A Look at CBN vs CBD and Some of Its Possible Health Benefits

Cannabis Plant

By now we will just assume that you have heard of CBD. The use of CBD has grown exponentially in recent years and the benefits of CBD have been talked about on many different levels. But CBN, or cannabinol, is a less well-known cannabinoid that is found in cannabis.

Like CBD and THC, CBN is also unique to cannabis but each of these natural cannabinoids can have its own health benefits. We will take a closer look at what CBN is, how it differs from CBD, and some of the possible health benefits that you may be missing out on.

What is CBN

CBN (cannabinol), like CBD, is a natural chemical compound, or a cannabinoid, that is found in the cannabis plant. 

CBN is considered a mild drug compared to the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. It is a non-psychoactive drug just like CBD is. This means that neither CBD nor CBN contains mind-altering properties.

CBN is not as widely popular as CBD at this point. Part of the reason is that we simply don’t know as much about CBN and its health benefits. CBN is also not as readily available so there have not been many studies completed to help understand its benefits or side effects.

CBN vs CBD – How Do They Compare?

Let’s start with some of the main similarities between CBN and CBD. You may already be aware that both CBN and CBD are active chemicals found in the cannabis plant. These chemicals are known as cannabinoids and there are over 100 of these cannabinoids found in cannabis. 

The most well-known of these chemical compounds are probably THC and CBD. THC is the most controversial for many people because of its psychoactive abilities. CBD has also become wildly popular because of its wide variety of health benefits.

Along with THC, both CBN and CBD interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is still being studied by scientists and we are continually learning more. As more is learned about the ECS scientists are showing that it plays a large role in maintaining homeostasis within your body.

How Do We Get CBN?

We mentioned earlier that CBN is only found in very low concentrations within the cannabis plant. That can obviously pose challenges for manufacturing. One big difference between CBD and CBN is how we extract these chemicals. 

There are a few main ways that CBD is extracted from industrial hemp plants. Industrial hemp contains high concentrations of CBD and using these methods makes it efficient and fairly inexpensive to extract CBD to be able to utilize it in final products for consumers.

CBN on the other hand is not produced in the same manner. Cannabis does not contain high enough concentrations of CBN to make it feasible to extract it from cannabis. The way that CBN shows up in high concentrations happens from a process called oxidation. CBN actually comes directly from oxidized THC believe it or not. 

To get enough usable CBN manufacturers actually take THC and expose it to light and heat. This process of oxidation causes the THC to chemically break down and one of the byproducts of the process is CBN.

Potential Health Benefits of CBN

CBN may help reduce pain. This is important because it’s a huge attention grabber because so many people suffer from daily aches and pains. Interestingly enough, this is a major reason why CBD has become so popular as well. 

Capsaicin is an ingredient that is found in most topical pain relievers out there. It is also found in chili peppers but more importantly, nerves that are sensitive to capsaicin are an integral part of our body’s pain signaling. Research is showing that CBN is showing that it can influence neurons that are also sensitive to capsaicin, which is leading to reduced pain being felt.

Anti-inflammatory properties. Right along with reduced pain CBN also seems to have the ability to help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation goes hand in hand with reduced pain.

CBN can fight bacteria. This is like saying that CBN could be similar to an antibiotic in some circumstances. One interesting study found that CBN was effective in treating MRSA. MRSA is a bacterial infection that is notoriously difficult to get rid of because of its resistance to antibiotics. 

CBN may be able to help fight cancer. There is ongoing research around cannabinoids and the possibility of them helping fight cancer. CBN, along with other cannabinoids, has been found to be able to reduce the size of tumors in a certain type of lung cancer. There is more work and research needed to determine how effective CBN may be but preliminary studies do at least show some hope.

CBN can help to stimulate and increase your appetite. This may not seem like a big deal to many. But if you have an illness, such as cancer, the sickness and the treatments can make you lose your appetite. Even though you are sick your body still needs nourishment. CBN may be an option to help stimulate appetites in situations like this which will help patient recovery.

CBN may help to heal your bones. Research has indicated that CBN may help to stimulate new bone growth and production in your body. It works to activate stem cells which in turn grow new bone cells. On top of that, it may even help to heal bones that have been fractured.  So if you were to have a fractured leg CBN may help to heal your bone and also provide you with reduced pain and inflammation while you are recovering.

CBN may help you sleep. This is a very interesting health benefit and one that is gaining more and more attention. So many people have trouble sleeping so this would be a welcome benefit for them.

CBN is a sedative and in mice, it has prolonged sleep time. Other researchers are suggesting that CBN is even more powerful when it is combined with THC. These are in the early stages so there is nothing definitive scientifically. However, many users of CBN are expressing good results when it comes to improved sleep.

Where to Find CBN Products

Consumer interest in CBN is fairly new so finding CBN products will not be as easy as finding CBD products. On top of that, we mentioned that CBN is found in very low concentrations in most cannabis plants, especially young plants. It only comes from plants that have been stored for long periods.

We recommend starting with some of the best CBD brands in the market today for your CBN products. Here are a few trusted brand names that are currently offering CBN products that you may be interested in.

Extract Labs


Do All CBD Products Contain CBN?

The simple answer is no, not all CBD products contain CBN. 

CBN is a minor cannabinoid so it will be found in trace amounts in many full-spectrum or even broad-spectrum CBD products. That is part of the reason why we prefer full-spectrum products. They allow you to experience the full entourage effect of all of the cannabinoids of the hemp plant. When they all work together and complement each other is when we find the best possible results.

For example, one certificate of analysis that we reviewed was a full-spectrum CBD oil. It contained 1502.7 mg of CBD per 30mL. It only contained 4.8mg of CBN in that 30mL. Obviously a much lower concentration but there is still CBN because it is full-spectrum and derived from the entire cannabis plant.

However, to gain the full benefits of CBN, you need a product that is specifically designed around CBN. Those products will be made from hemp plants that have oxidized over time and the THC has converted into CBN for its maximum effects.

CBN is federally legal in the United States as long as it is derived from industrial hemp that contains 0.3% THC or less. If the CBN was being extracted from marijuana plants with high THC concentrations then that would not be legal.

All of the brands that we recommend are deriving CBD and CBN from federally legal hemp.

Final Thoughts From The CBD Guru

CBN is fairly new and it is not widely available at this point. One thing that is holding it back is that it comes from THC. Federal law says that hemp plants can only contain up to 0.3% THC so that immediately limits how much CBN is available as well. If higher THC levels start to be approved then the market for CBN will likely grow as well.

We really can’t stress it enough but please make sure to buy CBN products from only reputable sources. If you are buying from online brands always make sure that they are brands you trust. You should be able to view COA’s for products that you are buying. This brings transparency to the transaction and safety for you as the consumer.

CBN is something to keep an eye out for in the coming years. As new research emerges it could further solidify the effectiveness of CBN. As it is becoming more popular we believe you will start seeing more CBN becoming available.

CBN is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. While it’s not as popular as CBD just yet it is showing some great potential.



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