The world of wellness and medicine continues to teach us new things we can adopt into our lives.  It’s time to revisit the plant and discover one of its lesser-known compounds that’s simply one of the best – Cannabigerol, or CBG. 

What is CBG?

As soon as the plant blossoms, CBG is its very first cannabinoid to emerge, then it continuously converts to CBD until finally turning into THC. Because CBG is much less common than its more well-known brothers, it’s a rare cannabinoid…

Key Benefits and Uses of CBG:

  • Pain Relief Studies suggest that CBG works as a natural pain-fighting option without psychoactive side effects triggered by the THC in cannabinoids. 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: CBG has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects; it has been suggested for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 
  • Neuroprotective: Preliminary evidence suggests CBG could have neuroprotective effects, meaning that it prevents damage to neural tissue – possibly in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s. 
  • Potential Treatment of Glaucoma: The medicinal ingredient in CBG has the potential to open constricted veins where swelling is present, leading to reduced eye pressure, which is a common side-effect of glaucoma. 

What is CBN?

And cannabinol (or CBN) is often called ‘the sleepy cannabinoid’ because it is said to have more sedating effects. However, unlike CBG, CBN is not produced by the cannabis plant in situ: in fact, it is a degradation product, specifically of THC. Again, the older the THC the more the CBN. The older the bud, the more efficient it is at converting more psychoactive THC into less psychoactive CBN.

Key Benefits and Uses of CBN:

  • Sleep Aid
  • Antibacterial actions
  • Appetite Stimulant
  • Easing Arthritis Symptoms

Comparing CBG and CBN

And, while CBG vs CBN share some therapeutic attractions, their differences are at least as intriguing as their commonalities. Just as most cannabinoid cannabinoids are precursors to other cannabis pharmaceuticals, CBG is typically converted into other medical cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. CBG is found in the gummy stuff in young plants.  CBN is what THC turns into in the wild in the older plant.  CBG has been associated with anti-inflammation, neuroprotection. CBN is credited as a sleep agent, painkiller.

How to Use CBG and CBN

So, CBG and CBN come in the same forms – oils, tinctures, edibles and topicals. They’re not terribly expensive either: 30ml bottles of CBG between $10-$60 and CBN 500mg oz tinctures for around $40. Also, whether you’re looking at oils or tinctures versus topicals, it will be a case-by-case thing: if it’s systemic (like inflammation), the above will work however, if it’s localized (like skin irritation or joint aches), topicals would work best.

Legal and Safety Considerations

CBG and CBN would fall into a similar grey area legally (and mostly be legal, with THC, more easily accessible) But when consumers try these products, they should specify that they want clean and tested products to try to avoid contaminants, and to really know you have the right amount. Side effects from these types of products are rare, although usually the result of improper dosing.


These two cannabinoids stand out from the thousands of other compounds in cannabis because they appear to have really biological ‘usefulness’. And that translates as targets for use in potential therapies. The intriguing bottom line is this: if you suffer from inflammation, neurodegenerative disease, sleep disorders or bacterial infection, this is your ‘need to know’ list. Both these compounds are currently in preclinical trials. If you’re trying to get on your wellness regime and add any of these to your daily lifestyle, you need a health professional.

By Grace