Over the last few years, CBD and THC have been the two most popular cannabinoids on the cannabis market, but there are other cannabinoids that are slowly coming into the spotlight. One of them is cannabinol, also known as CBN, which is derived from THC and is the topic of this article.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll answer the “What is CBN?” question and give you more information on the effects of CBN, whether or not this cannabinoid is legal, and go over the available scientific research so you can get to know CBN a little better.
What Is CBN?
Cannabinol, or CBN, is a cannabinoid that’s derived from THC once THC oxidizes or is left on the shelf for more than 2 years. This cannabinoid is found in a number of cannabis products and is often marketed as a sleep aid.
This is why more and more cannabis companies are adding CBN to edibles, tinctures, oils, teas, and other cannabis products which are aimed towards people who may need help winding down at night. In the following paragraphs, we’ll get to the bottom of whether this cannabinoid actually produces the effects that these companies claim it does and how effective it actually is.
The Effects of CBN
Scientists are still not on the same page when it comes to the alleged effects of CBN. The research from this 2021 randomized crossover trial shows that CBN may improve insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in individuals with chronic insomnia symptoms. However, this 2021 review of abstracts of studies shows that further research needs to be done in order to confirm these claims with regard to CBN.
Other studies, such as this 2019 study that reviewed the analgesic (pain relieving) effects of CBN, showed that this cannabinoid “may provide analgesic relief for chronic muscle pain disorders, such as temporomandibular disorders and fibromyalgia without central side effects” in rats.
Further studies are definitely needed in order to uncover all the potential effects of this popular cannabinoid.
Is CBN Legal?
Compared to other cannabinoids that are illegal on a federal level in the US, the regulation surrounding CBN is a bit different.
Currently, CBN isn’t listed as a controlled substance in the United Nations' Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, however, it is illegal in the US on a federal level as long as it is derived from hemp and the product containing it has less than .3% THC per the 2018 Farm Bill.
CBN Serving Sizes
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As we’ve mentioned above, some companies do produce CBN products that can be used in wellness, as well as recreationally in states where weed is legal.
One of the companies that sell a wide variety of CBD products, but has also included a few CBN products in their range, is Nuvita CBD. The product that has incorporated both CBD and CBN is Nuvita’s CBN Infused Full Spectrum CBD Oil that not only may help with sleep support, but also inflammation.
The recommended serving size is 0.25 mL which can easily be measured by using the dropper on the bottle, and some people can even use the full dropper per day, depending on their needs. Nuvita recommends that consumers start low and go slow until they get the desired effects from the product. As each person is different, it may be useful to consult with your licensed physician before implementing a new product in your health or wellness routine.
How Does CBN Differ from CBD and THC?
While all three cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant, they aren’t all the same. As you might already know, the widely researched cannabinoids, THC and CBD, may have a number of potential benefits for consumers both for medical and recreational reasons as this review of popular research concludes, while CBN is still being researched for its potential benefits. So, let’s figure out how these cannabinoids differ.
- THC is the cannabinoid that provides the intoxicating effects that a lot of consumers are after. It’s also in charge of the messages related to pain perception, motor activity, and other processes in the body. In order to produce its effects, THC mainly binds with the CB1 receptors.
- CBD is the cannabinoid that provides the non-intoxicating and relaxing effects that consumers are after when looking for an aid for their insomnia. This cannabinoid is in charge of the messages related to the peripheral nervous system and our immune system. In order to produce its effects, CBD mainly binds with the CB2 receptors.
- CBN, on the other hand, binds mostly to the CB2 receptors that mostly convey messages throughout the body and less to the brain. Similar to CBD, CBN may also reduce the side effects from consuming THC by decreasing the intoxicating sensations.
Does CBN Work?
The jury’s still out with regards to CBN as there isn’t as much research done on CBN as there is on other cannabinoids. Scientists mostly rely on the few studies that are available online, but consumers base their opinions on personal experience.
For people who have trouble falling asleep or are experiencing insomnia, CBN may be worth a try, especially if it’s consumed in combination with CBD which has shown promise to help with insomnia. So, you may want to try a CBD oil that also contains CBN and see how you feel after further use.
We must also mention that maintaining good sleep hygiene paired with regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet may also improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest. Consult your licensed healthcare provider about combining the above-mentioned practices paired with a smaller serving of a CBN product, so you can make an informed decision.
Final Thoughts on CBN
If you’re looking for a plant-derived potential sleep-aid, then CBN may be the cannabinoid for you. While further research is necessary to determine all of the potential benefits that this cannabinoid may offer, some consumers are taking a chance on this cannabinoid by slowly incorporating it into their wellness routine. And if that sounds like something you would try out, we recommend that you start with a low serving to see how it affects you. After you establish a serving size that works for you, you may start enjoying the potential benefits, such as a good night’s sleep.