What is CBN
As the marijuana legalization rapidly increases in many states, opinions on the therapeutic benefits of the plant grow more favorable. Cannabis plants have over one hundred cannabinoids, each playing a significant role in offering benefits linked to the plant. Perhaps, you’ve heard about the most popular cannabinoids of the cannabis plant - CBD and THC. These cannabinoids have taken the podium as the most esteemed and famous within the cannabis family. Cannabis plants also have minor cannabinoids like CBN.
So, what is CBN?
CBN, better known as cannabinol, is a prominent cannabinoid that doesn’t occur naturally in cannabis plants. Instead, it is created through the degradation of THC. That being said, it is usually handy in high amounts in older cannabis plants. Well, this may be a turn-off for some people, but others fancy older plants to enjoy the CBN effects.
More simply, CBN is created when cannabis ages. Through a process known as decarboxylation, tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) becomes THC when exposed to heat. When exposed to UV rays from the sun, THCA becomes cannabinol acid (CBNA). Finally, when CBNA is exposed to heat, it becomes CBN.
Like cannabidiol (CBD), CBN is a non-psychoactive compound, which means it doesn’t give a high. However, there several benefits CBN offers, including:
1. CBN for appetite stimulation
In a study done on rodents, CBN was found to stimulate appetite in rats. It increased the amount of food consumed, suggesting it as an appetite stimulant. While some people avoid THC another renowned appetite stimulant due to its mind-altering effects, therefore CBN could offer individuals seeking more munchies without the high. Although, more research is needed to confirm if CBN could benefit individuals undergoing medical treatments like chemotherapy who experience appetite loss.
2. CBN for inflammation
CBN is known to provide anti-inflammatory effects to patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. In a study done on rats, CBN showed reduced inflammation. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, CBN could help those who have arthritis.
3. CBN as a pain reliever
Research shows CBN has analgesic or pain-relieving properties in the body. It appears to influence the activity of the neurons that are sensitive to capsaicin. Capsaicin is typically present in chili peppers and a component added to several pain relievers. So, capsaicin-sensitive nerves are significant to the body’s pain response.
Keeping in mind the CBD pain-relieving properties, such findings indicate that CBN may be incredibly useful in treating pain conditions without any harmful side effects or addiction risk posed by current opioid pain treatments.
4. CBN for Glaucoma
CBN is promising for individuals suffering from glaucoma. A study done on rabbits found that CBN, as well as THC, lowers intraocular pressure, the major risk factor for glaucoma. However, studies are primarily on the early stages of the condition, and CBN isn’t superior to other glaucoma medications. Although, more research is needed to confirm if CBN could replace the pharmaceutical drugs for glaucoma.
Studies on CBN have found that it is a powerful antibacterial agent. In lab settings, CBN was investigated on strains of MRSA bacteria that are resistant to regular antibiotics. The MRSA bacteria are known to lead to infections in different parts of the body and are very difficult to treat. Thanks to CBN, researchers suggest that it could be an excellent antibacterial agent against resistant strains. CBN looks promising even in the future to fight off bacterial infections that pharmaceutical drugs can’t heal.
CBN is known to be a potent neuroprotectant. Early studies on rodents found that CBN could be used as a treatment for ALS since it delays the onset of the neurological disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a condition that causes the neurons that regulate voluntary muscles to die. Such debilitating disease can affect the ability of people to walk, speak, swallow, and even speak.
However, with CBN, patients with such conditions are celebrating. While more studies need to be done on humans, CBN may offer a potent treatment in fighting ALS and other neurodegenerative conditions.
How to use CBN
With all the potential CBN benefits, you may need to introduce cannabinol to your wellness routine. The perfect way is to use a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum means it contains all the cannabinoids, including CBN, that a cannabis plant has. On the other hand, broad-spectrum means it has all the cannabinoids, excluding THC.
With the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oil products with less than 0.3% of TH are federally legal. While most products are extracted from hemp plants ensuring to meet the low THC threshold.
Common misconceptions about CBN
Perhaps, you’ve ever heard about CBN before; you may be amazed you didn’t see CBN for insomnia in the benefits. CBN is often celebrated as a powerful sedative; however, reputations can be deceiving.
While research on sedating effects is limited, a human study done in the 1970s showed that CBN never made anyone sleepy. So, here comes the question: why is everyone saying its sedating?
Well, people realized that older cannabis plants rich in CBN makes them sleepy and probably assumed it could be CBN. However, it may be an incorporation of CBN and THC, which causes sedative effects.
In a similar study, found that CBN didn’t make individuals sleepy. Researchers tested CBN exclusively, CBN and THC and THC. While THC has a drowsiness effect, the incorporation of the two showed higher levels of drowsiness. Therefore, those who fancy cannabis rich in CBN with THC may have noticed the synergistic effects and assumed that the sedative effects were due to CBN alone.
While CBN is usually present in older cannabis, especially those that have been exposed to oxygen, CBN is created from THC when it is oxidized. So, leaving your cannabis in the open air may not be the most efficient way. With more cannabis brands popping up every day, products with isolated CBN are available in the form of tinctures, edibles, and much more. These products are the ideal to consume cannabinoids.