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What is the difference between CBD vs CBN vs CBG?



A typical cannabis plant may have a ratio of THC:CBD of 10:1. That means for every 10 molecules of THC in the flower 1 molecule of CBD is present.


Now a super jacked up genetically engineered hybrid cannabis plant such as "gorilla glue" or "Hazy OG" could have concentrations as high as 30:1. A plant strain if consumed with these properties would result in you getting "high". This is exactly what happens when you smoke marijuana. You may feel a rush of serotonin flowing into your head as it starts to get foggy and your ability to assimilate constructive thoughts weakens. You suddenly notice that you can feel yourself melting into the chair. It becomes difficult to move and you can't think straight. But wait. STOP.

Analyze this exact scenario from a third person point of view. Is it difficult to move because your thoughts are impairing your ability to move? Are you experiencing a "body high" which makes the neurons in your neuromuscular system unable to travel across synapses? Or is it a combination of the body and mind that is preventing you from standing up? The honest answer is that it is likely the latter of three possibilities. The body and mind are very much connected in this way.

You have a hemp plant rather than a cannabis plant. This plant is at the top of the gene pool for CBD yield and produces a bud that contains a ratio of THC:CBD of 1:30. That is for every 1 molecule of THC in the flower 30 molecules of CBD is present. Consuming this plant would result in you feeling perhaps more relaxed. Maybe it eases some pain you feel in your neck or back. It might allow your mind to let go of some stressors that you don't need to be thinking about on an hourly basis. You might feel suddenly a little more at peace than you did just 30 minutes before.

Now think about how this scenario plays out much differently than when you consumed the cannabis plant. Most of the effects seemed to have taken place in the body, but yet your mind also showed some signs of relaxation. Why is this? 

The General Answer

The general answer is that THC and CBD are responsible for different reactions in the body. We can see through these examples that traits can carry over from one end of the spectrum to the other, but at the end of the day there are clear differences between them.

Substances like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG) all have varying and unique chemical interactions with our biochemistry. Each chemical is naturally produced in both cannabis and hemp plants although the ratios of each differ greatly. The naturally forming ratios depend on the factors such as: strain of plant, nutrition, water intake, altitude, time of year harvested, light exposure per day, wavelength of light. This list goes on and on.

Through trial and error farmers have managed to grow strains of the plant that contain predominantly one main cannabinoids listed in this article. Through the power of science and anecdotal reports. These compounds are showing lots of promising health benefits, without disturbing intoxicating effects. In this article, we will explore CBD, CBN, and CBG comparing their attributes with the research findings of each one.



The use of cannabidiol (CBD) has become widespread over the last few years. It is known for its pain and inflammation-relieving qualities but doesn’t have a high as the psychoactive cannabinoid THC does.

And next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is the second-most cannabinoid in abundance in the cannabis plant. In hemp, it is the most abundant cannabinoid. This means CBD is the cheapest to lawfully extract and produce, allowing the easiest path to your doorstep.

Today, CBD is available in the form of tinctures, gummies, pills, topicals, and much more. Because it does not produce a high, this makes it ideal for health and wellness applications.

Despite now being available in so many forms, CBD is still not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only just recently has the first CBD pharmaceutical been approved.

This is Epidiolex, a drug that passed clinical trials for the use of two rare forms of epilepsy. We hope for more CBD drugs on the market in the coming years.


How long has CBD been around? CBD was discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois. Since those days we have learned many things about the cannabinoid, including how it interacts with our endocannabinoid systems (ECS).

Opposite THC’s agonistic behavior towards our ECS receptors, CBD is an antagonist of receptors. It is thought that this is the reason why a high is not produced. It has been shown that CBD inhibits the adverse psychoactive effects of THC through the CB1 receptors, counteracting undesirable effects of cannabis-based therapies.


Besides this helpful quality, there are tons of healthcare applications of CBD. Here are some common ailments that CBD may help with:

Daily aches and pains (sports injuries, bumps, and bruises, etc.)

Chronic pain: Cannabidiol may regulate pain by interacting with the brain cells.

Anti-inflammatory: CBD has shown its use in the treatment of inflammatory conditions including arthritis.

Anxiety and panic disorders: CBD has been shown valuable for the possible treatment of anxiety disorders.

Nausea and vomiting: CBD, as well as other, cannabinoids, may help relieve nausea. This is especially helpful for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Skin conditions: CBD may be affected in the treatment of skin conditions like acne, rashes, and eczema.

Seizures and convulsive disorders


Cannabinol (CBN) was the first cannabinoid to be uncovered. Robert Sidney Conn, a British chemist, is said to have made the first discovery in 1930. CBN is not produced naturally, but forms as THC degrades in a plant as a result of age or exposure to heat or oxygen.

This older sibling cannabinoid in the cannabis family is available only in trace amounts. Younger cannabis or freshly-dried cannabis will be low in CBN, but as it ages, the CBN content will grow. Typically, recreational users don’t like CBN in their cannabis because it is an indication that the product is old and stale.


Known as a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid, CBN does have some intoxicating effects. However, research suggests it is only one-fourth as potent as THC.

This may be because CBN binds to cannabinoid receptors less effectively than many other cannabinoids. Since it is typically only available in trace amounts, CBN will more than likely not cause a high.


Here are some possible benefits that may be produced by CBN:

Sedating: It is said that when cannabinol is paired with THC,CBD and other cannabinoids it can create a sedative effect that can be helpful for insomnia sufferers. However, the fact that CBN acts as a sedative on its own may be disputed by some. Further research is needed.

Immunosuppressant and fights inflammation: This chemical analysis of CBN states that the compound may act as an immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory.

Pain-relieving: When combined with CBD, CBN may significantly decrease levels of pain through analgesic properties. This is done through the inhibition of muscle relaxation. It is said this finding may be useful for the treatment of chronic muscle pain disorders like fibromyalgia.

Stimulation of bone tissue growth: This study found that CBN may reverse bone loss caused by osteoporosis. It may help with the production of new bone cells through the activation of stem cells. This suggests that CBN may be potentially healing for fractures caused by aging and osteoporosis.

Despite these promising findings, CBN is not currently widely available.


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.

CBG appears in very small amounts of cannabis: typically less than 1%. Since it is rare, it must be properly extracted from the plant, which can be very expensive. For this reason, CBG is not well-known and is outshined by CBD on the market today. But it does contain what may be helpful medicinal benefits. 


CBG was first discovered by Yehiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam in 1964. The scientists discovered the cannabinoid while working with hashish, which led researchers to believe it was a constituent of hash until 1975 when researchers found that the acidic form of CBG, CBGA, occurs naturally as the first cannabinoid to form in a new cannabis plant.

Cannabigerol is said to interact with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid systems (ECS). This is thought to strengthen the function of anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter that can help regulate things like motivation, pleasure, appetite, sleep, and pain.


Here are some possible benefits of CBG:

Pain relief: CBG may be a powerful muscle relaxant. It may be even more powerful than CBD or THC.

Anxiety and depression: CBG is believed to obstruct GABA uptake in the brain and block serotonin receptors. This may be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Glaucoma: CBG could be effective at reducing the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.

Neuroprotective properties: CBG has been shown to affect neurological disorders like Huntington’s Disease, a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.

Anti-bacterial: It has been revealed the antibiotic properties of CBG, discovering that it was useful at combating Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains that are resistant to several classes of antibiotics.

Decreases inflammation

Increases appetite

CBG has also been studied as a potential treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and bladder dysfunction disorders.

Pick Out the Right Cannabinoid(s) For You


Notice that cannabinoid can be interpreted as singular or plural. Our formulas at Badger Therapeutics have been designed to with multiple cannabinoids to give you the best effects of all of the compounds discussed in this article. This yields the best results when it comes to giving efficacious doses in our bottles that actually provide results you can feel.


Article Last Edited: November 28th, 2022


Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not provided to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. It should not be interpreted as instruction or medical advice to displace the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals. We recommend talking to your doctor to prepare a treatment plan for any disease or ailments. 

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