There is talk about CBN for sleep. The minor cannabinoid cannabinol comes from the breakdown of THC when exposed to heat and light.
Research is constantly uncovering the properties and uses of various cannabinoids, and while most people know about THC and CBD, the lesser known cannabinoids are also gaining prominence as medical treatments. One such cannabinoid is cannabinol (CBN), which is, in a way, THC’s mellow spawn. And patients are already, ahead of research, reporting CBN for sleep.
What is CBN?
There is no hard and fast rule regarding sativa/indica and CBN concentration. You’ll find CBN in both types of cannabis, but CBN will always have an indica-effect. It will make you feel hungry and sleepy, two great qualities for treating many, many medical conditions. The overall effects of CBN include appetite stimulation, pain relief, and sedation. Unfortunately, even in strains containing CBN, the levels are usually only around one percent (usually less).
You can find higher quantities of CBN in older, cured plants within which the THC has begun to degrade. Sadly, that means that CBN is difficult to come by.
There’s a compound in cannabis called CBGa (Cannabigerolic acid) that is sort of like the mother of all the other cannabinoids. It is the “stem cell cannabinoid” that converts to THCa, CBDa, CBCa, and CBGa. It does this through different types of biosynthesis, where chemicals combine to form new compounds. Once the cannabis is heated, however, these acids are decarboxylated and become the cannabinoids that we are so familiar with: THC, CBD, CBC, and CBD. The cannabinoid, CBN is what happens after exposure to the elements (heat and light especially) and the oxidizing of THC.
Sedative Effects of CBN
Evidence suggests that CBN can be an incredibly powerful sedative. Just 5 mg of a cannabinol edible or capsule relaxes the body as well as 10 mg of valium! This is great for people that suffer from insomnia and even anxiety. Try vaping strains that are high in CBN to treat your anxiety: Ace of Spades and Animal Cookies. Expect to hear more on the topic of CBN for sleep.
Researchers have used animal models to understand the effects of CBN on hunger. They administered CBN to a group of rats and concluded that the rats given CBN ate larger quantities more quickly and for longer time periods. Additionally, CBN is non-intoxicating – so if you struggle with appetite, you don’t need to go to cloud 9 every time you need a little boost.
Other Potential Benefits of CBN
CBN has a range of other effects, from potentially slowing the progression of ALS, to possibly working as an antibacterial agent. This is unsurprising, given what we know of cannabis already. As a topical, it has antibacterial benefit, and, as one preclinical study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2017), suggests, it also may effectively treats psoriasis and even burns. Preclinical means that the tests have been conducted on animals with the goal of presenting a suitable safety profile to proceed to human clinical trials.
CBN has no intoxicating effects. In one 1975 study, a small sample size of men took CBN without THC, and then another group took CBN combined with THC. Researchers found that when given the combination, CBN actually enhances the effects of THC. However, on its own, CBN offered no ‘high.’ In another 1975 study, published by the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, however, they found that, if while there were effects of CBN on THC outcomes, they were so slight as to barely be noticeable. Science is still up in the air, and research on this cannabinoid is definitely lacking.
CBN is only found in small quantities in the cannabis plant. Because of this, some people in the industry have been moving toward extracting the cannabinoid to create concentrations. For instance, in Colorado Mary’s Medicinals serves up Cannabinol Capsules, as well as CBN transdermal patches.
Another company, SpOILed Patients Collective, has produced Hornet Hibernate – a CBN-rich drink (around 10-12%) that uses the entourage effects of CBC, CBD, and trace quantities of THC to induce sleep. In fact, this drink is so powerful that all you need is a teaspoon to get a quality eight hours.
Does CBN Mean a Good Night’s Sleep
And the effects of CBN aren’t going unnoticed. Veterans in the Weed for Warriors initiative in the US are using Hornet Hibernate to help reduce opioid and fentanyl patch dependency. Insomnia (and other sleep disorders) plus high stress are devastating symptoms of PTSD that afflict many veterans.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, CBN may be even better than THC. Much more research is on the way to cover off the medical benefits of CBN. Still, anecdotal reports already give it two sleepy thumbs up.