CBN benefits, uses, and history

CBN: Benefits, Uses, and History

Derived from the cannabis plant, Cannabinol, commonly known as CBN, is a non-intoxicating compound that offers a unique array of benefits and uses. Its fascinating history, coupled with its potential therapeutic properties, has intrigued researchers and wellness enthusiasts alike. 

From aiding in sleep disorders to potentially providing relief from anxiety and inflammation, CBN's rise to popularity has sparked curiosity and inspired further exploration into the world of cannabinoids. Understanding the history, uses, and benefits of CBN can help you make an informed decision about incorporating it into your wellness routine.

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The Definition: Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Because it comes from THC, it may carry psychoactive effects in larger doses.

The Process: CBN is formed through the degradation of THC over time, particularly when exposed to heat or oxygen. As cannabis ages, THC gradually converts into CBN.

How To Take: CBN is most commonly taken orally, either in the form of an oil, capsule, or gummy. You can start with a dosage of 5-20mg per day. Due to differences in individual tolerances, it is best to start with a low dosage and increase it gradually as you become more familiar with the effects of CBN. 

History: The history of CBN is intertwined with the broader history of cannabis and the discovery of cannabinoids. The isolation and identification of CBN as a distinct compound came about through the pioneering work of scientists in the mid-20th century.

More About CBN?

CBN is formed through the degradation of THC over time, particularly when exposed to heat or oxygen. As cannabis ages, THC gradually converts into CBN. This natural conversion process has led to CBN being referred to as a "byproduct" of THC.

While CBN is found in smaller quantities compared to THC and CBD, it still holds significant potential for therapeutic use. It is available in a variety of forms, including oils, gummies, capsules, and creams. 


What is CBN

How Does CBN Work?

CBN, like other cannabinoids, works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, which helps to regulate several processes, including sleep, appetite, mood, and pain sensation.

CBN works by interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, initiating chemical shifts within the body. These shifts, in turn, activate other systems, leading to a cascade of biological and physiological responses. In essence, CBN's interaction with the ECS sets off a chain of events that can influence and impact diverse aspects of our well-being.


Benefits Of CBN

CBN has been studied for a range of potential benefits, with research suggesting it may have therapeutic potential in areas such as sleep, pain relief, and neuroprotection. 

Promotes Better Sleep

Studies have suggested that CBN can be effective in promoting better sleep.1

While anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies suggest that CBN may have sedative properties and could potentially aid in improving sleep quality, more robust research is necessary to establish conclusive evidence.

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Alleviates Pain 

In a 2019 study conducted on rats with myofascial pain, researchers explored the combined effects of CBD and CBN. The study demonstrated that these cannabinoids exhibited analgesic effects, providing relief for chronic pain disorders. 2 Additionally, the research revealed that the application of topical CBN/CBD increased the mechanical threshold for sensitivity, indicating an increase in the muscle tissue's resistance to pain.

These findings suggest that CBN, in combination with CBD, could potentially offer benefits for managing chronic pain. 

Might Possess Neuroprotective Properties

CBN has the potential to offer therapeutic benefits for aging brains as well. A study reported in the Free Radical Biology Medicine journal revealed that CBN can shield neurons from oxidative stress and subsequent cell death, which are the primary causes of age-related neurodegenerative conditions.3

How Can I Take CBN?

Whether you prefer a touch of sweetness, a discreet capsule, or a topical embrace, there are various captivating ways to embark on your CBN journey. 

  • CBN oil can be taken orally or applied topically, with sublingual absorption being a popular method. It can also be added to food and beverages. 
  • CBN gummies are convenient and discreet, and they come in different flavors and strengths. They provide a tasty way to consume CBN without the taste of oil or the need for smoking. 
  • CBN capsules offer a precise dosage and are easy to take. 
  • CBN cream combines CBN with natural ingredients and can be used for relief from various conditions. It can be applied to the affected area and massaged into the skin.

Things To Consider Before Buying CBN

  • Legal Status: Verify the legal status of CBN in your jurisdiction. Cannabis laws can vary significantly from one state to another, so ensure that CBN is legal for purchase, possession, and use in your area. Some CBN products may carry greater amounts of THC, which could potentially bar you from accessing certain products where you live.
  • Quality and Purity: Look for reputable suppliers or manufacturers that adhere to strict quality control measures. Ensure that the CBN product has been tested by a third-party laboratory to verify its potency, purity, and safety.
  • Product Form and Delivery Method: Determine the preferred form of CBN that suits your needs, such as tinctures, capsules, edibles, or topicals.
  • Dosage and Potency: Consider the desired dosage and potency of the CBN product. Start with low doses and gradually increase as needed, as individual responses to cannabinoids can vary. 
  • Reputation and Reviews: Research the reputation of the brand or manufacturer. Read customer reviews and feedback to gauge the product's effectiveness, quality, and customer satisfaction.
  • Medical Considerations: If you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications, consult with a healthcare professional before using CBN. They can provide guidance on potential interactions, contraindications, and appropriate dosing.

By considering these factors before purchasing CBN, individuals can ensure that they are purchasing a product that is safe, effective, and of the highest quality. 


What is the recommended dosage of CBN? 

Generally, it is best to start with a low dosage and increase it gradually as you become more familiar with the effects of CBN. It is important to note that everyone’s body is different and will react differently to CBN, so it is important to find the dosage that works best for you.

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How to use CBN? 

CBN can be used in a variety of ways. It is most commonly taken orally through oils, gummies, capsules, or creams. Oils and tinctures are the most popular forms of CBN and can be taken sublingually or added to food and drinks. 

Gummies and capsules are both effective ways to obtain a precise dose of CBN. Creams, on the other hand, are applied directly to an affected area and provide targeted relief when used topically.

How to store CBN?

Proper storage of CBN is crucial to maintain its potency and quality over time. To store CBN effectively, it is recommended to keep it in a cool, dark, and dry place such as a pantry, cupboard, or closet. 

Exposure to excessive heat, light, and moisture can degrade the compound and diminish its effectiveness. It is best to store CBN in airtight containers, such as amber glass bottles or airtight plastic containers, to protect it from air and light. It is also important to keep CBN away from children and pets, as it can be toxic if ingested. 

Is CBN legal?

The legality of CBN depends on where you live. In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBN. This means that hemp-derived CBN is legal on a federal level in the US. However, individual states may have additional regulations on the sale and possession of hemp-derived products (especially those with significantly higher THC levels), so it is essential to check your local laws before purchasing or using CBN.

Is cannabinol found to protect against neurodegenerative diseases? 

Studies have suggested that CBN may have neuroprotective properties and can help to reduce the effects of neurodegenerative diseases. It is believed that CBN can help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are factors in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. That being said, CBN is not a suitable replacement for traditional medication. Always speak to your doctor before you incorporate a new supplement into your routine. 

Does cannabinol make you tired the next day?

CBN’s effects can vary from person to person. While CBN is often associated with sedative properties, there isn't extensive research specifically addressing whether it can cause tiredness the next day.

Does cannabinol affect heart rate?

CBN, like other cannabinoids, can potentially affect heart rate, although the specific effects can vary depending on various factors, including dosage, individual sensitivity, and other physiological factors.

What are possible health risks that may occur when taking cannabinol?

Experiencing fatigue and drowsiness is commonly reported as a side effect of CBN. These effects are believed to stem from the calming properties of CBN. However, it is important to understand that individuals may react differently to medications. Just because someone else showed symptoms after using CBN does not guarantee that you will have the same experience.

Can CBN help with anxiety?

While research specifically on CBN and anxiety is limited, cannabinoids, including CBN, have shown promise in managing anxiety symptoms. CBN interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating emotions and stress responses.


  1. Corroon, J. (2021). Cannabinol and Sleep: Separating Fact from Fiction. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
  2. Wong, H., & Cairns, B. E. (2019). Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. Archives of Oral Biology, 104, 33–39.
  3. Liang, Z., Soriano-Castell, D., Kepchia, D., Duggan, B. M., Currais, A., Schubert, D., & Maher, P. (2022). Cannabinol inhibits oxytosis/ferroptosis by directly targeting mitochondria independently of cannabinoid receptors. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 180, 33–51.