Is CBN the Next Cannabinoid Trend?
Take a Different Kind of Trip with Cannabinol
Whether you’re lighting up with flower or torching up the perfect cannabis concentrate, THC and CBD aren’t the only cannabinoids that are helping your body and mind. Cannabinol is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is worth taking a closer look at.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical constituents found naturally in the resin of the cannabis plant. While more than 100 of these chemicals have been discovered, we are still learning about the different effects and benefits they deliver. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC, which is known for its psychoactive effects, and CBD, which was recently approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid with mildly psychoactive effects. Like THC, CBN is derived from tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and is created when THC-A oxidizes. However, unlike THC, which is highly psychoactive and responsible for the euphoric feeling of being ‘high,’ CBN can be used as a sleep aid or to help combat anxiety.
When THC is exposed to oxygen or heat, cannabinol is produced. Also called oxidization, this process generally occurs naturally over time as THCA degrades. This chemical process is also the reason why CBN is found more abundantly in badly stored or aged cannabis. While THC-lovers may bemoan the loss of some THC over time, the therapeutic benefits of CBN are difficult to ignore.
Like CBD, CBN can be incorporated into your routine as a sedative or sleep aid. Cannabinol has also been found to help regulate our immune system by helping to relieve pain and inflammation caused by several degenerative conditions, like Crohn’s disease and arthritis. Studies have also shown that helps reduce intraocular eye pain caused by glaucoma. CBN’s anticonvulsant properties also make it helpful for patient coping from seizure disorders, like epilepsy.
Cannabinol Effects and Benefits
Though limited, research has indicated that CBN has the potential to be an effective aid in the treatment of various chronic conditions and symptoms, including those from:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic pain and inflammation
How Does CBN Affect the Body?
While CBN does not bind as well to cannabinoid receptors, use of cannabinol is known to produce powerful sedating effects, particularly when combined with THC. For example, one early study found that 5mg of CBN has the potential to be just as effective as 10mg of diazepam and other pharmaceutical sedatives. While myrcene levels are often considered, the presence of CBD is often thought to contribute to the sleep-inducing and sedating effects experienced when consuming indica strains.
Despite delivering sedating effects, CBN does not deliver the powerful psychoactive effects often associated with consuming cannabis or high-THC strains. Like THC however, only tiny doses of CBN are required for it to affect our bodies and the content of CBN in any bud rarely surpasses the 1% in cured flower.
In addition to its powerful effects as an anti-inflammatory agent, studies have also indicated that CBN could help in the stimulation of bone tissue growth by triggering an indirect recruitment of stem cells from surrounding bone marrow. Called mesenchymal cells, these stem cells are known for their ability to transform into bone and other tissues making CBD a useful chemical trigger for healing fractures.
The ability of CBD to aide metabolic issues on a cellular level can also be seen in CBN’s ability to ease the overgrowth of skin cells. For example, patients with psoriasis can use CBD to help to regulate their body's production of skin cells. In a 2008 study CBN not only showed potential for treating psoriasis when applied as a topical, but also as a way of helping treat MRSA and some burns. While human trials are still needed, there is sufficient evidence to support the combination of CBN and CBD as an efficient way to help treating burn victims by providing pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits without the threat of opioid addiction.