CBN, short for cannabinol, is one of the hundred-plus cannabinoids present within the plant. It is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid and is found in trace amounts within fresh cannabis. In combination with THC, CBN can actually increase the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBN is mostly found in aged cannabis that has been exposed to air or ultraviolet light for a long period of time (weeks). Pure CBN is NOT considered a sedative, however, when used in combination with THC, CBN can help to alleviate conditions associated with sleeplessness.
CBN was one of the first cannabinoids to be formally studied in the 1970s. Many scientists theorized that CBN was the source of the psychoactive and sedating effects of cannabis.
Degraded, oxidized, or aged cannabis products (such as brick weed, traditional hashish) are generally higher in CBN than fresh cannabis.
What is CBN and How is it Formed?
Unlike many of the other cannabinoids found within cannabis, CBN is the product of degraded THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolc acid). As mentioned, exposure to oxygen and/or ultraviolet light will degrade the THCA and convert it into CBNA (Cannabinolic acid) and the CBN cannabinoid is formed by the decarboxylation of CBNA (Cannabinolic Acid).
Pharmacologically speaking, appropriate quantities of CBN are formed as a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBN is also insoluble in water but is soluble in methanol and ethanol.
What are the Effects and Benefits of CBN?
Zoe Sigman, of the NPO Project CBD, claims that “we found that CBN slightly prolongs the sleep time in barbiturate-induced sleep in mice. There is no current information that I am aware of that proves CBN is a sedative, even though it is already being marketed as such”. As a matter of fact, there are several Government- Licensed Producers within Canada using the CBN compound in their oils specifically to promote sleep.
Anecdotal evidence has shown that CBN has sedative properties, however, scientific studies using humans do not show a definitive sedative property in CBN. Anecdotal evidence (in this case) is especially important because, with cannabis, an individual will have an incredibly personalized experience.
Here are a few of the potential benefits of CBN currently being explored in research. Keep in mind, current research on CBN is limited with very few studies demonstrating its effects in the human body.
Antibacterial: CBN may have potential as an antibacterial agent. Within lab settings, CBN was tested against strains of bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics. These tests showed that CBN proved to be a powerful antibacterial against these specific bacteria.
Neuroprotectant: CBN may be helpful in reducing neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS. In one study involving rodents, CBN was shown to be an effective treatment for, as well as delaying the onset of, ALS.
Anti-Inflammatory: CBN was shown to help reduce the swelling in rodents who suffered arthritis, specifically, rheumatoid arthritis which is a debilitating condition in humans. CBN can also reduce intraocular pressure which poses a major risk for glaucoma.
Psoriasis/Eczema: Studies “have unambiguously confirmed that cutaneous cannabinoid signalling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dis-regulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders”. These disorders include psoriasis and eczema.
The endocannabinoid system within humans is fascinating and certain cannabinoids can become incredibly helpful for some people.
CBN was Studied Within Humans in the 1970s
As mentioned, the effects of CBN on humans was studied in the 1970s due to the belief that CBN was the primary psychoactive, and sedating, compound within cannabis. This study tested the effects of THC, CBN, and a combination of the two cannabinoids on a small sample group.
CBN was not found to make subjects sleepy by itself, however, the combination of THC and CBN produced higher levels of drowsiness. This gives credence to the “Entourage Effect” theory in which cannabinoids interact with one another inside the human body in order to produce a more synergistic effect. Although this study is limited, it is incredibly valuable and needs to be revisited with the testing of modern-day cannabis and CBN products.
Thank you for reading “What is CBN? Why CBN is an Important Cannabinoid”. Sharing this on social media by using the icons below helps us to grow and provide free cannabis information such as this to our worldwide audience. All sources for this article can be found below.
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