If you’ve been in the CBD community for long, odds are you’ve heard a bit about hemp’s other cannabinoids. While CBD and THC are undoubtedly the best known, several lesser-known hemp cannabinoids have recently begun stealing some of the spotlight. In the case of cannabinol (CBN) oil, it’s easy to see what all the buzz is about.
This potent, therapeutic cannabinoid is winning over new users throughout the world with its impressive array of effects. But is CBN oil the right choice for you, or should you be sticking with CBD?
This article will cover everything you need to know about the effects of CBN oil, its origins, and how it can fit into your daily wellness regimen. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
What is Cannabinol (CBN), and What is CBN Oil?
Cannabinol (CBN) is a minor cannabinoid found in both strains of cannabis (hemp and marijuana). Unlike the CBD in hemp and the THC in marijuana, CBN occurs in only very small amounts in the cannabis plant. This relative scarcity is one reason that CBN has not attracted as much attention as the more famous cannabinoids.
CBN oil is essentially identical to CBD oil, save that it is made with a CBN extract rather than a CBD one. Of course, all cannabinoids offer different benefits, so CBN oils may be useful for slightly different purposes than are traditional CBD oils. See below for an overview of the many therapeutic uses for CBN oil and other CBN products.
How is CBN Formed and Processed into CBN Oil?
Like all cannabinoids, CBN is formed as cannabigerol (CBG), sometimes known as the “mother cannabinoid”, breaks down and transforms over time.
Unlike CBD and THC, CBN only begins to form very late in the cannabis plant’s life-cycle. Hemp is typically harvested at a relatively early stage in its lifecycle, where CBD levels are high, and CBN levels are comparatively relatively low.
By contrast, CBN oils require hemp to mature for significantly longer. This extra time allows the plant’s other cannabinoids to further oxidize, break down, and transform, thereby dramatically increasing the proportion of CBN in the plant.
Aside from the age of hemp plant required, processing hemp plants into CBN oil and other products is virtually identical to the process for CBD oil.
What are the Potential Benefits and Effects of CBN Oil?
Even in the small amounts typically found in hemp, CBN is a powerful cannabinoid and an important part of the entourage effect. While some of its effects overlap with other cannabinoids such as CBD, many others are unique to CBN. As such, pure CBN oils offer a distinctly different therapeutic experience than do traditional CBD oils. However, because of the handful of overlapping effects, many users will find that CBN oil is an effective (or even preferable) substitute for traditional CBD products.
Like all cannabinoids, CBN works on the body by interacting with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating an impressive array of vital biological processes, including perception of pain, mood and stress, and sleep (among many others). By stimulating cannabinoid receptors (found mainly in the nervous, immune, and gastrointestinal systems), cannabinoids like CBN can focus the body’s efforts towards particular ends and kick its natural, health-boosting processes into overdrive.
CBN’s effects are in some ways similar to and in some ways distinct from those of CBD. But because of CBN’s relative scarcity, few human studies have been performed thus far.
More research is necessary, but existing (mostly rodent) studies have shown great promise for a variety of CBN oil treatment options. Some of the most notable potential effects of CBN oil and other CBN products include:
- Improving Sleep
CBN’s gentle sleep inducing effect is undoubtedly the most famous of its therapeutic benefits. CBN is often referred to as “the sleepy cannabinoid”, and an increasing number of powerful CBN sleep-aids are harnessing the light sedative effects of this powerful natural compound.
Debate continues about which CBN oil blend is best for sleep. Some companies, such as Lift CBD, combine CBN with CBD, melatonin, and other synergistic ingredients. Others, like the appropriately-named Slumber, are making powerfully effective sleep-aids using nothing but pure CBN isolate.
Regardless of the blend, one thing is clear: CBN’s sleep inducing effect is gentle but powerfully effective. More and more users turn to CBN as their go-to sleep aid and say goodbye to lousy sleep forever.
Lift CBD’s sleep aids are available in both Tangerine and Calming Honey flavors. Slumber CBD’s pure CBN sleep aids are available as a CBN oil tincture or as convenient CBN softgel capsules.
- Appetite Stimulation
Some rodent studies have found a link between CBN and increased appetite. This benefit is distinct from those of CBD but similar to the infamous “munchies” caused by THC.
Given CBN’s sedative effects, however, users looking to boost appetite may be better served by another type of cannabinoid treatment or other supplements. After all, eating shortly before bed can cause the metabolism to slow, leading to weight gain and other unintended consequences.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Similar to CBD, CBN oil has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a root cause of many debilitating disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and other sources of chronic pain.
Again, more research is required into CBN’s anti-inflammatory effects, but these early findings show great promise for CBN-based pain treatments similar to those of CBD oil.
- Neuroprotectant Properties
CBN may be a powerful neuroprotectant. One rodent study on ALS found that CBN significantly delayed the onset and progression of the disease.If backed by further human studies, these neuroprotectant benefits of CBN oil could offer uniquely effective new treatments for a host of degenerative disorders.Until such research has found conclusive benefits, however, usersshould not rely on CBN oil as their exclusive treatment. Such disorders are serious, and you should work with your physician to ensure you are receiving the most effective, proven treatments available.
- Glaucoma Relief
Like its infamous cousin, THC, CBN oil has been shown to relieve discomfort and pain associated with glaucoma. Early animal studies on CBN found that it significantly decreased intraocular pressure, which could be utilized to address one of the most significant and unpleasant effects of this common condition.
Is CBN Oil the Right Choice for You?
Although more research on CBN oil’s many therapeutic effects is required, anecdotal accounts and early research suggest a host of significant effects. The most proven of these is improving sleep and, by extension, delivering more energetic, focused days.
If you’re looking for a natural sleep solution, then CBN oils are likely the most effective hemp-based treatment for you.
However, if you’re looking for help with inflammation, anxiety, or pain relief throughout the day, traditional CBD oil may be the better option. CBD’s effects are backed by more comprehensive research, and CBD typically won’t put you to sleep in the way that CBN oils can.
If you’re looking to harness CBN’s potential benefits throughout the day, consider using a full spectrum CBD oil. These oils include extracts from all of hemp’s cannabinoids, including CBN. Although the CBN concentration is lower than in CBN oil isolate products, it will still contribute to the entourage effect and bring out the very best of your CBD treatment.