CBD/THC/Delta-9/CBN. How to Choose the Best Option for You and Your Character

What’s CBD/THC/Delta-9/CBN?

Cannabis has over 130 compounds known as ‘cannabinoids’, with each cannabinoid carrying a different effect when consumed. Most people only know of THC, mainly because it is the compound associated with the ‘high’ or feeling of euphoria you get from consuming cannabis.

There are two other major cannabinoids in cannabis that we will be discussing in greater detail below: CBD and CBN.

CBD does not give you the ‘high’ effect, although it does work hand-in-hand with THC, each balancing the other out. CBN, on the other hand, tends to fall somewhere in between THC and CBD in regard to its effect. This cannabinoid is an antioxidant that relieves pain and inflammation without involving the kidneys.

This article aims to help you identify the most suitable cannabinoid for you as an individual by placing these compounds side by side and clarifying their differences, essentially resolving the CBD vs CBN & CBD vs THC mystery.

Now, without further ado, let us look deeper into the main cannabinoids found in cannabis.


CBD is an abbreviation for ‘Cannabidiol’. This is an intoxicating compound found in cannabis that was discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams. It is the second most prevalent cannabinoid found in cannabis after THC and is far less psychoactive in comparison. In fact, most research has found it to be only mildly intoxicating. 

Up until recently, there was a lot of misconception around CBD where it was considered to have the same effects as THC. In mid-2018, however, CBD was reclassified from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule V drug, which is the least restrictive drug category in the United States. 


This is an abbreviation for ‘Tetrahydrocannabinol’. THC is a precursor to CBN; CBN is only realized when cannabis is heated. This cannabinoid was discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams and is the dominant psychoactive compound in cannabis.


Delta-9, or as it is colloquially known, THC, is the most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis. Most people assume that Delta-9 and THC are two different compounds but, the truth is, they are one and the same. Therefore, whenever you come across material referring to Delta-9, understand that the material is simply referring to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol.


CBN is an abbreviation for ‘Cannabinol’. This cannabinoid, also discovered by Roger Adams in 1940, is realized when THC decomposes or is oxidized. This means that whenever THC is heated and exposed to oxygen, it converts to CBN. This compound is a sedating, psychotropic cannabinoid and is typically used to test just how fresh a bud is. This is especially so for indoor grown plants, but outdoor plants normally have a lower concentration of CBN.

Other cannabinoids include CBG (Cannabigerol), THCv (Tetrahydrocannabivari) and CBC (Cannabichromene). Research indicates that these compounds also have therapeutic value, albeit less impactful than those in THC, CBD, and CBN.

What are the Effects of the 3 Main Cannabinoids


Cannabinol is an especially psychotropic and sedative cannabinoid and, as mentioned, it is commonly used to test the freshness of a bud. This compound has a psychoactivity effect that is only 10% that of THC.

There are, nonetheless, numerous CBN benefits and this compound been proven to extremely useful in the management of:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Seizures/ Epilepsy
  • Decreasing Heart Rate
  • Maintaining Blood Flow
  • Insomnia
  • Increasing Alertness
  • ALS
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Bacterial Infections


Tetrahydrocannabinol is the reason you feel happy, euphoric, and hungry when you consume cannabis. Modern-day strains of cannabis typically have a THC content of between 12 and 30 percent, with strains containing over 20 percent, being considered quite potent.

Despite the feeling of euphoria, however, this cannabinoid has also been proven to assist with managing various conditions and diseases. To mention just a few, these include:

  • Anorexia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Bulimia
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • OCD
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory/Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Low Libido

However, it is important to note that Tetrahydrocannabinol is the only cannabinoid that exhibits short-term side effects due to its psychotropic nature. These side effects subside within a few hours, of course; typically within an hour or two after the consumer’s high has faded. The average consumer may consider these side effects benign and may not even experience them if they have built up a tolerance. Common side effects may include:

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Tachycardia
  • Anxiety/Paranoia
  • Dry Mouth/Cotton Mouth
  • Forgetfulness
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations (in high doses)


Cannabidiol primarily affects CB2 receptors as opposed to CB1 receptors, and it gives no psychotropic effects to the consumer. CBD has been proven to have the highest number of health benefits aiding in the management of a myriad of conditions from autism to cancer. This cannabinoid does not affect the physical and mental functioning of the individual, and its effect often goes unnoticed by the consumer.

For this reason, this compound is considered a non-intoxicating, non-impairing, non-psychotropic, anti-anxiety, and mood-elevating cannabinoid. There is myriad of benefits of CBD, and this cannabinoid has been proven to manage conditions and diseases such as:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer Tumors
  • OCD
  • Stress
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy/Seizures
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Substance
  • Traumatic brain injury

What Cannabinoid Best Suits you Based on your Character?

This is a very subjective question especially seeing as the suitability of each unique cannabinoid is based less on the character of the individual and more on one’s inherent physical and mental predispositions.

For example, if you experience mild to extreme anxiety, you would be better off consuming strains with a higher level of CBD & CBN to combat the possible anxiety and paranoia that may be occasioned by the THC. Similarly, in this case, you may also want to go for strains that contain lower levels of THC.

THC is known to be the ‘high’ inducing compound in cannabis. If you are looking for that feeling of euphoria and overall well-being, then you should go for strains with higher quantities of this cannabinoid as long as you are not predisposed to experience anxiety or paranoia. Conversely, if you are looking to calm down and relax, high CBN content is what you should go for to realize that sedate feeling and perhaps even experience a more peaceful, relaxed sleep.

Note, also, there has been some evidence that indicates that CBN improves one’s alertness. Therefore, if you struggle with maintaining focus, strains with higher CBN content may just do the trick for you.

While more research is undoubtedly necessary for us to fully realize the effects and strengths of each cannabinoid, it is important to be on the lookout for the volume and content of each based on your individual needs, expectations, and predispositions when choosing your preferred strain. It is also recommendable to seek consultation from a professional in order to understand what would best work for you.

written by Tia Moskalenko, Editor and Contributor at Askgrowers

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