CBN: Benefits, How to Use, and Side Effects
Cannabis products are everywhere these days. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are especially popular, but have you heard of CBN, one of the minor cannabinoids?
CBN may not be as well-known as other cannabinoids, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth knowing about. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about CBN and its benefits.
What is CBN?
Also known as cannabinol, CBN is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is found in both cannabis and hemp flowers. CBN is a type of compound called a cannabinoid. Over 100 cannabinoids have been identified, and CBN is classified as a minor cannabinoid, meaning that it is found in lower quantities in cannabis and hemp than the major cannabinoids CBD or THC.
Benefits of CBN
Research into CBN is largely still in the early stages, as most of the research into cannabis and its compounds has focused on the major cannabinoids of CBD and THC. Keeping that in mind, CBN does show significant potential as a therapeutic tool.
One benefit you may experience from CBN is pain relief. A 2019 animal study found that CBN induced strong pain relief effects in rats. The study also reported that this pain relief occurred by CBN reducing mechanical sensation (1).
Because of CBN’s effects on both pain and muscle sensitization, CBN could be especially useful in helping individuals with muscle pain disorders manage their pain symptoms. More research is needed to fully explore CBN’s pain-relieving effects.
Another potential therapeutic effect of CBN is its anti-inflammatory effects.
A 2018 review of the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids found that CBN holds impressive anti-inflammatory properties, particularly in treating the inflammatory disease collagen-induced arthritis (2).
CBN may also act as an antibacterial. A 2008 study investigated the effects of CBN on a type of bacteria called MRSA. The MRSA bacteria can cause staph infections, which cause boils and blisters and can even be deadly in some circumstances (3).
The study concluded that CBN was able to kill the MRSA bacteria, which is particularly impressive considering that MRSA is particularly difficult to treat, as it is resistant to many kinds of antibiotics.
CBN could help to improve your appetite and help you to eat more, which is particularly important for patients with HIV or patients undergoing chemotherapy, who can lose their appetite as a symptom of their condition or treatment.
A 2012 animal study investigated the effects of certain minor cannabinoids on the feeding behavior of rats (4). Rats that received CBN experienced significant increases in their appetite and their food intake, highlighting the appetite-boosting potential of this cannabinoid.
Another way that CBN could have benefits for you is through its neuroprotective qualities. One study found that CBN was able to significantly delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder (5).
While more research is needed to make conclusive statements on CBN’s ability to protect the brain from neurodegenerative disorders like ALS, this study certainly is promising.
CBN and the sedative myth
CBN has long been referred to anecdotally as a sleep aid, but unfortunately, research tells us that CBN’s sedative qualities don’t seem to exist.
CBN’s reputation as a sleep aid comes largely from a single study published in 1975 (6). This study involved only five patients and used CBN alongside THC, so while the study did find patients in the study experienced a sedative effect, we cannot be sure that this sedation was due to CBN. THC was likely the compound responsible for the sedative effects seen in this study.
While CBN may not be a sedative, that doesn’t mean that it can’t help you get a good night’s sleep. As we know, CBN has demonstrated some impressive pain-reducing effects, and it is this pain relief that could help you to sleep. Pain can significantly impact your ability to get quality sleep, so CBN could improve sleep by reducing pain levels.
How to use CBN
CBN can either be consumed by consuming cannabis or hemp flowers, although other cannabinoids and compounds are also consumed through this method. An easier way to consume CBN is to purchase CBN oil.
You may have heard of CBD oil, and CBN oil is very similar. CBN oil is an oil substance that contains CBN extract. CBN oil can easily be dosed and consumed.
Ways to consume CBN oil include:
- Add CBN oil to your food
- Place CBN oil under your tongue
- Apply CBN oil topically
- Inhale CBN through a nasal spray
- Vape CBN
When choosing a CBN oil, be sure to look for a high-quality product. Ensure your CBN is high quality by looking for a company that is transparent about its production processes and regularly tests its product.
CBN side effects
There are no known side effects of CBN, which is great news for those wanting to try the cannabinoid for the first time. However, there may be side effects that simply haven’t been found yet, so be sure to speak to your doctor if you have any medical issues that you are worried about CBN interacting with.
One side effect that you certainly don’t have to worry about with CBN is experiencing a high. CBN is non-psychotropic, meaning that you won’t experience any of the infamous effects of cannabis when taking CBN alone. THC, another cannabinoid, is the compound responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis, as long as your CBN oil contains no THC, you won’t experience a high.
The bottom line
CBN may not be the most well-known cannabinoid, thanks to a research focus on CBD and THC, but interest is growing.
Research into CBN is still in the early days, but what we know already tells us that it holds significant therapeutic potential, particularly in the areas of pain relief, inflammation, and improving appetite.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**
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