CBD vs. CBN: What are the benefits of CBN?

Whether you use cannabis products or not, you have undoubtedly heard about its many applications and wellness claims. Though the healing properties of cannabis are not a recent discovery, the number of uses and benefits are growing as researchers learn more about its composition. In addition, scientists are now able to isolate the many cannabinoids that the plant consists of. Each of these cannabinoid compounds has its own unique makeup and specific application. One of these compounds that is of recent interest and has been found to yield great results is cannabinol, or CBN.

Below we’ve provided a beginner’s guide on CBN. This includes an overview of what CBN is, how it is derived, how it differs from CBD, potential benefits and side effects, as well as dosage recommendations.

What is CBN or cannabinol? 

CBN is one of more than 100 chemical compounds derived from the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. Interestingly, CBN was the first of these compounds to be isolated from a cannabis extract in the 1800s. However, CBN still remains lesser known than CBD or THC.

One of the most reported sensations of CBN is that of sedation – making it a natural candidate as a sleep aid. There is limited research on the topic, and much is still unknown regarding the exact way in which CBN interacts with the body, however, these early findings are exciting.

How does CBN differ from CBD? 

CBN, like CBD, is found in cannabis and hemp plants and is legal for consumption in Canada. You can find CBD infused in an endless list of products including oils, gummies, skincare products, and products containing CBN are starting to follow suit, such as this CBD:CBN Sleep Aid which contains a 2:1 ratio of CBD to CBN.

Related article: What is CBD?

With respect to how CBD and CBN affect the body, they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBN specifically binds to the ‘CB1’ receptor found within our bodies. CBD, on the other hand, does not bind to CB1 receptors directly.

Both CBD and CBN, alone or together, can be used to help people manage symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. Both CBD and CBN have pain relief properties. A study published in 2019 found that both CBD and CBN have an analgesic effect in animals. This reduces myofascial pain that is similar to the chronic pain experienced in humans like fibromyalgia. Combining both CBD and CBN made this analgesic effect stronger. Though THC was found to be more effective, CBD and CBN had the non-psychoactive benefit.

What are the benefits of CBN? 

There are many potential CBN benefits. CBN is mainly used as a sleeping aid because of its sedative properties. Those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders have found that CBN can help induce sleep. It is important to note, however, that there is no evidence in the literature that incontrovertibly proves CBN’s success in curing sleep disorders in either humans or animals. With that said, there are many anecdotal accounts that attest to its efficacy. This may be due to its ability to indirectly reduce psychological stimulation at bedtime.

Similarly, there are other reported benefits of CBN. Some of which include the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-convulsive
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Pain relief
  • Anxiety relief
  • Ease opiate withdrawal symptoms

Many of these purported benefits have only been documented on an anecdotal basis. However, some have been witnessed in animal tests. For instance,  some evidence suggests that CBN, like CBD, is anti-inflammatory. This means it can help reduce pain and potential psychological arousal.  Regarding opiate withdrawals, a study conducted on mice found that CBN inhibited naloxone-precipitated morphine abstinence. Further, two additional signs of morphine abstinence, defecation and rearing behaviour, were also suppressed.

What are the side effects of CBN? 

While the side effects of CBD are documented and well-known (including possible diarrhea and change in eating patterns and appetite), the side effects and risks of CBN are lesser known. CBN needs more time to be studied before any conclusive information can be provided on its effects. Given that CBD (depending on dosage) can increase the risk of liver damage when combined with certain medications such as leflunomide, lomitapide, mipomersen, pexidartinib, etc., you should exercise caution when experimenting with CBN. Always consult with your doctor before trying any new supplement or plant-based alternatives for non-recreational use.

How should I take CBN?

As CBN interacts differently with each person it is difficult to establish a uniform dosing guide. The best practice is to start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find a dosage that works for you. A good starting dosage for most is around 5mg each day, increasing 1-2mg a day until an effective dose is found. While unlikely for most, some individuals may require 50mg or more to reach a noticeable effect.  For resolveCBD’s CBN tincture, begin with a 10mg CBD dose for every dose of CBN. In other words, if you take 50mg of CBD, you should take 5mg of CBN. Check out this dosage chart for information on general CBD dosing as well.

How should I take CBN for sleep?

The most effective method of administering CBN is sublingually – dropping the CBN oil under the tongue and holding it for a minute or so to let it dissolve. As you administer the oil, we suggest that you create an environment free of stimulation, light, and noise to encourage your body to relax even further.

Now what?

In summary, CBN is new to the scientific arena and requires further study before any definitive claims about it can be made. For now, we have only preliminary research that supports its efficacy and potential benefits. As further evidence is established, we will understand its advantages as well as its long-term effects in a more conclusive manner.  Check out resolveCBD.co – a Canadian hemp CBD company providing an array of educational content as well as third-party lab tested CBD products for both you and your pets.

DISCLAIMER: Information and products presented in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment, nor is it intended to be a substitute or alternative for professional medical advice. Always consult with a licensed professional regarding medical treatment or possible interactions with prescribed drugs. Products are intended to be used as directed, by individuals who are 19 years of age or older.