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What’s the Difference? CBD vs. CBG vs. CBN vs. CBC

What’s the Difference? CBD vs. CBG vs. CBN vs. CBC

Posted by The Amazing Kind on Feb 28th 2024

Navigating the various cannabinoids can indeed get confusing. 

A big reason for this is that many of them share similar qualities and benefits, while still retaining their own unique properties. CBD, CBG, CBN and CBC - along with THC of course - are all part of the naturally-occurring compounds (phytocannabinoids) produced by the cannabis sativa plant. So there is an underlying biochemical connection between them all. That connection lends itself to some degree of overlap when it comes to things like alleviating pain or reducing inflammation.

However, the slight molecular differences between each cannabinoid results in subtle variations in how they interact with receptors located throughout our endocannabinoid system (ECS). It's true that the ECS contains two main receptor types (CB1 and CB2) that all the cannabinoids may bind with to influence bodily functions. But the downstream signaling effects can differ based on that unique lock and key fit.

For instance, both CBD and CBN exhibit relaxing qualities - but studies show CBD eases excitability and tension mostly through serotonin pathways whereas CBN directly activates sedative neuronal activity. The end result of feeling calmer may be the same, but the physiologic mechanism the cannabinoids employ can be distinct.

Similarly, there is a tendency for CBD, CBG and CBC to all display promising pain modulating abilities. However CBG acts primarily on inflammatory pathways whereas CBD may reduce pain transmission more directly at nociceptive areas in the nervous system and spinal cord. So again - overlapping benefit, but different route to get there!

This underlying shared connection, but subtle divergence in function is why continuing research to map the detailed pharmacology of each cannabinoid is so crucial. And why knowledge of these unique interactions is key for individuals to find what option - whether CBD, emerging players like CBG/CBN or a combination - delivers them optimal relief.Navigating the world of cannabinoids and we are here to help: CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC

With each cannabinoid providing different benefits, how do you know which one is right for you? Let’s break it down:

CBD (Cannabidiol) The superstar of cannabinoids! Non-intoxicating CBD has exploded in popularity thanks to its wide-ranging health and wellness benefits. It’s effective at reducing inflammation, balancing mood, relieving pain, and much more by interacting with receptors throughout our endocannabinoid system. For general health and everyday use, CBD is likely your best bet.

  • Most common supplement cannabinoid.
  • Widely-studied for therapeutic effects like relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety.
  • Non-intoxicating.
  • Popular general use for overall health benefits.

CBG (Cannabigerol) Think of CBG as the mother cannabinoid that transforms into CBD, THC, and other compounds. Early research on CBG isolate shows some exciting possibilities related to brain health and focusing cognitive function. The energizing qualities make it a potential daytime supplement. Using CBG alongside CBD shows promise in enhancing mood.

CBN (Cannabinol) CBN forms when THC starts degrading. Even though it has slightly intoxicating qualities, research indicates CBN has 10% the psychoactivity of THC. The true benefits shine for sleep - CBN attaches to receptors involved in sedation and relaxation. Combining it with CBD may amplify these chill effects for nighttime use.

  • Formed from degraded THC so has mild psychoactive properties.
  • Early research into sleep-promoting qualities as well as appetite stimulation.
  • Used with CBD to enhance relaxation and sleep benefits.

CBC (Cannabichromene) One of the lesser known cannabinoids, but CBC holds big potential! Specifically for issues related to pain and inflammation. Early studies show unique benefits for brain growth thanks to CBC’s interaction with vital neural transmitters. CBC may also give an extra boost to maximize CBD’s medicinal qualities.

  • Early studies on pain and inflammation relief specifically.
  • Could amplify medicinal effects of CBD.
  • Potential to promote brain growth.
  • Often used with CBD for inflammation-related issues.

In summary - CBD offers widely-applicable health benefits. But other cannabinoids can provide targeted symptom relief or work synergistically with CBD to maximize effects based on someone's individual needs - whether that be better sleep, pain relief or reduced inflammation.