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CBN is quickly becoming as popular as CBD. That's because anecdotal reports have presented this new mildly-psychoactive cannabinoid as having unparalleled abilities to offer highly relaxing and sedating effects.
Meanwhile, CBN and sleep is the hottest topic in the cannabis world. Companies continuously advertise the buzzy compound as a sleep aid, and its demand is hitting craze-like proportions.
Just like CBD, CBN is extracted from both hemp and marijuana plants. However, because it's the newest kid on the block, human clinical studies into the cannabinoid are still very early in their infancy. Hence, most of the information available concerning CBN products is based on anecdotal reports and animal research.
That notwithstanding, medical experts believe that CBN may be able to help you sleep better without the groggy feeling associated with other sleeping pills.
Cannabinol, abbreviated as CBN, is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that exists naturally in cannabis and hemp plants. But unlike CBD, CBN is mainly extracted from aged cannabis flowers and is present in much less amounts.
That's because CBN results from aging or degraded THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high). Continuous exposure to light and O2 (oxygen) chemically decomposes THC into CBN.
Alternatively, some companies also use iodine to chemically convert CBD into CBN in the laboratory. According to its enthusiasts, CBN is the most sedative cannabinoid in cannabis plants.
However, please note that though it comes from THC, CBN is a cannabinoid on its own and does not contain any traces of THC. In fact, CBN does not deliver the intense high and mind-altering effects associated with THC.
The first thing to note is that human clinical trials into CBN and its effects are lacking. However, numerous studies have been done on animal models (rats and mice), and the results are very promising.
Additionally, people who have used CBN products have particularly revered their ability to decrease anxiety and promote better sleep.
Although there is no scientific evidence to back CBN's potency in enhancing sleep on its own, experts believe that terpenes play a major role in delivering these effects. Terpenes are the natural aromatic compounds in cannabis that give each strain its unique taste and smell.
According to experts, terpenes work in synergy with CBN to promote its medicinal benefits through the entourage effect (the mechanism by which different cannabis compounds work together to provide better effects).
While some terpenes are associated with increased focus and energy, other terpenes like beta-myrcene elicit feelings of relaxation. With time, the energizing terpenes tend to dissipate from aging cannabis while the sedating ones persist.
Companies often extract the sedating terpenes like linalool and alpha-pinene and blend them with CBN to augment its relaxation and sedating effects.
Additionally, CBN is said to promote better sleep indirectly by alleviating factors that cause a lack of sleep at night, like stress and pain. CBN possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain in some people. Studies also found that when mice were treated with CBN, they were much less sensitive to mechanical stimulation.
Though CBN products only recently hit the shelves, studies into the compound, albeit limited and barely associated with sleep, date back to the 1970s. CBN effects have mainly been studied on rats and mice.
In a 2012 study comparing CBD and CBN effects on rat feeding patterns, CBN was found to make rodents hungry and significantly increased their feeding.
In another study, CBN was found to act as peripheral analgesia, providing relief from chronic muscle pain disorders without central side effects. A combination of CBD and CBN seemed to deliver long-lasting pain relief.
In a 1995 study on mice, lab-altered CBN was found to prolong sleep time for mice.
A 1975 study compared THC vs. CBN. Five men were given oral formulations of the two cannabinoids. The administrations were spaced 7 days apart. While THC appeared to make the male volunteers drowsy and increased their heart rate, CBN did not trigger the same feelings. However, CBN did seem to increase the effects of THC, though only slightly.
More studies into the compound are still ongoing. For instance, a Canadian pharmaceutical company is studying the potency of CBN creams to help with a rare skin condition.
Like CBD, CBN has been identified as an anti-inflammatory. This means that CBN can be used to alleviate pain. It has also been found to increase appetite in some users.
CBN has also been shown to provide highly relaxing properties and is considered a powerful sleep aid.
CBN is generally safe for use by everyone. However, since our endocannabinoid systems and biological factors are different, CBN may cause negligible side effects in some users, including:
dizziness, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness and lack of sleep in some people.
CBN can be consumed in numerous ways, from CBN oil, CBN capsules, edibles, vapes, and even topicals. CBN can be harsh in its taste in oil form. This oftentimes results in companies having to add strong flavoring to mask the harsh taste.
We recommend taking CBN in a form like our CBN sleep soft gels. This removes the harsh taste, allowing the user to experience the positive effects of CBN without the harshness.
Additionally, we recommend consuming CBN with other active ingredients that promote relaxation and sedation. For example, our CBN sleep soft gels contain chamomile and valerian root extract, both of which have been well studied for promoting relaxation and sedation.
Anecdotal reports have presented CBN as the most sedating compound in cannabis plants. Its users have touted its ability to alleviate anxiety and promote better sleep. As the cannabinoid becomes further researched, we will be better able to understand exactly how it causes the sedating and relaxing properties that users are experiencing.