CBG vs CBN: What’s the Difference?


  • CBG and CBN are two different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants with different properties.
  • CBG has potential anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving effects, while CBN may have sedative and anti-convulsant properties.
  • CBG is present in smaller quantities in most cannabis strains, while CBN is typically found in aged cannabis exposed to air and light.
  • Further research is needed to fully understand the potential therapeutic benefits and risks of CBG and CBN.

Does it feel like there’s a new kind of cannabinoid that everyone’s talking about each week these days? That’s probably because there are hundreds of cannabinoids and we’re just starting to explore the potential benefits of each one.

CBG and CBN are two of the most popular cannabinoids today. They’ve recently shot up in popularity and are now getting close to the same level as THC and CBD. However, we should take a look at the differences between these two cannabinoids. 

Let’s demystify both CBG and CBN so you can stay on top of all of the new cannabinoids appearing online at the best cannabis shops.

You can also check out our recommended CBG products and CBN products.

What’s the Difference Between CBG and CBN?

We’re going to get into all the details you could ever want to know about the differences between CBD and CBN, but first let’s do a quick overview.

CBG is also known as cannabigerol. This is considered the mother of all cannabinoids. It’s the compound that ultimately gets converted into everything from CBD to THC. CBG cannot get you high, but it does have some interesting medicinal benefits.

CBN is made when THC naturally degrades over time. It also has some potential medicinal benefits, but he delivers an extremely mild high at the right dosage. You can think about CBN as being a much more mild version of THC.

Now that we’ve gotten the crash course out of the way, let’s get into all the details. 

CBG vs CBN: What’s the Difference?

CBG vs CBN—Everything You Need to Know

We’re going to cover every single thing you need to know about the differences between CBG and CBN.

We’re going to be looking at everything from their legal status to how widely available they are for purchase. We will also be looking into their medical benefits, whether or not they can get you high, and anything else you would need to know when comparing these two cannabinoids.

Let’s get started with one of the most important questions first and take a look at the legality of these two substances. 

Legal Status of CBG and CBN

Knowing the legal status of these two cannabinoids is critical to everything else we’re going to talk about. How they relate to the law shapes everything from what we know about them when it comes to medical treatment to how easy it is to buy them at an online CBD shop.

Let’s start off with CBG. Cannabigerol is legal on a federal level thanks to the 2018 farm bill. This made the derivatives of hemp plants legal to sell across the United States.

This is the same bill that caused the rising popularity of CBD. 

However, things aren’t quite the same when it comes to CBN. CBN is made when THC breaks down over time. This means that you need a lot of THC in order to create a small amount of CBN.

This puts us in an awkward position when it comes to the legality of CBN. CBN is in the same legal gray area that a lot of THC products are in. It’s legal on a state-by-state basis, but it’s still illegal on a federal level.

This means you’re more likely to find CBN products in states that have legal cannabis. This is both down to the letter of the law as well as the fact that you need a lot of THC to produce CBN.

Since we’re getting into the production of these two cannabinoids, let’s take a look at how the market availability for each of these is different. 

Market Availability of CBG and CBN

Based on knowing the legal status of CBG and CBN, you might already be able to guess what their market availability is like.

While CBG is definitely less popular than CBD, you can still buy it across the United States. It’s for sale pretty much anywhere you can legally purchase CBD.

This means that you can easily pick up CBG gummies, vapes, and oils. You can find a wide variety of concentrations, flavors, as well as different blends of cannabinoids featuring CBG.

CBN is in a completely different situation. Because it’s still federally illegal, you’re only going to find cannabinol in states that already have legal cannabis.

Cannabinol is also very difficult to produce on a large scale. You need to first harvest large quantities or THC and then age them so that they naturally break down into CBN. This makes the production of CBN exceedingly difficult and combined with the legal situation makes cannabinol fairly rare. 

In short, CBG is common and sold across the country while CBN is rare and only found in areas that have legal weed. 

CBG vs CBN: What’s the Difference?

What are the Effects of CBG and CBN?

Let’s take a look at the effects that you’re likely to experience if you try CBG or CBN products.

CBG is non-intoxicating and has a few interesting effects. Plenty of people report clear-headedness in a boost of energy when they take CBG. However, this doesn’t come with the Jitters that you might expect with other products like coffee.

CBN comes from degraded THC molecules. This means its effect is also very similar to THC. People often described CN as being roughly the experience of THC, but 10 times weaker.

It’s very difficult to get high off of CBN. You would simply need far too much CBN to get the equivalent high of THC.

With that said, CBN does offer some of the same effects as THC including helping individuals relax and sleep. 

Medicinal Uses of CBG vs CBN

There’s a lot to cover when it comes to the medical benefits of CBG and CBN. Let’s start off with CBG.

CBG is known as the mother of all cannabinoids. Both THC and CBD start off as CBG before that compound breaks down into different cannabinoids.

This means it has a lot of promising uses when it comes to additional treatment. There’s a lot of good research out there and let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.

CBG has a strong medical presence, but what about CBN?

Now let’s take a look at how a byproduct of the natural aging of THC can be used in the medical environment. 

There’s another potential medical benefit of CBN that has a broad impact on how we look at the health care benefits behind cannabis products. CBN shares many molecular properties with THC, but it does not get people high nearly as quickly. 

This means that CBN could be a highly beneficial treatment for individuals who are looking for the medical benefits found in cannabinoids, but who also aren’t looking for any of the psychoactive effects. 

How Are CBG and CBN Made?

All cannabinoids start off as CBG which means that they share a lot of molecular similarities. This means that they also share a lot of similarities when it comes down to how they’re produced in the lab.

CBG and CBN are both extracted from hemp and cannabis plants. The largest difference here is that CBN is extracted in much smaller amounts and only comes from older cannabis plants where the THC has started to break down into CBN and Delta 8 THC.

CBG, on the other hand, is present in all hemp and cannabis plants in fairly large quantities. This makes extracting it from these plants a much easier job than it is to get CBN. 

CBG vs CBN: What’s the Difference?

How to Dose CBG and CBN

There’s a few things we need to consider when it comes to calculating the right dose of CBD or CBN. Let’s start off with CBG and then talk about the more complicated nature of dosing CBN.

CBG cannot get you high. It’s just not chemically possible for this compound to elicit the same high that you could get from THC. This means at CBG is a little bit more forgiving when it comes to getting your dose correct.

CBN can have a psychoactive effect, but it is extremely mild. You would need a very high dose of CBN to achieve even the effects of low quality THC flower. 

Now let’s take a look at some general advice for dosing cannabinoids.

The first thing that we need to cover is that you always want to start your dosing smaller than you might expect. While there aren’t too many harmful side effects of cannabinoids, there are a few that you should look out for. These can include nausea, dry mouth, anxiety, and feelings of lethargy.

No matter which cannabinoid you are dosing, you should always start with a dose between 2.5 mg or 5 mg. This will likely be a micro dose for most individuals which represents the safest place to start.

You can slowly increase your dosing after that point in order to get your desired effect. Here’s a great example.

If you’re trying to use CBN to help you get to sleep, start off with a 5 mg dose. If that’s not helping you rest at night, slowly increase your dose by a few milligrams until you reach the desired effect. You should always consult your physician when making changes to your personal healthcare.

CBG and CBN—Drug Tests FAQ

Whether or not CBG or CBN will cause you to fail a drug test ultimately comes down to these specific drug test you are taking. Here’s how it all works on a scientific level.

Drug tests don’t look for the compounds themselves. A drug test isn’t looking for THC, but the chemicals that your body breaks THC down into as it’s metabolized. These compounds are known as metabolites.

CBN could make you fail a drug test. It’s chemically related to THC on a much closer level than CBG. This means that it’s much more likely to have similar metabolites that could be flagged up in a drug test and the same way that THC metabolites can.

CBG is less likely to make you fail a drug test. The metabolites are more distinct, but they could still be detected. All of these compounds are cannabinoids and they share similarities that can be detected by a drug test. 

Will CBG or CBN Get You High?

All right, let’s look at one of the biggest questions you might have about CBG and CBN.

Both of these compounds act on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. They affect CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout her nervous system. However, only one of these compounds can get you high.

It’s not chemically possible for CBG to get you high. This cannabinoid simply lacks the chemical structure necessary to elicit the same effect as THC.

That’s really all there is to it for CBG. There are plenty of potential medicinal benefits ranging from physical health to mood, but it does not have a psychoactive aspect. 

Things are a little bit different when we look at CBN. After all, CBN is made when the THC in cannabis naturally degrades over time. It only makes sense that CBN does have the potential to get you high, but it’s not quite as simple as that.

You can think about CBN as being 10 times weaker than THC. This means that you would need a staggering amount of CBN to get high. While even in some small doses it can have extremely mild psychoactive effects, this all depends on your own metabolism and physical health.

In General, CBN likely can’t get you very high. It’s just too difficult to take as much CBN as you would need to get the equivalent high from THC. Besides, CBN is only legal in places that already have legal THC. So, if you’re looking for the effect of THC, why not get it?

In short, CBG cannot get you high. CBN can technically get you high, but only very mildly.

Is CBG Better CBN Than?

Neither of these cannabinoids is strictly better than the other. They each offer different effects and which one will be better all depends on what you’re looking for.

CBG is the one you want to go for if you’re looking for additional focus and a boost  to boost your mood. It’s got a variety of potential medical benefits, but these are all still being researched. CBG is also great because it will not get you high.

CBN is restful and calming and offers an extremely mild high. It’s great if you’re looking for similar effects to THC, but you’re not exactly looking to melt in the couch off of a high potency diesel strain. 

Wrapping Up CBG and CBN

Now that you know all the differences between CBG and CBN, which one do you think is right for your needs?

CBG is great for getting medicinal benefits and a clear-headed sense of focus. It doesn’t offer any high, but that can be great for people who are looking to stay focused.

CBN offers a very mild high and has effects that are very similar to THCA. It’s extremely mild which could be ideal for people looking for medicinal benefits without those strong psychoactive elements.

Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez, a co-founder of our vaping website, is our esteemed Editor-in-Chief. With over a decade of experience in vaping, CBD, and cannabis, Jules is a knowledgeable and respected figure. His expertise spans vaping devices, e-liquids, CBD products, and cannabis-related topics, providing comprehensive insights. Jules's keen editorial eye ensures our content maintains the highest quality, accuracy, and relevance standards. His dedication fosters community and delivers reliable information on vaping, CBD, and cannabis, driving our website's growth. With Jules leading the way, we're a trusted resource for enthusiasts seeking valuable information and guidance.
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