How much do you know about hemp and cannabis?
Chances are you’ve heard of CBD (cannabidiol): a compound, or cannabinoid, produced by the cannabis plant. Another one of the more than 100 cannabinoids available is CBN, also known as cannabinol. The non-intoxicating compound forms naturally in the cannabis plant over time.
A medicinal compound unlike any other, you’ll want to know how it works—and better understand the benefits CBN can bring. This article will go over all these details and more so you can gain a solid grasp of cannabinol.
What Does CBN Do?
Cannabinol was the first cannabinoid spotted and developed by researchers. When the cannabis plant is exposed to oxygen, light, or heat, the intoxicating THC (tetrahydrocannbinol) converts naturally to CBN.
Older or oxidized cannabis—specifically flowers left at room temperature or in the light—have higher levels of CBN. Since CBN levels are the product of environmental rather than genetic factors, the best way to form the compound is to oxidize THC and CBD.
So what does CBN do? While it doesn’t produce intoxicating effects on its own (the way THC does), it does function similarly. THC affects the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), communicating with receptors located in the central nervous system and other parts of the body.
THC produces a high, if you will, by binding to what are known as CB1 receptors. This is where CBN comes in.
The truth is that CBN binds to CB1 receptors in this same way, but at only 10% of the strength of THC. Nonetheless, cannabinol has been found to offer a number of powerful medicinal effects. Research on CBN is still somewhat preliminary, but studies show it can help with:
- Pain Relief
- Infection Treatment
CBN also features anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsion properties.
In addition, a 2011 British Journal of Pharmacology study revealed that combined with THC, CBN can create a sedated high in humans. Research has also found that older cannabis products—including Moroccan hashish, which has been exposed to light and heat—are known to be more relaxing due to their higher CBN content.
In this way, the sedative properties of CBN are pretty compelling. In a 2017 report published by Steep Hills Lab, researchers found that a dose of CBN in the 2.5-to-5-milligram range was just as effective as a 5-to-10-milligram dose of diazepam, a popular pharmaceutical sedative.
It’s worth noting, however, that the report was not published in a peer-reviewed journal, and that more research is needed to reinforce the claim that CBN can truly act as a sleep aid. Nonetheless, this is a promising start to what may well be one of cannabis’s most powerful compounds.
How Is CBN Different from CBD?
While similar in name, cannabidiol and cannabinol are two distinct molecules with different origins.
Industrial hemp plants and certain marijuana strains inherently have higher levels of CBD, while the level of CBN in a cannabis flower or similar source depends on the amount of light and heat it has been exposed to (along with the age of the plant).
As mentioned above, this is because CBN is a byproduct of light and heat interacting with THC—or, more technically, the result of oxidation or degradation. And despite these differences, CBD and CBN do in fact share a handful of medicinal similarities.
Unlike THC, neither compound produces a high on its own—but each can affect the intoxicating effects of cannabis when combined with THC.
The similarities more or less end there, though. CBD has been found to tamper some of the negative effects of THC, including paranoia and stress, while CBN is better known for producing a sedative-type high that may be more conducive to people looking for improved sleep.
Is CBN Legal in the United States?
Cannabinol is not currently on the list of controlled substances in the U.S. This is likely due to its non-intoxicating nature.
This, however, could change in the future as CBN continues to increase in popularity (depending on whether the government goes on to view CBN as an analog of THC or CBD).
Under federal law, both THC and CBG are considered Schedule I substances. Hemp-derived CBD, conversely, is legal nationwide.
Where to Find CBN Products
Cannabis users and other consumers in search of a non-intoxicating alternative to THC may be very interested in CBN. And while the CBN section at most dispensaries is still fairly sparse, we’re confident that’ll change.
Even as things stand today, a generous dose of CBN could be right at your fingertips. Many brands have begun to offer products made with isolated cannabinol—and we’re right there with them at Curated by Nature. (In fact, we consider CBN our namesake compound!)
With that, we invite you to take a look at our brand-new CBN gummies—made from 99% pure CBN, and designed with our “Sleep Well, Be Well” slogan in mind. The products are top-quality and safe, not to mention formulated and packaged at our own cGMP- and FDA-approved Southern California facility.
Have questions? Curated by Nature has worked tirelessly to refine and purify CBN into a pharmaceutical-grade product. Our CBN gummies are the first of their kind, a pure CBN product that you won’t want to miss.