What's The Deal With All These Cannabinoids?
You may have noticed a flood of different cannabinoids that have hit the market recently beyond our beloved CBD. That’s because of the 2018 Farm Bill that federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived substances like CBD. It allowed farmers and scientists to focus on digging deeper into mighty hemp plant. Some other cannabinoids that are growing in popularity are cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG).
This new treasure trove of cannabinoids is showing lots of promising health benefits, without those psychedelic and intoxicating effects commonly found in marijuana derived THC. In this article, we’ll break down CBD, CBN, CBG, and THC, comparing their attributes with the research findings of each one.
What is the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
It's like pot. But not! Both are cannabis and grow in big, beautiful buds that we’ve come to recognize and love. Both hemp and marijuana are also beneficial to the body and the brain and work on our endocannabinoid systems to give users a slew of wellness benefits. So what’s the difference?
Well, it basically boils down to this: marijuana gets you high, and hemp gets you “high enough.”
Marijuana (not our favorite term, but it’s the one the feds use), has high amounts of THC, the compound that makes you feel stoned, baked or high. It’s the psychoactive part of the plant. It’s only legal in a few states, highly regulated, quite expensive, and, if you’re like us– gets you too damn high! Hemp, on the other had, is federally legal because it has low amounts of THC (ours sits right at .3%) and has loads of CBD, CBG, CBN and a host of other cannabinoids that are known to relax the body and mind, evoke a euphoric mood, and widen that smile a bit.
What exactly is a Cannabinoid?
You’re going to be reading the word “cannabinoid” a lot. Let’s dig in. Cannabinoids are molecules in cannabis that have psychological and physiological effects on the body. Both CBD, CBG, CBN and THC are cannabinoids, two of more than 100 identified thus far.
What is CBD?
CBD, an abbreviation for cannabidiol, is the second most-prevalent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is expressed in the hemp flower, the bloom of the cannabis plants, specifically in the sticky trichomes that coat the buds.
CBD benefits are seemingly endless. More and more scientists are digging into CBD effects. Recent studies and research indicates CBD can help relieve anxiety, pain, sadness, inflammation and stress. How? By attaching to serotonin, a hormone known as the happiness chemical. That’s just one of the ways CBD helps to keep your soul light and your head right.
- Pain: From chronic to daily aches (think sports injuries, bumps, bruises, etc.)
- Anti-inflammatory: CBD has shown its use in the treatment of inflammatory conditions including arthritis and autoimmune disorders.
- Anxiety: CBD has been shown valuable for the possible treatment of anxiety disorders.
- Nausea and vomiting: CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, may help relieve nausea. This is especially helpful for patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy.
- Skin conditions: CBD may be affected in the treatment of skin conditions like acne, rashes, and eczema.
- Seizures and convulsive disorders
Read more on the benefits and effects that CBD has on the body here.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol – say it “can-eh-bi-ger-ol” - is the third-most frequently occurring cannabinoid in most cannabis plants, botanist and executive director of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine Liz Rogan told us. And it turns out that CBG is the parent molecule of all of ‘em. CBG forms in the stalks of cannabis plants. It’s there inside the plant before the hemp flowers or buds form. According to Project CBD, all cannabinoids start out as CBG. That’s why this bad mama jama is the building block, the main element of all that is great about weed. That’s why she’s the mother of all cannabinoids.
Even though studies on CBG benefits are still in their infancy, our friends and family tell us that Dad Grass CBG can help ease their symptoms of stress, along with the negative effects of anxiety, pain and inflammation while providing a subtle, naturally calming effect (without the hangover). Additional CBG effects are similar to CBD, but we’ve found that CBG adds an additional focusing element for a lot of people, and has been known to help get creative juices flowing.
- Pain: From chronic to daily aches (think sports injuries, bumps, bruises, etc.)
- Anti-inflammatory: Like CBD, CBG has some pretty great anti-inflammatory properties.
- Concentration: Our friends tell us that Mom Grass CBG is great for tuning in the mind while chilling out the body.
Read more on the benefits and effects that CBG has on the body here.
What is CBN?
One way to think about CBN (cannabinol for nerds) is as a weaker, chiller version of THC. Basically, when THC molecules in the flowers of the cannabis plant age, they break down and become the far-less -psychoactively-potent CBN. But don’t get it twisted. Just because the CBN cannabinoid is closely related to THC, hemp-derived CBN effects aren’t as psychoactive or as intense as THC. Consumed in the proper amounts and combined with CBD, it’s more likely to have you sinking softly into your pillows.
While there’s not yet a lot of hard research on CBN, some early studies help explain why and how CBN benefits are praised as a sleep aid and supplement. For example, research suggests that cannabinoids like CBN reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and actually lengthens time spent in deep, slow wave sleep while shortening time spent in REM sleep. This is likely due to CBN triggering a specific CB1 receptor within our endocannabinoid system that controls our central nervous system functions like sleep, as well as pain, metabolism, movement and heart rate. The CBN and CB1 receptor relationship was confirmed again in one 2016 study, where researchers suggested that CBN, especially when combined with additional cannabinoids like CBD and THC, may aid in reducing and relieving symptoms of pain and inflammation which are famous for keeping us up at night.
- Pain: Needless to say, the hemp plant is great for reducing pain. CBN is no different than fellow cannabinoids CBD & CBG.
- Sleep Aid: CBN has been proven to help promote natural slumber and ease the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
Read more on the benefits and effects that CBN has on the body here.
What is THC?
While THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is found in hemp, it is famous as the main psychoactive component found in marijuana. Common THC effects include that beloved “high” feeling by binding to receptors in the brain most responsible for controlling things like pain, mood and appetite (hello “munchies”). There are all sorts of THC benefits, but beyond getting people stoned to the bone, THC is also great for alleviating chronic pain, reducing nausea, reducing muscle spasms and even improving sleep. Because of its psychoactive properties, THC has a more intense effect on users than gentler hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD, CBG and CBN. But that also means that it has slightly more potent side effects like lethargy, coordination impairment, slower reaction times and in some cases, increased anxiety.
What are the possible side effects of hemp cannabinoids?
Hemp derived CBD, CBG and CBN products don’t contain high amounts of the intoxicating effects of THC which sometimes aggravate symptoms of anxiety in some people. CBD, CBG and CBn are federally legal when produced from the hemp plant (meaning it has under 0.3% THC) is proven to be non-addictive, non-psychoactive and confirmed to have a slew of benefits like decreasing symptoms of stress, anxiety, pain and inflammation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some potential health risks to keep in mind. Some negative effects of CBD, CBG and CBN, though often tolerable, include dry mouth, reduced appetite, drowsiness, fatigue and diarrhea. CBD is safe, but it can interact with medications like blood thinners. With any legal drug, it’s best to speak with a licensed physician about any worries or side effects of cannabidiol.
What do CBD, CBG and CBN have in common?
All cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG, CBN and THC, are compounds found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. While research is still in its infancy when it comes to the inner workings of lesser known cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, early studies and anecdotal evidence show that these cannabinoids have similar anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties that they’re more tenured cousins, CBD and THC, do. While there are subtle differences in how these cannabinoids affect the body, most notably the sedative effects of CBN and the psychoactive properties of THC, all cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system by attaching to receptors that regulate pain, mood and appetite. The main thing to remember is this: everybody’s body is different, so cannabinoids will affect each body differently. It’s best to experiment with 3rd party tested hemp and marijuana products from vetted companies to see how these mighty molecules leave you feeling.
How does CBD, CBG and CBN work in the body and the brain?
Cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBN and even THC bind to our cannabinoid receptors, known as our CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are found throughout the body in the central nervous system and are an important part of our endocannabinoid system. These receptors can be thought of as keyholes into which cannabinoid molecules fit once they enter our body (whether you’re smoking a jay, dropping a tincture or chewing a gummy). Together with the body’s own naturally produced cannabinoids, called anandamide and AG2, the receptors make up our endocannabinoid system. Only discovered in the past 30 years, scientists have realized the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, plays a big role in keeping the body in homeostasis. In balance, regulating the immune system.
Let’s zoom out - we can leave our ECS for the guys and gals with the microscopes - hemp flower also works on the body as a form of aromatherapy. We can thank terpenes for that. Terpenes are the molecules in each plant’s essential oils responsible for the way that particular plant smells. Every plant – be it a flower, fruit or tree – has terpenes. Cannabis and hemp plants are no different. Some of the most commonly occurring terpenes are responsible for the plant’s soothing, Earthy scent. They’re what makes grass smell like grass. As it wafts out of our packaging, we think this peppery, damp clove smell will bring you a lot of happy, relaxing memories that create a deep sense of chill.
Read all about terpenes here.
Are CBD, CBG, CBN or THC psychoactive?
It’s an oversimplification to say that hemp is non-psychoactive because THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid, is present in hemp and marijuana. The difference lies in the amount of THC present in hemp versus marijuana. In order to be considered federally legal, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, meaning that the psychoactive properties of the plant are minimal. In addition, hemp has been cultivated to be rich in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD, CBG and CBN, which ease the more intoxicating components of the minimal amount of THC within the plant.
How to consume CBD, CBG, CBN or THC
Smoking (Joints, Pre-Rolls & Flower) - Smoking and vaping cannabinoids are still the most popular ways to consume cannabis, marijuana or hemp. If you’re looking for fast effects (and a soothing ritual), taking a puff is the best way to go if you want to feel something in as little as five to ten minutes. But if you don’t want to inhale smoke directly into your lungs, or desire a more discreet option, edibles and tinctures are both great options.
Oral Consumption (Gummies, Chocolates, etc.) - When you ingest cannabis as an edible, the active compounds in hemp and/or marijuana must travel through the body’s digestive system to then be metabolized and released in the bloodstream. That means that the full effects of the plant take longer to kick-in. When ingested, edibles like gummies can have a bioavailability between 4 to 20% due to the metabolizing process in the digestive tract. A big reason why edibles sometimes get a bad reputation of being too intense has less to do with the dose and more to do with the patience of the user. If you want immediate results, stick to joints and tinctures. But if you’re fine waiting a half hour to feel all those amazing benefits, and have the time to feel those effects for longer, then gummies could be perfect for you/
Sublingual Consumption (Tinctures) - The best way to experience the full benefits of Cannabis tinctures is to take it sublingually to ensure you’re getting as much of the good stuff as possible. Sublingual consumption, on the other hand, places the therapeutic compounds directly into the bloodstream without having to go through the digestive tract and the liver. We recommend placing your desired dosage of your favorite tincture under your tongue and waiting about 30 seconds before swallowing (if it helps, sing the chorus of Bye, Bye Miss American Pie in your head while you wait). The arterial blood supply under your tongue needs time to absorb the CBD, CBG, CBN or THC to ensure your endocannabinoid system receives all the benefits of hemp. When taken sublingually, tinctures can have a bioavailability between 40 to 50%.
Are CBD, CBG, CBN legal?
In a nutshell, if cannabinoids are coming from hemp plants, they’re legal in the USA. All CBD, CBG and CBN products made by Dad Grass have a THC content at or below the legal limit of 0.3%, though you must be 21 or older to purchase or consume the best CBD pre rolls and enjoy our hemp pre rolls. Any marijuana joints that have a THC content above 0.3% are regulated on the state level, so you’ll need to check-in on your local cannabis laws. In the meantime, Dad Grass has plenty to choose from when it comes to legal hemp cigarettes and joints offering a perfect balance of cannabidiols in our CBD pre-rolls.
*note: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice. Warning: Cancer and reproductive harm. www.p65warnings.ca.gov