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Cannabinoid vs Cannabinol

7 mins read; Research Time: 96 hours

The article on cannabinoid vs cannabinol or (CBD vs. CBN) can provide you an in-depth knowledge of both of these. Therefore, those who want to know about these have a look at the following subtopics.


Exactly what are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids refer to every chemical structure, irrespective of its structure or origin. These are a group of substances, which we can classify in numerous ways.

Please have a look at its classifications.


These come from nearly every organism in the animal kingdom. They are a natural endogenous ligand that comes from both animal and human organisms, which connects the cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabinoid receptors, as well as endocannabinoids, form the endocannabinoid system. This system has considerable involvement in several psychological processes. This process includes the control of the release of neurotransmitters, cardiovascular, and pain sensitivity, gastrointestinal, and the functions of the liver.

Endocannabinoids are the molecules, which works as a natural key for the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 exists in the immune system and is liable for the immunomodulatory effects. CB2 exists in the central nervous system and some neurons.

The main endocannabinoids are the 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine or ANA).


These are the types of compounds, which we can characterize with the help of 21 carbon atoms. The respective atoms only are in the cannabis sativa plant.

When it comes to phytocannabinoids, near about 70 are already there. This includes their analogous and transformation products and their neutral and acidic forms. The sativa plant can directly produce the phytocannabinoids in their anti-psychoactive forms.

Thus, the primary phytocannabinoid existing in the plant material are CBDA, THCA, CBCA, and CBGA.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Before jumping directly into this topic, we want you to be aware of the difference between these three cannabinoids.

The key difference between these three cannabinoids is that the last one (synthetic cannabinoids) are completely synthetic and made in the lab.

An example of this is dronabinol (delta-9-THC synthetic). This is an active component of MARINOL®, a medication, which is available in the form of capsules. Since 1985, the particular medication is popular in the U.S. to prevent appetite loss, vomiting, weight loss, and nausea.

Nabilone is another example of this cannabinoid and is an active component of CESAMET®. This is an approved medication for controlling nausea, as well as vomiting associated with chemotherapy (a popular treatment option for cancer).

These medical products are popular in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Synthetic cannabinoids are research tools for the scientific studies of cannabinoids.

How Are the Phytocannabinoids Produced In the Plant?

When discussing this topic, we want to let you all know that neither location nor the pathway of phytocannabinoid biosynthesis is completely known.

Still, some researchers say that they synthesize in specific disc cells, which is present in the glandular trichomes. A significant variation in the structure of phytocannabinoids is discovered in the alkyl chain. In fact, the alkyl group is the most popular phytocannabinoid.

Almost all the plants express CBC synthase that combats for the intermediate CBGA/CBGVA as CBD synthase and/or Δ9-THC synthase. In general, cannabis plants CBC synthase is mainly active in the initial stage, which can lead to the detection of a high amount of this phytocannabinoid. This happens mostly during the vegetative stage, and that too when compared with the reproductive stage.

The resulting products from the degradation of phytocannabinoid acids, like CBLA (cannabicyclolic acid) and CBNA (cannabinolic acid) are artefacts. These are the derivatives of several other factors, which include isomerization, oxidation, and ultraviolet light.

List of Cannabinoid Acids Found in Cannabis

The most popular cannabinoids in cannabis are CBD and THC. Though they are the most popular cannabinoids, cannabis doesn’t directly make it.

Instead of this, cannabis synthesizes numerous cannabinoid acids, which produce the compound that most of the people are preferring for.

THCA, as well as CBDA, are the cannabinoids, which are most abundant in cannabis. However, along with CBDA and THCA, there are many other cannabinoids existing in cannabis.

These include:

  • Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
  • Cannabichromenenic acid (CBCA)
  • Cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA)
  • Cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA)
  • Tetrahydrocanabivarinic acid (THCVA)
  • Cannabichromevarinic acid (CBCVA)

Along with CBDA and THCA, CBDGA and CBCA are also the main cannabinoid acids. CBGA is the starting component, which enzymes in the plant to create the other three components.

It’s a fact the all the plant cannabinoids are from the cannabinoid acids. If you’re having any doubt regarding this, please read the following topic.

Cannabinoid Acids Make the Plant Cannabinoids

Exposure of cannabinoid acids to heat energy resulting in a loss in their “A” portion. This can make them neutral instead of acidic plant cannabinoids.

All the cannabinoid acids convert into their cannabinoid counterparts through decarboxylation.

Through decarboxylation, all the acids convert to the following compound:

  • THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • CBG (Cannabigerol)
  • CBD (Cannabidiol)
  • CBGV (Cannabigerivarin)
  • CBCV (Cannabichromevarin)
  • THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)
  • CBC (Cannabichromene)
  • CBDV (Cannabidivarin)

Discover the Effects of This Active Chemical Compounds

These chemical compounds utilize their effects by working with certain cannabinoid receptors, which is present in the cell surface. These CB receptors are present in the varied areas of the central nervous system. The two main CB receptors are CB1 and CB2.

A naturally occurring component in the brain, which binds with the CB1 came into limelight in 1992. The name of this compound is anandamide.

The effects of cannabinoid depend on the affected brain area. For example, if it shows its impact on the limbic system, then it can alter cognition, psychomotor performance, and memory.

On the other hand, effects on the mesolimbic path can affect the pleasure and reward responses, and even the sensitivity of pain can also alter.

Does All the Cannabinoids Will Get You High?

The answer to this question is “NO”.

THC is the only cannabinoid, which has its own intoxicating effects. There are studies to suggest that THCV may also produce intoxicating effects, depending on its dose.

Like other cannabinoids, THCV is not present in considerable quantities in cannabis products and commercial strains.

Though the other cannabinoids don’t have intoxicating effects, their presence can have an impact on THC’s effects on you. For this, the best example is CBD (Cannabidiol).

Even though it will not get you high on its own, it can affect the way THC interacts with the cannabinoid1 receptors present in your endocannabinoid system. This, in turn, can influence the effect of cannabis products on you.

Know the Medicinal Advantages of Cannabinoids

These active chemicals are the same as the chemicals, which the body makes and have involvement in movement, pain, appetite, and memory.

According to research, these active chemicals may:

  • Kill cancer-causing cells and diminish the growth of tumor
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Enhance weight gain and stimulate the appetite in people suffering from AIDS and cancer
  • Lessen inflammation and alleviate pain
  • Relax the tight muscles in folks suffering from MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Manage nausea, as well as vomiting occurring due to chemotherapy (cancer treatment)

There are several studies showing that cannabinoids can help manage pain, but is it really effective in pain management.

Read and know.

What Role Does Cannabinoids Play in Pain Management?

These active chemicals are a varied group of endogenous, synthetic, and herbal compounds. It can bind to certain inhibitory receptors present in the human body. The most prevalent source of these chemicals is the marijuana plant. This plant is in use for industrial, medicinal, as well as for recreational purposes for many years.

In recent years, the attitude of the public, as well as the medical community towards these chemicals are changing.

These are federally illegal, but now some U.S. states have changed the state restriction regarding this. The changes include approving recreational use, decriminalizing possession, and legalizing its medical use.

Because of this changing landscape, many people have several questions regarding this.

The questions are:

  • Do the physicians recommend this for pain management?
  • Does it have side effects?
  • How can it manage the pain?
  • Does it cause any kind of legal problems?
  • Where to buy this?


Here is the answer to all these questions.

For centuries, the use of cannabis is there in medicines. In this current scenario, the clinical effects of cannabinoids and cannabis in pain treatment are evolving.

The compounds of cannabinoids are endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic. The two major phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD. Both of these have efficiency in interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS contains cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and endogenous cannabinoids. CB1 is present in the peripheral tissue and brain, and CB2 is in the hematopoietic and immune systems.

Though there are fewer clinical trials, there are studies revealing that the usage of cannabinoids can help manage pain associated with cancer, neuropathic pain, and other chronic pain conditions.

Along with these, when it comes to buying cannabinoids, there are many CBD-infused, and THC-infused products are available. While comparing both, cannabidiol (CBD) products may not produce side effects, but THC can produce some adverse side effects as THC has psychoactive properties.

Moreover, CBD from the derivatives of pure hemp plants are legal, whereas, THC is not a legal substance.

As we’re discussing cannabinoids, we think that you should also know how the cannabinoids differ from each other.

Here is it.

Know the Difference between All Cannabinoids

The key factor which makes them differ from one another is their psychoactivity level.

CBC, CBD, and CBG are not popular as psychoactive agents, but CBN, CBDL, THC, and some other cannabinoids are prevalent to have varying levels of psychoactivity.

Among all these, the most abundant is cannabidiol. As per the studies, it can manage anxiety, by possibly neutralizing THC’s psychoactive effects.

Exposure of THC to air can oxidize it and form CBN, which also works with THC to decrease its impact.

Now, let’s move on to the cannabinol.

First of all,

What is CBN (Cannabinol)?

It is a cannabinoid, which is mildly psychoactive and is present only in trace amounts in cannabis. This type mostly exists in aged cannabis.

It plays the role of a partial agonist at the CB1 receptors, but it has lower affinities as compared to THC. This type is far less famous than CBD or THC. However, cannabinol is also popular as “the sleepy type in aged weed”.

Many researches are there on the basis of the sedative effects of CBN. In a study in 1975, it’s found that CBN can increase the THC’s sedating effects in mice and rats.

Typically, sedation has some connection with cannabinol. This is because aged flowers contain more CBN as compared to fresh flowers.



How Cannabinol Works

Cannabis has many valuable aspects. Among many aspects, one of the main aspects is the way how its cannabinoids provide various mechanisms of action or the pathways via which they produce their effect.

Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol can produce several useful effects as they can activate several biological paths at one time. Not only this, but it can also offer a variety of effects.

While comparing with THC, CBD, and some other terpenes, studies on CBN are less.

Next, let’s discuss the CBN’s connection with THC.

Connection between THC and CBN

According to scientists, when THC oxidizes and dissipates, it starts to convert into cannabinol.

The studies show that THC degrades into cannabinol over time. It means cannabis will become cannabinol as they go on aging.

Studies also disclose that why both these cannabinoids have alternative mechanisms of action to CB1 to CB2 receptors. If the lab test shows a high concentration of CBN in cannabis, then it means that cannabis is very old.

Though CBN may be the outcome of the degradation of THC, it has some medical or health benefits.

Let’s have a look at it.

Determine the Medical Benefits of Cannabinol

Pain Relief

According to the latest studies, cannabinol can be a potent pain-killer. As we wrote earlier, the mechanism of CBN is different from THC, as well as CBD.

In fact, CBD can only provide around one-tenth (10%) of the THC activity. Still, it’s believed that it can reduce pain.

Appetite Stimulant

Along with other medical pluses, CBN can be an effective option to stimulate your appetite. A study in 2012 shows that rats who intake CBN have shown a substantial increase in duration, as well as the quantity of feeding.

This is the reason why it’s believed that CBN can be an amazing appetite stimulant.


Cannabinol is not that famous or widely used for managing inflammation like THC or CBD. However, it may also have the same abilities to manage numerous inflammatory problems.

In 2009, a study on “cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs” shows that cannabinol can be a possible treatment option for inflammatory diseases like allergic asthma.


The term CBN comes primarily as a powerful option for having a balanced sleep. As per the studies by Steep Hill Labs, 5mg of cannabinol is equally effective as a 10mg of diazepam. Diazepam is a noticeable pharmaceutical sedative.

Final Thoughts About Cannabinoid and Cannabinol

Cannabis has many cannabinoids, among which cannabinol is also there. In this article, we wrote almost everything about cannabinoids and cannabinol.

Reading this article can help you have in-depth knowledge of what they both are.

If you think that we have missed out anything, or you want to know something regarding these topics, reach us.

We will surely help you!


**The statements given in this are not from any medical expert. These are strictly based on our researches. The product is not for diagnosing, curing, treating, or preventing any health ailments. Before ingesting it, consulting a doctor would be an excellent decision. **

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