In the United States, the idea of legalizing marijuana is now widely endorsed by a growing number of lawmakers. While various marijuana bills, including those seeking federal legalization are currently in Congress, the states are also debating the modalities of legalizing the substance.
As of May 2022, medical cannabis was legal in 37 states, with the other 18 states legalizing recreational cannabis. State-level marijuana laws have been evolving in a bid to promote lawful activities.
But the biggest push toward decriminalizing cannabis happened in 2018 when Congress passed the Farm Bill. Besides many other things, this bill permits the cross-state movement of hemp-derived cannabis products for commercial and other purposes, as long as they have less than 0.3% of THC.
Despite all these developments, many are still unsure about the legality of other cannabis-derived products like those containing CBN oil. Keep reading to learn more about these relaxing products' legal status and properties.
What are the benefits and uses of CBN?
The exact number of compounds existing naturally in cannabis remains unknown. Some scientific publications contend they may be over 500, while others are slightly more conservative. Regardless, it is abundantly clear that cannabis compounds may have health benefits.
Research on the two most popular cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is ongoing, and some of their properties are well-grounded in science.
CBN is a metabolite of THC. Research shows it forms when THC is oxidized, explaining why it is typically found in aged cannabis plant matter. Unlike CBD, which does not bind to CB receptors, CBN binds to the G-protein coupled receptor CB2, which is mostly expressed in various immune cells such as dendritic cells, macrophages, B-cells, and T-cells.
CBN-induced activation of CB2 receptors may trigger immune cell apoptosis in addition to hindering the production of cytokines. For this reason, this cannabinoid is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.
Research on CBN is quite limited. However, the buzz generated by the health benefits of THC and CBD has shifted attention to other cannabinoids. So, here are the areas of where CBN could make a difference.
According to research published in the Archives of Oral Biology, CBN and CBD have analgesic properties. Their application was noted to help reduce myofascial pain in animals—a chronic pain illness related to fibromyalgia.
Additionally, combining CBN and CBD was noted to enhance their painkilling ability. The researchers noted that even though the analgesic impact of a CBD and CBN combination was not as potent as that of THC, it was less intoxicating.
This is where CBN takes a different trajectory from CBD. Unlike CBD, which is an appetite suppressant, CBN appears to boost appetite.
A 2012 animal study showed that oral CBN administration increased rats' feeding behavior. As a result, CBN may be used therapeutically to help those who struggle to maintain an appetite due to health conditions, such as cancer or its treatment.
Promoting restful sleep
There is speculation that CBN has potent sedative properties. A few animal studies suggest that CBN may increase sleep duration. This is possible because research shows CBN acts on transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and can also prevent the uptake of monoamine neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and GABA.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that CBN's sedative effects are enhanced when mixed with THC. However, there is no recent scientific study regarding CBN's capacity to induce sleep.
What are the effects of CBN?
Generally, CBN shows THC-like behavioral effects in non-human animal models but at a much lower potency level.
- Anticonvulsant – Like THC, CBN has been shown to possess anticonvulsant properties. However, it is not as potent as THC.
- Skin conditions – Thanks to its ability to inhibit the proliferation of keratinocytes via non-CBR mechanisms, CBN's potential for use in topical applications is promising.
CBN also has TRPV2 agonistic effects, which means it may be a valuable component of topical applications for treating burns.
- Bone health – research shows that CBN may stimulate the growth of quiescent mesenchymal stem cells in the marrow. Consequently, it may promote bone formation.
- Anti-cancer – because CBN may stimulate the growth of breast cancer resistant proteins, researchers hypothesize it may also have anti-cancer properties.
Overall, studies—preclinical and clinical—examining the effects of CBN are outdated and few. Most were conducted in the early 70s and 80s using modest sample sizes that lacked sociodemographic variety.
Can CBN help with sleep disorders?
Cannabis research is in its infancy stage, and with CBN being one of the lesser-known cannabinoids, there is no scientific proof that it can help with sleep disorders.
A 2021 review of available medical literature on CBN's sleep-inducing properties determined that the evidence was inconclusive. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence continues to build, and people with sleep problems who have used CBN profess it makes a difference.
In a separate study conducted at Kyushu University, the researchers showed that the CBN doses required to produce the same sleep effects (e.g., analgesia and stupor) were almost nine times more than the dose of THC with similar effects.
Further, another experiment on cannabis and sleep was carried out on healthy volunteers using oral doses of THC (20mg) and CBN (40mg). The findings showed no detectable changes in the intensity, quality, and duration of the effects of THC. Essentially, 40mg of CBN did nothing to enhance sleep.
Other studies show that CBN is a less potent sedative compared to THC and that, for the most part, it counteracts THC's sedative effects. Even at high doses (1200 mg), a study demonstrated that CBN does not induce catalepsy and analgesia—two conditions required for better sleep.
The fact that CBN interacts very weakly with the CB1 receptor might explain why it fails to have meaningful effects on pain relief, relaxation, and sleep.
Can you mix CBD and CBN?
Yes, you can mix CBN and CBD. In any case, broad spectrum and full spectrum cannabis products naturally have both cannabinoids so that they can be taken together.
Our CBD + CBN Sleep Gummies are made with CBD, in broad spectrum or full spectrum options, and include CBN. This combination makes these gummies powerful stress and anxiety relievers, making them ideal for people who want to fall and stay asleep faster and longer.
Furthermore, researchers seem to think cannabinoids work better together than in isolation—a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect."
Fortunately, our Sleep Drops also contain organic broad spectrum CBD and CBN plus herbal extracts (peppermint, lavender, and stevia) diluted in high-quality MCT oil for higher bioavailability and faster absorption into the bloodstream. This means the effects kick in faster and last longer!
Is CBN legal?
This depends on the source of the CBN. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its associated derivatives were detached from the Controlled Substances Act's (CSA) definition of marijuana. So, as long as your CBN product is derived from hemp and does not contain more than 0.3% THC by content, it is legal.
Even though CBN is not explicitly scheduled under the CSA, it remains illegal if its sources are non-exempted portions of the cannabis plant.
Is CBN legal in Texas?
Cannabis products derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content are legal in Texas as spelled out under Chapter 443 of the Texas Health & Safety Code.
Is CBN legal in the UK?
Medical cannabis is only legal in the UK under exceptional circumstances. Such compounds like CBN are controlled and illegal in the country. This is because the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) does not differentiate between cannabis, marijuana, or hemp.
Moreover, the logic behind criminalizing cannabinoid products in the UK stems from the fact that it is difficult to isolate pure CBD, which under the MDA 1971/MDR 2001, is not a controlled substance.
The anti-drug authorities, therefore, maintain that any CBD product is likely to contain controlled cannabinoids like THC and THCV.
Is CBN legal in Florida?
Yes, CBN is legal in Florida and all other states in the United States. The rule of thumb regarding the legality of cannabis products in the U.S. is that their THC content must not be more than 0.3%.
Are all CBN products legal?
No. Even though CBN is not currently scheduled under the CSA, it follows that CBN derived from marijuana and non-exempted marijuana parts is illegal in the U.S.
Is CBN oil legal?
CBN oil is a tincture made from hemp with above-average CBN content. Due to the relatively low quantities of CBN in hemp, CBN oils naturally contain low amounts of CBN.
Although the CBN industry is still young, most cannabis products also include CBD in a balanced CBN to CBD ratio or as the primary cannabinoid.
Again, the legality of CBN oil depends on its source. It is legal if it is derived from hemp, whose THC content is lower than 0.3%. However, it is illegal if derived from marijuana or high THC content hemp.