CBN vs CBD vs THC: What’s the Difference?

Today, 22.2 million Americans use marijuana every month. While it’s been legalized in many states, cannabis is still illegal in many.

For those who want to reap the benefits of weed (more specifically, THC) but not get in legal trouble, many have turned to other cannabinoids, such as CBD and CBN.

When it comes to CBN vs CBD vs THC, do you know the difference? Read on to find out more!

What’s THC?

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main cannabinoid in cannabis. It’s the one so famously known for giving weed users that giggly or couch-locked “high”. It also provides users with many health benefits, such as relief from pain, inflammation, insomnia, and more.

Many people don’t know this, but there are 2 types of cannabis plants: industrial hemp and marijuana. THC is only extracted from marijuana plants, from strains such as White Widow, Gelato 41, Monkey Glue, and others.

In recent years, Delta-8 carts have garnered a steady fan following among individuals that are fond of vape. This is an easy, convenient and comfortable way to consume the goodness of THC. 

What’s CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most commonly found cannabinoid in cannabis. It’s very similar to THC, in terms of benefits go. But the main difference is that it doesn’t have psychoactive effects (besides altering your moods), which means you won’t get high or impaired from using it!

While CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana plants, it’s better if you get CBD from hemp plants. This is because it’s entirely legal (the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized all hemp products) and it doesn’t have more than 0.3% THC in it. Because of this, you can be sure that you won’t have psychoactive effects from using CBD products.

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What’s CBN?

CBN is another cannabinoid, but it’s much different from THC and CBD.

For one, it’s not naturally produced by the cannabis plant. Instead, it’s a byproduct of THC degradation when it’s exposed to light, heat, and air.

What this means is you’ve got to get THC first to get CBN. As a result, you don’t really find CBN in abundant qualities. The plus side is, if you age your marijuana, you’ll get some CBN as it degrades.


When talking about cannabinoids, we’ll be referring to the endocannabinoid system. In that system, we have CB1 and CB2 receptors.

When it comes to THC, it bonds with both types of receptors. As a result, this means you’ll experience a variety of effects on your body, such as euphoria, appetite stimulation, anxiety, and paranoia.

What’s interesting about CBD is it doesn’t bind to either of the receptors. It actually has a low affinity for binding to them!

More research needs to be done, regarding how CBD affects the endocannabinoid system. But what we do know is that while it doesn’t directly bind to the receptors, there are definitely people out there who experience positive effects from CBD.

What this means is you can use CBD without getting high or having withdrawal effects.

Also, weed is illegal on a federal level while CBD isn’t, so long as the products you buy are derived from hemp plants.

On that note, you don’t usually find THC in isolated form; it’s usually used in cannabis in addition to a bunch of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. On the other hand, CBD is made in bulk extracts as isolates, but you can also get it in full-spectrum (with THC) or broad-spectrum (without THC) forms.

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When it comes to CBN vs CBD, they’re 2 completely different things, even though they sound like they’re closely related.

Yes, they’re both cannabinoids, but CBD is produced naturally from hemp plants mainly, while CBN comes from THC degradation. This means that CBN needs to come from cannabis plants.

Also, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects except for altering your moods and decreasing anxiety. Whereas CBN can be mildly psychoactive!

Both do have some overlaps in benefits, mainly help with sleep and anti-inflammatory properties. CBN may also help with its anti-convulsant properties.

However, CBN is so poorly researched understood, especially when in comparison with CBD and especially THC. So there’s quite a bit that’s unknown still about this cannabinoid. Hopefully, we can unlock its secrets in the near future!


CBN is more closely related to THC than it is to CBD. This is because it’s derived from THC after it’s gone through some aging.

Because it’s a byproduct of THC, CBN is much weaker than it. In fact, it has a binding power of just one-tenth of THC! What this translates to is that you won’t get high from CBN since it’s that weak.

We all know that marijuana is pretty easy to get, especially in areas that have legalized it. You’ll enjoy pretty reasonable prices when purchasing cannabis to enjoy the benefits of THC.

However, CBN is very expensive when compared to THC. This is due to its lack of abundance and the process and equipment to synthesize it.

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While there isn’t much research done on CBN, it does seem to be promising as an anti-convulsant on its own. If you combine it with THC, it can give you a more powerful sedation effect. And when combined with CBD, it can relieve pain and stimulate your appetite.

CBN vs CBD vs THC: Know the Difference

When it comes to CBN vs CBD vs THC, they’re all cannabinoids. However, each has its own unique characteristics, and not to mention, legality.

By knowing what each cannabinoid is, you’ll have a better time navigating which products are right for you. So we hope this article has helped you out in your cannabis journey. Good luck!

If you want to learn more about cannabis, then check out our other posts!

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