Difference between THC and CBN

CBDDifference between THC and CBN

Everyone has heard about THC and CBD and some of the many effects these cannabinoids have to offer. From stimulating appetite, boosting creativity, and pain reduction to high blood pressure and short-term memory impairment. There’s a wide range of effects that cannabinoids confer to those who consume them. However the cannabinoid family has more than 200 other compounds. And with the booming cannabis industry, we start to see other isolated compounds with numerous effects on our body on the market. Two of them will keep our attention for a long time, due to numerous positive effects -THCV and CBN. 


Less known members of the cannabinoid family with great potential.

1. What is THCV?

Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in Sativa strains of cannabis. It is known to produce a stronger and energizing feeling of euphoria. For this reason, it is often recommended for daytime or any time when functionality is needed.

THCV relieves stress and research shows it can help to reduce or even prevent anxiety and panic attacks. For this reason, it plays an important role in the treatment of post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD). It is also neuroprotective, so it is ideal for treating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Unlike THC, THCV works to suppress the appetite so it is not recommended for patients suffering from cachexia or anorexia.  

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabinol) vs THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are both cannabinoids. If present in high enough doses, can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors to induce psychoactive effects.
But that is pretty much where the resemblance ends. Despite their similar names, the two are derived from different parent molecules, elicit different effects at different doses. They are naturally present at dramatically different levels within the cannabis plant.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is superficially related to THC but works in nearly the opposite way. THC works to stimulate appetite and slow down your mental processes by engaging the CB-1 receptors in your brain. THCV blocks these receptors, turning down your appetite and turning up your level of concentration and focus. This is why THCV is sometimes called the “Diet Weed”. Instead of increasing your urge to finish all the food around your house, it’ll help suppress this state of craving until later and let you focus on other important things.

THCV - “The diet weed”

Its ability to inhibit the action of CB1 receptors has made it a particular focus for research into appetite regulation. Research has found that low doses of THCV between 5 to 7 milligrams can effectively reduce appetite. 

While THCV’s documented action as an appetite suppressant is of interest in terms of tackling obesity. It is also important that cannabis users who are already underweight or under treatment for anorexia. Be aware of this effect, so that they can avoid products containing important amounts of THCV.

THCV and Blood sugar control

Slightly higher doses of THCV have been found to assist in the regulation of blood sugar levels and can reduce the body’s resistance to insulin. This is a finding that makes the compound of interest as an alternative treatment for diabetes. 

There have been numerous studies conducted into the action of THCV related to diabetes. One such trial, published in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care, concluded that THCV “could represent a new therapeutic agent in glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes”. It also has improved HOMA, a measure of pancreatic function for type two diabetics.

THCV side effects

All of the human studies done so far, have reported no significant side effects. However, it is generally not recommended to consume THCV if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Even though this is primarily because there is not enough information to know if it is safe or not.

THCV Bottom line

The research done so far indicates that THCV has incredible promise to help people with their fasting problem and build healthier habits. As this cannabinoid becomes more popular for its energy-boosting, weight-loss capabilities, it’s likely that THCV could be the next big thing in the wellness world. This is certainly a welcomed alternative from many of the unsafe substances that consumers often use for weight-loss.  

2. What is CBN? The alternative sleeping friend

Cannabinol, (CBN), like all other cannabinoids is isolated from hemp plants. CBN and CBD are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but they have different chemical structures. When THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main active ingredient in cannabis plants, is heated and exposed to oxygen, it converts to what is known as CBN. In present days, the compound gains more and more popularity in the cannabis industry. That is because it turns out that it has a very valuable benefit – it significantly improves our sleep.


First and most important fact – CBD and CBN are completely different chemical molecules. CBD, which is a Cannabidiol, is extracted from  the cannabis and hemp plants.  This is the second most significant and studied ingredient along with THC.  It has neuro-protective and pain relief features and doesn’t provoke a feeling of “getting high” when used.  

On the other hand, CBN is created by exposing THC to oxygen and heating process. This is why manufacturers can adjust the amount of CBN, as it’s created from the breakdown of THC. Exposing THC to heat speeds up the breakdown process of THC into CBN. 

CBN is known to have mild psychoactive effects unlike CBD products. You may feel the “high” effect from taking a CBN product. But it won’t be as intense as if you are consuming a THC product.

Research on both cannabinoids is in the early stages. However, there’s currently much more research on CBD and the compound is presented in numerous cosmetic and food supplement products.

CBD is currently FDA and EU approved to treat different conditions or at least is not restricted. CBN isn’t FDA approved to treat any conditions yet so be cautious if you cross any products on the market.

The benefits of CBN

Similar to CBD, the most interesting benefits of consuming CBN include improved sleep quality, pain relief, and anti-inflammation result. 

However, the main feature of this compound is its capacity to improve our sleep quality. Many researches are ongoing and the information is still very limited. But it is very important to fully understand the power of CBN. In most cases the average user will experience the sleeping effect within 1 hour. If this is not the case, you should wait at least one hour before taking another dose. Overdosing with CBN, could endanger your health and safety simply because we are talking about a “sleeping pill”. At this stage, the consultation with your doctor is very valuable.

CBN what dosage should you take?

Likewise, for any kind of cannabis product, follow the specialists advises. Recommendation for new users is to start with no more than 2 milligrams of THC per dose of CBN. Once your body becomes comfortable with the product and builds some tolerance, you may increase the dosage. It is important to continue to feel and experience the benefits of it. 

CBN products on the market - Bottom line

CBN products on the market are more or less treated like any marijuana product with a high percentage of THC. That means that you can only purchase CBN in states where recreational marijuana is legal. Or where a licensed professional can prescribe the product for your need. CBN is only available through regulated and licensed dispensaries. 

In Europe the situation is even more difficult. The compound is still under complete restriction. But we are expecting soon the authorities to open the discussion and eventually create the regulatory frame for future products.

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