When you hear about cannabinoids we naturally gravitate to THC and CBD. THC is probably the most widely known but also the most controversial due to its psychoactive properties. CBD has exploded in popularity due to its wide range of health benefits. But there are over 100 other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Which one should you be taking to help you sleep better?
CBD can do a lot of things but some people actually experience a burst of energy from CBD. This can be especially true in smaller doses. Not exactly what you might be looking for when you are trying to sleep. Could CBN (cannbinol) be the best option to help you sleep?
What Is CBN
If you have concerns about taking THC we don’t want to scare you off immediately. CBN is simply a product of broken-down THC. Cannabinol is very commonly found in old cannabis. If you are concerned about the psychoactive properties of THC or failing a drug test don’t let this turn you off to CBN.
CBN is actually a different compound than THC even though it comes from THC. As THC is exposed to oxygen and heat over time it actually converts into CBN. But since it has actually changed from THC to CBN you will not experience any of the psychoactive effects that you get from THC. CBN is not just THC that has lost its psychoactive effects.
Does CBN Help With Sleep
There is not a lot of scientific evidence to suggest CBN promotes sleep. There is an old study from 1975 that seems to indicate that CBN does promote sleep. The catch to this is that the CBN in this study also had THC in it. So this study doesn’t necessarily give evidence that CBN has an impact on sleep by itself.
The most evidence that you will find about CBN helping with sleep is from actual users of CBN. Many people who are using CBN are taking it because they believe it helps them to sleep. But the question is whether it is actually the CBN that is helping them or maybe something else?
The Entourage Effect
With a lack of scientific research to show that CBN does actually promote sleep many point to something else to explain how CBN helps with sleep. The most widely accepted reasoning is because of something called the Entourage Effect.
We know that THC is effective in helping to promote sleep. That has been studied and researched. When it comes to CBN promoting sleep it may be more likely that CBN working in conjunction with other cannabinoids as part of the Entourage Effect provides the benefits.
The Entourage Effect is the thought that the various parts of the hemp plant work together to provide the greatest benefits. This means that the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes are working together to amplify the effects of each other. This may be how CBN has helped so many people as an effective sleep aid.
To achieve the Entourage Effect it is best to find full-spectrum CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD products utilize all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the hemp plant to allow the greatest chance for them to collectively work together to achieve the Entourage Effect. One drawback for some is that full-spectrum products do contain some THC as it is not filtered out.
What Side Effects Come with CBN?
The bottom line is that we really don’t fully understand if there are side effects from CBN. The truth is that there are just not enough studies to show one way or the other.
We know and understand that CBD can interact with some medications. This can lead to CBD amplifying the effects of some medications which could be harmful. We do not know if the same holds true with CBN because we do not have enough interaction to make an educated claim.
It’s worth noting that just because we don’t have conclusive evidence of side effects of CBN doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t any side effects. It is logical to think that CBN could have similar side effects to CBD but we can’t say for sure. If you listen to actual users then it would lead you to believe that CBN has very few side effects, similar to its CBD counterpart.
If you are taking prescription medication, pregnant, or breastfeeding then our recommendation would be to not take CBN. Without proper information available our opinion would be to stay on the safe side.
On top of that, before taking any supplements, such as CBN, we recommend that you seek advice from a healthcare provider. This same advice holds true if you are thinking about taking CBD for the first time as well. This goes for anyone, regardless of how healthy you think you are.
How Do I Buy CBN
Buying CBN oil is similar to buying CBD oil. However, CBN is not as popular and not as easy to find online as CBD.
If you look at some of the top CBD brands you are starting to see that more and more of them are offering CBN oil. Buying CBN from online companies gives you the most possible options and allows you to find the best prices as well.
Finding the Best CBN Oil
When you are searching for CBN oil it doesn’t have to be complicated but there are a few important steps that we highly recommend.
Find a trusted brand – Doing your research to make sure a brand is trustworthy could save you a lot of trouble in the long run. We can’t stress the importance of finding a solid brand that offers the CBN products that you are looking for. The CBN oil is only as good as the brand that stands behind it. Do not overlook this step.
Third party lab testing – Again, this is critical in finding CBN oil that you can trust. Third-party lab testing is becoming more and more of an industry standard. It is standard for the top quality brands on the market today. If you are not able to obtain a detailed third-party lab testing report on a product then we would encourage you to think twice about buying it. Ideally, the lab report will be available right on the website for easy viewing. Sometimes you may have to send a request to the company.
Know the ingredients – Researching and understanding the ingredients is an important part of finding the best CBN oil. Whenever possible we would prefer to go with USDA certified organic ingredients or all-natural ingredients. USDA certified CBN products may cost you a bit more but having that peace of mind about what you are putting into your body is well worth the additional cost to some people
Know where and how the hemp is grown – Understanding where and how the hemp is grown is important. We prefer CBN oil products that feature hemp that is grown in the United States whenever possible. There are also hemp farmers that are USDA certified organic.
Is CBN Legal
The legality of CBN is somewhat confusing. As we mentioned, CBN is formed when THC breaks down. So the question seems to be where does the THC itself come from.
THC is found in much higher concentrations in the marijuana plant as compared to the hemp plant. More TH would lead to the possibility of more CBN because the CBN comes from the THC. However, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 substance so it seems that any CBN that comes from THC in marijuana would not be legal.
On the other hand, industrial hemp also contains THC but under the federally legal limit of 0.3% of THC. This industrial hemp is legal in the US because of the 2018 Farm Bill. If you go with this logic then CBN obtained from industrial hemp would be legal.
Unfortunately there are no specific laws regarding the legality of CBN specifically. However, the consensus seems to be that if you stick with CBN that is derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC then you are legal. If CBN is being obtained from marijuana then that would not be legal.
In all honesty, THC is probably the best cannabinoid for sleep that we are aware of at this time. It has been clinically proven to help many people sleep better. The problem with THC is that for many people it is illegal or they do not feel comfortable using THC. Possibly because of a drug test or maybe because they do not want the psychoactive effects.
There is little research evidence about CBN in general and nothing out there that we are aware of that says it would be the best cannabinoid for sleep. That’s not to say that CBN is useless as there are many consumers who are experiencing good results from CBN oil. The problem is that it’s almost impossible to say that it is the CBN that is directly providing the benefits.
Many experts tend to believe that CBN probably plays a role in these effects as a minor cannabinoid but that the Entourage Effect is what is really producing results. When all of the cannabinoids, including CBD and CBN, are working together there is the greatest impact.
When it comes to a cannabinoid that is going to help you sleep you may be better off looking towards a sleep-specific CBD product.