Currently, most people are familiar with CBD, cannabis most popular cannabinoid. Its discovery has changed the way people perceive cannabis globally in recent years. And these days we are witnessing mounting scientific evidence supporting the use of CBD for many health conditions.
But cannabis is a complex plant with over 100 different components. Although they have similar properties, each of them possesses unique benefits, particularly when combined.
CBC, CBG, and CBN belong to most researched types of cannabinoids, and the article will help us to explore their similarities and differences, and the effects they may have.
Discovered more than 50 years ago, CBC is considered one of the most promising cannabinoids in recent medical studies. CBC, like CBD and THC, is created through the process of decarboxylation.
It is a non-intoxicating compound because it binds poorly to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. But it binds with some other receptors in the body which are linked to pain receptors, producing powerful pain-fighting effects by stimulating the release of anandamide, the body’s own pain-fighting compound1.
Some animal studies found that CBC had a positive effect on cells essential to healthy brain function, and it shows it has some potentials to help with neurological diseases and brain pathologies like Alzheimer’s in future2. Besides, it may be helpful against acne and depression.
Also, CBC is differentiated by “entourage effect”3. It means that CBC can boost the health benefits of other cannabinoids and phytocompounds.
CBG is considered to be a minor cannabinoid as it is present in low levels in most cannabis strains. Usually, it is less than 1 %. To obtain higher yields of CBG, farmers are experimenting with strains and trying to cross-breed various plants. CBG is a precursor to CBD and other cannabinoids being most abundant when the plant is in the early flowering stage.
Researchers claim that CBG may have several health benefits like helping those living with glaucoma,4 reduce the severity of inflammatory bowel disease and neuroprotective properties.
Some findings show that CBG may be an effective antibacterial agent and it may help against methicillin-resistant microbial strains resistant to several classes of drugs5. Other researches suggest that CBG may be an effective appetite stimulant6. However, it is worth knowing that most of these findings are derived from animal studies, and data from studies in humans is still not enough to support such claims.
CBN is another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. It has some similarities with CBD, but its origin is different as it is the product of oxidization. Manufactures expose THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, to heat and UV light breaking it down. This procedure leaves CBN behind. A live growing plant will not have any CBN. It takes time to create CBN. Raw THC-rich cannabis plant, left for several weeks, will begin to produce CBN naturally.
According to Steep Hill labs, CBN is the most sedative of all cannabinoids. The researchers claim that the consumption of 2.5-5.0 mg of CBN may have the same results as using diazepam7. CBN and CBD either individually or combined, potentially may help alleviate insomnia by causing an overall sense of tranquillity and relaxation8.
To conclude, scientists are excited about the potential effects of CBC, CBG, and CBN cannabinoids. One can expect much more research into these molecules in the future, and their use may become more widespread.
- Romano B, Borrelli F, Fasolino I, et al. The cannabinoid TRPA1 agonist cannabichromene inhibits nitric oxide production in macrophages and ameliorates murine colitis. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;169(1):213-229. doi:10.1111/bph.12120
- Feb 17 JB· CN· P, February 19 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Seniors study aims to discover whether medical cannabis can ease common ailments of aging | CBC News. CBC. Published February 17, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/national-cannabis-cbd-oil-seniors-aging-study-1.5436526
- Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, et al. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020;18(2):87-96. doi:10.2174/1570159X17666190903103923
- Tomida I, Pertwee RG, Azuara-Blanco A. Cannabinoids and glaucoma. Br J Ophthalmol. 2004;88(5):708-713. doi:10.1136/bjo.2003.032250
- Karas JA, Wong LJM, Paulin OKA, et al. The Antimicrobial Activity of Cannabinoids. Antibiotics (Basel). 2020;9(7). doi:10.3390/antibiotics9070406
- Brierley DI, Samuels J, Duncan M, Whalley BJ, Williams CM. Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016;233(19):3603-3613. doi:10.1007/s00213-016-4397-4
- Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041
- Somerset SB. CBN Is Another Cannabis Compound With Beneficial Properties. Forbes. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarabrittanysomerset/2019/07/30/cbn-is-another-cannabis-compound-with-beneficial-properties/