If you’re a fan of hemp products, you’ve likely heard of the compounds CBD and THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are considered the two main cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant, meaning they occur in great abundance.
THC is widely known for its psychoactive, somewhat hallucinogenic properties: this cannabinoid is responsible for the “high” commonly associated with cannabis ingestion. Conversely, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects. Both compounds are touted for their unique healing capabilities.
CBD and THC aren’t the only hemp-derived cannabinoids: in fact, hemp contains at least 113 known cannabinoids, and researchers believe there are more to be discovered!
One such cannabinoid is cannabinol or CBN. Read on to learn more about this compound and how it may benefit your health!
What is CBN?
Did you know that CBN was actually the first cannabinoid discovered by researchers? That’s right – CBN was isolated from Indian hemp plants in 1896, 44 years before CBD and other cannabinoids were identified in 1940!
Similar to other hemp-derived cannabinoids, CBN triggers the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) to generate a myriad of health benefits. CBN also interacts with fellow cannabinoids like CBD and THC to induce a synergistic entourage effect where each cannabinoid’s therapeutic effects combine to increase their comprehensive healing potential.
CBN can be found most abundantly in old, dried hemp flowers. This is because CBN is not produced by living hemp plants. Rather, the compound forms after the hemp plant is harvested and oxidized, or exposed to oxygen. When a certain amount of harvested THC is subjected to air, light, or heat, it metabolizes and creates CBN.
Although THC acts as the precursor to CBN, it is important to note that, like CBD, CBN is non-psychoactive and its use will not result in a positive drug test result. However, unlike CBD, the hemp plant produces CBN in significantly smaller quantities and is thus considered a minor cannabinoid.
Minor cannabinoids are no less powerful than their major counterparts. Research indicates that CBN may be highly effective at alleviating sleep disturbances and relieving chronic inflammatory pain, amongst other health benefits.
CBN may improve sleep patterns
Approximately 50 to 70 million Americans experience routine sleep disruptions, and those numbers are on the rise. Luckily, CBN may offer some relief here.
CBN’s rising popularity largely stems from its insomnia-relieving capabilities. When combined with CBD and THC, it induces a pleasant drowsy state that leads to a restful slumber. This study finds that isolated CBN consumption improved overall sleep quality and reduced nighttime awakenings and other sleep disturbances.
We love these Full Spectrum Dream Gummies from Bee’s Knees Wellness because they are formulated with CBN, CBD, and melatonin to combat insomnia!
CBN can relieve chronic pain and inflammation
CBN doesn’t just treat sleep disorders – it also alleviates chronic inflammation and the pain that often accompanies it. Researchers believe CBN interacts with CB2 receptors in the brain to regulate inflammatory markers throughout the body.
This study found that CBN reduces inflammation by acting on the same mechanisms as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This makes CBN a viable alternative to this class of pain relievers, which often carry unwanted adverse side effects. Additionally, another study concluded that a combination of CBN and CBD relieves chronic muscle pain in rats with fibromyalgia.
CBN might stimulate appetite and reduce nausea
Although CBD reduces nausea per studies like this one, THC is more often credited with nausea-reducing and appetite-stimulating properties. However, some patients seek to derive these benefits from compounds that do not carry the high characteristic of THC consumption.
Luckily, CBN may do the trick! This study found that CBN administration significantly increased food intake in rats.
Just as CBN triggers CB2 receptors, it also targets CB1 endocannabinoid receptors in the brain in ways similar to THC, but without the sometimes-unwanted psychoactive add-on. CB1 receptors regulate motor activity, coordination, and appetite, among other functions.
CBN may alleviate intraocular pressure
High intraocular pressure, or ocular hypertension, occurs when the pressure of the fluid inside your eyes is higher than normal. This symptom is indicative of glaucoma, a serious eye condition that can lead to impaired vision or blindness.
CBN may offer relief from painful intraocular pressure. According to this review, CBN effectively reduced systemic ocular hypertension in rabbits, suggesting the same effect may be observed in human beings.
This additional study found that CBN normalizes intraocular pressure in the eye and asserts that the cannabinoid is effective in the treatment of glaucoma. Researchers here also concluded that CBN offers neuroprotective benefits.
CBN may offer neuroprotection
As previously discussed, CBN acts as a neuroprotective agent. This positively impacts a number of neurological conditions, including glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
This study found that CBN delayed the onset of ALS by two weeks. A similar study mirrored these results, additionally concluding that CBN and other cannabinoids increased survival rates of ALS-affected mice. Another recent study found that CBN efficiently modulates neurodegeneration, a condition that causes debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s.
CBN can fight microbial infections
Although some mild bacterial infections can be easily avoided or diminished with good hand washing, others can be dangerous, difficult to treat, or even deadly. If you find yourself battling a particularly nasty infection, CBN may be the helpful tool you need.
Research indicates that, alongside other healthful cannabinoids, CBN may act as an antibacterial agent. This study found that CBN effectively staved off multiple strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in clinical settings. Because MRSA can be extremely hard to treat and require heavy antibiotics that often induce unwanted side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance in patients, researchers continue to investigate alternative remedies such as CBN.
Is CBN right for me?
CBN is a fascinating cannabinoid that has gained mainstream attention due to its multifaceted health benefits. Studies show that it may treat sleep disorders, chronic pain and inflammation, nausea, intraocular pressure, neurodegenerative conditions, and bacterial infections, and that list only continues to grow as research interests increase.
It may be worthwhile to consider adding CBN to your wellness regimen if natural remedies are your preference or if allopathic treatments aren’t offering you the relief you seek. Isolated CBN delivers plenty of benefits on its own, but combining it with CBD and other cannabinoids in a Broad Spectrum or Full Spectrum product increases CBN’s overall healing potential.
We hope that, as you continue your wellness journey, you benefit from the vast therapeutic advantages CBN provides.