Cannabinoid Spotlight: The Potential Benefits of CBN

Cannabinoid Spotlight: The Potential Benefits of CBN

What is CBN?

CBN stands for cannabinol, one of the most well-known cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant – we currently know of more than 100. CBN is the first naturally-occurring cannabinoid to be isolated in its pure form in 1896. It is an oxidation product of THC; as THC is exposed to heat and light, CBN is produced. Because it appears through degradation, older cannabis strains have higher levels of CBN. In fact, when the oldest known discovered cannabis sample was found in a 25,000 year old Chinese grave, large amounts of CBN were also discovered there.

While CBN will not cause a high on its own – current research indicates it may be only ¼ the potency of THC – its potential wellness applications are numerous.

Potential Health Benefits of CBN

While studies into the potential health benefits of CBN are still in the beginning stages, research has been ramping up in recent years as CBN’s popularity continues to grow. Preliminary research has indicated that CBN has the potential for many health benefits, particularly in patients who suffer from chronic symptoms.

Sedative Powers

Research suggests that CBN can prolong sleep time on top of its already considerable sedative powers. While it is not as potent as THC, CBN does possess powerful sedative capabilities of its own; just 5mg of CBN can relax your body as much as 10mg of Valium would – without the grogginess or side effects. Its sedative capabilities could open doors for CBN as a powerful sleep aid, perfect for patients who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Pain Relief

Capsaicin is a compound that can be found in chili peppers and is used as an active ingredient in many topical creams and pain relievers. In humans, nerves that are responsive to capsaicin play an important role in pain signaling and perception. Recent studies have suggested that CBN influences the same neurons that are sensitive to capsaicin, suggesting that CBN can be used for pain relief.


A 2008 study showed that CBN was one of several cannabinoids that was effective in treating MSRA, which is a bacterial infection that typically is resistant to antibiotics. This could be critical research in the ongoing struggle against antibiotic resistance.


While CBD and THC remain the most potent choices for anti-convulsant treatment, CBN appears to possess similar capabilities. This makes it a promising option for epilepsy patients looking to manage their symptoms.  


Many cannabinoids, including CBN, are still being studied for possible therapeutic roles in treating inflammatory diseases. If these studies are successful, CBN could become a viable treatment option for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and others.

Appetite Stimulant

Many conditions or treatment plans affect a patient’s appetite, creating complications. Unlike CBD, which suppresses the appetite, CBN appears to act as a stimulant. This has potentially dramatic implications when it comes to stimulating hunger in cancer patients and anyone who suffers from loss of appetite.


While this is still in early research stages, preliminary research has indicated that CBN may have the ability to slow or stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. CBN was one several cannabinoids that was found to reduce tumor size in one type of lung cancer. While research has shown promise, there is no indication yet that CBN or any other cannabinoid can help cure or control the disease.

Bone and Skin Healing and Growth

CBN may be able to activate stem cells to help make new bone cells, stimulating the production of new bone. It may also be helpful in helping to reduce bone loss and healing fractured bones. CBN has also been found to help reduce the overgrowth of skin cells; when applied as a topical treatment, it has shown tremendous promise in the treatment of psoriasis.

Glaucoma Therapy

While research is still in the preclinical stages, CBN may help reduce intraocular pressure. This is one of the main risk factors for glaucoma. CBN also shows great promise in protecting the neurons at the back of the eye, referred to as “neuroprotection.” Eye drops containing CBN could have major applications in the ocular field.

Final Thoughts on CBN

While THC and CBD continue to reign supreme as the most popular cannabinoids, we should not sleep on CBN. As researchers continue to explore each cannabinoid for its full medicinal value, CBN may continue to increase in popularity. We could soon notice it in CBN oils, tinctures, capsules, and topicals. A select few companies are already releasing CBN oils, teas, capsules, and related products for their sedative effects. If you are interested in trying these products, look for high-quality CBN products online.

While more research is needed to understand how CBN works on its own and what effects it can have, experts believe that it has an important role to play.

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