Cannabis plants are full of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, with each cannabinoid containing unique properties and producing different effects. It’s hard to know exactly how many truly exist in the plant, but it could be somewhere in the triple digits. While THC and CBD tend to steal the spotlight, we wanted to highlight a cannabinoid you might not know much about: CBN.
What Is CBN?
Cannabinol, or CBN, has its own profile of unique effects and medical benefits that have been studied in recent years. CBN is known to help relieve pain and insomnia, promote the growth of bone cells, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, helps treat anorexia by stimulating appetite, and can be used to treat seizures with its anti-convulsive effects.
Perhaps more than anything else, though, CBN is a crazy effective sedative – and it’s not known to get you high, either. If you’re looking to catch some Z’s and maintain a clear head, skip the high-THC indica strain and look for products with higher concentrations of CBN instead. While cannabis strains can have high percentages of THC and CBD, it’s unusual that you’ll find a strain with more than 1% of CBN.
Medical Effects of CBN
While research is currently limited, there are studies that show CBN may have the following effects:
- Sedative – CBN can help you stay asleep for longer, especially when combined with THC.
- Antibiotic – Studies have shown that CBN can help fight bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant infections such as MRSA.
- Appetite stimulant – While CBD regulates the appetite, CBN appears to help people maintain one.
- Cancer treatment – Preliminary evidence shows that CBN and other cannabinoids may slow or completely stop the growth of tumor cells.
- Bone production – CBN is believed to help stimulate the healing and growth of bones by activating stem cells.
- Glaucoma therapy – CBN is known to increase blood flow and reduce pressure in the eyes.
- Anti-inflammatory – CBN is being examined for its ability to interact with the immune system through the endocannabinoid system.
How CBN Works in the Body
THC turns into CBN over time as it’s exposed to oxygen – be sure to store your buds in airtight containers to prevent the reaction (unless, of course, you’re into that kind of thing).
CBN, like other cannabinoids, interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system works to regulate things like mood, pain management, and brain functioning by affecting cell activity, hormones, and neurotransmitters in the brain. It’s similar to CBD in terms of structure and effects, but studies so far have been very limited and more research is needed.
More studies are needed on the effects of cannabinol and cannabinoids in general, but research so far has proven promising. Currently, CBN-specific products are rare and difficult to find, but their future looks bright as more and more studies are conducted and the legalization field continues to expand. But if you’re really looking for a high CBN strain, your best move right now might be to let your stash age in the open air for a few weeks and let science work its magic.