In the quest to replace melatonin and other sleep supplements with a natural, hemp-derived alternative, CBD is typically the go-to cannabinoid. After all, it offers a diverse range of benefits and is helpful for just about anything.
However, CBG and CBN, two “alt-cannabinoids,” have recently been gaining popularity for their variety of benefits. Turns out, they’re effective for sleep support, too!
But which is the better choice?
CBG and CBN are both effective for sleep, but in different ways. CBG is effective at addressing issues that make falling asleep difficult, such as inflammation and physical discomfort, while CBN is more effective at directly promoting sleep.
In this article, we’re going to explore CBG and CBN’s benefits for sleep and help you decide which is most effective for you.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, abbreviated as CBG, is one of the 100-plus naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It’s commonly known as “the mother of cannabinoids” because it’s the cannabinoid from which many others are made, including CBD.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol, or CBN, is also a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Though it was discovered back in the 1940s, it’s only become popular in the last few years as a result of its sleep-supporting capabilities.
High-Level Differences Between CBG and CBN
Although this article is mainly focused on the sleep-related differences between CBG and CBN, it’s worth discussing what makes these cannabinoids different in a general sense.
There are two main areas of difference between CBG and CBN: their natural occurrence in hemp and their effects.
Occurrence in Hemp
CBG is naturally one of the more abundant cannabinoids in hemp, and it can be extracted directly from the plant (just as with CBD).
CBN, on the other hand, is made by aging THC. So while it is technically a naturally-occurring cannabinoid, it can’t be directly extracted from the hemp plant as CBG can.
Though CBG and CBN have many specific effects, at a high level, CBG is generally more uplifting and energizing, whereas CBN is more sedating.
Now, just because CBG has a more uplifting set of effects doesn’t mean that it can’t promote sleep – it just does so differently.
CBG vs. CBN For Sleep: Benefits
While we could go on for days about how CBG and CBN can support your wellness, in this section, we’re just going to focus on how each cannabinoid can support better sleep.
Let’s have a look.
CBG for Sleep: The Benefits
CBG doesn’t make you drowsy as CBN does. In fact, it’s known to enhance pleasure and motivation.
However, it supports wellness in a few ways that make sleeping easier.
Not only does the pain from inflammation make sleeping difficult, but inflammation also directly affects the sleep centers in your brain.
However, CBG can help by promoting a healthy inflammatory response. According to a 2021 study, “CBG has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects and some derivatives of CBG have been synthesized and tested in both animal models and human patients.”
Furthermore, this study found CBG to be more effective than THC at blocking pain and inflammation.
Therefore, CBG is effective at promoting sleep because of its ability to help you maintain a healthy inflammatory response.
Muscles, Bones, and Joints
This 2008 study, which investigated the efficacy of different cannabinoids in managing pain, referenced some research showing that CBG may have muscle-relaxing properties.
Since the state of the muscles influences the bones and joints, too, CBG has a trickle-down effect. There is also anecdotal evidence demonstrating CBG’s benefits for muscles, bones, and joints.
Given that muscle tightness and bone and joint pain are major causes of sleeplessness, CBG’s soothing effects make it useful for sleep support.
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CBN for Sleep: The Benefits
CBN is widely known for having sedative effects. However, the scientific research conducted on this suggests this isn’t the case — the drowsy effects that come from smoking aged cannabis, from which CBN is made, were misattributed to CBN.
Drowsiness is a reported side effect of CBN use, though, so there may be some truth to the belief that it’s a sedative.
However, CBN can promote sleep in other ways.
Still, these findings suggest that CBN has the potential to help with two of the largest barriers to sleep.
One study tested the effects of various CBN derivatives on mice. The result was that multiple different derivatives of CBN prolonged sleeping time.
While humans aren’t mice, and while more research around CBN is needed, this study is one piece of evidence showing that CBN is effective at promoting restful sleep.
Summary: Benefits of CBG and CBN for Sleep
As you may have noticed, the scientific evidence showing that CBG or CBN can directly improve sleep is slim.
However, both cannabinoids can lend support to the body in ways that indirectly improve sleep.
Neither cannabinoid is necessarily “better” for sleep in terms of benefits – rather, it depends on why you’re having trouble sleeping.
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CBG vs. CBN For Sleep: Side Effects
Benefits rarely come without side effects, and it’s no different for CBG or CBN.
Commonly reported side effects of CBG include dry mouth, sleepiness, hunger, and dry eyes.
CBN, on the other hand, has just one main side effect: drowsiness.
As you’ve noticed, sleepiness/drowsiness are prominent side effects of both cannabinoids. But since you’re using them for sleep, this might not be so bad!
On the other hand, the main way to go about avoiding the side effects you do not want is to be careful when dosing these cannabinoids – more on this below.
Will CBN Get You High?
Seeing as though it’s made from THC, a commonly asked question about CBN is, “will it get you high?”
Since CBN has been described as being around 1/5 as strong as THC, it seems logical that it would get you at least a little high.
However, in most cases, you won’t feel high after taking CBN – unless you take many times the recommended amount.
Can You Take CBG and CBN Together?
Since CBG and CBN have different benefits for sleep, it might make sense for you to take one or the other.
However, CBG and CBN can actually be taken together to get the best of both worlds, and doing so is completely safe.
We recommend trying both cannabinoids on their own, then trying them together so that you can figure out what works best for you.
CBG vs. CBN for Sleep: How Much Should You Take?
The dosage for CBG and CBN is actually comparable.
Starting off, take a 0.1mg of either CBG or CBN per 10 pounds of body weight, 1 hour before bed. The delay allows the cannabinoids to be absorbed by your body and begin taking effect by the time you’re ready for bed.
Then, depending on how well it works, add or subtract 2-5mg per night until you achieve optimal effects.
CBG vs. CBN on Drug Tests
When it comes to CBG, CBN, and drug testing: you’re in luck, because neither cannabinoid will show up on a drug test.
Standard drug tests will test for THC, and although CBN is derived from THC, it is a completely separate cannabinoid, so it won’t be flagged on a test.
Of course, this refers just to the cannabinoids themselves. Full-spectrum CBN or CBG products contain other cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC. If drug testing is a concern, be sure you use a broad-spectrum product.
CBN, THC, and Drug Testing: Be Careful
An important caveat around CBN: while it won’t cause you to fail a drug test by itself, some studies show that if you take it, it will increase the appearance of any THC you have in your system.
In other words, if you already had a small amount of THC in your system, CBN will make the amount appear greater, causing you to fail a drug test when you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Conclusion: Which is Better for Sleep, CBG or CBN?
CBG and CBN are both great, but which should be your go-to for restful sleep?
As with many things, it depends.
If you’re just looking for something to help you relax at night, CBN is the better choice, as there is more science showing that it directly influences sleep as compared to CBG.
However, if you’re dealing with secondary problems that result in sleep issues, CBG is by far the more versatile cannabinoid – it can promote mental and physical relaxation in a variety of situations. Keep in mind, though, that CBG has more potential negative side effects than CBN.
Ultimately, whether you go with CBG or CBN depends on what your situation is, and you may find that taking them together renders more benefit than taking either on its own. It’s all a matter of giving it a try!
Explore CBG and CBN Options At Natural Ways CBD
Whether you want to take CBG, CBN, or both, Natural Ways CBD has you covered. We offer a variety of CBN and CBG products, and we carry broad-spectrum CBN and CBG variants if drug testing is a concern.