Please confirm that you are 21 years of age or older.

Meet the Cannabinoids: CBN + CBG

Amanda Russell

Move over CBD and THC, it’s time to shine some limelight on two other very important cannabinoids. Meet CBN and CBG. If you’ve taken CBD products, then it’s almost certain that they’ve also included CBN and CBG. We’d like to introduce you to each of these cannabinoids and share their origin, effects, and benefits. Let’s talk about the dynamic duo: Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabigerol (CBG)!

What is CBN?

CBN molecular structure

CBN is a non-intoxicating compound that is found in hemp and cannabis plants. The comes from the oxidation and decomposition of THC from a hemp plant, so it is mainly found in high amounts in older cannabis plants. This process can be accelerated if desired by exposing THC to heat and light, breaking down THC, and leaving behind CBN.

What Are the Effects of CBN?

CBN is mildly psychoactive, but it doesn’t produce a “high” like THC. CBN is significantly less studied compared to CBD, so although there are many common benefits that people associate with this cannabinoid, there is little research to conclude this. Let’s explore the different benefits that attribute to CBN as well as the research that has been conducted to date. 

CBN + Sleep

Many people report that CBN provides them with a sedating effect and it is even sometimes considered as the “sleeper” cannabinoid. Although many report that CBN can help with insomnia, there’s been only one study to date showing that it can potentially act as a sedative and that is actually from 1975 with only five male participants. However, we don’t say this to argue that the many that claim it can help with sleep are wrong. In fact, there are a couple of reasons why many may still feel sleepy. The first is the combination of THC + CBN to create a sedating effect. The other is that while CBN is found in older cannabis plants, there are also a large number of older terpenes found in these plants which are more likely that cause this increased drowsiness. 

CBN + Antibacterial 

Yes, CBN has evidence supporting that it can be a potent antibacterial agent! A 2008 study tested CBN on strains of MRSA and it was found to be potent against this bacteria, which is often resistant to traditional antibiotics. 

CBN + Appetite Stimulation

For those looking to increase their appetite, CBN could be the solution. Although more evidence needs to be conducted, it had been discovered in studies on a rodent that CBN increased the amount of food that they ate. This may be an alternative for those who typically use THC to stimulate the appetite but are not looking for the high. 

CBN + Neuroprotectant

CBN has also been potentially linked as a powerful neuroprotectant. Although human studies still need to be conducted, a study on rodents in 2005 found that this cannabinoid was able to delay the onset of the condition of ALS. 

CBN + Pain Relief/Anti-Inflammatory

CBD has been established as an anti-inflammatory that is helpful for pain relief, but CBN is another viable option. Studies have been shown to help to reduce arthritis, specifically this study on rats in 2019. 

Overall, CBN is not currently FDA approved to treat any conditions, and thus there is plenty of experiments that lie ahead for this cannabinoid.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBG is derived from Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) which is known as the “mother of all cannabinoids” and is the foundational molecule. As the cannabis plant grows, enzymes convert the CBGA into three cannabinoid acids. Then, through decarboxylation (the process that activates compounds into cannabis), CBGA becomes CBG. Although CBG generally will appear in low amounts in cannabis plants, breeders can create CBG-rich cannabis. However, this comes at a cost. In fact, CBG is known as one of the most expensive cannabinoids to produce. According to Analytical Cannabis, “It takes thousands of pounds of biomass to create small amounts of CBG isolate,” James Rowland, CEO of the Colorado CBG brand Steve’s Goods, told Forbes."

cbg molecular structure

What Are the Effects of CBG? 

Similarly to CBN, there is very little human evidence conducted at this point of the effects of this cannabinoid. It has been confirmed that CBG does not offer a high or psychoactive experience like that of THC, but some commonly attributed therapeutic benefits include similarities to CBN. Let’s take a look:


CBG has also been researched to see its effectiveness in combatting neurodegenerative diseases. For example, a 2015 study tested CBG on mice that had Huntington’s Disease, which a disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain. This was proved to be effective as a protectant against the nerve cells, but this still would have to be conducted on humans as well. Additionally, CBG has been studied in the link to fighting against Alzheimer’s.

Appetite Stimulant

Similar to CBN, CBG has been proven to be an appetite stimulant in rats. A 2017 study showed that the rats increased their meal consumption significantly. This can be very beneficial for those living with other diseases that are struggling to feel the urge to eat.


CBG has also been linked as a beneficial anti-bacterial agent. In a study from 2020, it was found that this cannabinoid helpful against strains of MRSA which can’t always be combatted from other antibiotics.

CBG + Cancer

There have been studies conducted measuring the effectiveness of CBG on cancer. A 2014 study observed that it was fighting the growth of colon cancer in mice, even inhibiting tumors. Additionally, it has also been found in a study on cats that CBG may be a potential treatment for glaucoma. Cats that received CBG with glaucoma had relieved pressure in their eyes. 


Like so many other cannabinoids, CBG can help to reduce inflammation. This was put to the test in a 2013 study on mice with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is caused by chronic inflammation in the digestive system and affects many people. This study showed that CBG was able to help address inflammation in the bowel system and is something that should also be explored through human testing in the future. 


These are just two of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the plant. However, we hope that we can continue to educate on the best properties of every type of cannabinoid. We look forward to further experimentation and regulations so that these cannabinoids can help those who can benefit from their properties. Have any questions? Leave your question in the comments and our team will get back to you. Learn more about CBD and more in our Education Center.

Meet the Cannabinoids: CBN + CBG
If you’ve taken CBD products, then it’s almost certain that they’ve also included CBN and CBG. Learn about their origin and effects.
The Green Dragon CBD
CBD Products from Top Brands, CBD Education
The Green Dragon CBD
Meet the Cannabinoids: CBN + CBG
April 5, 2024
CBD Education