CBD Education

What is Cannabinol: A Beginner’s Guide to CBN

While CBD and THC generally attract most of the attention when it comes to cannabinoids, there are actually over a hundred others that have been identified in cannabis. One of the most exciting of these fascinating compounds is Cannabinol or CBN.

What Is Cannabinol?

When Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ages, its molecular structure is transformed due to oxidation, and its new form is classified as Cannabinol (CBN).

Because CBN is the byproduct of aged THC, it is generally found in older cannabis plants, although, CBN is also produced within the body as THC is passed through the metabolic process.

Similarly to THC, CBN can stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS); however, unlike THC, CBN is only mildly intoxicating and, generally, will not induce euphoric effects on the user.

For this reason, CBN is commonly compared to CBD rather than THC and has become an exciting topic in the realm of cannabinoid research.

CBN vs CBD: Comparison, Similarities and Differences

While CBN is derived from THC, its chemical composition is more closely aligned with CBD. It does, however, naturally possess, some characteristics of THC, and can be viewed as somewhat of a hybrid between CBD and THC.

Compared to the abundance of CBD that is produced in cannabis, which is second only to THC, the amount of CBN produced in cannabis plants, in general, is much lower. This is because higher volumes of CBN can only be produced as the cannabis plant ages. CBD, on the other hand, is produced directly in the resin glands of the plant and can be produced in greatly varying amounts.

One of the main differences between CBD and CBN is that, unlike CBD, CBN can bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. Inherited from its predecessor, THC, this capability is the source of the infamous cannabinoid’s intoxicating properties; however, the intoxicating effects of CBN are much less intoxicating than those delivered by THC.

Research on the Potential Benefits of Cannabinol

While medical researchers are still studying Cannabinol and determining how it can be used to benefit people, the findings revealed thus far are quite exciting.

Read about the therapeutic properties studies reveal CBN may possess and imagine the possibilities of how CBN can be used to help thousands of people around the world!

Anti-Neurodegenerative Properties

In a recent study, researchers found that cannabinoids that activate the CB2 receptors, such as CBN, can help reduce neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson’s Disease and similar conditions. The compounds effectively reduce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the brain, protecting it from the damage caused by those diseases.

Appetite Stimulating Properties

When chronic illness reduces the appetite to unsafe levels, CBN may potentially reverse the effects, triggering hunger and allowing individuals to nourish their bodies. Research has reportedly found that CBN can trigger hunger hormones, making it much easier to eat enough to improve quality of life and speed up recovery.

Anti-Bacterial Properties

Bacteria resistant to traditional antibiotics, such as MRSA, are notoriously hard to treat, but researchers have found a possible solution–CBN. When exposed to the otherwise hardy bacteria strains, CBN proved rather powerful, potentially offering a new way to fight these stubborn agents.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

CBN does not only reportedly reduce inflammation in the brain; it can help fight the body’s inflammatory response as well. As it helps reduce the inflammatory response through the body, it can potentially treat symptoms caused by rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions.

Glaucoma Management Properties

As they act on the neural pathways in the brain, CBN has shown the potential to reduce intraocular pressure, which was revealed by a research study performed in 2004. The reduction of pressure in the eye can help minimize the risk of developing glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Researchers are busy continuing to look into the benefits of cannabinoids, so stay tuned for additional reported benefits in the coming months and years.

Important Things to Know About Cannabinol

While CBN has become a popular topic amongst medical researchers and cannabinoid aficionados, it is still a very new topic for the typical CBD user. If you’re new to CBN, here are some quick answers to the some of the questions you may be wondering about:

Will CBN Get You High?

As a byproduct of THC, CBN has the capability to bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which means it can deliver intoxicating or mind-altering effects on the user. However, as THC ages and changes due to the oxidative process, and becomes CBN, it’s intoxicating properties are greatly reduced.

While CBN does exhibit intoxicating and psychoactive properties, they are very mild and can hardly be compared to “being high.”

Is CBN Legal in the United States?

In the United States, the laws surrounding cannabinoids are very under-developed and only a handful of states have semi-clear cannabis laws established, and most are specific to CBD, THC, or cannabis in general. Few, if any, states have passed legislation specifically for Cannabinol. Because of this, Cannabinol is regulated under the state or federal laws that regulate cannabis.

At the state level, if cannabis has been legalized for recreational or medicinal use, Cannabinol is regulated under that same legislation, unless specified otherwise explicitly.

In all other situations (unless the state has passed legislation specifically for cannabinol), if cannabis has not yet been legalized, cannabinol is indirectly regulated under either:

  • state law – if the cannabis laws are thorough enough to suffice; OR
  • federal law, which classifies all cannabis compounds, excluding CBD, as Schedule I illegal substances

Will CBN Make Me Tired or Sleepy?

A 1995 study on mice found that CBN does not act as a sedative or make the user sleepy. The researchers did; however, confirm that the use of CBN did help the mice to get much more rest by helping the mice sleep longer than they had before.

In non-scientific terms, this study reveals that CBN will not make the user feel sleepy; however, CBN may help to promote restfulness and may help with certain sleep disorders.

Where Can I Purchase CBN-Based Products?

Cannabinol is still considered uncharted waters. Because of this, there aren’t many, if any, CBN-specific products. There are, however, many broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD products that may include varying amounts of CBN within their unique blend of cannabinoids.

To determine the presence or level of CBN in a CBD product, review the product’s certificate of analysis (COA) or lab analysis report.

When searching for a product with CBN, please note that CBD isolate products will not contain CBN as a CBD isolate by definition only contains CBD.

Karl Villalobos

Karl obtained his MA Economics from Concordia University in Montreal and BA Economics from the University of British Columbia, with special emphasis on environmental and industrial economics. He has written on a variety of different topics including Bitcoin and finance.

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