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The CBN Cannabinoid: Background, Effects, Benefits, and Uses of Cannabinol


Cannabinol (CBN) is one of 100+ types of cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. 


Reminder: Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that contribute to the overall effects associated with cannabis. The most common examples are THC and CBD. 


You may not have heard of CBN until recently (or at all) and that’s because THC and CBD have been the star of the show in the cannabis industry. But now, CBN is being studied, marketed, and consumed much more regularly.  

What’s funny is CBN was actually the first cannabinoid to be isolated and purified from cannabis back in the 1800’s. And now it’s gaining significant popularity for its therapeutic benefits and being added to many legal cannabis products. 


In the post below, we will cover the effects, benefits, risks, and popular products for the CBN cannabinoid. 


How does CBN work?

CBN interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, much like THC and CBD. 


The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system that plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes in people, including mood, sleep, appetite, and immune function. 


CBN binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, although its affinity for these receptors is generally lower compared to THC. This interaction influences the release of neurotransmitters and modulates the overall balance within the ECS. That’s where we see much of the effects of CBN, including its therapeutic benefits. 


Unlike THC, which is primarily known for its psychoactive effects, CBN is not psychoactive and doesn’t intoxicate users in the same way. However, it may have a mild sedative effect, making it potentially useful for promoting relaxation and aiding in sleep (more on effects next).


The effects of CBN

CBN is often associated with a calming or sedative effect, and it’s commonly believed to have properties that promote sleep. Many consumers report feeling drowsy or relaxed after consuming cannabis products containing CBN. 


Aside from its potential sleep-inducing properties, CBN may also have mild analgesic (pain-relieving) effects and anti-inflammatory properties, although more research is needed to fully understand and confirm these potential benefits.


Benefits of using CBN

Because of its ability to interact with and affect the function of many hormones and neurotransmitters in the body, CBN has the ability to influence mood, energy, cognition and focus, appetite, immune function, and pain.


These effects may be more easily brought on or even enhanced when CBN is consumed along with other natural cannabis plant compounds, like terpenes and additional cannabinoids. We call this symbiotic relationship, the entourage effect

Learn about the influence of whole-plant cannabis compounds


Here’s an overview of CBN’s common effects: 


  • Sleep aid: CBN is gaining attention as a natural sleep aid. Individuals struggling with insomnia or sleep disturbances can find relief in CBN-containing products.
  • Pain management: Users report CBN helps alleviate pain and discomfort, making it a possible option for those dealing with chronic pain conditions.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Preliminary studies suggest CBN may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial for conditions involving inflammation.
  • Anxiety relief: While research is ongoing, some anecdotal evidence suggests that CBN might have calming effects that could help reduce anxiety.



cbn cannabis products

Popular CBN cannabis products

So what kind of cannabis products can you buy if you’re looking to consume CBN? There’s a wide variety of options, like: 

  • CBN tinctures: These liquid extracts are taken sublingually (under the tongue) for faster absorption, making them a popular choice for those seeking quick effects.
  • CBN capsules: Capsules offer a convenient and controlled way to consume CBN, allowing users to manage their dosage easily.
  • CBN edibles: Various edibles, such as gummies or chocolates, infused with CBN are available, providing a tasty and discreet option for consumption.
  • CBN topicals: Creams, balms, and patches infused with CBN are designed for localized relief, making them suitable for targeting specific areas of pain or inflammation.


Learn more about cannabinoids


Cannabinoid handbook


If you’re curious about the science behind cannabinoids, how they work, and what key characteristics each includes, then download our Guide to Cannabinoids.

The Guidebook is free and makes it easy for you to access detailed cannabinoid information, whenever you want! 

Download now.