Isn’t the cannabis plant fascinating? We all know it contains THC and CBD, but that barely scratches the surface. Cannabis is home to over 100 unique compounds called cannabinoids that work together in amazing ways.[1] 

Now, you don’t have to memorize all one hundred of them to enjoy our cannabis menu, but it doesn’t hurt to expand your horizons beyond THC and CBD. Otherwise, that’s like only listening to the lead singers and ignoring the rest of the band!

Today, we highlight two unsung cannabinoid heroes who deserve some time in the spotlight: CBN and CBG. As your local cannabis experts, we’re here to keep you informed on all things cannabis. 

Whether it’s to buy or just out of pure curiosity, here’s everything you need to know about CBN and CBG.

What is a Minor Cannabinoid?

The first thing to understand is that both CBN and CBG are minor cannabinoids. So, what exactly makes them “minor” cannabinoids? Well, one similarity they share is that they are both found in relatively tiny amounts in most cannabis strains. We’re talking less than 1% of the plant’s chemical composition. They get dwarfed by volume by the more abundant THC, CBD, and other major cannabinoids.

But don’t let their small numbers fool you! Minor cannabinoids can still have major impacts by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (ECS.) The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system that helps regulate essential functions like sleep, pain, immune response, and more. [2]

It does this through chemical messengers called cannabinoids binding to receptors

  • CB1, which is concentrated in the brain and central nervous system
  • And CB2 which is common throughout the body.

What is the Entourage Effect?

You might think that a minor cannabinoid with less than 1% volume in a strain would hardly make a difference. But the beauty of cannabis is that all of these cannabinoids work together in what’s known as the “entourage effect.” [3]

THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, terpenes, flavonoids – they all work in synergy to create an effect that’s greater than the sum of its parts. When that happens, the therapeutic benefits are more eminent than they would be if consuming each individually.

Now that we’ve addressed that, let’s examine CBG and then CBN in more detail.

CBG: The Mother of All Cannabinoids

Nicknamed the “mother” cannabinoid, CBG is essentially the chemical parent to other major cannabinoids. Its acidic precursor, CBGA, gets broken down by enzymes into THC, CBD, and other compounds as the cannabis plant matures. As CBG, it binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. [4]

Like CBD, CBG causes no high or impairment by itself. Early research suggests it may share some similar therapeutic qualities as its more famous offspring.

CBG for Pain and Inflammation Relief

Pain and inflammation often go hand in hand. If you’re hurting, chances are something is inflamed. Research shows CBG has powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.

For example, CBG may offer hope to those suffering from IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. A 2013 animal study found that CBG reduced gut inflammation, oxidative stress, and nitric oxide production in mice with IBD. [5]

Where to Find CBG

Since CBG is a minor cannabinoid, you probably won’t get a meaningful amount by smoking regular flowers. Your best bet is to seek out products that are specifically high in CBG, like tinctures, edibles, or concentrates.

CBN: The Sleepy Cannabinoid

If CBG is the mother of all cannabinoids, you could call CBN the sleepy granddaddy. The cannabis plant itself does not directly produce it. Instead, CBN is created when THC slowly oxidizes and degrades over time. Kind of like fine wine getting better with age! [6]

Now, although CBN has a weaker affinity for binding to CB1 receptors than THC, it can still be mildly psychoactive at very high levels. However, the amounts typically found in cannabis products induce relaxation and sleepiness rather than impairment.

Let’s explore some of CBN’s best-known benefits:

Promoting Sleep

Having trouble getting enough Zzz’s? You’re not alone. In fact, up to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. [7] CBN may help! Animal studies have shown it can prolong sleep time. One human trial found that combining THC and CBN increased sleep duration with fewer nighttime awakenings. [8] Sufferers of insomnia and other sleep disorders may find relief with CBN’s sedative effects.

CBN for Anxiety

For some folks with severe anxiety or PTSD, THC can be too intense and trigger panic attacks. CBN offers a less intense experience. [9] Its lighter affinity for CB1 receptors significantly reduces the chance of an unpleasant psychoactive reaction. The relaxing qualities may also lower anxiety levels for PTSD patients and others who struggle with stressful thoughts.

Where to Find CBN

As CBN gains popularity, keep an eye out for specialized CBN edibles, tinctures, and vape cartridges. Edibles with an equal ratio of THC to CBN are a great option if you’re looking for a stronger dose. Talk to our budtenders for the inside scoop on our freshest inventory!


At the end of the day, the cannabis plant is all about teamwork. Instead of pitting cannabinoids against each other, we should be strategizing how to get them collaborating harmoniously! So, it shouldn’t be CBG Vs. CBN, or CBD versus THC. Instead, we should look at how these compounds work together.

Both CBG and CBN may offer complementary effects to the major cannabinoids we already know and love. Here are some of their key similarities and differences:


  • Minor Cannabinoids: Found in low levels (<1%) in most strains
  • Interact With ECS: Bind to CB receptors, causing therapeutic effect
  • Entourage Players: Enhance overall effects when combined
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Reduce inflammation in studies


  • Psychoactivity: CBN has slight; CBG has none
  • Applications: CBN aids sleep disorders; CBG tackles pain and infections

The band’s still playing…now it’s time to listen to the rhythm section for a change. Trust us, it makes all the difference. 

Stop by Stash Dispensaries and tap into these fascinating fringe benefits with our CBN and CBG product offerings today!











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