What is CBN?

Even long-time users of hemp products often ask what CBN is. CBD (cannabidiol) extracted from hemp is well known to an increasing number of people in Lithuania and all over the world for its therapeutic and cosmetic properties. Meanwhile, CBN (or cannabinol) is a lesser known compound. According to experts, undeservedly so: CBN has a calming effect and even a small dose of this compound can produce great results. What should you know about this component and how to use CBN products?

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    Note: This and other articles on Hempo's blog are for informational purposes only. According to the directive of the European Commission, cannabidiol is classified as a 'novel food', therefore CBD products should not be used as a food supplement in Lithuania.

    CBN oil

    What is CBN?

    In the rapidly developing wellness field, considerable attention is given to the question, what is CBN? CBN, or cannabinol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant, often overshadowed by the more popular cannabinoids - THC and CBD. However, this unique and beneficial compound should not be underestimated.

    The benefits of cannabinol are a topic of increasing discussion. Research indicates that CBN may have potential sedative effects, making it a subject of studies for treating sleep disorders. Scientists are also examining CBN's impact on pain relief and its anti-inflammatory properties, expanding its application. Unlike THC, CBN does not produce a psychoactive effect, making it an attractive option for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of hemp without the intoxicating effects.

    Understanding the effects of CBN is crucial for both consumers and medical professionals. As more scientific studies are conducted, the nuances of CBN's interaction with the human body's endocannabinoid system are becoming clearer. This knowledge is essential for those considering incorporating CBN into their wellness routine.

    In summary, CBN is a multifaceted compound whose health benefits may surpass those of traditional cannabis products. This is why CBN has become a major focus of scientific research aimed at exploring its medical applications.

    How do CBD and CBN differ?

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular cannabinoids, derived from industrial hemp.
    Most scientific research focuses more on CBD than CBN, which is why CBD is the most commonly used substance in cannabis products. CBD is known for its various therapeutic properties, which include:
    • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression;
    • Alleviating pain associated with multiple sclerosis, cancer, nerve damage;
    • Easing arthritis symptoms;
    • Treating rare forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome;
    • Helping combat opioid addiction.
    Both CBN and CBD interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body's endocannabinoid system, which are crucial for central nervous system functioning and help the body respond to internal and external stimuli. The CB2 receptors are also linked to immune system regulation.

    Unique effect

    The highest amount of cannabinol is found in cut hemp plants that are kept under special conditions: exposed to heat, oxygen and natural sunlight. Similar to CBD, CBN provides a therapeutic effect and does not have intoxicating properties.

    CBN is not as widely researched, known and used as CBD. However, this natural hemp product has unique benefits that have been confirmed by doctors and scientists:

    • Calming properties. CBN has been shown to have properties that can alleviate various ailments such as stress, anxiety disorders and insomnia;
    • Perfect for preventive use. Moderate doses of cannabinol can also be used for prevention, as it calms your body, remove the tension and improves your focus and concentration;
    • Relieves pain. A study conducted in 2019 with laboratory rats showed that CBN effectively reduced pain and spasms in muscles, joints and other areas, as well as increased joint mobility. Experts note that the best results are achieved when CBN and CBD are used together;
    • Helps patients with neurodegenerative diseases. US researchers conducted a study in which people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) took small doses of CBN for 12 weeks. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and eventually leads to complete body paralysis. It has been found that CBN can help prevent ALS disease or slow its progression significantly. Thus, CBN makes it possible to significantly improve the quality of life of patients.

    Benefits of CBN for Sleep

    Poor sleep not only disrupts our daily rhythm but also negatively affects our health. Over time, it can lead to increased blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attacks, or even strokes. Sleep is a vital process, and issues related to difficulty falling asleep are common worldwide. For this reason, many people strive to find effective means to improve sleep quality.

    Recently, scientists have turned their attention to cannabinol (CBN) and cannabidiol (CBD) as potential aids in improving sleep quality. One study aimed to determine the effects of CBN, used alone or in combination with CBD, on sleep.

    This randomized trial included participants aged 18 to 55 who experienced sleep problems in their daily lives. The study compared the effects of 20 mg of CBN, used alone or with CBD, to a placebo. A total of 301 individuals adhered to all the procedures. The primary indicator of the study was the improvement in sleep quality. The results showed that sleep quality improved in the 20 mg CBN group, but this improvement was not observed in the other groups. This means that the sleep quality of those who used CBN improved. Additionally, the 20 mg CBN dose reduced the number of nighttime awakenings among the participants, and they also reported that daytime fatigue did not increase.

    How does CBN affect your body?

    Once in the body, CBN starts to interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cellular signaling system that regulates many of the body functions.

    CBN binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. These are the main receptors of the peripheral and central nervous system that interact with cannabinoids and, in response to CBN, provide a calming effect on the body.

    What is CBN

    What should you know about using CBN?

    While no scientific studies to date have shown that CBN can have any psychoactive, intoxicating effects, in composition this component is related to the hallucinogenic substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Therefore, you should choose products where CBN is only a secondary ingredient. You can buy full-spectrum CBD oil or capsules that contain a small dose of CBN: even a small concentration of cannabinol has an obvious calming effect, helps relieve tension and fall asleep.

    That being said, pure CBN oil may cause unwanted side effects such as extreme fatigue, weakness, dizziness or light-headedness.

    Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBN

    Despite thoroughly conducted clinical trials, there remain uncertainties about how CBN specifically affects the human body. This ambiguity leads to potential risks: CBN may cause drowsiness, and there is evidence that CBN use can be detected in drug tests because it is closely related to the cannabinoid THC (even though it does not have intoxicating effects).


    Using CBN in combination with CBD can increase drowsiness. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid using CBN products during the day. More substantial data on the side effects of CBN and its interactions with other medications are expected in the near future. However, a significant number of users choose to use CBN to improve sleep and relaxation, so in this case, the sedative properties of CBN can be considered an advantage.

    Positive Drug Test Result

    There is evidence that CBN use can lead to false-positive drug test results. Additionally, CBN use can help detect even minimal amounts of THC in the body. Thus, even a minimal THC amount, given certain drug test sensitivities, can be increased due to CBN, potentially leading to a positive test result.

    What is CBN: a summary

    In this article, we have examined what CBN is - a lesser-known but therapeutically valuable cannabinoid compound. Unlike CBD, CBN has not been studied as extensively, but it boasts unique benefits confirmed by doctors and scientists, including sedative properties, pain relief, and potential benefits for neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Like CBD, CBN interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the nervous system, thereby providing a calming effect. Although CBN is chemically related to the psychoactive cannabis component THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it does not have intoxicating effects.
    We hope that from now on you won’t need to ask ‘what is CBN?’ anymore and you will soon be able to enjoy the beneficial properties of this product!

    Dažnai užduodami klausimai

    Kas yra CBN?

    CBN, arba kanabinolis, yra kanapių augale randamas daugialypis junginys, turintis potencialų raminamąjį poveikį - CBN taip pat yra kanabinoidas, visai kaip ir CBD. Skirtingai nei THC, CBN nesukelia psichoaktyvaus poveikio, todėl yra patrauklus pasirinkimas tiems, kurie nori patirti kanapių gydomąją naudą be svaiginančio efekto.

    Kuo CBN skiriasi nuo CBD?

    CBN ir CBD yra kanabinoidai, randami kanapių augale. Nors abu jie sąveikauja su žmogaus endokanabinoidine sistema, CBN yra labiausiai vertinamas dėl savo potencialo gydyti miego sutrikimus ir turi raminamąjį poveikį, kai tuo tarpu CBD dažniausiai vartojamas norint sumažinti nerimo, depresijos, uždegimo simptomus ir skausmą.

    Kokia yra CBN nauda?

    CBN gali turėti raminamąjį terapinį poveikį, todėl yra naudingas gydant miego sutrikimus. CBN taip pat gali padėti pacientams, sergantiems neurodegeneracinėmis ligomis. CBN taip pat puikiai tinka ir profilaktiniam naudojimui - jis padeda atsikratyti įprastai kamuojančios įtampos.

    Kaip CBN veikia organizmą?

    CBN veikia organizmą sąveikaudamas su endokanabinoidine sistema - jis prisijungia prie CB1 ir CB2 receptorių, esančių nervų sistemoje. Šie receptoriai, sąveikaudami su kanabinoidais, suteikia raminamąjį poveikį organizmui.

    Kada geriausia vartoti CBN?

    CBN produktus, tokius kaip CBN aliejų, galima vartoti prieš miegą arba dienos metu - tai priklauso nuo individualių poreikių. Moksliniai tyrimai rodo, jog CBN pasižymi sedacinėmis savybėmis - žmonės, susiduriantys su nemiga, tai laiko privalumu, tačiau būtent dėl šios priežasties CBN naudojimą dienos metu vertėtų gerai apsvarstyti. Svarbu laikytis gamintojo nurodymų ir pradėti nuo mažiausios dozės, kurią galima didinti palaipsniui pagal poreikį.