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CBN vs CBD: Which Cannabinoid Is Better?

There’s this cannabinoid everyone keeps talking about, you must’ve guessed it, it’s CBD. CBD oil products are everywhere, and the articles talking about it are numerous. But what about another cannabinoid, CBN vs CBD? What’s there to compare?

Most people know a lot about the benefits of CBD, but they're not familiar with how exactly it affects us and where it derives from. Even fewer people are acquainted with these aspects of CBN. So, let’s lift the fog and find out all about them, see the similarities of CBN vs CBD, as well as the differences of CBN vs CBD

Bryan Woods

Compounding Pharmacist

What benefits CBN has compared to CBD?

CBN and CBD have many of the same properties of helping with decreased pain, decreased inflammation, decreased anxiety, and prolonged sleep patterns. However, CBN has shown to have more enhanced results in the challenges of anxiety and sleep. It is interesting to note that CBD has more affinity to suppress appetite vs CBN that stimulates appetite. Therefore, CBN has tremendous potential to aid in the symptomatic relief of the challenges of anxiety, sleep, and weight loss in prolonged illnesses such as Cancer, Parkinson’s, Anxiety Syndrome, and many more.

What is CBD?

The first thing that’s important to mention in this CBN vs CBD guide is what is CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the more than a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Actually, it’s one of the two main components of the cannabis plant, along with THC. 

Just like THC, CBD is also psychoactive. But the effects you feel are much lighter. That means you definitely will not experience the high feeling or feel euphoric after taking some CBD. Some see it as a perk, that it doesn’t impair you, while others would prefer it to have the effect of psychoactiveness.


Just because it’s not psychoactive, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect you. In fact, the effects CBD has on you are numerous. CBD works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a biological system is your body that’s full of endocannabinoid receptors. 

The most important ones are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors can be found in your brain and CB2 ones are in your immune cells. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the CB1 nor to the CB2 receptors. Instead, it stimulates both types of receptors. 

The reason why it’s important is that the system along with the receptors is responsible for a variety of functions in your body. These functions include, but aren’t limited to, appetite, sleep, movement, coordination, pain, and inflammation. 

That’s why CBD is so multi-purposeful. By targeting your endocannabinoid system it manages to balance all of these functions. What’s also important to note when talking about CBD vs CBN is that there are a plethora of CBD products available.

CBN vs CBD: CBD oil bottles

The most popular option is CBD oil. However, your choice pool is much broader than that. You could use CBD vape oils, CBD gummies, or various other CBD products. If you’re curious and want to try them out, check out some of the best providers including Charlotte’s Web, Green Roads, and NuLeaf. 

What is CBN?

When it comes to CBN vs CBD, there is a slight difference between them. Both of these cannabinoids derive from the same plant, but that doesn’t change the fact that these two are not the same. 

CBN stands for cannabinol, and it’s a cannabinoid that isn’t present in the cannabis plant at all times. In fact, it becomes present when THC ages. In fresh cannabis, there’s no CBN, although when THC starts deteriorating, CBN appears.

So, mostly CBN is found in older cannabis. The fact that it derives from THC might make us think that it is as psychoactive as THC is. But it isn’t really the truth. There are a few different claims when it comes to CBN. Some state that CBN is not psychoactive, while others say that CBN can be slightly psychoactive. 


That might be a little confusing, but even if CBN is mildly psychoactive, you wouldn’t experience a full-blown high feeling you would get after consuming THC. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions.

You should be taking CBN in a safe environment and should also avoid performing any tasks that take responsibility after consuming it. If you notice that this cannabinoid doesn’t impair you, you may become less careful when taking CBN.

CBN is most often advertised as a sleep aid. That makes sense since CBN is known to be a sedative. So, if you were looking for CBN products, the first thing you’d probably find would be CBN for sleep. However, it’s not as broadly advertised as CBD is. 

The good news is that you can get CBN with your CBD oil. However, it’s important to mention in this CBN vs CBD guide, that not all CBD oils contain CBN. There are three types of CBD oils, pure isolates, broad-spectrum CBD oils full-spectrum CBD oils. 

CBN vs CBD: CBD oil

The ones you should opt for if you want it to include CBN are either full or broad-spectrum. The difference between them is that full-spectrum will include THC, while in the broad-spectrum one THC will be absent. 

Similarities of CBN vs CBD

Now that you’ve learned what both of these cannabinoids are, it’s time to compare CBD vs CBN. While they’re two different cannabinoids, they still share some similarities. Let’s figure them out.

Good for Sleep

One thing that unites both CBD and CBN is that they’re both good for sleep. CBD has been praised by many users for raising the sleep quality and helping people to fall asleep easier. Many people choose to take CBD before bed to help them sleep better.

Studies show that CBD actually increases the REM sleep cycle[1] and regulates sleep better. Furthermore, this study showed that CBD increased the overall amount of sleep, meaning that people were able to get more rest. It’s also said to help prevent insomnia and some people claim that it reduces nightmares that they have. 

When it comes to CBN vs CBD, there isn’t a big difference here, because CBN is usually promoted as a sleep aid. And there’s a good reason for that. CBN is known to be a sedative that functions well as a sleep aid.

CBN vs CBD: sleeping woman

Some studies on rats conducted in 1995 show that CBN increases sleep time.[2] CBN’s research dates way back. In fact, it was the first cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It was first believed that CBN is responsible for the intoxicating high effect on cannabis. 

Now that science has progressed and more is known about different cannabinoids, it’s been found out that while CBN isn’t the best for achieving a high, it works very well for sleep. 

So, if you’re looking to get better sleep, you can choose either one of these cannabinoids. However, you’re best off combining both of them to get the entourage effect. To get that, try to get your hands on either full or broad-spectrum CBD oils. 

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One more thing worth mentioning in this CBN vs CBD guide is that they’re both anti-inflammatories. That means that by using both of these cannabinoids you’ll likely be able to get rid of pain and inflammation. 

One of the conditions CBN is known to be good for treating is arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation of a joint or multiple joints that results in pain and often difficulty moving due to the pain and inflammation of joints. 

CBN vs CBD: elderly woman with arthritis

There are various ways to treat arthritis, the most drastic of them being having surgery. However, there are people who choose to avoid taking such drastic measures. More often than not they try to search for natural remedies. And CBN can be helpful in this case. 

CBD is also great for relieving inflammation. Studies show that CBD has anti-inflammatory functions.[3] CBD affects inflammation by interacting with your endocannabinoid system. Having the receptors affected you experience pain and inflammation relief. 

So, if you’re struggling with any condition that might result in pain and inflammation you could probably benefit from using either of these cannabinoids. 


One more reason why this CBN vs CBD guide is needed is that there’s one more similarity when it comes to comparing CBD vs CBN. The similarity is their psychoactiveness. Both of them are slightly psychoactive, and CBN is known to be more psychoactive than CBD is.

That means that it is possible to feel high after consuming it. However, it’s worth mentioning that it would take a huge amount of CBN in order to get a feeling that’s anywhere close to the feeling you get after consuming THC.

CBN is a sedative but it’s definitely not as psychoactive as the psychedelic THC. So, you definitely might feel something after consuming CBN, but it won’t likely impair you as much as THC would. But that still means that you should take some precautions. 

CBN vs CBD: smoking marijuana

CBN just like all the other cannabinoids affects everyone differently, so you can never know what to expect. You should make sure you first take CBN in a safe environment to see the effect it has on you. Behind the wheel isn’t the best option to first take CBN, as it might impair your motor functions. 

On the other hand, when it comes to CBN vs CBD, CBD differs slightly from CBN. Although CBD is quite psychoactive too. Some people claim that CBD might make them feel more relaxed or, in some cases, even sleepy making it psychoactive.

If you’re looking to try out cannabinoids to ease any ailments, you should definitely pay attention to the fact that they're psychoactive. You should keep in mind that you could expect some impairment or altering of mood when taking cannabinoids. 

Differences of CBN vs CBD

Now that we’ve talked about the similarities of CBN vs CBD, it’s time to talk about the difference between CBD and CBN. While these cannabinoids do share some similar qualities, there are some cardinal differences. So, let’s figure out the difference between CBD and CBN.


One more aspect why CBN vs CBD guide is required is that they differ in the way they affect your appetite. Both of them are said to have a significant effect on your appetite, although they tend to be completely opposite

CBD is said to reduce appetite. Some people swear by CBD to make them lose weight. They say that it makes them feel less hungry and also helps them metabolize food better. Their statements might be true.

Studies show that CBD lowered appetite in rats.[4] The results show that rats that were given CBD ended up eating less than when they weren’t given any. While results on humans are lacking, judging by this study on rodents we might speculate that CBD would affect us similarly. 

On the other hand, CBN is said to have a completely different effect. CBN, just like THC, is said to raise appetite. The same study shows that rats that were given CBN ended up having higher appetites. 

CBN vs CBD: a big portion of food

Being an appetite stimulant is an often overlooked quality. In fact, it can be very beneficial. Lots of patients suffering from different illnesses struggle with appetite loss due to the treatment or the illness itself. That can often lead to malnutrition. 

Malnutrition is no joke. It can have severe consequences for people. When your organism doesn’t get enough nutrients it might result in symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, various aches, and other unpleasant occurrences. That’s when CBN comes in handy

So this is another point to pay attention to when choosing between CBN vs CBD. If you’re looking to boost your appetite, you should opt for CBN. However, if you’d like to lower your appetite to prevent overeating, you might be better choosing CBD. 


When it comes to CBN vs CBD, there are quite a few similarities. Both of these cannabinoids derive from the same plant, both of them are good for sleep and offer an anti-inflammatory effect, hence both of them are psychoactive. 

However, they also differ. They have different effects on your appetite: CBD suppresses it, while CBN stimulates it. 

Both of these cannabinoids have different qualities. However, if what you prefer is CBD, you should stick to it. If you’re looking for the best CBD products, check out our guide on the best CBD oils to find oil for you!

Bryan Woods

Compounding Pharmacist

Contributed By Bryan Woods, Compounding Pharmacist

Bryan Woods brings over 35 years of experience to the Double Down CBD team, with the last 20 years specializ...

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Scientific References

Contributed by Bryan Woods, Compounding Pharmacist

1. Chagas M., Crippa J., Zuardi A. et al. 'Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats.'

2. Yoshida H, Usami N., Ohishi Y., et al. 'Synthesis and pharmacological effects in mice of halogenated cannabinol derivatives.'

3. Petrosino S., Verde R., Vaia M., et al. 'Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis.'

4. Farrimond J., Whalley B., Williams C. 'Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns.'

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Recent User Reviews

The entourage effect

It’s a very important effect for me, i always look for broad-spectrum cbd oil products to maximize cannabinoid effects without having to experience any THC effect.

Cbd is the king!

I understand that there are alternatives that can be compared to cbd, but it remains the best and the safest.


Can you please tell me if Cbn price is higher or lower than cbd?

So interesting!

This comparison is so interesting, so from what i understand, cbn has the same effects than cbg, isn’t it?

Nice article

This article is great, very informative and well structured, thanks!

Never heard about it

To be honest, i never heard about cbn, i didn’t know there is that much of cannabinoids, i guess it’s possible one of them replaces cbd in the future.

Cbn is Not worth it

I don’t know, but it seems that cbn is not really safe, i think it’s not worth for now.

cbd is much more known

I think the biggest difference between cbd and any other cannabinoid, is that cbd is more known. We know its effects, its benefits, side-effects, we can use without being afraid of any bad surprises.

A lot of claims

I see that a lot of information regarding CBN are claims, there are no scientific studies that have proven its effects.

High feeling

I think you mentioned that it’s not the same as THC, but still it could get you high, people must be careful while using cbn.

Too early for cbn

I think it’s too early to start using cbn, we’re not even sure if it’s psychoactive or not. I think we should wait until there are more scientific studies about it and it’s eventual side effects.

Cbn appetite

My son is 18, he really needs something to boost his appetite, do you think cbn would be suitable for him?

I’ve used it once

I remember i used it last year for my insomnia issues, i can’t be positive about it but i really think it helped, i could sleep easier in the following nights.


Thank you, i’m learning new things with every single article you publish, this is really amazing, thanks again!

awesome content!

thank you for this article, i’ve learned so much, i knew cannabinol, but i didn’t that it was absent in the fresh cannabis plant.

Great topic

There’s not a lot of resources and articles talking about cbn online, people don’t really know it. Thank you for bringing this topic up.

CBD is great like this

Cbd is great the way it is, it’s available, it has a lot of proven beneficial effects, and it doesn’t get me high haha

Thanks for this comparison

Thank you, it’s a great article that you’ve done here. It may be a very hot topic in the future.

Great advice

I agree, we should not take any risk while taking cbn, we don’t know exactly how our body will react to it, thank you for the advice.

CBD oil

I’m using cbd for any pain issue i have, i love it, i dont think i’ll change that one day.


What are the differences between CBD and CBN?

CBD and CBN might appear similar at first glance but they’re quite different. A few of their differences include psychoactiveness, as CBD is not psychoactive, while CBN can be, the effect on your appetite, and when the cannabinoids appear in the plant the best CBD oils.

Is there CBN in CBD oil?

Yes, you may find CBN in full or broad-spectrum CBD oil. If you’re looking to buy some CBD oil, check out our best CBD oils guide to choose the best oil for you.

Is CBD good for me?

There's a lot of ongoing research in the field of CBD, but you can already find studies stating the different benefits of CBD oil. Thousands of CBD users report different pros of the product. We represent the voice of the majority of CBD users, who struggle with sleeping problems, anxiety, various diseases & so on. Reading through our CBD oil reviews, you'll understand the details about CBD products, but you should always consult your doctor for more in-depth advice.

Does CBD have side effects?

According to user reviews, different CBD oils may have certain side effects on some people. The most common ones include drowsiness, sleepiness, nausea. However, analyzing the extent of these side effects, it seems that it’s not common, and mostly depends on the usage of the oil (the amount, concentration, flavour) & brand. The benefits seem to overshadow any possible side effects that may occur.

How is AllbestCBDoil different from any other websites that write CBD oil reviews?

AllbestCBDoil is an investigative initiative. The team behind the project is working hard at finding & filtering thousands of user reviews. We deeply investigate products by creating expert documentations, all to provide readers with the most accurate information possible. We are independent & completely unbiased. Unlike some other review sites, AllbestCBDoil cares about your wellness & always aims to uncover the truth behind each CBD brand. We do not compete with other review websites - instead, we focus on the most truthful content.

What do the different concentrations of CBD oils mean?

Different concentration levels mentioned in various CBD oil reviews reference the fact of just how “strong” the oil actually is. Depending on the reason why you want to purchase CBD products, you’re going to need different amounts of cannabidiol in the oil itself.