Did you know that of the over 100 individual cannabinoids that exist in the hemp plant, certain compounds have been found to offer incredible usefulness? This is all thanks to their unique effects on the body via the endocannabinoid system (ECS). One such cannabinoid is cannabinol (CBN), a minor cannabinoid located in the hemp plant’s flowering buds alongside CBD, CBG, delta 8, and others. CBN is rich in benefits that can be extremely useful to many individuals, but it still remains one of the lesser-known cannabinoids to the average person. If you’re unfamiliar with CBN, you may be surprised by just how much it can offer to your daily routine.
The Origin and History of CBN
Many people are surprised to learn that CBN was discovered before CBD. Its discovery took place in 1899, and was, in fact, the first cannabinoid to be isolated and analyzed for its chemical structure. It was thought to be the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive properties of cannabis, until tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was discovered decades later. The reason for this mistake is because delta 9 THC partially converts into cannabinol as it oxidizes. It’s likely that the sample that the chemists were analyzing had been exposed to poor environmental conditions during transport and storage. In turn, then causing the delta 9 to oxidize rapidly and become CBN by the time it reached their hands.
Is CBN Psychoactive?
Perhaps no cannabinoid in the hemp plant comes with more confusing information regarding its psychoactive properties than cannabinol. Because CBN is a natural derivative of delta 9 THC, someone would assume that it retains at least some of delta 9’s psychoactive properties, like delta 8, another delta 9 derivative. And, on paper at least, CBN is mildly psychoactive, but only in the technical sense, because most scientists agree that people really don’t get high from taking it. Perhaps taking an extremely high concentration of cannabinol could result in some sort of buzz, but those who do consume CBN do not report feeling a high whatsoever. Therefore, overall, we can say that you won’t get high off of CBN unless you are extremely sensitive to the inherent psychoactive nature of certain cannabinoids.
Can CBN Cause a Failed Drug Test?
Whether or not cannabinol will result in a failed drug test is actually something of a source of debate. CBN is more likely to yield a false positive than similar cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBC. This is almost definitely due to the fact that CBN is derived from THC, and thus retains some of its chemical properties. Standard drug tests are looking to identify THC-COOH in the urine, which is an enzyme responsible for breaking down THC. CBN should not be metabolized by THC-COOH, so the reasons why it may yield a false positive are not yet understood.
Note: In all likelihood, a person would have to take very high doses of cannabinol in order to potentially fail a drug test.
What are the Effects and Properties of CBN?
For the length of time during which we have known about cannabinol, there’s a surprisingly limited number of studies on its effects compared to the studies conducted on CBD and CBG. However, there is quite a bit of information available that gives us an idea as to what this cannabinoid is capable of.
Again, since CBN is a cannabinoid, the way in which it provides these effects is unique. Cannabinoids are the only naturally occurring compounds that directly work with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system of the body is in charge of keeping us in homeostasis, which it achieves by sending cannabinoids to different cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body’s systems. This action allows cannabinoids to trigger each cannabinoid receptor’s ability to regulate a process of the body that affects how we feel and function.
CBN attaches to both (with a higher preference for CB2 receptors):
- CB1 receptors (in the nervous system)
- CB2 receptors (in the digestive and immune systems).
Tons of research has gone into analyzing the potential benefits of cannabinol. The most well-established benefits have been reported around the globe, ranging from news outlets to online sources, and even from CBN users themselves.
Potential Benefit #1: Antibacterial
CBN is one of several cannabinoids that shows promise in acting as an antibacterial agent, with studies showing that it may be effective against staph infection in particular.
Potential Benefit #2: Improved Sleep
CBN is most commonly used as a sleep aid, but usually in conjunction with other cannabinoids like CBD or delta 8, as its potential sleep-enhancing benefits seem to be maximized through synergy. Seems to offer a unique sedating effect when combined with other cannabinoids, which can be enormously helpful at bedtime.
Potential Benefit #3: Stress Relief
The same potential for CBN to act as a sedative makes it a popular choice for stress relief, especially when combined with CBD.
Potential Benefit #4: Appetite Stimulant
A rodent-based study showed that CBN can increase appetite, and this can be useful to those who suffer from a lack of appetite in a way that prevents them from consuming enough calories and nutrients each day.
Potential Benefit #5: Potential Aid in ALS Treatment
Early studies are showing a lot of promise in the use of CBN to treat symptoms associated with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), with the cannabinoid even showing signs of delaying the onset of symptoms.
Is CBN Legal?
Cannabidiol is a completely legal cannabinoid thanks to the passing of the U.S. Farm Bill which occurred in 2018. This piece of legislation made the hemp plant federally legal, and all of its derivatives along with it. The one restriction is that no hemp-based product can contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC.
Although states are free to rewrite hemp laws as they see fit, no state in the country has placed any restrictions on CBN products. This basically means that CBN is completely legal across the United States.
Is CBN Safe?
Cannabidiol is deemed a safe cannabinoid for human consumption, generally speaking. CBN is not associated with any major side effects nor withdrawal symptoms, as it’s fully nontoxic to the human system.
Keep in mind, however, that CBN may interact with certain medications, which is why you must speak with your doctor prior to starting a CBN regimen. Especially, if you’re taking any prescription medications. Cannabinoids in general may suppress the CYP3A4 enzyme that’s responsible for breaking down half the meds we take. Suppressing this enzyme can cause drugs to accumulate in the body rather than fully metabolizing, which can then lead to dangerous effects.
While CBN does not seem to cause any serious side effects, there are some temporary, short-lived effects that may occur when the cannabinoid is taken in relatively high doses, including:
- Temporarily reduced blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
What Kinds of CBN Products are There?
Cannabinol is extracted from the hemp plant relatively easily, to become a concentrated extract which can then be used to formulate all kinds of product types. These are the most common types of CBN products that you’ll find on the market. Keep in mind, too, that most of these products are geared toward sleep, so read the ingredients carefully.
- CBN Vapes: These can come in the forms of vape cartridges, bottled vape oils, and even disposable devices. Each allows us to vaporize CBN as an alternative to smoking. Inhaling cannabinoids in general offers the fastest-acting, strongest, and most short-lived effects of all. Different strain options, with terpene profiles borrowed from popular strains of the hemp plant can also be found.
- CBN Tinctures: Most used for sublingual administration, conveniently coming in the form of dropper bottles for simple dosing. You can find an array of milligram strengths, as they consist of pure cannabinol combined with a carrier oil, and sometimes even flavoring.
- CBN Edibles: Offer the longest-lasting effects – up to 8 hours – and a more relaxing effect on the body. You can find a nice array of flavorful edible types such as gummies, while choosing from various milligram strengths.
- CBN Capsules: Technically, they fall under the category of edibles, except they’re in encapsulated form and generally contain fewer ingredients.
- CBN Flower: Refers to raw hemp flower that’s infused with a pure cannabinol extract. This allows it to offer the full composition of the hemp plant with an elevated level of cannabinol. Find numerous strains out there in either pre-roll or loose bud forms.
- CBN Dabs: Very rare, but available. They are concentrates that have incredibly potent levels of cannabinol, meant for “dabbing” or flash-vaporizing with a dabbing device.
Can CBN Be Taken with Other Cannabinoids?
CBN can absolutely be taken with other cannabinoids, and there are several products out there that combine CBN with CBD, CBG and delta 8 THC. Cannabinoids work synergistically with one another, and because they all come from the same plant, they do not cause negative interactions. If you are already taking CBN as part of a daily routine, you can incorporate other cannabinoids into the mix.
Remember that studies have shown that its sedative-like properties may be more effective when paired with delta 8 or delta 9, so you may want to consider trying one of these two cannabinoids with your product.
Note: If you decide to take more than one cannabinoid, it is best to still speak with your doctor first.
What is the Ideal CBN Dosage for Beginners?
Since cannabinol is nonintoxicating, you don’t need to worry about getting too ‘high’ off of it. Especially, as a beginner with a low tolerance. The standard dosage amount for tinctures, edibles, and capsules is 25mg-40mg. For inhalable products, we recommend 1-2 puffs to see how you feel. As you start to get a feel for how your body responds to cannabinol, you can gradually increase your dosage amount as you see fit.
Rogue Apothecary Has Your CBN Needs Covered!
Cannabinol truly is a fascinating cannabinoid that’s finally getting the attention it deserves. Plus, that popularity will continue to expand as more hemp enthusiasts are finding it to be an essential part of their regimen, and for very good reason. In addition to its other many well-researched properties, it might be the key to enjoying a good night’s sleep. At Rogue Apothecary, you can find a nice selection of CBN-rich products that are federally compliant, third-party lab-tested, and made with only naturally derived ingredients that are carefully sourced, all to ensure the most positive experience possible for your daily or nightly routine.