Everyone’s heard of cannabidiol (CBD) by now, but what about cannabinol (CBN)?
You may be surprised to learn that CBN was one of the first cannabinoids ever discovered by scientists – in fact, it was isolated for the first time in the 1930s.
Despite being on scientists’ radar for so long, however, most people aren’t aware of this cannabinoid just yet, but that’s rapidly changing thanks to the popularity of CBD.
Like CBD, CBN is extracted from cannabis, and has its own health benefits to offer. But while the two cannabinoids have some things in common, they aren’t interchangeable.
In this article comparing CBD vs CBN, we’ll explore everything you need to know about CBN and how it stacks up against CBD, including similarities and differences between the two.
Cannabinoids 101: CBD vs CBN
If you’re not already familiar, both CBD and CBN are cannabinoids – that is, cannabis-derived substances that produce a variety of health effects.
There are over 100 known cannabinoids, with some being more beneficial than others.
The infamous THC, for example, is a cannabinoid that combines psychoactive properties with health benefits such as pain relief, while others, like CBD, are purely therapeutic.
Although CBD has no psychoactive properties, CBN does have some mind-altering effects.
That said, they’re nowhere near as powerful as those of THC, so you’d have to take a huge dose of CBN to feel any sort of high.
Regardless, this is one of the biggest differences between CBD and CBN.
All cannabinoids come from cannabis, but their content in the plant can vary greatly. For example, CBD is usually the most dominant cannabinoid after THC, composing up to 40% of the plant.
On the other hand, CBN content hovers around just 1% (or less!). Both CBN and CBD are extracted from cannabis through decarboxylation – otherwise known as heating – but CBN content also naturally increases as the plant ages, unlike CBD.
Understanding how cannabinoids work begins with understanding the endocannabinoid system.
This is a network of receptors found throughout the body that regulate processes such as sleep, mood, and pain.
Cannabinoids mimic naturally-produced neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids, and interact with endocannabinoid receptors, resulting in a variety of effects
Benefits and Side Effects of CBD and CBN
Despite the fact that CBN was one of the first-recognized cannabinoids, there isn’t as much research on CBN as there is for CBD – but what’s known so far indicates that CBN has a promising future.
Both CBN and CBD can be sedating, which makes each cannabinoid excellent for reducing anxiety and improving sleep.
CBD, too, is an effective anxiety reliever, with benefits for disorders such as panic disorder, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. And like CBN, CBD can work as a powerful sleep aid and even help disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea.
It’s likely the same can be said for their anti-anxiety properties, due to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect: in essence, cannabinoids interact with each other and by doing so, magnify their effects.
Along with sleep and anti-anxiety benefits, CBD and CBN are anti-inflammatory, and both have potent pain-relieving effects.
While each cannabinoid can stand on its own when it comes to pain relief, they’re once again more effective when taken together.
So if you’re interested in using CBD or CBN for nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain, or another type of pain, you may want to try a broad spectrum CBD oil that contains some CBN as well as CBD.
Another benefit the two have in common is antibacterial properties, and both show promise in fighting the antibiotic-resistant MRSA.
Additionally, CBN shows potential as an appetite stimulant.
Side Effects: CBD vs CBN
Not only do these two cannabinoids have a ton of benefits to offer, but they also come with very few, if any, side effects.
Both can be sedating, especially at higher doses, and as mentioned earlier, CBN can potentially cause a bit of a high, and some people experience dry mouth after taking CBD.
But for most people, there are no side effects at all. That said, CBD can interfere with how your body metabolizes some other medications, which is why it’s so important to consult with a doctor before taking any new supplements.
From what we know so far, CBD has a slight edge over CBN. CBD has more research-supported benefits, is easier to extract from hemp and to buy, and it has no risk of causing psychoactive effects.
Still, CBN has plenty to offer, and it’s clear that combining these cannabinoids can produce even stronger relief for anxiety, pain, and insomnia. Interested in trying CBD for yourself?
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CBD vs CBN-FAQ
CBN can reduce anxiety, inflammation, and pain, and it can also help improve sleep. It can be sedating, especially at high doses..
No, but THC can eventually turn into CBN through oxidation.
CBN is considered mildly psychoactive. It is not as powerful as THC, but it is more psychoactive than CBD
CBN has sedating properties, making it excellent for anxiety relief. In fact, CBN has been compared to the anti-anxiety pharmaceutical and muscle relaxer diazepam (Valium)..
CBN may be able to improve sleep, as it’s a strong sedative. One 1995 study found that CBN can prolong sleep in mice.
CBN can help with anxiety, pain, sleep, and inflammation. It’s also a natural antibiotic and appetite stimulant..
CBD can stimulate the appetite, as well as reduce nausea and stomach pain, though it is not as powerful an appetite stimulant as THC..
CBN is not a controlled substance. However, since it’s derived from cannabis, its legal status is somewhat of a grey area.
CBN capsules are simply pills containing CBN.
So far, researchers have identified over 100 cannabinoids – 113, to be precise – from cannabis.