The good news about hemp continues to pour in and never seems to run out. There’s something fresh and exciting to discover about this plant almost daily. One of those discoveries is cannabinol or CBN for short.
While it wasn’t actually discovered recently, the amount of research, curiosity, and potential of this cannabinoid is growing and starting to reach the mainstream.
So, we want to give you lots of important details about CBN, like the therapeutic benefits it offers, talk about its legal status, some side effects, and dosing guidance.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
A Refresher on Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are critical components of the cannabis family of plants and other names for them include compounds and molecules. Researchers aren’t 100% certain on the number of cannabinoids that exist in cannabis, but estimates land somewhere in the low 100s.
Two of the most well-known and researched cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These may be the most familiar to you as well. A common misconception about these molecules is that they’re mind-altering due to their psychoactive effects. But, that’s actually not true. Only a few of them, like THC, possess strong intoxicating properties.
The simple fact that certain cannabinoids have psychotropic effects does not inherently make them bad. THC, for instance, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that’s 20 times more potent than aspirin. And it’s often consumed to quell nausea and stimulate hunger in patients struggling with suppressed appetite.
However, for the non-psychoactive compounds like cannabidiol, there’s no euphoric, cerebral high. But the effects of CBD can usually be felt in the body like deep relaxation, and pain relief.
Cannabinoids also vary from each other based on their unique offering of effects. There can be cross over in the effects between one cannabinoid and another, but there are usually defining characteristics that help them stand apart.
In the case of CBN, it’s most known for its sedative effects. There’s still a lot more research needed to explain how it works in this way, but for now many are trying CBN for this reason.
What is CBN Good For?
A study on mice revealed that CBN had sedative properties. Although there are no human trials to back this up, many are hopeful that scientists will continue to explore the sleep-enhancing effects of cannabinol.
For a moment, stop and think about all the wonderful effects of the most common cannabinoids — THC and CBD. The scientific inquiry and exploration of those cannabinoids have essentially just begun. But many people have known for years and even decades the powers that these cannabis plant compounds possess.
So imagine what other cannabinoids, like CBN and the hundred others found in hemp can offer to us from a health and wellness perspective. The potential is unlimited.
Let’s talk about other things CBN is good for. In addition to sleep, it can be good at reducing inflammation and the pain associated with that inflammation.
Also, a study performed in 2008 demonstrated CBNs potential to be an effective antibiotic. And it’s not the only cannabinoid that may possess this quality. The other cannabinoids that may fight off harmful bacteria include CBC, CBG, CBD, and Delta-9 THC.
Is CBN Legal?
The question of cannabis and hemp legality is twofold — there are federal laws and then there are state laws. Let’s discuss the U.S. federal laws first. At the end of 2018, President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. And what an improvement it was for the future of hemp, hemp growers, and hemp lovers around the country.
This Act also referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, removed industrial hemp from the list of Schedule 1 illegal drugs. It also made hemp farming legal for the first time in many decades. There is one main stipulation in this Bill and that has to do with the THC content in hemp.
For hemp-derived products such as CBD gummies, CBN oil, Delta 8, and other cannabinoid-based products, federal law states there must be less than 0.3% THC. Otherwise, it’s not legal in the marketplace.
Now, state laws on hemp get a little hairy. Yes, the U.S. federal government made hemp farming and hemp-derived products legal, but not every state jumped on board. Many states did, thank goodness. And they follow the same laws outlined within the 2018 Farm Bill.
Yet others have fallen behind or are dragging their feet to implement an industrial hemp farming plan in their state. As a consumer, it’s wise for you to know your state’s laws on hemp, so that you’re “in the know”.
Which is Better For Sleep: CBD or CBN?
CBD and CBN both come from the cannabis family of plants including marijuana and hemp. But, they each have a unique birthing story. CBD gets produced by the mother of all cannabinoids — CBGa. While CBN eventually sprouts to life through the aging (or degradation) of THC.
Despite these differences, when you look at the anecdotal reports, you’ll find that both can be useful and effective to take before bed. CBD has anxiolytic and calming properties that make it a helpful bedtime ritual. And CBN has its sedative properties, that help with deep sleep.
The only major difference between them that could affect your decision is the mildly psychoactive effects of CBN. Whereas CBD is completely non-intoxicating.
Does CBN Make You Tired?
Yes, that’s actually one of the benefits or side effects of CBN, depending on how you look at it. As we mentioned earlier, CBN has sedative qualities that can make you tired. Given this property, you may only want to consume it before a nap or before going to bed for the night.
It’s not something you want to try for the first time early in the morning. Just in case you do feel tired and then have a hard time making it through the day.
What Are the Side Effects of CBN?
Before jumping into the side effects of CBN, we’d like to mention that the mildly intoxicating effects of this cannabinoid is only one-tenth the strength of THC. As such, it would take a large dose of CBN oil to feel any significant psychoactivity.
So, this is something to be conscious of if you have any sensitivities at all to THC. It may be okay to consume CBN, even if this is the case, but it’s advised to start out with a very low dose.
Potential side effects don’t only come from cannabinoids, they can come from anything really. Any herb, plant, food, or supplement could have unwanted side effects. Fortunately, those that relate to CBN are minimal.
The side effects of CBN may include feeling:
- Sleepy or tired
- Getting dry mouth
- Dizzy or drowsy
- A decrease in appetite
To avoid these effects, it can help to reduce your dosage because side effects often occur when taking too large of a dose.
How to Dose with CBN
As with any new supplement, healthcare, or wellness product you try, it’s best to start low and go slow. Meaning, start off with a low dose of about 5mg CBN. Give your body time to adjust and build a tolerance before increasing the amount.
There’s no exact science to this, but after a week of consistent use, you may want to increase your dose a bit. If you started with 5mg a day, don’t jump up to 20mg a day. Choose smaller increments and soon enough, your body will let you know what the ideal daily dose is for you.