Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant. It can also be produced synthetically.
CBN forms when THC degrades due to exposure to heat, air and/or light. However, CBN isn’t known to cause the intoxicating psychoactive effects associated with THC.
CBD vs. CBN: What’s the Difference?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa plants. Although similar to CBN, CBD isn’t derived directly from THC, but rather exists independently within the plants.
CBD has been studied more extensively in clinical settings than CBN, and it’s more popular in mainstream retail products. Research supports several therapeutic benefits of CBD, but CBN can’t quite compete with that list just yet.
Benefits of CBD may include:
- Alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Relieving pain related to conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer and nerve damage
- Reducing symptoms of arthritis
- Addressing Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy
- Treating opioid addiction alongside other interventions
Both CBN and CBD tend to bind with CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in central nervous system function and helps the body react to both internal and external stimuli. CB2 receptors are mostly associated with immune system regulation.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBN
Without many clinical studies, it’s difficult to know exactly how CBN can affect the human body. With that said, drowsiness and sedation, as well as a positive result on a drug test, are two possible risks associated with CBN.
Drowsiness and Sedation
Drowsiness is a potential side effect of CBN, especially when combined with CBD.
For this reason, we do not recommend people take CBN products during the day. As more research emerges, we will have more data about side effects and drug interactions.
With that said, consumers often turn to CBN products for assistance with sleep and relaxation, in which cases these effects might be considered potential benefits by the user.
Credit: Lauren Silva (Forbes)