Many people are aware of the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in cannabis. However, the world is just waking up (or going to sleep) to the benefits of cannabinol (CBN). Emerging research suggests that this phytocannabinoid can naturally help sleep patterns. As more studies come to light, the future of CBN looks promising. Let’s learn a bit more about this lesser-known phytocannabinoid.
A History of CBN
While CBN is now drawing the attention of scientists, they’ve known of its existence for over a century. In fact, CBN was the first phytocannabinoid discovered.
However, cannabis produces very little of this potent molecule. So, scientists ignored CBN in favor of its cousins, THC and CBD.
Since then, cannabis research has exploded. You can buy hemp extract from your neighbor’s mother or hit up a dispensary to get high-quality weed to pack your bong.
With these advancements in legalization, it’s opened the door for more studies on other phytocannabinoids. Science now confirms that all 100+ phytocannabinoids work together to promote an entourage effect. We now realize that CBN can play a large role in these benefits.
What is CBN?
CBN has flown under the radar due to its low content in most cannabis plants. The reason it’s so conspicuous is that CBN is a derivative of THC.
Phytocannabinoids are living molecules that die with time. Oxygen increases this process. So, when THC oxidizes, it causes a chemical reaction that creates CBN.
Therefore, CBN isn’t available until the end of the growth cycle of cannabis, when it’s picked, or when THC has been manipulated.
What Does CBN Do For Sleep?
Phytocannabinoids are beneficial because they interact with cannabinoid receptors present throughout our bodies. These interactions influence our endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is in contact with any vital organ and plays a role in every essential physiological process…including regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
There are two cannabinoid receptors that interact uniquely with each phytocannabinoid. For instance, THC binds directly onto CB1 receptors. Meanwhile, CBD tends to stimulate the outer membranes of CB2 receptors. Both molecules have different interactions that promote different results.
CBN has a penchant for both receptors. When this happens, it promotes a calming effect on the body. One of the first studies on CBN confirmed that it created a lethargic feeling in male test subjects.
To this day, many people use full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp products that contain CBN to promote a healthy sleep pattern.
Other Benefits of CBN
Since scientists are revisiting old phytocannabinoids they already knew about, more benefits of CBN are coming to light. CBN activates a communication pathway known as the TRPV2 channel. This channel contains sensory neurons that support a healthy immune system.
Another study looked at how CBN can be used for pain management with fibromyalgia. Results found that CBN works well with CBD and cannabichromene (CBC) in preventing pain because they reduce nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced masticatory muscle sensitization in test subjects.
CBN has also exhibited antimicrobial activity. In fact, one study found that it was successful in destroying bacteria associated with MRSA infection. These findings are a potential breakthrough success, but these bacterial strains have shown to be resistant to antibiotic treatments.
Will CBN Get Me High?
When scientists first discovered CBN, they thought it was the molecule that caused the psychoactive effects associated with smoking marijuana. Once they realized THC was the source, they ignored the potential recreational benefits of CBN.
CBN comes from aged THC. So, it’s easy to assume that CBN will get you high. There are no studies that confirm this notion. In the doses used in clinical trials, CBN didn’t promote psychoactive effects, just therapeutic benefits.