Knowing the difference between cannabinoids can be complicated. Although it can take some serious research to understand different cannabinoids, many learn about these compounds through first-hand experiences.
Interestingly, coming across the cannabinoid CBN likely could have been a happy accident. Before we dive into what CBN is, let’s discuss something you might be more familiar with. All the buzz surrounding cannabis’ medical benefits has focused on its two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD.
But as research delves deeper, scientists are beginning to look into other components of the cannabis plant, and CBN has shown some promising medicinal benefits in preliminary studies.
See more about CBN, its effects, and potential benefits below.
THC and CBD are the primary cannabinoids in cannabis. However, they are among hundreds of other cannabinoids found in our favorite herb.
As scientific exploration continues to lift the veil on what individual cannabinoids can do for the human body, the focus has turned to lesser-known compounds of the cannabis plant—like CBN.
CBN‘s chemical makeup is remarkably similar to CBD’s, even sharing many of the same effects. But CBN is found in much smaller amounts in cannabis flower.
Indica-dominant strains typically have a higher amount of cannabinol compared to Sativas. Even then, less than one percent of the cannabinoid content of dried flower will be CBN.
CBN presents itself in two different ways. As mentioned, it‘s a naturally occurring cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant, but in small traces. In order for brands to create CBN products that are abundant with this cannabinoid, extracting it from the cannabis plant won’t cut it.
It might surprise you that you can make CBN by yourself. Interestingly, CBN is abundant in cannabis flower that’s made prolonged contact with the air. THC oxidizes into CBN, and this is why old, poorly stored cannabis has an abundance of CBN.
So, yes, you can still smoke your old flower, but it won’t likely get you as high. Instead, it will provide CBN‘s famously sleepy effects.
It‘s worth mentioning that our understanding of CBN is in its early stages. Few scientific studies have been carried out compared to those undertaken on THC and CBD.
However, what has been discovered points to some promising therapeutic possibilities for CBN. Preliminary findings have shown CBN‘s possible effects to include:
Whether CBN is psychoactive hasn’t been fully determined. One study suggests it isn’t, while another indicated that CBN has a very mild psychoactive effect. Clearly, more research is needed to determine this for certain.
In terms of recreational effects, CBN can produce the following:
All the headlines surrounding CBN link to its possible sedating powers. Even without definitive scientific evidence, bold claims are already being made about this cannabinoid’s sleep-inducing effects. But what‘s the truth? Is CBN the next miracle sleep aid?
We only have a few studies to draw from, and none of those were conducted on humans. However, the results do seem to point to CBN being a relatively potent sedative.
One study found that 2.5-5mg of CBN is comparable to 5 to 10 mg of Diazepam, a common pharmaceutical sedative. And in another rodent study, CBN was also found to prolong sleep duration.
Unfortunately, we will have to wait and see whether these results are replicated in humans. So, for now, we’ll have to reserve our judgment, but it does look promising for CBN as a sleep aid.
CBN shares many of the same therapeutic effects as CBD. Those benefits include:
We do not know if CBN is a more effective treatment for these conditions than CBD. But, when it comes to its use as a sleep aid, CBN does seem to be the far more powerful compound.
Doses required for CBD to have a sedating effect are very high—100 mg+. At the same time, CBN appears to require a much lower dose to be effective.
Despite its similarities to CBD, CBN seems to have some unique effects. Chief among them is as a potential treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma is caused by pressure in the eye that is the result of inflammation. CBN was shown to reduce intraocular pressure in one study, which could make it a future treatment for the condition.
Additionally, CBN has possible benefits for bone growth and healing. Possibly playing a role in stimulating stem cells to help new bone cells grow. And there are also indications, like this 2009 study, that CBN could help heal fractures and protect against bone loss, making CBN of interest to scientists as a potential therapy for osteoporosis too.
Despite CBN‘s low profile, you may be surprised to learn that products containing this cannabinoid are already hitting the market. CBN oils, edibles, and topicals are readily available online.
It‘s worth noting that CBN is safe. If you’ve used THC, you’ve basically used CBN. Furthermore, if you enjoy the benefits of CBD but still need something stronger to help you hit the way, CBN can help you do that.
Looking for reliable products to treat insomnia? Dosing CBN late at night is far more beneficial than using THC. For one thing, THC’s psychoactive effects can hinder the precious REM cycle, meaning it can reduce our quality of sleep.
CBN, on the other hand, rarely produces psychoactive effects, so you’ll wake up the next morning and feel ready to seize the day. See our guide on the top 10 CBN products to help you get a good night’s sleep.