Cannabis sativa seems to be a plant that keeps on giving. Many people are fond of the benefits of CBD oils or THC. However, it’s often forgotten, that cannabis has more than a hundred other cannabinoids. For now, let’s focus on what is CBN.
This cannabinoid is very rarely talked about, comparing it to its more popular cousins such as THC and CBD. But CBN benefits aren’t at all worse than the ones produced by other cannabinoids. So, let’s figure out what is CBN oil, is CBN legal, CBN effects, as well as CBN benefits to your health.
Keep on reading to find out!
Table of Contents
What is CBN?
First and foremost, before we get to CBN benefits, we must cover what is CBN. CBN stands for cannabinol, and it’s one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis family plants. Cannabinoids work by interacting with your endocannabinoid system. CBN is not an exception.
The way cannabinoids affect you is by targeting the cannabinoid receptors. More specifically, either CB1 or CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors can be found in your brain and CB2 receptors appear in your immune cells.
The systems with the receptors are extremely important for the functionality of your body. It coordinates functions such as appetite, sleep, motor control, pain, and inflammation. Cannabinoids can help tremendously when the system becomes imbalanced.
Just like CBD, CBN is said to be slightly psychoactive. However, you will not experience the full-blown high you would get from consuming THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid. But that still brings some trouble to answering is CBN legal and if it should be.
What’s also important to mention when it comes what is CBN is that it becomes present in the cannabis when THC ages. It takes oxidation of THC for CBN to become present. After THC’s oxidation, it starts degrading into CBN.
So, now that you know what is CBN, let’s get to the benefits of using CBN.
Benefits of CBN
Having talked about what is CBN, we should also talk about why you should be using it. So, let's talk about CBN benefits to fully understand whether using CBN would be beneficial for you.
One CBN effects that answers what is CBN, is that it is antibacterial. Studies have been conducted on strains of MRSA bacteria. This bacteria is known to be resistant to traditionally used antibiotics. However, CBN was proven to be a working antibacterial agent against it.
These studies are quite promising and this benefit is great. Using antibiotics more often than not comes with serious side effects. One of the most common ones is a weakened immune system. Avoiding this would benefit us on a huge scale.
So, this cannabinoid could be used alongside conventional medicine in treating various bacteria-caused illnesses. And the best part is that it doesn’t come with the severe side effects attributed to taking antibiotics.
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Studies on rats show that CBN can significantly increase appetite. In the study after rats were given CBN, they consumed a lot more food than without being given CBN.
The same study showed that being given CBD rats ate less than prior to being given CBD. These two cannabinoids produced completely opposite effects. So, CBD could be used for weight loss, while CBN is good for inducing appetite.
These studies are promising because a lack of appetite can have severe consequences. Low appetite is a side effect of various illnesses. One of them is cancer. Due to treatment, patients tend to get nauseous and don’t feel like eating.
Not consuming enough food leads to malnutrition and it might be extremely dangerous when dealing with any kind of illness. When the body lacks nutrients, the immune system doesn’t function to its full potential. That might prolong the healing process.
Also, CBN could beneficial for treating eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Despite the fact that anorexia, first of all, is a mental disorder, one of its side effects is a loss of appetite. Even when patients try to seek recovery, their bodies reject food.
Using CBN, in this case, could help ease that. Raising the appetite in these patients may come with positive results and faster healing.
However, these are all speculations based on animal studies. There haven’t been any studies on humans conducted yet, but the results on animals are promising enough to believe that people would be affected similarly.
Can Help Treating Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition that damages your optical nerve. The cause of glaucoma is often linked to a buildup of pressure in your eye. The results of it can be tragic. It might lead to damage to the optical nerve. The worst-case scenario is that it might end up in blindness.
Symptoms of glaucoma include vision loss, reddened eyes, nausea, headache, and one of the most important giveaways is throbbing pain in the eyes. Glaucoma is treated by lowering the blood pressure in your eyes.
A study on rabbits has shown that CBN can reduce intraocular pressure. This results in not letting glaucoma affect your health. However, it’s also advised that glaucoma should be medicated since CBN isn’t proven to be enough of a treatment to produce good enough effects.
CBN might not function well enough to be used for glaucoma treatment alone, but it’s a great alternative for those who seek to boost their health in natural ways.
One more of the CBN effects is that it is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system. When a part of a body gets inflamed it should be treated as a sign that the body is responding to an injury.
However, sometimes inflammation occurs not only when it’s needed. One of the illnesses CBN could help to treat, as far as inflammation is concerned, is arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation of a joint or several joints.
Symptoms can include debilitating pain, joint stiffness, and swelling. It all causes distress to a person experiencing it. It might result in difficulty moving as well as mental problems caused by a condition that lowers the life quality.
Due to its seriousness, ways to treat it are sought. Arthritis can be treated by physical therapy, exercise, drugs and sometimes even surgery. However, some people seek additional help along with all these methods.
CBN could work for that. CBN has been proven to reduce inflammation. Using it to treat arthritis or any other condition that involves swelling could be a great natural alternative or an addition to the ongoing treatment.
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One more of CBN benefits that answer the question of what is CBN, is that CBN is a sedative. Sedatives are used for the treatment of many different conditions, mostly, mental illnesses. One of the examples could be anxiety.
Anxiety shows itself by inducing constant worrying, overthinking, panic attacks, trouble concentrating or sleeping. It’s one of the most commonly reported mental illnesses in the USA. Anxiety can cause severe distress for those who struggle with it.
If untreated it can lead to various illnesses caused by being stressed and worried all the time. One of the common effects of anxiety is digestion issues. Many people experience digestion disruptions when they’re anxious. It’s necessary to ease anxiety to avoid this and all the other illnesses and ailments caused by it.
Anxiety is treated by sedatives and tranquilizers. However, these drugs prescribed to vanquish anxiety come with various side effects. Because of that people often seek more natural treatments for anxiety.
CBN could be used as a treatment for this and other illnesses that sedatives are used for. So, if you’re looking for a treatment for anxiety, you should try out some CBN. Also, CBD oil is often used for treating anxiety. So if you’re looking for additional aid, check out the best CBD oils for anxiety.
Another aspect that answers what is CBN oil is that it is a sleep aid. CBN oil is most commonly advertised as a treatment for insomnia. If you looked up what is CBN oil, you’d most likely find major CBN producers claiming that CBN oil is great for inducing sleep.
And there is some grounding to that. CBN has been shown to induce sleepiness and help with insomnia. There are countless other treatments for insomnia, that include drugs, melatonin, meditation, relaxation techniques, and many others.
However, they don’t work for all and people are still searching for cures to their insomnia. Many people choose to try out CBN oil. And quite a few claim that they achieved success using this method.
So, if you’re looking for treatment for insomnia you could benefit from trying out CBN oil, before opting for other less natural treatments.
Drawbacks of CBN
While answering what is CBN oil, it’s not only important to mention CBN benefits, but also the drawbacks. While the benefits are tempting, you should definitely be aware that it might cause some adverse effects. Let’s figure them out.
Might Induce Drowsiness
One of the main drawbacks is kind of similar to the benefit we talked about when answering what is CBN. CBN is a sedative. That means that while it could possibly ease anxiety, stress, and insomnia, it might make you feel sedated in a less positive way.
CBN might make you feel drowsy. While it doesn’t really impair you as it’s, unlike THC that it derives from, not psychoactive or it’s psychoactiveness is rather low, it might still cause some problems. CBN is said to be great for treating insomnia, but can it cause daytime sleepiness?
Some people suggest that CBN actually does induce daytime sleepiness. It might be especially dangerous for those who drive, operate any machinery, or look after kids who need supervision.
You should definitely first try out using CBN when you’re sure you won’t need to participate in any activities that require concentration. Having found out the effects CBN has on you, and whether it impairs your concentration or not, you could start using it without these precautions.
Hard to Find
Another drawback is that it is comparatively hard to get. CBN isn’t the most popular cannabinoid compared to CBD or THC. For example, CBD oil is everywhere. There are countless different articles talking about the benefits of CBD oil and how to use it.
Also, there are so many different products made from CBD. It can come in the shape of CBD oils, tinctures, CBD vape oils, creams and lotions, CBD edibles such as CBD gummies, and many others. Some bars even offer CBD infused drinks.
CBD products are easy to obtain and it’s often talked about. However, CBN isn’t as popular as CBD is. There aren’t that many products available, and there isn’t that much known about it. Is CBN legal, what are the benefits of using CBN? Chances are that more people would be able to answer these questions about CBD rather than CBN.
Furthermore, it isn’t as well-researched as CBD is. Due to CBD’s popularity scientists are constantly looking into the different properties of CBD as well as the side effects. Currently, there’s a lot known about CBD and how it affects people, but not as much is known about CBN.
So you might have more success looking up CBD rather than CBN. Also, the resources you come across will likely be more reliable than the ones on CBN. Hopefully, there will be more known in the future about this cannabinoid that carries so many great health properties.
CBN is the less often talked about cannabinoid if compared to CBD or THC, not many people even know what is CBN, or the CBN effects. However, there are many benefits to CBN. It’s antibacterial, stimulates appetite, is one of the cures for glaucoma, is anti-inflammatory, and also a sedative.
All these CBN benefits are promising, however, there are a few drawbacks to it. Using it could make you feel drowsy. What is more, there isn’t that much known about it when compared to other cannabinoids. This might make it harder for you to find its products and also the information about it.
However, if you’re looking for a well-known cannabinoid that carries these and a few other properties, you might be best off sticking to CBD. There are various CBD products available. If you’re looking for the best CBD oil, check out our guide to find it!
Contributed by Bryan Woods, Compounding Pharmacist
1. Appendino G., Gibbons S., Giana A., et al. 'Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study.'
2. Farrimond J., Whalley B., Williams C. 'Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns.'