As our understanding of cannabis deepens, so too does our knowledge of cannabinoids. Researchers have identified and isolated over 100 unique cannabinoids in the cannabis plant Although they have similar properties, each of them has its unique benefits and produces synergistic effects when combined.
Many researchers also believe that cannabinoids tend to produce the most potent and powerful effects when they are consumed together in combination, rather than as isolated compounds. This tendency for cannabinoids such as CBD and CBN to be more potent when consumed together is called the “entourage effect.”
Here you can compare the differences between the major cannabinoids you might come across — CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, THC — to help decide which types of cannabinoids are best for you.
What are Cannabinoids?
First discovered and isolated by Israeli researchers in the 1950s, cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the resinous glands of cannabis plants. These compounds are touted for their many therapeutic effects and are responsible for the wide range of medicinal effects of cannabis.
Cannabinoids can be extracted in a range of forms (broad-spectrum oil, isolate, etc.) or can be consumed directly from cannabis. Different cannabis strains contain varying levels of the different cannabinoids and each cannabinoid offers unique effects, so be sure to research which strains are high in the cannabinoid of your choice.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the more popular cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, along with THC. Unlike the latter, CBD does not cause the euphoric effects or “high” associated with other cannabinoids.
Next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is the second-most cannabinoid in abundance in the cannabis plant. In hemp, it is the most abundant cannabinoid.
CBD is also the best-researched cannabinoid to date, and the list of its applications as a potential treatment is continuously expanding. The growing research and popularity of CBD has made it a useful comparison to other cannabinoids and can function as a baseline when exploring the uses of lesser-known cannabinoids.
Cannabigerol (CBG) vs. CBD
CBD and CBG share more than just a few letters. These two cannabinoids can induce similar effects on the body. However, there are some important differences between the two worth exploring.
Cannabigerol (CBG) comes from the precursor cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) which is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids.” THC, CBG, and CBD begin as CBGA, and are later broken down into their final forms after the plant has been exposed to light and heat.
The similarities between CBD and CBG continue when you look at their effects on cognitive function. CBD is often lauded by many for its non-psychotropic effects, meaning it doesn’t induce a “high” that is typically associated with cannabis products. CBG is also not a psychotropic substance, so you can be sure that neither CBG nor CBD will result in a feeling of intoxication.
CBD and CBG can also have very similar therapeutic effects on the body. Both CBG and CBD have demonstrated an ability to reduce inflammation, act as an antibacterial, and even protect neurons from damage.
Although CBG also acts on both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it doesn’t have the same psychoactive effect as THC. The main differences between CBD and CBG are concentration levels and mechanisms of its actions. CBG is found at much lower levels in cannabis plants than CBD, and unlike, CBD, it has demonstrated a strong ability to bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
When it comes to whether CBD or CBG is best for you, access is likely to make the biggest difference. There are many more CBD products available than CBG products in the current market, but with CBG showing similar therapeutic effects, you may want to try both.
Cannabinol (CBN) vs. CBD
Cannabinol, or CBN, is another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Though it has a similar to CBD, its origin is different, as it is the product of oxidization. Manufacturers expose THC to heat and light, which breaks it down, leaving behind CBN. Because of this, no strains of cannabis contain high levels of CBN themselves.
While CBD follows a very simple pathway where it is converted from cannabidiolic acid through heat, the production of CBN is slightly more complicated and varies.
CBN is typically also formed from its acidic precursor, cannabinolic acid, but there are other ways that CBN can be created. THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a little-known cannabinoid that is converted from tetrahydrocannabivarin acid with heat. However, with the addition of time and no heat, tetrahydrocannabivarin acid can also be converted into CBN.
The precursor to the more popular THC, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, can also develop into the CBN acidic precursor, cannabinolic acid, with the application of time and no heat. There is a range of options when it comes to forming CBN, while CBD creation only follows one pathway.
CBD and CBN do possess some similarities, both demonstrating antibacterial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the two differ when it comes to their psychoactive effects. CBD does not induce any kind of intoxicating effects, while CBN may have very mild psychoactive effects.
Cannabichromene (CBC) vs. CBD
Cannabichromene (CBC) may be one of the most important cannabinoids you didn’t even know about. CBC is formed through the breakdown of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) from heat or ultraviolet light.
In most strains of cannabis, it is the third most abundant cannabinoid besides THC and CBD. It said that it can be found in large levels in landrace strains in India. In some strains, it may even be found more commonly than in CBD.
Like CBD, CBC does not induce an intoxicating effect, so you won’t experience a “high” after consuming CBC. Both CBD and CBC also have a weak affinity for cannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2. Because of this, both cannabinoids exert their effects through a range of other receptors and pathways.
CBC binds most effectively with vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV), often referred to as the “third cannabinoid receptor” in the endocannabinoid system. It also interacts with transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1); both receptors modulate our perception of pain. This means that CBC may be used to alleviate pain like traditional painkillers such as NSAIDs but without their potentially harmful adverse effects.
CBC has been shown particularly effective in reducing inflammation in conditions like osteoarthritis, especially when combined with THC. Research into CBC is still in its infancy, but it has demonstrated some therapeutic effects like CBDs. CBC has shown potential in its ability to reduce pain, improve brain function, and help fight depression. CBC has also displayed some differences from CBD, like in its potential to treat acne.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vs. CBD
Now it’s time to compare the heavyweights. CBD and THC are the most well-known cannabinoids, with THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, perhaps most well known for its role in inducing the “high” typically associated with cannabis consumption.
While CBD and THC are the most popular cannabinoids, they are very different. First is THC’s intoxicating properties, which CBD does not share.
CBD and THC also differ in their mechanisms of action. THC induces most of its effects through directly binding to cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, while CBD can only weakly bind to cannabinoid receptors and instead acts on non-cannabinoid receptors.
However, there are some similarities between CBD and THC. Both cannabinoids have shown some similar therapeutic effects. Much like CBD, THC can help to potentially improve sleep, reduce pain, and positively affect mood.
Panakeia Pure CBG – Growtown – Panakeia Pure CBG 3.5g Dried Flower
The only strain with just Cannabigerol (CBG) currently available in Canada, this light flower will help sooth your mind and body without the psychoactive components of THC.
Hailing from a unique development program at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain, this strain was specifically developed for its therapeutic properties with a CBG range of 10-16%.
Expect light green buds with visable crystals all over, with a light earthy, herbal smell with a gentle undercurrent of mint. These same flavours come out when burned as a subtle flavour, perfect on its own or when combined with your favourite other strains to allow the CBG to counteract the less desirable traits of THC.
This flower comes to us from a specialty grower who does indoor and outdoor cultivation, with us ensuring the final trim and quality of the bud by a real human, right into your bottle alongside a moisture pack.
Berry Good Day Soft Chews – Monjour – Berry Good Day CBD Soft Chews Assorted Coated 30×4.5g
Greet the day and make it your own with a soft chew that contains 20mg CBD per piece. Monjour’s vegan chews are available in 30-packs and feature a mix of blueberry, strawberry, and wild berry flavours. These chews are made with CBD isolate and natural flavours.
Blackcurrant Vanilla CBN Goodnight Gems, Sugar Free – Olli – Sugar Free Blackcurrant Vanilla CBN Goodnight Gems 5x3g
Each package contains five individual pieces (3g per piece) of naturally flavoured blackcurrant vanilla, sugar-free hard candies, infused with CBN and THC. Each of the five individual candies contains 2mg THC and 1mg of CBN, one for every day of the work week. The beautifully coloured and flavoured candies are reminiscent of evening and nighttime routines. These candies are non-cariogenic and are low in calories (five calories per piece) for guilt-free consumption before sleeping.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to choosing cannabinoid treatments, it comes down to your personal preferences and needs. Look for the varying health effects and intoxicating properties to help decide which cannabinoid might best suit you, and remember, a combination could be your best option. Merry Jane’s Cannabis offers a full range of products so you can find exactly what’s ideal for your needs.