CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid that’s believed to be beneficial. Remember, there are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis that have been discovered to date. Few have been studied in depth, but there is preliminary research that suggests other cannabinoids may contain their own wellness benefits.
CBN is one of these cannabinoids.
You might’ve noticed that CBN (aka cannabinol) has begun to make its way into products offered by several well-known CBD brands. What’s the deal? Why is CBN suddenly popping up everywhere in the CBD space?
Let’s take a deeper look at the newest cannabinoid on the block.
What Is CBN?
While most cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBG, and others are created by CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), CBN is actually created from THC.
It’s true. CBN is created when THC begins to degrade in the cannabis flower, either with age or when exposed to heat or oxygen.
This doesn’t exactly mean the two cannabinoids are similar. Here we’ll dive deeper into CBN to understand more about this increasingly prevalent cannabinoid.
How Does CBN Work?
Like other cannabinoids, CBN works through its influence on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Responsible for promoting homeostasis throughout the body, the ECS is made up of naturally occurring endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and various enzymes that work together and allow us to achieve a balanced state.
Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBN, and others are similar to the endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. They are believed to work by helping restore the body’s natural occurring endocannabinoids through their influence on cannabinoid receptors and other receptors in the body.
The body’s cannabinoid receptors are categorized as CB1 and CB2, and both play vital roles in the effects of various cannabinoids. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are dominant in the immune system.
While research on how CBN works is fairly limited, there is science suggesting that CBN has minimal affinity for CB1 receptors and little effect on the central nervous system, but does preferentially bind to CB2 receptors.
Why is this important?
For one, it’s natural to assume that, because CBN is a byproduct of THC, it produces psychoactive effects. As it stands, CBN is widely considered non-psychoactive, but evidence to support this is a mixed bag.
Most reports say that CBN is non-psychoactive, but some studies demonstrate that CBN contains weak THC-like effects. On its own or combined with CBD, CBN does not show to be intoxicating. When taken in conjunction with THC, however, CBN has shown to intensify the psychoactive effects of THC.
If you are looking to take advantage of the potential benefits of CBN, make sure you purchase a product that doesn’t have much THC in it. Keep in mind that full spectrum, hemp-derived CBD products with CBN can only contain trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less) under the 2018 Farm Bill.
What Are the Prospective Effects of CBN?
Why is CBN suddenly appearing in products offered by some CBD brands?
As it turns out, the cannabinoid could contain a list of its own unique benefits. Studies on CBN are still very, very limited, but preliminary CBN research supports some serious potential.
- CBN Could Promote Restful Sleep
CBN claimed its way to fame by being marketed as a cannabinoid that supports restful sleep. Like many other lesser-known cannabinoids, there hasn’t been much research into the topic.
There are anecdotal reports, though, that strongly support the possibility of CBN containing sleep-promoting effects. For those who’ve taken CBN, many say they get the “best night of sleep” they’ve ever had.
Some think that CBN’s sleep-supporting effects are caused by the entourage effect, where other cannabis compounds including other cannabinoids and terpenes contribute to feelings of restfulness and calm.
- CBN May Support a Healthy Appetite
Seeing that CBN is a byproduct of THC, it’s no surprise to learn that it may play a part in supporting a healthy appetite. As we mentioned, CBN is unlike THC in that it doesn’t produce strong psychoactive effects, so some may prefer this particular cannabinoid when it comes to appetite.
- CBN Could Support Healthy Joints and Muscles
There are several cannabinoids that are said to support the health of muscles and joints, like CBD. Cannabinol is another, so in the future it may be utilized in topical products like creams and salves.
The potential of CBN is certainly exciting, and it’s likely we’ll see much more of this up-and-coming cannabinoid as research into its possible benefits expands. While more research is definitely needed, preliminary and anecdotal reports show some serious promise.
If you’re interested in trying CBN for yourself, you’ll find that most brands offering CBN will include it in a CBD oil tincture. Remember that, like CBD, CBN isn’t regulated, and it’s important to choose CBN products from reputable brands that are third-party tested.
Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.