CBN Cannabinoid Benefits: Sleep, Pain Relief, and More

Most people are familiar with the hemp plant compound CBD at this point, but you may not know about CBN, another chemical found within the hemp plant.

Some preliminary research suggests that CBN may be similar to CBD in some ways, but differ dramatically in others. For instance, CBN is though to have more sleep-inducing properties than CBD.

Below, we will go over the basics of what you need to know about CBN including a general background of the chemical, how CBN differs from CBD, the potential benefits of using a CBN product, the potential side effects or downsides that may occur, and where you can find products with CBN.


What is CBN?

CBN is the abbreviation for the chemical called Cannabinol found inside of the hemp plant. 

CBN is naturally formed in the hemp plant from the breakdown of the THC compound when exposed to light and heat.

There are many cannabinoids inside of the hemp plant, some estimates suggesting that there are over 100 different cannabinoids. And, all of these cannabinoids may have different features and benefits. CBN just happens to be one of the ones that is being studied at the moment.


How is CBN different than CBD?

CBN may be different than CBD in quite a few ways.

Firstly, CBD is the second most common cannabinoid found in the hemp plant, so it is easy to obtain and extract large amounts of it. In contrast, CBN is only formed in the plant from the breakdown of THC as it oxidizes. This oxidation can be increased with the use of heat and light. But, it still means that CBN is harder to obtain and may be more expensive mg for mg as compared to CBD.

Secondly, CBN may come along with some psychoactive effects, while pure CBD is not supposed to have any psychoactive effects. If avoiding any psychoactive effects is important to you, CBN may not be the best choice for you.

In addition, CBN may be more sleep promoting than CBD, potentially making it a good choice for people looking into cannabinoids primarily for their sleep properties.

Finally, we just know a lot more about CBD than CBN at this point since CBD has been more extensively studied. This may mean that there is less information currently available regarding CBN as compared to CBD, and a whole lot more to explore and figure out.


What are the potential benefits of using CBN products?

CBN may potentially deliver some benefits in terms of sleep. Some studies suggest that CBN may help users fall asleep easier as well as help them get back to sleep faster after awakening, potentially also increasing the amount of time they sleep and enhancing the quality of the sleep.

CBN may also work as an analgesic for a certain level of pain relief. Part of the mechanism behind how CBN can help with pain may be through activating capsaicin sensitive sensory nerves.

Other potential CBN benefits being studied include anti-inflammatory effects, neuroprotective effects, glaucoma symptom improvement, and treating a rare skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa. However, confirmation of many of these potential benefits of CBN are pending more studies.


Read Related: Supplements for Sleep Apnea: 4 Supplements to Try


What are the potential side effects of using CBN?

As with most medications and supplements, there are potential side effects to be aware of and on the lookout for. 

One of the potential side effects of CBN is increased sedation and drowsiness. And, while this may be a welcome effect for people using CBN to help with sleep, this could be an issue for people using CBN during the day or that do not want a drowsy feeling.

Other potential side effects of CBN may be similar to those that may be felt with CBD use including dizziness and gastrointestinal upset, including nausea and vomiting.


Where can I find CBN products?

Products featuring CBN may be harder to come across than those focusing on CBD. But, there are a few brands that are releasing products with higher amounts of CBN than what you would find in a general full-spectrum hemp extract.

One reputable brand that carries products featuring CBN is Ananda Professional. Ananda Professional sells a full-spectrum high-CBN extract with up to 20% of the contained cannabinoids being CBN. This is called their Full-Spectrum CBN Tincture PM Blend, and it can be purchased in vials of 200mg, 600mg, 1000mg, or 2000mg.

Ananda uses professional grade hemp in all of their products, and has a COA lookup tool on their website where you can review the third party analysis of every lot. This ensures that each lot has been tested for potency and purity, and verifies that contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, unwanted microbes, and residual solvents are not present.



Written by: Jill Barat, PharmD

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