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What Is CBN and What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?

Updated 6/21/19

Do you remember the first time you heard about CBD? Remember how the national opinion of cannabis changed drastically once we gained knowledge of its non-intoxicating compounds? And who could forget how this discovery impacted the lives of children suffering from seizures and patients with chronic pain, anxiety, and inflammation?

What you may not know is there are many other medicinal compounds like CBD unique to cannabis that we’re becoming acquainted with. Allow us to introduce you to yet another of these therapeutic offerings, CBN.

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What Are CBN’s Effects and Benefits?

Its name may bear striking resemblance to CBD, but cannabinol, or CBN, offers a unique profile of effects and benefits that have researchers clamoring for more scientific investigation. So far, CBN’s studied benefits include:

CBN is popularly believed to be sedating in effect, but there’s still no quality research to support this claim. It may interact with other cannabinoids and cannabis compounds to enhance a product’s overall therapeutic effect profile (a phenomenon known as the entourage effect), but more research is needed to understand the effects CBN delivers when isolated.

Unlike THC, CBN induces little to no intoxicating effects. This is great news for patients needing to medicate with a clear head, but you should note that most flowers contain only trace amounts of CBN. Where THC contents can hit a high watermark of 30%, CBN rarely exceeds 1% in dried flower. If you’re looking to try a CBN-rich product, keep an eye out for concentrates, patches, and tinctures formulated to contain high levels of this cannabinoid.

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Where Can I Find CBN?

As THC is exposed to oxygen, light, and heat over time, it converts to CBN. This is why aged cannabis is likely to have higher levels of CBN than fresh flower. But before dooming yourself to a life of parched buds of yesteryear, know that CBN-rich products are already on the way.

Oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and patches with pronounced CBN profiles are rare, but their proliferation will undoubtedly grow with the changing attitudes toward cannabis. Until then, look for lab-tested flowers and concentrates exhibiting high CBN levels. (Or just keep soldiering through that 2-year-old snicklefritz. We won’t judge.)