Researchers have found considerable amounts of CBN in an ancient Chinese tomb containing the oldest cannabis sample in the world, dating to 2500 years ago. It was the first cannabinoid ever extracted and has been the subject of study for decades.
While THC and CBD are the most widely used compounds in the diverse world of cannabis, cannabinol (CBN) is another cannabinoid best known for its ability to promote maximum wellness. CBN is produced by exposing THC to light, and it's very similar to CBD in its chemical composition and therapeutic profile.
CBN has been shown to have potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. CBN also promotes sleep, potentially improving many people's lives suffering from sleep disorders.
What Is CBN
If you're a cannabis enthusiast, you've probably heard a lot about two popular cannabinoids: CBD and THC. You may have also heard that CBD is commonly used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, and a variety of ailments.
However, these two aren't the only cannabinoids created by the delicate, flowering plant Cannabis sativa. Cannabinol or CBN is another notable cannabinoid produced by the cannabis (hemp) plant. CBN was the first naturally-occurred cannabis compound, isolated in its pure form in 1896.
Although CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol), which are found only in the hemp plant, may sound similar, they're very different. CBD and CBN are two of more than 150 cannabinoids identified thus far in the cannabis plant, each with its chemical composition and effects.
However, CBN doesn't come directly from the hemp plant; it has a special relationship with THC. Cannabinol is a mildly intoxicating compound, and just like the vast majority of cannabis cannabinoids, CBN isn't water-soluble but fat-soluble.
As for potency, recent research suggests that CBN has only 1/4 the potency of THC. Although CBN doesn't induce a high comparable to THC, its potential wellness applications are countless.
CBD, CBN, & THC; What's the Difference
CBN is commonly consumed to treat insomnia, anxiety, and a range of chronic pain and other medical conditions. However, CBN has key differences in its production and the potential for mild psychoactive effects.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is very popular these days. People use them to relieve pain and anxiety, aid in smoking cessation, and improve sleep. Cannabidiol is one of the most well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and rivals THC. However, unlike THC, CBD doesn't induce the euphoric effects or "high" associated with marijuana. Research on CBD is still ongoing, but some early studies have already shown promising results, noting that cannabidiol has an excellent safety profile.
Common types of CBD products include:
- Oils and tinctures
- Creams and lotions
- Capsules and pills
Thus far, scientific studies carried out on CBD have suggested the following potential benefits:
Anxiety & Depression Management: Although scientists aren't entirely sure how CBD works, early studies indicate that CBD is a potential alternative to traditional medications for treating depression and anxiety. A 2019 study focused on anxiety or sleep disorders reported improvement in anxiety symptoms with daily CBD.
Neuroprotection & Seizure Reduction: A 2020 review concluded that cannabidiol could treat various debilitating health conditions and incurable diseases. The potential benefits of CBD include:
- Parkinson's disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
The Food and Drug Administration has approved cannabidiol under Epidiolex to treat two rare forms of epilepsy and seizures. Other potential benefits of CBD include:
- Chronic pain relief
- Cancer treatment
CBN is formed when THC oxidizes (exterior oxidation). In other words, THC converts to CBN during its degradation. Since CBN is formed through degradation, older cannabis strains have higher doses of CBN.
If you cut cannabis and store it improperly, THC will eventually become CBN. Poorly stored cannabis plants often have high levels of CBN. People often dismiss CBN because it breaks down the intoxicating compound THC.
THC-A, the acidic form of THC, is exposed to air for an extended time and turns into CBN-A. The air causes the acidic THC to lose hydrogen molecules. The product is the acid form of CBN. Treatment of the compound with UV light and heat then results in CBN.
There are two types of THC at issue here: delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC is very similar to delta-9 THC, a compound found in the cannabis plant that produces the high associated with marijuana.
When people talk about THC, they mainly mean delta-9 THC. Although Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC in its physicochemical properties, delta-8 has a slightly different molecular structure that makes it significantly less potent.
THE COMPOUND EXHIBITS UNIQUE AND EXCITING PROPERTIES when CBN is coupled with either delta-8 or delta-9 THC. For example, Canna Aid THC 1000mg D8 + 1000mg CBN has a lower psychotropic potency than D8's close cousin: delta-9 THC.
So when you consume this product, you'll get high without feeling too stoned, without the intense anxiety and paranoia that comes with high doses of marijuana (THC). If you are looking for something mellow but still potent enough to be "high," then this product might be your new favourite cannabinoid.
CBD vs. CBN
Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabidiol (CBD) are cannabinoids from the same plant family. Although CBD and CBN come from the cannabis plant, cannabidiol and cannabinol are two different molecules with two other sources. CBD is derived from CBG, while CBN is not; THC oxidation results in CBN.
Although neither are intoxicating, their consumption can cause many other effects. As far as we know, there are fundamental differences in the way these cannabinoids are produced and in the chemical composition of these cannabis compounds. The different properties of CBD and CBN lead to very distinct effects on the human body and mind.
How CBN Works
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that can potentially interact with several receptors in the human body collectively produced by the endocannabinoid system. Most cannabis compounds interact with receptors associated with our endocannabinoid system.
In this way, cannabinoids can have a variety of biological effects. Although CBN and CBD have similar chemical structures, CBD affects the ECS system indirectly, in a complex manner and through many types of receptors; CBN acts directly on us.
Can CBN Make You High
Although CBD has dwindling psychoactive properties and essentially alleviates THC's intoxicating effects, CBN induces mellow psychoactive effects, unlike CBD products. Hence, you may experience a high when using a CBN product, but it won't be as potent as the high associated with THC. There is evidence that isolated CBN has mild psychoactive effects.
However, according to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology, CBN in combination with THC can enhance the effects of altered perceptions, cognition, emotions, and sociability.
There are different types of cannabinol products available. You can find traces of CBN in full-spectrum hemp CBD products, including oils, edibles, and waxes. An excellent example is Pachamama Sleep Well CBD Gummy 5ct, containing a 20 mg CBD + 4 mg CBN.
The Potential Benefits of CBN
Recent studies have suggested an array of medicinal benefits for the CBN compound. According to Steep Hill, cannabinol (CBN) is the most sedating cannabis compound; it's reported that just 5 mg CBN is equivalent to 10 mg valium, with no drowsiness or side effects. Research into the health benefits of CBN is still in its beginning stages.
The strict regulations surrounding cannabis hindered the research needed to understand how it affects the brain and mind for a long time. As rules are increasingly relaxed, scientists have the freedom to discover more about these compounds.
The growing popularity of CBN is another primary reason why our knowledge is expanding. The first time CBN appeared in scientific articles was in the 1940s; CBN was the first isolated cannabinoid to be studied. Since then, scientists have unearthed many findings regarding the therapeutic effects of this compound.
Now, let us analyze some of the potential health benefits of CBN:
Sedating Power & Sleep Aid
Insomnia and sleep deprivation affect millions of people and are the main reasons for medical cannabis use. However, not all cannabis strains are equally helpful for this common problem. While THC has been shown to have significant sedative properties, research indicates that it's much more potent when combined with CBN. There is little doubt about CBN's sedative abilities: it helps us sleep better and longer.
Further research showed that isolated CBN has a strong sedative effect and can extend the hours of sleep. Studies suggest that CBN can extend sleep duration. Although not as potent as THC, CBN retains its influential sedating properties, making CBN a practical sleep aid ideal for patients with insomnia and other sleep disorders.
A recent study examined the use of extracted water-soluble cannabinol and its effect on sleeplessness. The study showed that CBN significantly improved the duration and quality of the participants' sleep. The improvement consisted of faster sleep initiation and prolongation of normal progression through the various stages of sleep.
CBN as a Pain Reliever
CBN has analgesic or pain-relieving abilities in the body. Capsaicin is a compound in chilli peppers and is essential in many pain relievers and topical creams.
The nerves responsive to capsaicin play an essential role in pain perception and signalling in our bodies. Recent evidence indicates that CBN influences the same capsaicin-sensitive neurons, suggesting that CBN may work in pain relief.
CBN has been the subject of research due to its antibacterial properties. In a 2008 study, CBN was shown to have a substantial effect against several dangerous strains of bacteria, such as MRSA. Although we still need more research, this investigation indicates that CBN can help treat common bacterial infections or as a supplement.
There is evidence that CBN may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent that helps fight many stress and age-related diseases. In animal studies, CBN has been shown to help treat the symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis. Further research has shown that CBN's anti-inflammatory effects may help treat diseases associated with allergies.
Brain Health; Neuroprotectant
CBN is a potent neuroprotective agent, and there is evidence that it helps delay the onset of neurological conditions such as ALS and Alzheimer's disease.
Recently, an Alzheimer's study, published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, found that conjugating CBN with THC leads to a synergistic effect that reduces oxidative damage, fights inflammation in the brain, and protects against energy loss. While we still need to design and conduct further systematic studies to confirm the correlation, the results so far are relatively well-supported.
Appetite stimulation is another prominent reason people use cannabis, particularly those receiving chemotherapy. Research published in the Psychopharmacology Journal indicated that CBN could accelerate the desire to eat and increase food intake.
Similar studies show that CBN may be an alternative to THC as a desirable cannabinoid for appetite stimulation, mainly based on the observation that CBN is (mostly) non-psychoactive.
We're impatiently waiting for more follow-up studies in this area, but we already know of a study in rabbits that was conducted to observe how CBN affects intraocular pressure (IOP). CBN was shown to lower this pressure in the subjects. So far, IOP is the most critical factor in the development of glaucoma. If further studies confirm this, CBN could prove to be an effective treatment.
Healing & Growth; Bone & Skin
Cannabinol (CBN) can activate stem cells to develop into new bone cells, triggering the production of new bone. CBN may help reduce bone loss and heal fractured bones. It also helps reduce the overgrowth of skin cells. As a topical treatment, CBN has shown great promise in treating psoriasis.
While the use of CBN to fight cancer has not yet been confirmed, preliminary studies suggest that CBN can slow or stop the spread and growth of cancer cells. CBN is one of several cannabinoids found to reduce tumour size in one type of lung cancer.
Studies have shown early signs. However, there is no definitive evidence that CBN or other cannabinoids can help cure or control the disease.
Anticonvulsant (Antiepileptic Drugs)
The cannabinoids THC and CBD are the most potent anticonvulsant compounds. They are many different pharmacological agents used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. Like THC and CBD, cannabinol (CBN) appears to have similar abilities, making it a potential candidate for epilepsy patients who need to manage their symptoms.
Please contact us today if you would like to try our high-quality CBN products, such as gummies and tinctures.