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CBN Vs. CBG: The Battle of Minor Cannabinoids

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Cannabidiol (CBD) might be the talk of the town, but as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life.

So, if CBD is the dependable elder sibling, then CBN and CBG are the adventurous younger twins, climbing up the popularity charts quicker than you can say "cannabinoid." But are these emerging stars really all that, or is this another case of marketing smoke and mirrors?

We cut through the haze surrounding CBN and CBG, picking apart their differences, comparing their similarities, and spotlighting what makes each one unique.

CBN is typically used as a sleep aid, and many people turn to CBN oil and gummies for their calming effects for a melatonin-free, natural sleep support supplement.

On the other hand, CBG is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid that many people find useful for supporting inflammatory pain, mood support, and focus without the sleepy effects they may find with CBD products.

If you're ready to learn more, you've come to the right place.

Key Takeaways: CBN Vs. CBG

  • Both CBN and CBG are non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, offering potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
  • CBN is unique as it forms as THC ages and oxidizes rather than being directly produced by the hemp plant. Often referred to as the "sleepy" cannabinoid, CBN has been linked with potential sedative effects.
  • CBG, often called the "mother of all cannabinoids," is the precursor to all other cannabinoids in the hemp plant, potentially offering anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and mood-regulating effects.
  • CBD, CBN, and CBG can be found together in certain hemp extracts known as full spectrum and broad spectrum extracts, offering a potentially amplified wellness experience due to the entourage effect.

CBN VS. CBG: Differences & Similarities

CBN vs CBG molecule comparison


First, let's discuss the common ground between these two popular cannabinoids.

Both CBN (cannabinol) and CBG (cannabigerol) are non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. This means, unlike their infamous cousin delta-9 THC, they won't get you high, no matter how much you consume.

Next, both cannabinoids have shown potential in scientific studies for various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects [1].

Now, onto the last shared trait: the entourage effect. Both CBN and CBG potentially work better when accompanied by a full symphony of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds rather than solo.

Now, here's where things get interesting. Let's dive into what sets these two apart.

Differences In CBN and CBG

CBN is often referred to as the "sleepy" cannabinoid.

It's not initially present in high amounts in the hemp plant but forms as THC ages and oxidizes. This makes CBN unique among cannabinoids, as the hemp plant does not directly produce it but is essentially a product of THC degradation.

Because of CBN's affinity to bind to CB1 receptors, it may be mildly psychoactive—however, this is only seen in exceptionally high doses.

CBN has been linked with potential sedative effects, making it a popular choice for those seeking a natural sleep aid. However, more research is needed to understand its chemical structure and how it may benefit sleep. So far, there's only anecdotal evidence to say that CBN is a useful cannabinoid for sleep.

On the other side of the ring, we have CBG.

This cannabinoid is often nicknamed the "mother of all cannabinoids." CBGa (cannabigerolic acid) is the precursor to all other cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including CBDa, THCa, and, yes, eventually, CBN.

This means that all these cannabinoids start off as CBGa before they're transformed into their final forms. The potential benefits of CBG are still being researched, but early findings suggest it might have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and even mood-regulating effects.

Cbn vs cbg table: which one should you pick?

CBG and CBN in the Endocannabinoid system

The ECS is a complex network that extends throughout our bodies, comprising receptors (CB1 and CB2), endocannabinoids (compounds our bodies produce naturally), and enzymes. Think of it as the maestro orchestrating a grand symphony of physiological functions, including sleep, mood, appetite, and pain perception.

Now, let's bring in our star players, CBN and CBG.

CBN is quite interesting in terms of molecular structure. It's structurally similar to THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) as it's a product of THC degradation.

However, while THC has a strong affinity for CB1 receptors (mostly found in the brain), CBN's affinity for these receptors is somewhat lower.

This means that while THC can induce psychoactive effects by activating CB1 receptors, CBN's lower affinity makes it non-intoxicating in regular doses.

CBG, or the "mother of all cannabinoids," presents a slightly different story.

Remember how CBG is the precursor to other cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBN? Well, this stems from its unique molecular structure. It starts as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which enzymes in the hemp plant convert into the acidic forms of other cannabinoids (like CBDA, THCA, etc.).

When it comes to interacting with the ECS, CBG displays a weak affinity for CB1 receptors, like CBN, making it non-intoxicating.

However, it has a stronger affinity for CB2 receptors, found predominantly in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells. This interaction might explain some of CBG's potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects [2].

CBN & CBG in CBD: The Tag Team in Your Full Spectrum CBD Products

Now, you might be rubbing your chin, eyes squinted in thought, and wondering, "Hang on, are CBN and CBG actually in CBD?" Let's hit pause and clear the air on this one.

To be super precise, CBD itself can't contain other cannabinoids because, well, it's a cannabinoid itself.

Imagine telling someone that your apple contains oranges—it's a similar idea. It's more accurate to say that CBD, CBN, and CBG can be found together in certain hemp extracts.

This is where the concepts of full spectrum and broad spectrum extracts come into play. If you envision the hemp plant as a superhero team, full spectrum extract is the complete roster, featuring CBD, CBN, CBG, and even a smidgen of THC (0.3% or less), plus an array of terpenes and flavonoids.

On the other hand, broad spectrum is the same superhero team minus THC. 

So you can still find CBD, CBN, CBG, and the other non-intoxicating cannabinoids and terpenes, but without any THC making an appearance. Perfect for those who prefer to keep their cannabinoid experience strictly non-psychoactive.

So, when it comes to your full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD products, you're not just getting the potential benefits of CBD itself but also the unique strengths of CBN, CBG, and the other players in the cannabinoid team. It's a potent mix that harnesses the entourage effect for a potentially amplified wellness experience.

Thus, our two understudies, CBN and CBG, share the stage with CBD in the grand performance of your full spectrum CBD products.

If you prefer a solo performance, you might opt for an isolate product, where you get the one-star player (usually CBD) without the supporting cast.

So, to answer your question, "Is CBN in CBD products?" and "Is CBG in CBD products?" It depends on whether you're going for the full entourage effect or a one-person show.

CBN vs. CBG vs. CBD

We've already taken a closer look comparing CBN and CBG, but how do they stack up against the reigning champion, CBD?

First, a quick refresher on CBD. Standing for cannabidiol, CBD is the cannabinoid superstar that's taken the wellness world by storm. It's non-psychoactive, has a host of potential therapeutic benefits, and interacts gently with the ECS to help bring about balance and homeostasis in the body.

Now, the question is: how do our contenders, CBN and CBG, square off against this reigning cannabinoid?


While CBD has a reputation for promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, CBN is carving out a niche as the "sleepy" cannabinoid. However, most of these claims come from anecdotal reports rather than clinical findings.

If you're struggling with sleep issues, many people find that CBN offers a more targeted option. On the other hand, CBD's effects are broader, potentially influencing everything from stress to inflammation to general well-being.


Now, what about CBG?

Well, CBG's health benefits are still being explored, but it appears to have a wider influence on the ECS due to its role as the precursor to other cannabinoids.

Some early studies suggest that CBG may have potential neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects [3]. However, as the research is still in the preliminary stages, CBD—with its more extensive body of supportive research—still holds the crown for now.

In summary, while CBD continues to reign supreme in widespread recognition and usage, CBN and CBG bring their unique talents to the stage. It's not so much a question of which is "better" but more about which aligns best with your individual needs and wellness goals.

Legality and Accessibility of CBN and CBG

Legality: CBG vs CBN

First things first, federally speaking, CBN and CBG are legal in the U.S., thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and all its derivatives, excluding THC above a 0.3% concentration. However, we all know that federal and state laws can sometimes be as well-matched as cats and cucumbers.

Certain states, unfortunately, are a bit more hesitant about CBN as a derivative of THC.

It's always a good idea to check your specific state's laws before purchasing CBN products. In contrast, CBG, being non-psychoactive and not a derivative of THC, generally faces less legal scrutiny and is more widely accepted.

Accessibility: CBG vs CBN

When it comes to getting your hands on CBN and CBG products, it's become increasingly simple with the proliferation of online marketplaces and local dispensaries. From tinctures to gummies, there’s a wide variety of products to choose from.

However, remember that not all hemp products are created equal, so always purchase products from trusted sources that can provide third-party lab tests to verify their safety.

Spotting Genuine Products: CBG

How do you ensure that you're getting genuine CBN Products and or CBG products? Well, there are a couple of things to look out for.

One is third-party lab tests, also known as Certificates of Analysis (COAs).

Reputable brands will always have their products tested by independent labs to verify cannabinoid content, potency, and the absence of harmful contaminants. You should be able to easily access these COAs, often found on the brand's website.

Next, look for details on the extraction method used. The gold standard is CO2 extraction, as it tends to preserve the integrity of the cannabinoids and yields a cleaner product.

In conclusion, while the legalities of CBN and CBG can be a bit of a maze, purchasing these products is generally straightforward. Remember always to do your due diligence to ensure you get the highest quality products. 

CBN vs. CBG for Sleep: Which Should You Choose?

If counting sheep has become your new pastime, you might consider CBN or CBG to help catch those elusive Zzzs. While both have their charms, CBN really shines in the sleep department.

CBN is often touted as the "sleepy" cannabinoid, thanks to its potential sedative effects when combined with minor cannabinoids and terpenes.

Does this mean CBG is out of the slumber party?

CBG may not be as directly linked with sleep as CBN, but its potential anti-anxiety effects could indirectly support a better night's sleep when taken during the day.

Many people report taking CBG products in the day to help with focus and to counter the sleepy effects of CBD in their daytime routine. Remember, the most effective approach is often a well-rounded one.

CBG vs. CBN for Pain: Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to managing pain naturally, cannabinoids like CBG and CBN have become popular choices. While they may not offer the immediate and potent relief that prescription medications do, many individuals prefer these gentler, natural options. They interact with our bodies differently, aiding the body's natural inflammatory and pain management processes.

CBG and CBN have potential anti-inflammatory properties that may help support the body's natural inflammatory process, possibly providing relief for individuals with pain.

However, current research suggests that CBG may be more directly beneficial in managing pain due to its interaction with the ECS [1]. That said, CBN could be a helpful addition, especially for those whose pain affects their sleep.

As with any wellness regimen, what works best can vary from person to person. A holistic approach that combines various strategies, including potentially using both CBG and CBN, may be most effective.

The Takeaway: CBG and CBN Comparison

Both CBG and CBN have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help support the body's natural inflammatory process, possibly providing relief for individuals dealing with pain.

However, current research suggests that CBG may be more directly beneficial in managing pain due to its interaction with the ECS. That said, CBN could be a helpful addition, especially for those whose pain affects their sleep.

As with any wellness regimen, what works best can vary from person to person. A holistic approach that combines various strategies, including potentially using both CBG and CBN, may be most effective.

It's also worth mentioning that while these cannabinoids show potential, research is ongoing, and you should always consult a healthcare provider before starting a new pain management regimen.

Remember, these cannabinoids should not replace professional medical advice or treatment for chronic pain or sleep issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About CBG and CBN

CBN VS CBG for sleep?

CBN would be your pick due to its potential sedative effects and its calming nature, especially in full spectrum CBN product offerings. .

CBD vs CBN vs CBG?

Why choose one when you can have all three? Each has unique potential benefits - CBD for its wide-ranging applications, CBN for sleep, and CBG for pain relief.

Where to buy CBN & CBG products?

Well, since you asked so nicely, you can find top-notch CBN and CBG products right here at Neurogan made from Farm Bill-compliant organic grown hemp crops from the sunny West Coast. All CBN and CBG products are full spectrum, containing a rich profile of cannabinoids and terpenes to support the effects of the cannabinoids. You can find third-party lab tests for all product batches, and rest assured that you're getting the best quality hemp products on the market.

Does CBN show up on drug tests?

Most standard drug tests are designed to detect THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, not specifically CBD, CBG, CBN, or other non-psychoactive cannabinoids. However, many hemp-derived products, especially full-spectrum ones, contain trace amounts of THC, which could potentially accumulate in the body over time and result in a positive drug test.

If you need to undergo regular drug testing, consider using hemp products made from broad-spectrum hemp extract or isolate, as these are typically free of THC.


  1. Russo, E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245-259.
  2. Perez, E., Fernandez, J. R., Fitzgerald, C., Rouzard, K., Tamura, M., & Savile, C. (2022). In Vitro and Clinical Evaluation of Cannabigerol (CBG) Produced via Yeast Biosynthesis: A Cannabinoid with a Broad Range of Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Health-Boosting Properties. Molecules, 27(2), 491.
  3. Cabrera, C. L. R., Keir-Rudman, S., Horniman, N., Clarkson, N., & Page, C. (2021). The anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol and cannabigerol alone, and in combination. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 69, 102047.


Nicklas Brandrup

BSc International Business, Copenhagen Business School Nicklas is the co-founder of Neurogan and a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in the health and wellness space.  Nicklas has generated more than $250M in sales on Amazon with brands that he owns and operates. He is passionate ab...

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