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The Difference Between CBN and CBC

As CBD becomes more mainstream, the spotlight has begun to shine on other cannabinoids that offer more targeted benefits, such as CBN and CBC. These alternative cannabinoids are gaining popularity in the hemp market, with many manufacturers now creating CBN and CBC products. In this article, we will explore the differences between CBN and CBC, their chemical makeup, benefits, and uses. We will also discuss the importance of a Certificate of Analysis when purchasing these products.


CBN (Cannabinol) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant and can also be manufactured synthetically. It is created when THC degrades due to exposure to high heat, air, or intense light. CBN has entered the alternative cannabinoid market with a focus on providing benefits to parts of the body that affect the quality of our sleep. Many manufacturers now create CBN products such as softgels, gummies, tinctures, oils, and more. While marketed primarily as a sleep aid, CBN offers a wide variety of other benefits similar to CBD, such as pain and anxiety relief. Studies have also linked CBN to delaying the onset of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).


CBC (Cannabichromene) comes from the same area as THC and CBD and is generated from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Both cannabis and hemp plants produce CBGa, which is the natural precursor to three specific cannabinoids. CBC is converted from CBGA into cannabichrome carboxylic acid (CBCA), which ultimately changes to CBC after exposure to heat or ultraviolet light. Manufacturers now put CBC in softgels, capsules, gummies, and more, and some retailers sell pure CBC distillate so consumers can customize the potency of their products. While there is limited research on CBC, some studies have linked it to benefits such as cancer prevention, neuroprotection, neuroregeneration, and analgesia.

Which One Is Better?

It is not a matter of which cannabinoid is better; rather, it is a matter of choosing the cannabinoid that best suits your needs. CBN is effective as a sleep aid, while CBC is an effective painkiller. Keep in mind that these alternative cannabinoids are relatively new to the market compared to their CBD counterpart and, as such, should be taken lightly in terms of their effects. More studies are being done to further understand the effects of CBN, CBC, and other alternative cannabinoids.

Importance of a Certificate of Analysis:

A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is crucial when purchasing cannabinoid products as it tells you exactly what is in the product you are buying. While hemp products are not yet FDA regulated, labs have a certain standard of quality that they must adhere to. It is important to know how to read COAs, especially if you are looking to consume cannabinoids regularly. Both bulk (distillates/isolates) and finished goods (softgels, gummies, vapes, etc.) come with Certificates of Analysis.

In summary, CBN and CBC are two alternative cannabinoids that offer targeted benefits. CBN is effective as a sleep aid, while CBC is an effective painkiller. While research on these cannabinoids is limited, more studies are being done to further understand their effects. It is important to purchase cannabinoid products from a reputable source that provides a Certificate of Analysis. Understanding how to read COAs is crucial, especially if you plan to consume cannabinoids regularly.

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Kevin O'Connor

Kevin is the Director of E-Commerce at He writes extensively on minor cannabinoids and trends within the hemp and cannabis industry.

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