CBN - Everything You Need to Know About Cannabinol

Evidence based

CBN - Everything You Need to Know About Cannabinol
CBD’s popularity has been booming for over three years now. Amazing how time flies, huh? Now it seems to be CBN’s turn. CBN, or cannabinol, is another amazing cannabinoid found only in cannabis/hemp...and it has some pretty unique effects. Here’s what you need to know about CBN. 
  • What is CBN?
  • How to take CBN
    • CBN oil
    • CBN tinctures
  • CBN effects
    • CBN and sleep
  • Dosing CBN
  • Summing things up

What is CBN?

CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid, which places it into the same family as CBD, CBG, THC, and over a hundred others. [1] Unlike any of the other big six cannabinoids, however, CBN shows up when hemp is exposed to heat or light. (Only trace amounts of CBN are naturally present in full spectrum hemp oil.) Both CBD and THC can be broken down into CBN under the right conditions. [2] CBN may not be quite as well known as relatives like CBD or THC, but it was actually the first cannabinoid discovered. This happened back in the 30s, at the lab of a british chemist named Robert S. Cahn. [3] CBN also has unique effects. Its slightly smaller structure allows it to activate receptors — and confer effects — that other cannabinoids just can’t. [4] More on CBN’s effects later. 

How to take CBN

CBN, like virtually any other cannabinoid, can be infused into a wide variety of products. Common ways to take CBN include oils, tinctures, and edibles. 

CBN oil 

CBN oil is the simplest, most effective way to take CBN. CBN can be infused into a premium carrier oil just like CBD can.  Why the similarity? Both CBN and CBD are fat-soluble, meaning they’re both absorbed best when taken with a little oil/fat. They’re also both broken down in your liver, which means that taking CBN sublingually via oil/tincture is the best way to avoid premature breakdown. [5]

CBN tinctures

CBN tinctures are another popular way to take CBD. Technically, a tincture is a liquid preparation of cannabinoids that uses an alcohol base, though today the terms oil and tincture are often used interchangeably. True CBN tinctures were once rare — but they’re slowly getting more common. 

CBN effects

Many CBN users find that CBD is just a little more powerful than CBD. CBN feels relaxing and uplifting...especially if one takes a big dose.  While CBN works well on its own, it becomes even more powerful if taken alongside CBD.   According to one study, “combinations of CBD/CBN induced a longer-lasting reduction of mechanical [pain] sensitization than either compound alone.” [6] Some experts feel that CBN plays a vital role within hemp’s overall entourage effect. 

CBN and sleep

Sleep might be the area where CBN truly shines. Studies show that it may regulate the central nervous system enough to instill peace and calmness.  One older study found that CBN may improve sleep just as much as THC. [7] “I think CBN can be effective as a sleep aid,” naturopathic doctor Nadia Musavvir explained to TZR. “It’s one of the more studied effects and supposed to be more effective than CBD for sleep.” [8]

Dosing CBN

Unlike some cannabinoids, CBN seems to be powerful enough to also work at low doses. Consider starting with a low dose and slowly adjusting upwards as needed. 

Summing things up

At the end of the day, CBN is well-studied, legal, and safe. We can’t think of many better ways to relax naturally than to try out this unique cannabinoid.
CBN - Everything You Need to Know About Cannabinol


(PMC), P. M. (2013). A Brief Background on Cannabis: From Plant to Medical Indications. PubMed Central (PMC).

Adams, R. (1940). Structure of Cannabidiol. VI. Isomerization of Cannabidiol to Tetrahydrocannabinol, a Physiologically Active Product. Conversion of Cannabidiol to Cannabinol1. ACS Publications.

Pertwee, R. G. (2006, January 1). Cannabinoid Pharmacology. British Pharmacological Society | Journals.

P. (2021). Cannabidiol. PubChem.

Tomida, I. (2006). Effect of sublingual application of cannabinoids on intraocular pressure: a pilot study. PubMed.

Wong, H. (2019). Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. PubMed.

Karniol, I. G. (1975b). Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man. PubMed.

Dr. Nadia. (2021). DR. NADIA MUSAVVIR.

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Written by:

Jay Hartenbach
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