What is CBN and How Can it Help?
You’ve heard of THC and CBD, but have you heard of CBN? There are over 110 cannabinoids in cannabis plants, and it will be a long time before we fully understand their effects on our bodies. Cannabinol (CBN) is one of these cannabinoids. Like CBD, it shows promise for many therapeutic uses, ranging from opiate addiction treatment to glaucoma.
What is CBN?
CBN is normally in very small amounts in all cannabis plants, but levels can increase through the breakdown of THC. Exposure to air causes the acidic form of THC, THC-A, to oxidize, forming CBN-A. CBN-A becomes CBN when it’s exposed to heat and UV light. While CBN is structurally similar to THC, it is not psychoactive.
CBN research started in the 1940s, but scientists didn’t discover the endocannabinoid system until the 1990s. This system uses cannabinoid receptors to regulate several functions in our bodies, including sleep, mood and appetite. Modern research into cannabinoids is based around understanding how this system works. CBN research is still in its infancy. Even compared to other cannabinoids like CBD, we know very little about how it affects our bodies.
As with any research, there’s a distinct separation between the sensational headlines of popular science articles and the reality of a study’s findings. An article with a title proclaiming “New Drug Cures Cancer” is often about something minor, like a study that shows slower cancer growth in mice. It takes years of research and clinical trials to turn this early research into a therapeutic drug. Along the way, performance may not live up to expectations, or side effects are too great to make the medicine practical. CBN research is still in these early stages, but it’s already showing promise in several areas of treatment. Here’s what we know about CBN today.
Should It Be Used Alone or Part of a Full Spectrum Regimen?
One study showed that there was no synergistic effect of combining CBN with THC in humans. That means treatments can use CBN without pairing it with psychoactive cannabinoids.
Is it a Sedative?
Studies on CBN’s use as a sedative are conflicting. Early trials claimed 5 mg of CBN may have the same sedative properties as 10 mg of diazepam (Valium.) This would make it a good candidate for sedating and reducing anxiety in patients with fewer side effects. However, new research related to insomnia shows little or no sedative effect.
Anecdotes of aged cannabis causing sleepiness would suggest this is caused by increased CBN created by THC breakdown. However, this is probably caused by increased terpenes, which cause drowsiness. Indica, known for relaxation, has higher levels of CBN than other cannabis strains, but it also has higher levels of terpene.
How Could CBN Be Used to Treat Opioid Addiction?
CBN and other cannabinoids have shown promise in the use of treating opiate addiction. In one study conducted by Thomas Jefferson University, cannabis use decreased patients’ scores on the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS). This objective test monitors withdrawal symptoms in opiate addicts. Using CBN in tandem with methadone may make it easier for users to taper off opiate use with fewer side effects. Researchers are also looking into using CBN and CBD as a direct replacement for methadone and buprenorphine. With fewer restrictions and less stigma surrounding cannabinoids, these treatment options would be more accessible to addicts. Unlike the drugs used today, CBN and CBD aren’t addictive.
What Else Do We Think CBN Can Do?
CBN products may replace THC for some therapeutic treatments, offering similar results without the drawback of psychoactive effects. CBN acts on the same nerve pathways as THC to reduce pain, has anti-inflammatory properties, and acts as an appetite stimulant. It also reduces intraocular pressure, so it may be an effective treatment for glaucoma.
CBN acts as an anticonvulsant that has similar effectiveness to THC and CBD. This makes it a possible treatment for epileptic seizures.
Mesenchymal cells form connective tissue in the body. CBN may encourage these cells to create bone tissue, decreasing healing times for broken bones.
CBN slows the growth of skin cells, making it a promising treatment for psoriasis. Coupled with the cannabinoid’s antibacterial properties, it may also be useful for managing MRSA (antibiotic-resistant staph infection) and burn recovery.
One rodent study shows that CBN may delay the onset of ALS. Further research needs to be conducted to see if this applies to humans, and if it is an effective treatment for other neurodegenerative diseases.
High Quality CBD and CBN Products You Can Trust
Hemp Living USA takes every step to ensure our CBD flower, oils and edibles are of the highest quality. We source flower from local producers here in Wisconsin, using it to produce our products in-house. Everything we offer is tested by a third party lab, and we publish those lab results on our website. If you’re looking for high quality CBD and CBN products, visit us online at www.hemplivingusa.com. If you live in Milwaukee, you can buy our products at our retail shop, Urban Vape and CBD. We’re located at 3473 N Oakland Ave, Suite 101.