Cannabinol (CBN) is the latest chemical ingredient in cannabis to find its way into products on the marketplace. Early research indicates that CBN may provide benefits in a variety of areas, particularly sleep and pain management.
Relatively little research has been done on CBN. However, some studies have found it effective in treating insomnia, reducing muscle and joint pain, and in providing protection against neurodegenerative conditions. It’s become one of the biggest cannabis trends of 2023.
Like CBD, CBN does not get you high unless taken in huge quantities, according to Healthline. If further research finds that CBN provides health benefits, expect an explosion of new products, much like what has happened with CBD.
CBN One of 100 Cannabinoids In Marijuana
It’s difficult to keep up with all the latest uses of the cannabis plant for health and wellness because they keep coming at a rapid pace. The reason for this is the more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Scientists around the world are conducting research into the potential benefits of each.
The most well-known cannabinoid is THC, the chemical ingredient that causes the high. CBD emerged after the U.S. Congress legalized hemp in late 2018. CBD products, which are not psychoactive, can be found on the shelves of grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores. CBD offers potential effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and even obesity.
CBN could soon join CBD as an effective treatment. CBN is formed when THC breaks down. While it’s mildly psychoactive, it does not produce a high. Interest in CBN revolves around the idea that it might combine the treatment potential of THC – including acting as an anti-inflammatory – with the benefits of CBD.
Dr. Felecia Dawson, a cannabis advocate, told the San Francisco Examiner: “CBN was actually the first phytocannabinoid isolated from cannabis back in the 1930s. It is created by the breakdown of THC over time via light, heat, or oxygen. It’s much weaker than THC at the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1) and does not appear to be intoxicating when taken orally.”
People Use CBN to Promote Better Sleep
These are the areas where CBN is showing potential as a treatment option.
Sleep. A study dating to 1975 found that five male subjects experienced better sleep when combining CBN and THC than they did using THC alone.
Pain management. CBN combined with CBD produced more effective pain relief in rats in a 2019 study than CBD alone.
Neuroprotection. A 2005 study found that CBN slowed onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rats, although the researchers wrote that “further research is necessary to determine whether non-psychotropic cannabinoids might be useful in ameliorating symptoms in ALS.”
That sentiment on the need for more research is echoed across the scientific community. At this point, much more is known about THC and CBD than CBN. However, Dawson told the Examiner that eventually science may “demonstrate “that CBN has all the benefits of THC, e.g. analgesia, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, etc. without the impairment.”
For cannabis advocates and entrepreneurs, the ongoing research into CBN is an issue worth following.