Cannabidiol — also known as CBD — has been getting a lot of attention lately.
As it dominates headlines, sparks controversies, and finds its way onto menus in coffee shops across the country, you could even say that CBD is on track to becoming as well-known as its cousin, THC.
With all the focus on CBD, it’s easy to forget that there’s over 100 other cannabinoids out there, of which CBD and THC are only two. And among all of these naturally occurring cannabis-derived compounds, many have their own powerful therapeutic benefits that are on par with CBD. So with that in mind, which cannabinoid is next in line for its time in the spotlight?
Our nominee: CBN, short for cannabinol. In this article, we’ll dive into what CBN is, what its benefits are, and how it compares with CBD.
A QUICK PRIMER ON CBD AND CBN
Just in case you’re new to the world of cannabinoids, CBD is one of the primary compounds found in the cannabis plant (which includes both hemp and marijuana). CBD can make up anywhere from 1 percent to 25 percent of the plant, and in most strains, it’s the second most dominant cannabinoid next to THC. While THC is best known for its psychoactive properties, CBD won’t get you high; rather, its skyrocketing popularity is based entirely on its wide range of therapeutic benefits. Many consumers are touting the benefits of using CBD gummies and edibles for daily stress and anxiety, while others use the oils, balms and capsules for ailments like muscle pain, insomnia, and depression.
CBN is a bit different from CBD for a few reasons. The content in cannabis tends to be pretty low – 1 percent or even less — but external factors such as exposure to oxygen or heat can change it over time. Specifically, as cannabis ages, its THC content breaks down into CBN. Additionally, while CBD has zero psychoactive properties, the same can’t be said for CBN; that said, its psychoactive properties are very, very mild, so you’d likely need to take a massive dose of CBN to feel any sort of high.
CBN, although it may be new to you, researchers identified it as one of the very first cannabinoids ever and successfully isolated it for the first time in the 1930s. In fact, before discovering THC, researchers considered CBN to be the cause of the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
BENEFITS OF CBN AND CBD
Scientists have had CBN on their radar for a long time, but they have conducted very limited research on its use, especially when comparing it to the wealth of information available for both CBD and THC. That said, what we know so far about this cannabinoid is promising.
One of CBN’s biggest benefits is that it’s a strong sedative, making it effective as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety drug. According to Steep Hill Labs, CBN’s relaxing effects are comparable to the pharmaceutical diazepam, while a 1995 study on mice found that CBN can increase sleep time as well. Furthermore, taking CBD alongside CBN enhances its effectiveness for sleep. CBD has received praise for its ability to increase REM sleep, reduce nightmares, and treat sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.
Aside from sleep benefits, both CBN and CBD are potent anti-inflammatories with powerful pain relieving properties. Again, taking both cannabinoids together appears to make these benefits even more effective. Both CBN and CBD can also relieve pressure related to glaucoma, and both have antibacterial properties, including against antibiotic-resistant MRSA. Among other benefits, CBD is a powerful treatment for epilepsy and anxiety disorders, and CBN shows promise as an appetite stimulant as well.
WHAT TYPE OF CBD OIL CONTAINS CBN?
If you’re looking to get the most out of CBD and CBN, you’ll want to pick up some full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil, as these types of CBD oil contain both compounds. Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils are similar, with one crucial difference: THC.
Full spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including CBD, THC, CBN, and a variety of other compounds that vary depending on the strain. Broad spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, goes through additional processing to remove all traces of THC, while keeping all other cannabinoids intact.
The “entourage effect” makes full spectrum CBD oil a popular choice. Taking each cannabinoid together enhances the benefits. This includes THC and CBD, CBD and CBN, and so on. Meanwhile, broad spectrum CBD oil is ideal for those who desire the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil, but who can’t have any traces of THC.
CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS CBN
As you can see, CBN shows a lot of promise for a wide spectrum of issues.
We believe, that just like CBD, it can be quite powerful for pain relief, sleep troubles, and anxiety. When you take CBN with CBD, you often experience even more potent benefits.. Researchers are likely to conduct much more research into the benefits of CBN and other cannabinoids in the near future, considering all the attention CBD has received lately.
And who knows – maybe CBN will start showing up in coffee shops next, right alongside CBD. We’ll be keeping an eye out for it!