather than consuming these compounds, and bypassing the digestive system and liver, consumers lower the potential risk of interactions with prescription drugs. CBD may have contra-indications with a vast array of pharmaceuticals, including Warfarin or other blood thinners.
CBD is the same molecule regardless of the source. Resin that is extracted from “marijuana” might have higher levels of THC than that derived from “hemp,” but only because the legal distinction between the two refers to the THC level.
Innumerable outlets report that CBD is non-psychoactive. Whoever is parroting this term is incorrect. CBD is psychoactive to a much lesser degree than THC; however, it is non-intoxicating, for the most part. People in 12-step or other substance abuse recovery programs report feeling “something” on high doses of CBD, because not all CBD products are equal. Therefore consumers who do not wish to get high must be careful to choose a reputable brand with a proven below 0.3% THC content.