When talking about nonintoxicating cannabinoids in cannabis, three instantly come to mind: CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (cannabinol), and CBG (cannabigerol). These three cannabinoids are all nontoxic, and won’t get you high no matter how much you take. What they can do is offer a rich selection of benefits that can improve your daily life in bountiful ways.
If you’re trying to choose between the “big 3” if you will, as something of a hemp newbie, allow us to help. We’re going to break down each of these cannabinoids and share everything that makes them unique.
What are Cannabinoids Anyways?
Cannabinoids refer to a category of compounds found in the genus cannabis, which has given us both hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids are quite unique from other plant compounds because they happen to be the only compounds in nature that attach to cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors) in the body, belonging to the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids that are in charge of regulating physiological functions of the body, primarily through two categories of cannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptors that’re found in the nervous system.
- CB2 receptors that’re found in the nervous system along with the digestive system, immune system, and, to a lesser extent, other systems of the body.
The endocannabinoid system has the responsibility of keeping us in homeostasis, hence why cannabinoids found in hemp are so crucial. Taking cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and CBG provide the ECS with what it needs to regulate important functions of the body that pertain to our health and wellbeing.
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is the dominant chemical compound in the hemp plant, and it can make up anywhere from 10%-25% of its chemical composition, with rare higher and lower concentrations out there as well. CBD was first discovered back in the 1940s by cannabis researchers, and thus, has been studied extensively for a number of decades.
What Kinds of Effects Does CBD Offer?
CBD, like we said, has been studied a lot over the years due to fascination with its unique benefits. Let’s look at these benefits now, all of which come from widely available research that has been done over the last several decades.
Physical Relief: CBD is known to possess a combination of analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in the relief of physical discomfort. Analgesics are agents that numb pain by disrupting communication within the nervous system that informs the brain of pain responses. Anti-inflammatories reduce inflammation, an immune response to injury and infection, to reduce pain, swelling, and redness. Anti-inflammatories don’t just ease pain, either. They can aid in the reduction of immune symptoms associated with infections, and thus, can help the body manage autoimmune symptoms and conditions.
Positive Effects on Mood: CBD attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors that regulate neurotransmitters that affect mood, like dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol. This is why so many people find that they experience a mood boost by taking CBD, and also report that they experience lowered stress. The effects on cortisol and other adrenal hormones in particular gives CBD its noted anxiolytic properties.
Positive Effects on Sleep: CBD can play a significant role in managing sleep, again because of the way in which the cannabinoid interacts with receptors that control our nervous system functions. CBD’s anxiolytic effects allow a person to feel less stressed out at bedtime, while easing the body as well. Aside from that, CBD works with our circadian rhythm to regulate our sleep cycle.
Appetite Increase and Anti-Nausea: One well-known effect of CBD is having an increase in appetite, with studies reporting an increase in food cravings and pleasure derived from eating. This could have positive implications for anyone who struggles with a frequent low appetite. The effect comes from the way in which the cannabinoid interacts with receptors that regulate serotonin, as appetite is managed by serotonin. Another way in which serotonin regulation improves our wellbeing is by reducing nausea, which is a property for which many people turn to CBD.
Immune system balance: CB2 receptors, found in the immune system, regulate immune functions that affect our ability to fight infection and regulate inflammation, which means that taking CBD daily may be able to generally keep our immune system in better shape.
Neuroprotective Properties: A lot of research on CBD has been in the area of neurological health in recent years, as CBD has been shown to be a neuroprotectant. This means that it protects neurological functions by boosting neurogenesis, preventing neuronal death, and strengthening neural pathways. This has major implications when it comes to neurological conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. On top of that, CBD has anti-seizure activity, which is why it’s lauded as a natural aid for those with epilepsy.
CBD is Best For:
You really can’t go wrong by working CBD in your daily routine. It promotes tons of potential benefits pertaining to both our physical and emotional well-being, and has a balanced effect that doesn’t necessarily make a person feel too sleepy or too energized while it’s active in their system. We recommend CBD to everyone, whether or not they’re trying to address any specific symptom, due to its fascinating regulatory effects.
Cannabinol, better known as CBN. This very trace cannabinoid is a byproduct of oxidized delta 9 THC that has aged within the plant’s chemical structure. Basically, as hemp’s flower buds mature, a small portion of the naturally occurring delta 9 THC in hemp oxidizes due to age and exposure to environmental factors like sunlight and heat. Some of that converts into CBN, which is a cannabinoid that takes on entirely new properties as its chemical structure changes the way in which it attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the body.
CBN was isolated for the first time in 1899, by accident, as one of the very first attempts to isolate individual cannabis compounds. Researchers had acquired a sample of cannabis that had oxidized in transport, and they were hoping to identify the key intoxicant in the plant. When they thought they were isolating THC, they ended up with CBN. Since then, CBN has been researched for its own unique benefits, but not to the extent of CBD.
What Kinds of Effects Does CBN Offer?
There are fewer studies on the effects of CBN than CBD, mainly because its trace presence in the plant makes it harder to acquire isolated samples of. It’s highly likely that CBN has lots of beneficial properties that haven’t been uncovered yet, so what you’ll find below is just what we know so far.
Antibacterial Properties: CBN has been studied heavily for its antibacterial properties that go beyond topical. In fact, medical researchers see a lot of promise within the context of antibiotic-resistant infections, a concern that’s been growing within the medical community. Numerous studies have shown that CBN can offer antibacterial benefits, and one in particular demonstrates its effects against staph infection, which can be a huge deal moving forward.
Sleep-Enhancing Properties: The most common reason for taking CBN is to get better sleep at night. The cannabinoid is renowned for its ability to ease stress that can keep us awake, and even strengthen our innate sleep cycle so that we fall asleep more easily and stay asleep throughout the night. Surprisingly, there’s a lack of research in this particular area, but CBN has long been regarded as the most sleep-enhancing in the hemp plant.
Stress Relief: CBN gets some of its sleep-enhancing properties from its anxiolytic effects, which can also bring down stress and anxiety.
Influence on Appetite: CBN, like CBD, has been shown to increase a person’s appetite, which again can be extremely useful. CBN is Best For: CBN is very commonly taken at nighttime because it can help people unwind and get a good night’s sleep. In fact, you will find loads of CBN products on the market that are intended to be taken at bedtime. But, as you can see, it offers other benefits as well, and likely has many that we don’t even know about yet.
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is widely referred to as the “mother cannabinoid”. Whencannabis is still in its premature stage during cultivation, its buds possess just one cannabinoid, which is CBG. As the plant ages, CBG essentially splits off into 113 or so cannabinoids including CBD, CBN, THC, and every other cannabinoid that we know of. This means that all cannabinoids start out as CBG, and it also explains why all cannabinoids are isomers of one another.
What Kinds of Effects Does CBG Offer?
CBG, like CBN, has not undergone the extent of clinical research that CBD has. But, it has been studied significantly over the decades, and we have a strong idea of what kinds of effects it can provide based on studies that are available.
Serotonin and GABA Regulation: Research shows CBG to balance serotonin and GABA levels in the brain, and these two neurotransmitters play a major role in our emotional wellbeing. Serotonin plays a role in our mood that has to do with feelings of happiness and contentment, and, as a sidenote, serotonin also regulates our nausea response, which means that CBG can alleviate nausea. GABA, meanwhile, is a neurotransmitter that relates to our stress response, which is why increased GABA levels can promote a feeling of calm.
Bladder Benefits: CBG has shown surprising effectiveness at regulating bladder functions thanks to the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the bladder, and this may offer improved bladder control while helping prevent infections of the bladder.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects: CBG seems to be a particularly powerful cannabinoid in terms of anti-inflammatory activity, and that’s a huge part of its appeal. Many people looking specifically for cannabis-derived anti-inflammatory effects turn to CBG, as it may offer benefits to those with inflammatory pain, as well as autoimmune disorders/symptoms.
Appetite Increase: CBG is another appetite stimulant, like CBD and CBN, because of its regulatory effects on neurotransmitters that control our appetite and food cravings.
Energy Boost: People often describe a feeling of enhanced energy and focus after taking CBG, which leads us to believe that CBG works with cognitive functions in the brain. This is an area that hasn’t been explored by clinical researchers yet, however.
CBG is Best For:
CBG is a phenomenal choice if your main focus is finding the anti-inflammatory effects associated with cannabis. It can also provide a nice energy and focus boost, and generally offer a number of great benefits.
Which Cannabinoid Will You Choose?
CBD, CBN, and CBG all bring something unique to the table, while acting as fantastic cannabinoids to reach for when you’re not in the mood to get high, but still want to benefit from the plentiful known benefits of the hemp plant. Here at Kingdom Harvest, we have you covered with a fantastic selection of CBD, CBN, and CBG formulas, in different product types/delivery methods, strengths, and more!
Please Note: Before taking any cannabinoid for the first time, it is best to have an initial conversation with your physician/doctor. They have access to your medical history, as well as any medications you’re currently on, and can therefore make a proper determination if CBD, CBN, or CBG is right for you.