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CBN and CBG: Two Hidden Heroes of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

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We’ve come a long way in the past decade. Public attitude has evolved regarding THC (the psychotropic agent in some recreational drugs), CBD, CBN, and CBG. In fact, people who currently support cannabis legalization co-use THC and CBD regularly. And, among those with chronic maladies, 98.9% maintain medical cannabis should be available to anyone with qualifying conditions. The data also suggests that those with SCI (spinal cord injury) primarily use THC for physical discomfort, mood, and sleep support.

Meanwhile, CBD products have emerged as legitimate health and wellness solutions across the United States.

Still, our understanding of hemp is just beginning. As it turns out, CBD products are a far cry from Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, which offers a plethora of benefits due to the organic compounds in hemp. The latter contains terpenes, fatty acids, and other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, and CBG. In fact, Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil contains more than 100 of these compounds, each with unique benefits.

Below, we focus on two of the molecules that (like CBD) have a significant impact on those who ingest Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. These are CBN and CBG, and though you won’t read much about them from popular press sources, they’re the hidden heroes of our product collections

Just the Basics: Understanding the Nature of Cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and CBG

Before getting into the details of both CBN and CBG, it’s important to understand the basic molecular structure of the cannabis plant. Like all plants, it consists of several compounds: cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. Of the 120+ cannabinoids in every plant, only THC has the ability to impact the human mind.

Cannabis is a fascinating plant because the human body produces endocannabinoids (cannabinoid-like molecules) in an endocannabinoid system designed to facilitate physiological balance. Molecules from cannabis naturally bond with endocannabinoid receptors, strengthening the effect of endocannabinoids. That’s how Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil works.

What science is just beginning to discover are the types of molecules actively present in the cannabis plant. The popularization of their benefits, discussed in a now-famous 2013 CNN special, inspired public interest in cannabidiol (CBD) as a major driver of those benefits. Below, we highlight two other cannabinoids that may soon garner national attention: CBG (cannabigerol) and CBN (cannabinol).

Introducing CBG, the Chemical Precursor to CBD

CBG, short for cannabigerol, makes up about 3% of the cannabis plant, although that number varies from strain to strain. It also varies depending on light exposure and the age of the plant. In fact, it tends to precede the production of other molecules in the plant. 

As Dr. Perry Solomon, a board-certified anesthesiologist, told Shape Magazine:

CBG is the precursor to CBD, CBC, and THC. It’s sometimes referred to as the stem cell because CBGA (the acidic, inactive form of CBG) changes, is broken down, and becomes the base molecule that other cannabinoids form from.

The older the plant, the higher the chance that the CBG in the strain will turn into other cannabinoids. That can make it difficult to produce and procure, which is one reason why the compound hasn’t yet garnered much public interest. Testing and applications lag behind other compounds, especially CBD, which can make up as much as 20% of the cannabis plant.

Like CBD, CBG isn’t a psychedelic and won’t produce a “high.” But, it also offers further benefits. Some research has shown that it can actually counteract the intoxicating effects of THC, acting as a buffer and reducing the feelings of paranoia THC can induce in high doses.

5 Health Benefits of CBG

As a unique chemical compound, CBG has different medicinal benefits compared to other molecules like CBD and terpenes. However, some of these benefits overlap, due to their close relation to each other.

Because of its relative difficulty to procure, we don’t yet possess a clear understanding of all the benefits CBG can provide the human body. However, a few early studies have shown immensely positive results

  1. Potential Treatment for Glaucoma: Cannabis has been touted as a potential treatment for glaucoma, and CBG may just be the reason why. In fact, a 1990 study found that “cannabigerol and related cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma.”That’s because CBG tends to reduce intraocular pressure (where eye pressure is higher than normal). CBG facilitates the outflow of eye fluid (aqueous humor), thus reducing eye pressure. In fact, CBG has been shown to be pivotal in prostaglandin production. Doctors often prescribe eye drops that contain prostaglandins for glaucoma patients.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: In animal-based studies, CBG was found to reduce the effects of murine (rodent) colitis, a type of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). According to one study, patients of the disease experienced successful management of pain, cramping, diarrhea, and nausea, thanks to this compound.Further research, of course, is necessary. However, researchers believe that the effects were largely due to the fact that CBG significantly reduces inflammation, leading to an eventually successful treatment.
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  1. Combating Neuro-Degenerative Diseases: Degenerative nerve diseases are among the biggest challenges in modern medicine. A 2015 study showed that CBG may just be a part of the solution in the future if further studies produce similar results.One study found that CBG (individually but also in combination) with other cannabinoids, protected the neurons of mice with Huntington’s Disease. Scientists observed abnormal genes slowly normalizing, healing a battered nervous system in the process.
  2. Cancer Treatment Potential: Multiple studies have begun to show the potential power of CBG in fighting the uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal cells:
    • A 2006 study noted that cannabigerol may help in breast cancer treatments.
    • A 2013 study showed that CBG may slow the growth of carcinomas.
    • A 2014 study reported that CBG may be beneficial in treating colon cancer.
    • A 2016 study found that cannabinoids, including CBG, may enhance the success of first-line cancer therapies.
    • Another 2016 study found CBG to be an appetite stimulant, unearthing its potential for chemotherapy patients.

    These studies alone, of course, don’t make CBG a “super drug.” However, its potential is clear, especially when combined with the other cannabinoids in the Hemp Plant.

  3. Potential as an Antibacterial Treatment: Scientists have long grappled with the problem of bacteria resisting traditional antibiotics, and CBG may play a part in the solution. In fact, a 2008 study showed the molecule successfully combating MRSA, bacteria responsible for staph infections that are resistant to methicillin.Studies since the 1950s have also shown cannabis as an effective treatment against bacterial skin infections, and CBG may be the reason why. Further research on the topic may unearth more details in the near future.

Introducing CBN, the Powerful Successor of THC

The benefits of CBG are clear. But, what about CBN, another “hidden hero” in hemp?

Whereas CBG is the “stem cell” of the plant, CBN (short for cannabinol) is in many ways the opposite. It only exists in mature plants, because it’s the result of an aging process that slowly turns THCA (the acid responsible for THC) into a new molecular compound. 

The exact process is too complex to explore in one post. So, what’s the scoop? In a nutshell, continued exposure to light and oxygen gradually turns THC into CBN. That means the level of CBN is directly related to the amount of light and air a cannabis plant has been exposed to over time.

5 Health Benefits of CBN

As with CBG, studies have begun to unearth a number of health benefits directly connected to CBN. It’s important to note, however, that one potential health benefit that was thought to be a result of this cannabinoid has since been disproven.

Research involving mice showed a significant increase in sleep time when trial participants ingested CBN, leading to the suggestion that this can be a powerful sedative. However, that claim has yet to be substantiated by further research. In fact, one human study on the subject failed to produce any positive results. 

That’s not to say that CBN can’t play a part in providing sleep support. Its combination with THC may act as a sleep aid, and older cannabis plants also tend to have high amounts of sleep-inducing terpenes. Further research will be needed, of course, before claims can be substantiated about CBN as a sleep support aid.

On the other hand, these health benefits have been directly connected to CBN through scientific research:

  1. CBN Can Protect the Nervous System

    Much like CBG above, Studies have begun to show that cannabinol can protect the nervous system by acting as a neuroprotectant. In one study, it was able to delay the onset of ALS symptoms in rodents. Another study found it to be an effective treatment against glaucoma.

    Of course, these studies need to be reproduced in humans in order to provide further insight into this molecule’s effectiveness. Still, researchers are optimistic that the results will be similar.

  2. CBN Can Heal and Grow Bones

    In one rather remarkable study, researchers found that the CBN compound can activate human stem cells to promote bone growth. Perhaps for the same reason, another study found it to be effective in healing bones and reducing bone loss.

    These studies are remarkable and deserve further investigation. Scientists are now investigating whether cannabinol may be used as a treatment for complicated bone fractures or osteoporosis.

  3. CBN Can Relieve Pain

    Much like other cannabinoids, CBN can act as an analgesic that relieves pain in the human body. It does so by increasing the activity of neurons that are sensitive to capsaicin, an ingredient in many topical pain relievers. 

    One piece of research in particular deserves further consideration. It found that the pain-relieving effects of CBN can multiply when combined with CBD, evidence of the Entourage Effect we discuss in more detail below.

  4. CBN Can Reduce Inflammation

    This is another benefit in which CBN overlaps with some of the other compounds present in the cannabis plant. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory capabilities, particularly in treating inflammatory diseases of various kinds.

    The potential advantages, should further research confirm initial findings, may be drastic. One study, for instance, found it to be effective in treating arthritis

  5. CBN May Treat Epilepsy

    Scientists are currently digging deeper into what may end up as the defining moment of CBN’s health benefits. This compound in particular has strong anti-convulsant capabilities, which means that it could become an effective treatment for epilepsy.

    We’re not at the point of proclaiming CBN to be the ultimate epilepsy treatment. But, if it continues to show promise through verified results, we may do so.

Putting it All Together: CBD, CBN, and CBG

CBN and CBG, in other words, are both capable of producing potentially powerful health benefits for the human body. But, it’s important to note that most of the studies shared here were actually done in isolation and don’t consider the far-reaching benefits of the Entourage Effect.

The Entourage Effect, first defined in 2011, means that the many chemical compounds in cannabis work together to produce health benefits greater than the sum of its parts. Some of the above advantages already hint at this effect; for instance, the combination of CBN and CBD may provide strong support for physical discomfort relief.

That’s where we go back to the benefits of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. Unlike most CBD products, it contains CBD, CBN, CBG, and a large variety of terpenes that work synergistically. Combine all, and the positive effects may be immense.

Finding Full-Spectrum Help Oil Products That Deliver the Benefits of CBD, CBN, and CBG

Of course, understanding the health benefits of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil in isolation means little if you can’t find the right product. You need a natural product that preserves and enhances the hundreds of chemical compounds found in hemp.

That’s where we come in. In our manufacturing process, we extract all of the naturally occurring compounds from the hemp plant. The result is a natural treatment that leverages not just CBD, but other cannabinoids like CBN and CBG.

Ready to try Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil for yourself? Browse our product collections to get started. Or, contact us to learn more about our ingredients and sustainable manufacturing process.