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CBD, CBN, and CBG – What Are The Differences?

CBD, CBN, and CBG - What Are The Differences - The Mass Apothecary CBD Store (1)
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If you’re new to the world of CBD and you aren’t sure which kind of hemp CBD oil is best for you, you may be feeling a bit intimidated by all the acronyms and the different types of hemp CBD products available on the market.

The key thing to know is that the cannabis plant has 130+ cannabinoids that are used by our bodies in different ways. Our bodies can utilize cannabinoids because of our endocannabinoid system (ECS) – the molecular system that keeps us balanced by regulating appetite, metabolism, memory, and immune response.

Cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors (chemical messengers) in the ECS based on their molecular makeup. Some cannabinoids will stimulate the receptors while others will bind to them. How they engage with the receptors determines how our bodies react when hemp CBD oil products are absorbed through our skin or ingested.

Below, we cover three cannabinoids that have been getting more attention in recent years: CBD, CBN, and CBG!

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant after THC which takes the top spot. It is also one of the most well-known and most researched cannabinoids.

CBD oil is a popular supplement for consumers because it does not have any intoxicating properties, it is readily available on the market, and it’s easy to take using CBD tincturesgummiescapsules, and topicals.


CBD is used for its calming effects, but it may also be effective at increasing focus and promoting restful sleep. Depending on how CBD affects you, you may choose to use it in the morning, throughout your day, after a workout, or before bed.

More research is still needed to confirm the benefits of CBD, but the results published to date have been promising and have provided a solid foundation for other researchers to build upon.

Because all mammals have endocannabinoid systems, CBD is thought to be beneficial for our furry friends too! Dogs, cats, and other small animals may have more cannabinoid receptors than we do though, so it’s important to speak to your veterinarian first and ensure that you only give your pets CBD that is certified organic and 3rd party lab tested (Just like you want to do with humans). It can be a great way to help calm their nerves and soothe their joints and muscles.

CBD for humans can be consumed as a CBD isolate (meaning that it is CBD only), but you can also consume CBD as part of a full-spectrum (whole plant) or broad-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum offers a diverse range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the maximum benefit from the hemp plant while broad-spectrum contains everything in full-spectrum minus the THC.

[Browse The Mass Apothecary Online CBD Store to see all of our full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate products for you and your pets!]

What is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is another compound within the cannabinoid family. While it was one of the first cannabinoids to be discovered and isolated in the early 1900s, it is not readily available as a supplement on its own today.

CBN is produced when THC is intentionally exposed to light, air, or heat or when THC is stored improperly. Despite being produced from THC, CBN is only mildly psychoactive and it will not get you high if you consume it on its own.

CBN has been studied quite extensively for its ability to improve the quality of sleep.

While quality CBN oil is harder to come by than CBD or THC, you can still enjoy the benefits of consuming CBN by purchasing a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil. Research indicates that CBN may be more effective when consumed with other cannabinoids anyway so you may not be missing out if you can’t find a CBN isolate!

What is CBG?

If you thought CBN sounded like one of the more difficult cannabinoids to isolate, we’d like to introduce you to CBG (cannabigerol) or the “Rolls Royce cannabinoid”. CBG gets its nickname because most cannabis contains less than 1% CBG, making it very resource-intensive (and expensive) to produce.

CBG is the precursor to its two much more well-known cannabinoid cousins—CBD and THC. Despite being able to produce THC when exposed to heat or UV light, CBG is non-psychoactive and will not have any intoxicating effects.

Like CBN, CBG oil is not as readily available to purchase, but you can take advantage of the benefits of CBG by choosing a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum hemp oil that will include CBG in the formulation. There is no need to break the bank on a CBG isolate!


CBD, CBN, and CBG may sound similar based on their acronyms, but they are all individual cannabinoids from the same plant. They each have their perks when consumed by themselves, but they actually work best when they are working together.

Full-spectrum CBD oils contain more than just CBD and will also include all of the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids while broad-spectrum will contain all but THC. CBD isolates contain CBD only for anyone looking to avoid THC and other cannabinoids.

There are many ways to consume CBD and other cannabinoids like CBN and CBG through tinctures, gummies, capsules, creams, and roll-ons. Browse our CBD shop to find a product that suits your needs, budget, and lifestyle! 

Still overwhelmed or have more questions? Please contact The Mass Apothecary CBD Store today to speak with a CBD expert and get all your questions answered. 

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