An Investigation of the Therapeutic Effects of CBN in Cannabis, Beyond CBD

An Investigation of the Therapeutic Effects of CBN in Cannabis, Beyond CBD.

CBN: The Next Big Thing in the Cannabis Industry?

Cannabinol, or CBN for short, is a new cannabinoid that has been making headlines in the cannabis industry. As opposed to CBD, which is most commonly found in aged cannabis plants, CBN comes from stale cannabis and the breakdown of THC molecules. Researchers have only recently discovered its potential benefits, which include being the most sedative of all cannabinoids.

The chemical formula of CBN is the first and most noticeable difference between CBN and CBD. The basis of all known cannabinoids is cannabigerolic acid (or CBGa for short). CBNa, the compound that breaks down into CBN, is produced from the aging of THCa and its exposure to UV lighting. If left for several weeks, THCa-rich cannabis will begin to produce CBN naturally.

Although there are not many scientific studies about the efficacy of CBN as yet, early evidence is promising. A 2012 study indicated that CBN is useful as an appetite stimulant in lab rats, whereas CBD had the opposite effect. A 2006 paper claims that CBN can work synergistically with other cannabinoids to control the growth of a very specific lung cancer type. And in 1984, researchers administered CBN to lab cats with glaucoma. The results revealed that chronic use caused a reduction in intraocular tension.


CBD is known in the cannabis world as the “healing” non-psychoactive cannabinoid, whereas CBN is mildly psychoactive due to being a by-product of THC. Apart from their chemical formula, CBD and CBN interact with the human endocannabinoid system in fairly different ways. CBD shows little affinity to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the nervous and immune systems but increases the production of endocannabinoids that promote homeostasis. CBN has a weak affinity to both receptors, but more research is still needed to get the full picture of exactly how it works.

Health Benefits of CBN

Although they do have major differences, CBD and CBN are quite similar in the health benefits they produce. CBN is currently regarded as a sedative compound that can potentially help people who suffer from conditions such as insomnia and anxiety disorders. Early results are promising, but more scientific research is needed to reach conclusive evidence.

Side Effects of CBN

Although they are mostly harmless, all cannabinoids have some side-effects if consumed in large doses. Inexperienced users who consume a lot of CBN in one sitting might experience unwanted effects such as tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness, or loss of appetite. These mild side effects can easily be avoided by carefully measuring the dosage and starting slow. The process and the side-effects of CBN are very similar to CBD.

Legal Status of CBN

The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill de-scheduled CBD and hemp from the Controlled Substances list. However, CBN is a by-product of THC, which makes matters a little bit more complicated. CBN is not listed as a controlled substance, and it can be extracted from hemp, making it legal for all intents and purposes.

The future looks bright for CBN as research is still on a nascent stage but the first extracts and tinctures are already on their way. Insomnia is an often-overlooked condition with far-reaching effects, and CBN has a lot to offer patients. Industrial Hemp Farms are among the first US cultivators to extract wholesale CBN isolates and distillates for the manufacture of commercial-grade cannabinol products.

In conclusion, although it’s still early days for research on CBN, early evidence suggests that this new cannabinoid could be the next big thing in the cannabis industry. With potential therapeutic benefits for conditions such as insomnia and anxiety disorders, CBN is set to become an important player in the field of medical marijuana.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

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