What Is CBN? Benefits, Effects & Using CBN For Sleep

There’s no denying that the more we learn about cannabinoids, the more they grow in popularity. By now, we understand that CBD may help treat anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and even arthritis. But there’s one cannabinoid that is making waves for a different reason – CBN.

What’s causing all the commotion? Well, science says that this cannabinoid may prove to be a lot more effective at treating sleep disorders than CBD. But what is CBN, and is using CBN for sleep a better option than using CBD?

Let’s take a look at what we know so far.

What is CBN?

CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid that is found in cannabis and hemp. It comes from the oxidization of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, THCA, the acid version of THC. Basically, as it ages, the THCA gradually breaks down into CBN.

Because it stems directly from THC, this cannabinoid is slightly psychoactive but nowhere near its predecessor’s strength.

Similar to other cannabinoids, research shows that CBN may be able to treat numerous issues in the body, and while more study is needed, one thing is becoming more clear – it seems to be helping a lot of people get a better night’s rest.

Can CBN really help you sleep better at night?

There are many reports from people claiming that CBN can help you sleep; what may be surprising to learn is that there is actually minimal evidence to back this claim up.

That hasn’t stopped Canadians from flocking to CBN oil as soon as it hit the market here, however, and it’s giving CBD oil a run for its money as an over-the-counter sleep aid.

Most of the studies that have assessed CBN’s potential sedating and drowsy effects were performed some time ago. We must get more information on this cannabinoid before we can start to understand it fully.

It’s pretty well known in the cannabis community that aged or old cannabis tends to make people more sleepy than fresh flowers. This is thought to be the higher CBN levels; these are only found in the older stuff due to THCA breaking down more thoroughly into CBN as it matures.

The one study that was completed in 1975 tested CBN only on 5 participants and also included THC. While the results ended up being reported as making users drowsy, dizzy and drugged; this definitely could have been just the THC at work.

However, scientists have studied CBN more thoroughly in rats, and some of the studies were pretty promising. They showed that CBN has the potential to relieve pain, stimulate appetite, and reduce inflammation. One study showed that lab-altered CBN might prolong sleep time, but this was performed on rats already sedated.

The potential benefits of CBN

Besides have sedating properties, CBN appears to be helping numerous other ailments. Still, it is one cannabinoid that hasn’t been researched as fully as CBD or THC. The studies that have been concluded show very promising results.

Multiple studies have looked into the anti-inflammatory results from using cannabinoids; they seem to point to the Entourage Effect being responsible for many of them. This is where all parts of the plant, cannabinoids, terpenes, etc., exude a synergistic effect when used with one another that is more powerful than any single compound on its own.

CBN isn’t readily found by itself in Canada yet for this exact reason and has been shown to work more effectively when combined with CBD and other cannabinoids.

Here’s a look at some of CBN’s other potential benefits you may not have heard of yet.

May relieve pain and inflammation

This 2019 study done on rats showed an increased pain tolerance when CBN and CBD were combined. With CBD’s reported pain benefits on its own, this makes for a pretty powerful pair.

It also shows that CBN has the potential to reduce inflammation in the body; the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in CBN may make it an effective treatment for inflammatory disorders in the future.

May help treat glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disorder that affects the eye, and recent studies have shown that CBN may reduce the eyeball’s intraocular pressure. CBG also exhibits this effect and can be used in conjunction with CBD to double down on this effect.

May work as an anticonvulsant

One of the biggest breakthroughs for epileptic patients in recent decades has been discovering that cannabinoids can be used as an anticonvulsant.

Along with both THC and CBD, CBN is now thought to help in this regard as well. This study details the effects of using CBN as an anticonvulsant.

It could help stimulate appetite

We’re all familiar with the term “the munchies,” a characteristic of ingesting THC that makes users hungry. CBN also seems to exhibit this effect, as this study done on rats shows here. This may open up CBN as a possible treatment for chemotherapy’s side effects, namely nausea and reduced appetite.

Side effects of CBN

Because of the lack of scientific research into CBN, we don’t have enough information to detail CBN’s complete side effects just yet.

Because it is often found as a blend with CBD oil, however, keep in mind the side effects of CBD when you are taking it.

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Medication interactions
  • May thin the blood
  • Drowsiness, dizziness

Women who are pregnant and nursing should avoid CBN until further research has been done into its safety. That being said, it is recommended for anyone thinking about supplementing with CBN or other cannabinoids to consult a doctor beforehand.

Can CBN get you high?

When most people hear that CBN is a result of aging THCA, they automatically assume that it will have the same effects on them as THC.

While this isn’t true, it may produce very mild psychoactive effects present in people who are sensitive to THC. It’s estimated from recent research that CBN attaches to CB1 receptors at about 1/10 of THC’s strength.

Interestingly enough, CBD has the same effect on CBN as it does on THC – taming down the mind-altering effects that one may experience when taking it.

Why is CBN more expensive than CBD?

Because CBN is not readily available in high quantities of fresh flowers, it is much more expensive to synthesize and extract.

While there’s no doubt that in the future new advancements in extraction technology will make this process easier and less expensive, it’s going to take some time before we get there.

Most CBN oil in Canada right now you’ll find as a blend with other cannabinoids, most notably CBD and CBN oil together.

Final thoughts on CBN

Using CBN for sleep may not have a ton of research behind it, so why do all the positive reviews keep popping up? One might surmise that the combination of both CBD and CBN induces more of the Entourage Effect, or perhaps there really is something to the few studies that have been done.

Regardless, it’s pretty safe to say that CBN’s other potential benefits have made it a cannabinoid that is here to stay; stay tuned for future news on this new and exciting cannabinoid.

Here at Mellow, we’re aiming to give you the best of both worlds with our CBD and CBN oil night drops; check them out today and discover the benefits for yourself!