The Definitive Guide to CBN in [2021]

This is the complete guide to CBN.

So if you're looking for:

A better understanding.

Facts backed by research.

Key stats.

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Let's dive in.

If you're reading this then you probably have heard of CBD, but may not be as familiar with the minor cannabinoid, CBN.  The hemp plant contains over a 100 cannabinoids and CBD, Delta-9 THC and CBN are just three of these.  Researchers have been paying more attention to these lesser known cannabinoids and early research suggests that they too may contain many beneficial properties. 

CBN, or cannabinol, is beginning to pop up at CBD stores throughout the country.  Typical forms include being paired with CBD in tinctures, softgels and our personal favorite - vegan gummies.  So now let's take a deep dive into what we currently know about CBN.

What is CBN?

CBN is formed when THC begins breaking down in the hemp plant due to age, heat or oxygen exposure.  So if it comes from THC is it psychoactive?  The jury is mixed on this, but the pendulum seems to point towards it not being psychoactive or as having very little psychoactive effects.

So Will CBN Get You High?

Although it does contain some psychotropic properties, CBN does not have the same potency as THC and thus will likely not result in any psychoactive effects when taken in standard doses (think, 5-10 mg).  However, as mentioned above, the jury is still a bit mixed.  So it is fair to say that CBN has slightly more psychoactive properties when compared with CBD but substantially less when compared with THC (with some suggesting at least 10 times less than THC). 

How does CBN Typically Form?

CBN Work (nama)

THC and CBN have been studied together, in particular the ratio of the two cannabinoids to one another.  A study from 1999 authored by Mr. Ross Elsohly, found that as THC degraded over time when stored at room temperature, the level of CBN present, actually increased.  Over time, this led to a higher concentration of CBN and a lower concentration of THC.  Therefore, as THC ages it will degrade, resulting in cannabis with a higher concentration of CBN.

Another study found that the combination of THC and CBN amplified the effects felt by the study’s participants.  This study also found that CBN by itself did not result in impairment.

How Does CBN Work?

The only way to clearly explain how CBN works is to first explain what is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  In short, the ECS consists of a series of receptors, two primary receptors being CB1 And CB2, which are found predominantly in the brain and nervous system as well as in peripheral organs and tissues. 

The discovery of these receptors set off a number of studies which suggest that the ECS essentially regulates numerous aspects of our body and that in binding certain compounds to the CB1 And CB2 receptors, the system may hold therapeutic promise ranging from mood and anxiety disorders to glaucoma, obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

Now back to CBN.  

It is believed that CBN, acting in a similar binding manner as THC, binds to the CB2 receptor when consumed. 

What do the studies suggest?

First, let's get right to the big question.  Is CBD sedative? 

A study from Steep Hill states that "Initially, it was reported that CBN was a promising adjunct in the treatment of insomnia, but with the advent of a few small trials, sedative qualities have not been observed."  

So what do more recent studies say about CBN?

Current evidence suggests that CBN can reduce pain and inflammation.  These effects are similar to those seen by THC, however, without the noticeable psychoactive effect seen with THC. 

So can CBN help me with sleep?

When paired with other cannabinoids such as CBD, studies suggest that it can assist with sleep in that it helps to alleviate common issues that tend to keep people awake, such as pain and anxiety.  It is also believed to help as a contributing factor what is known as the entourage effect.  LINK.  The entourage effect is the belief that cannabinoids, terpenes and related compounds act synergistically to modulate the overall effects of certain cannabinoids to produce more effective responses. 

Where can I buy products with CBN?

If you're interested in trying CBN yourself, one of the most popular products in the industry in nama's 5:1 CBD:CBN wild strawberry gummy with 3mg melatonin.  It is specifically formulated for helping you fall asleep and keeping you asleep through the night.  Other brands offering CBN will include it in a CBD oil dominant tincture.

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*nama makes absolutely no medical claims about CBN. No information in this article is to be used as medical advice. All potential benefits listed are cited and linked to a study where the information is provided. Consult a doctor before taking or using CBN. 

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