There are over 120 naturally occurring cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Of course, the most well-known are CBD and THC. But a couple of other cannabinoids have started to make an appearance, one of those being CBN. While the acronyms of CBN and CBD appear similar, they both differ rather significantly in how they’re produced and how they potentially affect the body.
Let’s learn a little more about this lesser-known cannabinoid, CBN. How is it similar to CBD? How is it different? Let’s find out all about the benefits, effects, and much more!
CBD 101: A Quick Refresh
Probably the most famous hemp compound, CBD is one of the more studied and popular phytocannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Emerging research suggests that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, and may help to support balance and may even be calming.
When cannabinoid receptors interact with cannabinoids like the ones produced by the body, natural endocannabinoids or plant-based phytocannabinoids, they send messages throughout the cells’ tissues, organs, and systems of the body.
CBD is typically taken one of three ways:
Capsules – Swallowing and processing a CBD capsule through the digestive system
Liquid Tincture – Swallowing and processing CBD oil tincture liquid. While this is still processed through the digestive system, the body does not also have to break down a capsule.
Topically – Applying CBD oil externally where it can moisturize and nourish the skin
What Is CBN
CBN stands for cannabinol. Yes, that could easily be mistaken for cannabidiol (CBD) for those new to the realm of hemp cannabinoids, but let’s discuss how they are very different. Cannabinol, like THC, is derived from THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid). THCA is a cannabis compound that is not psychoactive and is found in raw, live cannabis. THCA won’t get a person high like it’s decarboxylated byproduct ∆9-THC.
So how does CBN come out of THCA?
CBN is an oxidation and decomposition product of THCA. With light, heat, and air, THCA can convert into CBNA (cannabinolic acid). CBN is then created by decarboxylating the CBNA. It can be challenging to find hemp plants with high levels of CBN because of how it is produced, which can make this cannabinoid more expensive on the consumer side of things. When needed, many manufacturers will create CBN in a lab due to the minimal amounts often found in plants.
What Does CBN Do and Are There CBN Benefits?
So, what does CBN do, exactly?
Many say that CBN has similar qualities to THC but with a more mild experience. For example, while more research is certainly needed, some anecdotal reports indicate CBN may help support normal appetite.
While many factors depend on the product you’re buying and how your body reacts to the CBN, studies on cannabinol are in very early stages, so it’s too soon to determine much conclusively.
While CBN is typically present in smaller quantities, it, like other cannabinoids in the hemp plant, may have a greater impact when it’s present with other beneficial cannabinoids like those found in a broad-spectrum CBD oil. This amalgamation of cannabinoids creates something called The Entourage Effect — where the sum of the whole is greater than its parts.
As for beyond that, it’s still too early to know with more certainty what the CBN effects are, at this point in time. More research is needed to understand this cannabinoid in greater depth. However, one thing is for certain, the cannabinoids found in the hemp plants have so many beneficial properties for people.
CBN vs. CBD: The Major Differences
The major difference between CBN and CBD is the chemical makeup. Based on the current research, both CBN and CBD may offer similar or complementary benefits towards a person’s wellness, yet they both are produced differently. The amount of CBN in a product is dependent on how it is manufactured — how much light, heat, and air it’s been exposed to. On the other hand, it’s much easier to grow a CBD hemp plant with the compound found right on the plant in the form of CBDA.
Is it worth investing in CBD products that also contain CBN? That’s really dependent on what you’re seeking. As always, it’s essential to do your research into the brands you’re supporting to ensure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients delivered to your body. As with all supplements, you should consult with your healthcare provider. CBN shows promise, just as CBD does, although it is lesser-known. It’ll be exciting to watch as the research continues to unfold.