CBD, CBN, and CBG: Understanding the Differences and Features

CBD, or cannabidiol, is gaining attention for its relaxing and calming effects. Recently, hemp-derived compounds like CBN and CBG have also emerged, leaving many wondering, “What are the differences?” In this article, we’ll thoroughly explain the features of CBD, CBN, and CBG, as well as their distinctions.

Features of CBD, CBN, and CBG


CBD (Cannabidiol) is a natural component found in cannabis plants, and it has been widely incorporated into beauty and health products in recent years. Despite the association with cannabis, CBD is a legal substance, allowing for its purchase and use domestically.


CBN (Cannabinol) is another natural component found in cannabis plants. It is produced by oxidizing THC, but it is safe for consumption. CBN is known for its strong analgesic and calming effects, making it suitable for those looking to improve sleep quality.


CBG (Cannabigerol) is also found in cannabis plants. It is considered the “mother of cannabinoids” because it is converted into CBD and other compounds as the plant grows.

Differences Between CBD, CBN, and CBG

CBD, CBN, and CBG exhibit several differences, with the most notable distinctions being:

Absence of Psychotropic Effects

While CBD and CBG are non-psychotropic and won’t induce a “high,” CBN may have slight psychotropic effects, although significantly less than THC. However, it’s essential to use these substances responsibly.

Different Mechanisms of Action

CBN primarily interacts with the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain, activating the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote health and therapeutic effects. CBG, on the other hand, interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD doesn’t directly bind to cannabinoid receptors but prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids in the body, indirectly activating the ECS.

Varied Effects

CBD, CBN, and CBG offer distinct potential benefits:

  • CBN is associated with improved sleep, pain relief, neuroprotection, anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant effects, and appetite enhancement.
  • CBG is thought to be effective for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, rectal cancer, Huntington’s disease, bladder dysfunction, and appetite loss.
  • CBD is known for stress relief, insomnia alleviation, skin issue resolution, anti-aging properties, enhanced athletic performance, epilepsy symptom relief, cancer progression inhibition, and nausea relief.
Benefits / FeatureCBDCBNCBGTHC
Legal Status (in Japan)
Stress Relief
Insomnia Relief
Pain Relief
Appetite Enhancement
Altered Time Perception
Psychotropic Effects✓(some)
Epilepsy Symptom Relief
Cancer Progression Inhibition
Nausea Relief
Approach to Autism Spectrum

Commonalities Among CBD, CBN, and CBG

Despite their differences, CBD, CBN, and CBG share some common aspects:

ECS Activation

All three compounds activate the endocannabinoid system (ECS), albeit through different processes. They may differ in their effects, such as appetite regulation, but share the common goal of ECS activation.

Low Likelihood of Getting High

Concerns about getting “high” often arise when considering hemp-derived compounds. However, CBD, CBN, and CBG do not induce a high, providing a safe and reassuring user experience.

Legality is a significant concern when using CBD, CBN, or CBG. While THC is regulated by law, these compounds are not. As long as the product doesn’t contain any amounts of THC, it is legal and can be safely purchased and used.

Choosing Between CBD, CBN, and CBG

The choice between CBD, CBN, or CBG depends on individual preferences and needs:

  • CBD is recommended for those prioritizing safety, as it has undergone extensive research with minimal reported side effects. It is suitable for beginners to hemp-derived products.
  • CBN or CBG may be preferred by those seeking specific effects not found in CBD. If you are interested in these unique benefits, opt for products with higher CBN or CBG content.

Exploring CBDV and CBGA

In addition to CBD, CBN, and CBG, there are other compounds to explore:


CBDV (Cannabidivarin) is a structural analog of CBD and is associated with anticonvulsant effects and potential benefits for epilepsy treatment. It also influences glutamate levels in the brain, suggesting a potential role in addressing autism spectrum disorders.


CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid) serves as a precursor to cannabinoids. It is associated with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anticancer, and antibacterial properties.


CBD, CBN, and CBG, derived from hemp, offer various features and potential benefits. Despite their association with cannabis, they are legal and safe for use. Understanding these compounds can be valuable when exploring products containing hemp-derived ingredients. For further information, refer to the following references:

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