Cannabinol, also known as CBN, is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants. Although CBD (cannabidiol) and TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most well-known cannabinoids, CBN was actually the first cannabinoid that was identified by scientists.
Research on CBN and its potential benefits is still in its infancy, meaning there’s a lot we still don’t know about it. However, the limited studies on CBN are promising. Much like other cannabinoids like CBG and CBC.
CBD, one of the most commonly known cannabinoids, is also the most abundant in cannabis plants. It can make up to 40 percent of the plant’s resin and is abundant in most strains. CBN only occurs in smaller amounts, and the amount of CBN increases as the cannabis or hemp plant ages. Over time, and with exposure to CO2, THC converts to CBN.
Another key difference is that CBD is more widely available than CBN. This is partly because more research has been conducted on the benefits of CBD and because cannabis plants have higher doses of CBD. For these reasons, it can be harder to access CBN products.
There is a lot of promising research on the benefits of CBN. More research still needs to be done for any of these benefits to be conclusive.
Because CBN is more prevalent in older cannabis, and because older cannabis is said to make people feel sleepy, many assume that CBN is a sedative.
A study from as early as 1975 suggested that CBN may offer sedative effects on humans, but CBN was combined with THC so we can’t be sure whether it was THC or CBN that sedated the subjects. Another study from 1987, done on mice, found that CBN increased their sleeping time.
Since these studies are outdated, and few studies on this topic have been conducted since then, we don’t know for sure if CBN itself can promote sleep.
A 2019 study, done on rats, found that CBN decreased muscle sensitivity. The study also found that the pain-relieving effects of CBN lasted longer when combined with CBD.
This study indicates that CBN, or CBN combined with CBD, might reduce pain for people with chronic muscle pain disorders such as temporomandibular disorders and fibromyalgia.
A 2019 study found that CBN was one of three cannabinoids (along with CBD and THC) to display antimicrobial activity against oral pathogens. Another study, from 2008, found that CBN could kill MRSA bacteria, which causes drug-resistant staph infections.
A 2012 study on rats found that CBN made the rats eat more over a longer time period. This might mean CBN can help chronically ill people who struggle with eating.
Neurodegenerative diseases have no known cure. But some studies suggest that CBN could prevent or treat neurodegenerative diseases. This study suggests that CBN holds promise as a therapeutic treatment against neuroinflammation which plays a role in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. As always, more research is needed.
Another study found that CBN might hold preventative qualities for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The study, conducted on rats, found that CBN delayed the onset of ALS.
According to this study from 2010, CBN demonstrates potent anti-inflammatory properties in carrageenan induced rat paw edema (swelling of the paws). Another study, from 2016, found that CBN reduced arthritis-related inflammation in rats.
At present, there are no known side effects of CBN.
More research is needed before CBN can be declared totally safe. For this reason, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we don’t recommend using CBN. To be on the safe side, speak to your doctor before using any dietary supplements or health products, including CBD and CBN.
There aren’t currently any CBN-only products on the market, although some growers are trying to breed high-CBN strains of hemp and cannabis. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products contain small amounts of CBN and other cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids tend to work best when they’re used in conjunction with one another. For this reason, we recommend using full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products like ours. Take a look at our product line, which includes oils, capsules, and CBD pre-rolls.