Over 100 different cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant. Thanks to their therapeutic potential, THC and CBD have received most of the attention. But there are many overlooked minor cannabinoids that deserve our attention, as well.
One of these overlooked cannabinoids is CBN.
What is CBN?
CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid that has recently gained attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. CBN has been appearing in more and more edibles, oils, and other cannabis products. But few people are as familiar with this cannabinoid as they are with others, such as CBD and THC. If you use cannabinoids for therapeutic reasons, then it may be worth taking some time to get to know CBN a bit better.
Where Does CBN Come From?
CBN is a byproduct of the aging process of THC. Over time, cannabis loses some of its THC and CBD content as these cannabinoids age and break down. According to a 1999 study from the United Nations Office on Drugs And Crime, the THC content in one tested sample dropped by half in about 4 years.
But THC doesn’t just disappear, it breaks down into other compounds, specifically CBN. Because of this, older cannabis actually contains much more CBN than fresh flower. The UN study found that the first two years of improper storage were when most of this breakdown process took place. Fortunately, you don’t have to play the waiting game.
Instead, you can get CBN from tinctures or edibles that contain CBN in addition to CBD and THC. That way, you’ll get the potent benefits and the CBN without losing the other benefits of top-quality THC and CBD.
The Benefits of CBN
Just because we don’t think CBN alone is the best option, we’re not saying this compound is any less beneficial than other cannabinoids when formulated properly in a product. Several different potential benefits have been associated with CBN.
CBN for Sleep
One of the most commonly talked about therapeutic uses of CBN is for sleep. CBN sleep aid studies, however, have shown mixed results.
One CBN sleep aid study from Steep Hill found that 5 mg of CBN could be just as effective as 10 mg of a pharmaceutical drug in promoting sleep. Still, CBN on its own does not have sleep-promoting effects. It’s when CBN is combined with other cannabinoids and cannabis compounds that CBN may actually function well as a sleep aid.
CBN’s reputation as a sleep aid comes from the fact that people noticed that older cannabis, which contained more CBN, made them sleepy. But in fact, it could just be the combination of THC and CBN that made them sleepy, not just the presence of CBN.
A 1970 study that tested CBN sleep aid potential tested it in 3 different ways: CBN on its own, CBN with THC, and THC alone. While CBN on its own displayed no reported effectiveness, THC did display some. Additionally, test subjects reported that the combination of THC and CBN was most effective at making them drowsy.
Furthermore, it’s believed that in aged cannabis, some of the monoterpenes have evaporated, leaving behind oxygenated sesquiterpenoids that are more sedating. So basically, older cannabis that is higher in CBN is also likely to have a more sedating terpene profile, as well.
It’s very likely that this combination of CBN, THC, and aged terpenes is responsible for CBN’s reputation as a sleep-inducing cannabinoid.
CBN for Normal Inflammation
Several different cannabinoids have shown to be beneficial for normal inflammation. One study identified CBN among a number of cannabinoids that may have a role to play in promoting a healthy inflammatory response. Additionally, it has also been suggested that CBN may be useful in promoting eye health.
CBN as an Appetite Stimulant
CBN has also shown potential as an appetite stimulant. One study found that mice who were administered CBN displayed increases in both the quantity of food they ate and the duration of feeding time. These findings indicate that CBN may be a non-intoxicating alternative to THC for stimulating appetite.
Best CBN for Sleep
The best way to take advantage of CBN for sleep is through a product that can take advantage of the entourage effect. By combining CBN with other cannabinoids like THC and CBD, its sleep-promoting potential can be unlocked. As a result, when it comes to products, the best CBN for sleep is a product that contains a healthy mix of CBN and another cannabinoid, preferably THC or (even better!) CBD plus THC.
Additionally, it’s also important to pay attention to the kind of product you are consuming and the mechanisms it works through.
For example, CBN oil for sleep might be a good choice for those looking for faster-acting effects. Meanwhile, a CBN-rich edible may be a better choice for those looking for longer-lasting effects. The process of digesting a cannabis edible can take quite some time, resulting in effects that can sometimes last for as long as 6–8 hours. That might be ideal for people who tend to have trouble getting back to sleep after waking in the night.
High-quality CBN Products
Check out our shop for a selection of high-quality THC, CBD, and CBN products. It’s much better than waiting until the next Leap Year to see if your last purchase gives you the desired effects of CBN.