CBN - Cannabinol Explained
Cannabis contains dozens of cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds in the plant that affects our bodies in different ways. Some cannabinoids get us high, some have health benefits, and most are poorly understood compounds that need to be researched further.
In this series, we will take a look at a few of the most well-researched cannabinoids that are found in cannabis.
Now that cannabis is becoming legal in more places around the world, there are plenty of cannabis products on the market. Some of the more common products include THC and CBD, which are two of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. However, another cannabinoid is gaining a lot of popularity: cannabinol, also known as CBN.
CBN is created when THC ages. It is more present in more mature cannabis. It seems that, when THC is exposed to carbon dioxide for a long period of time, it starts to turn into CBN.
While this cannabinoid isn’t as well-researched as THC and CBD, there are many reported health benefits of CBN. CBN products are becoming more and more popular thanks to these potential benefits. Unlike THC, CBN is non-intoxicating, which means it won’t get you high.
Here’s what you need to know about CBN.
Health benefits of CBN
There isn’t much research on CBN. Most of the alleged health benefits reported by marketers are based on limited studies. These studies don’t definitively prove that CBN has these benefits, and we would have to conduct clinical studies on human beings before we are certain of the benefits.
- Antibacterial. A 2008 lab study suggested that CBN could kill the MRSA bacteria, which causes antibiotic-resistant staph infections.
- Anti-inflammatory. Like CBD and other cannabinoids, CBN seems to have anti-inflammatory properties. One rodent study conducted in 2016 showed that CBN reduced the inflammation associated with arthritis in rats.
- Appetite stimulant. There’s a rumor that older cannabis gives you worse munchies, and this might be the reason why. A rodent study suggested that CBN increases the appetite - it made rats eat more food for a longer period of time.
- Neuroprotectant. A study conducted on rodents found that CBN seemed delay the onset of ALS in rats. While this is only one study, it suggests that CBN might be able to treat ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
CBN might also increase the euphoric effects of THC, according to an old study dating back to the 1970s. However, like the other claims about CBN, it hasn’t been proven sufficiently. Is CBN a sedative?
CBN is often marketed as a ‘powerful sedative,’ but that claim is far-fetched. While some people report that older cannabis makes them sleepier, it’s unclear whether it’s actually CBN that is producing this effect. The above-mentioned human study conducted in the 1970s involved giving participants CBN and measuring their sleepiness. None of the participants reported that it made them more tired.
Beyond that, there isn’t any proof that CBN is a sedative.
How to take CBN
It’s always important to speak to a knowledgeable doctor before taking any cannabinoid, or any supplement, of that matter. Because it hasn’t been researched thoroughly, we can’t be sure of how safe CBN is or what dosage of CBN you should use.
You might be able to buy CBN at a dispensary or online, depending on your location. Often, the manufacturer will make a suggestion about the dosage on the packaging or on their website.
- Appenido, G. et al. 2008. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. DOI: 10.1021/np8002673
- Farrimond, J. A. et al. 2012. Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-012-2697-x
- Karniol, I. G. et al. 1975. Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man. DOI: 10.1159/000136944
- Weydt, P. et al. 2005. Cannabinol delays symptom onset in SOD1 (G93A) transgenic mice without affecting survival. DOI: 10.1080/14660820510030149
- Zurier, R. B. et al. 2016. Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201600646R