Cannabis is a highly complex plant containing 100s of compounds that affect each user differently. Of these compounds, more than 100 cannabinoids have been identified, each with its own therapeutic profile. The ones you’re probably most familiar with are Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (more commonly shortened to THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, another cannabinoid that has sparked interest in the cannabis community is cannabinol or CBN. The name cannabinol sounds very close to cannabidiol, but the two cannabinoids have distinctive characteristics. In this article, we’ll address the common question, “what is CBN and what does it do?”
First and foremost, let’s explain what exactly a cannabinoid is. Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds found in our bodies and in the cannabis plant. Of the cannabinoids studied so far, all of them appear to have therapeutic potential. The only cannabinoid that is psychoactive (in the sense that it gets you “high”) is THC.
Cannabinoids work with our body’s endocannabinoid system — our natural “cannabis system” that is responsible for helping our bodies maintain homeostasis — to produce potential therapeutic or psychoactive effects.
Cannabinol Defined: What is CBN?
The reason cannabinol has generated so much excitement is that some early pre-clinical research suggests it has the potential for treating a variety of health issues, including insomnia and possibly even bone deterioration.
Cannabinol doesn’t produce any intoxicating effects. It’s found in cannabis at very low levels and is more commonly found in cannabis that has aged. What’s particularly interesting about CBN is that it’s a metabolite of THC that’s created when THC is broken down through aging or oxidation. Oxidation actually converts THC into cannabinol. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Potential Benefits: What Does CBN Do?
The research on the potential therapeutic effects of CBN is still in the early preclinical stage, so there’s a lot more research that needs to be done. However, early research looks promising.
Some of the potential benefits and applications for cannabinol are:
- Anxiety treatment (one study demonstrated how 5mg of CBN is as effective as 10mg of diazepam and other similar pharmaceutical anti-anxiety drugs)
- Appetite stimulant
- Insomnia treatment
- Pain relief
- Promotes the growth of bone cells
As you learned earlier, CBN doesn’t produce intoxicating effects, making it a great alternative for patients who don’t want the high that THC produces. Or for daytime use. Unfortunately, because CBN is only present in extremely low levels of fresh cannabis, it’s not the easiest cannabinoid to get your hands on. That, however, is changing as consumer demand is driving producers to create more CBN-related products.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what is CBN and what it does. To learn more, visit your local Have a Heart dispensary. As mentioned, cannabinol isn’t the easiest cannabinoid to find, but that’s changing. As cannabinol products expand, you can count on Have a Heart to add the highest quality CBN products in the future.