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  • by Nicola Boulton August 17, 2022 6 min read

    Differences between CBG, CBD, and CBN

    Recently, cannabinoid products are flooding both local and online markets. Many countries also legalize hemp products due to their endless health benefits and few side effects compared to pharmaceutical drugs.

    CBD, CBN, and CBG are among these cannabinoids. However, some cannabinoids, such as CBD, are more common than others. This is because CBD is the most prevalent compound in the cannabis plant after THC. All these compounds are different in their ways. For instance, they all offer different health benefits to the body. This article will help the user understand the differences between these three compounds and their health benefits. Before discussing their differences, let us first understand what these compounds are.

    What is CBD?

    CBD means cannabidiol. It is a compound derived from the hemp plant; among the three compounds (CBD, CBG, and CBN), CBD is the most abundant. A hemp plant can produce up to 20% of this compound. It is the second most abundant compound in the plant. The leading in abundance is THC, the famous compound that makes cannabis users high. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It is also legal in most countries, including some countries that have not legalized the use of marijuana. This compound was discovered in 1940 by Dr. Adams Rogers, a renowned researcher. Since then, its use has been growing across the world. This compound is mostly consumed in the form of oil. However, it can also be consumed in tinctures, gummies, capsules, vapes, edibles, and pills. CBG can also be topically applied. Currently, many skincare products contain CBD. Such products include lotions, oil, body washes, and soaps. CBD is derived from the hemp plant using the CO2 method, the purest method that makes CBD products expensive. There are three types of CBD products: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates. CBD is known to possess anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseizure properties. However, the use of these compounds is not regulated by FDA.

    What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD?

    The properties of CBD can help in treating diseases and ailments such as


    Tadayon & Ramazani (2021) established that CBD is used to manufacture a drug called epidiolex. This drug is used to treat a rare type of epilepsy in children. This is the only CBD product approved by FDA.

    Skin Diseases

    CBD can be applied topically in oil, lotion, and body washes. Baswan et al. (2020) noted that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can treat skin diseases such as psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis.

    Treating Inflammation

    CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Philpott et al. (2017) commented that it could treat inflammation and pain in joints and skin. It can also treat chronic pains caused by arthritis.


    The anti-depressant properties of CBD can help in managing anxiety and depression. It also helps in improving sleep.

    What is CBG?

    CBG means cannabigerol. It is a cannabinoid found in smaller amounts compared to THC and CBD. A full-grown cannabis plant can only produce 1% of CBG. However, it is more abundant in the young cannabis plant. Currently, there are special species of CBG grown purposely for CBG production. CBG is mostly referred to as the mother of cannabinoids. Due to its scarcity, CBG products are very expensive and rare in the market. You can still get this compound from full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil in smaller amounts. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are derived from an acidic form of CBG known as CBGA. CBG was first discovered in 1946 by cannabis researchers Raphael Mechoulam and Yehiel Gaoni. CBG, just like CBD, is not psychoactive. It can counteract the effects of THC. CBG products have three main types, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBG isolate. Full-spectrum contains all cannabinoids, including THC, and broad-spectrum contains other cannabinoids apart from THC, whereas CBG isolate contains CBG only.

    Health Benefits of CBG

    CBG has powerful properties such as anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, therapeutic and antibacterial. With these properties, it can treat diseases such as:

    Treating Colon Cancer

    The anti-tumor properties of CBG can treat cancer of the colon. Noreen et al. (2018) showed that administering CBG in rats reduced cancer tumors in the colon and inhibited the growth of new cancer cells. However, human studies are needed to show the effects of CBG in treating colon cancer in humans.

    Bacterial Infections

    Some bacterial infections can be fatal if not treated. CBG has antibacterial properties. It can eliminate bacteria that develop resistance to antibacterial drugs.


    This is a disease that is the leading cause of blindness. It is caused by abnormal pressure in the eye. Cairns et al. (2016) argued that CBG could treat this condition by reducing pressure in the eye, preventing the optic nerve from being damaged.

    Treats Inflammation

    CBG has anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can treat inflammation on the skin and internal organs. CBG is mostly known for treating inflammatory bowel disease.

    What is CBN?

    CBN means cannabinol. It occurs in traces hence not as abundant as the other three cannabinoids, THC, CBG, and CBD. It is not formed naturally like the other cannabinoids; It is formed as THC degrades due to exposure to heat or oxygen. It is older than CBG and CBD. It can be found in slightly higher amounts in a fully grown plant than in a young cannabis plant. It was first discovered in 1930 by Sidney Conn. Unlike CBG and CBD, CBN is intoxicating like THC. However, its effects are not felt as it is found in smaller amounts. It may not make you feel high. However, if it can be found in high amounts, it will likely cause a high feeling. Unfortunately, CBN products are widely unavailable.

    Benefits of CBN

    Relieves Pain

    According to Nitecka-Buchta et al. (2019), CBN can relieve pain, especially in muscles. It inhibits muscle relaxation, making it good for treating disorders such as fibromyalgia. However, it only works well when combined with other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.

    Treat Osteoporosis

    Ligresti et al. (2016) stated that CBN can treat osteoporosis by facilitating the production of new bone cells. The growth of new bone cells heals fractures caused by aging and other bone-related diseases such as arthritis.

    Treats Inflammation

    Zhang et al. (2019) noted that CBN could treat inflammation as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is limited information based on scientific research on CBN's ability to treat inflammation.


    CBG, CBD, and CBN are compounds found in the hemp plant. CBG and CBD are not psychoactive. CBN is intoxicating, but its effects are never felt due to its scarcity. The three cannabinoids have properties that enable them to treat major and minor ailments. Users are advised to use only the required portions of these drugs to avoid the negative effects experienced after use. Seek the doctor’s approval before trying any of them.


    Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic Potential Of Cannabidiol (CBD) For Skin Health And Disorders. Clinical, Cosmetic And Investigational Dermatology, 13, 927.

    Cairns, E. A., Baldridge, W. H., & Kelly, M. E. (2016). The Endocannabinoid System As A Therapeutic Target In Glaucoma. Neural Plasticity, 2016.

    Ligresti, A., De Petrocellis, L., & Di Marzo, V. (2016). From Phytocannabinoids To Cannabinoid Receptors And Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological And Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology. Physiological Reviews.

    Nitecka-Buchta, A., Nowak-Wachol, A., Wachol, K., Walczyńska-Dragon, K., Olczyk, P., Batoryna, O., ... & Baron, S. (2019). Myorelaxant Effect Of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application In Patients With TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial. Journal Of Clinical Medicine, 8(11), 1886.

    Noreen, N., Muhammad, F., Akhtar, B., Azam, F., & Anwar, M. I. (2018). Is Cannabidiol A Promising Substance For New Drug Development? A Review Of Its Potential Therapeutic Applications. Critical Reviews™ In Eukaryotic Gene Expression, 28(1).

    Philpott, H. T., O'Brien, M., & Mcdougall, J. J. (2017). Attenuation Of Early Phase Inflammation By Cannabidiol Prevents Pain And Nerve Damage In Rat Osteoarthritis. Pain, 158(12), 2442.

    Tadayon, N., & Ramazani, A. (2021). A Review On The Syntheses Of Dronabinol And Epidiolex As Classical Cannabinoids With Various Biological Activities Including Those Against SARS-COV2. Journal Of The Iranian Chemical Society, 18(10), 2517-2534.

    Zhang, C., Chen-Yu Hsu, A., Pan, H., Gu, Y., Zuo, X., Dong, B., ... & Wang, F. (2019). Columbianadin Suppresses Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced Inflammation And Apoptosis Through The NOD1 Pathway. Molecules, 24(3), 549.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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