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What is CBN? What you need to know about this cannabinoid

Over the past couple of years, CBD has invaded the beauty, food and beverage, and wellness industries in the form of everything from bath salts to fruit gum, seltzer, chocolate, and oil drops.

However, there is a new cannabis-derived chemical that is soon to become as popular as CBD, thanks to its ability to promote a good night’s sleep. Meet CBN. It’s a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that offers relaxing and sleep-inducing properties, which means your sleep could be more restful after consuming CBN gummies or oil drops.

What is CBN?

Cannabinol, aka CBN, is derived from hemp plants. “CBN and CBD are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but they have different chemical structures,” explains Dr. Elizabeth Ardillo, director of medical education at Green Thumb Industries.

When THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main active ingredient in cannabis, is heated and exposed to Co2 (oxygen), it turns into what is known as CBN. What makes it the latest and greatest cannabis-derived product? “CBN products are popular right now because they promote a better night’s sleep. They have a relaxing effect,” she adds.

But what about CBD?

They’re only one letter away, so what’s the difference between CBD and CBN? CBD, which is a Cannabidiol, is found in cannabis and hemp plants. In contrast, CBN is created by exposing THC to light. Biology aside, CBN has mild psychoactive effects, unlike CBD-based products; you may feel a high when taking a CBN-based product, but it won’t be as intense as the one you would feel when consuming THC. See also: The differences between CBG and CBN

The benefits of taking CBN

Research on the effects of CBN is limited since this cannabinoid is difficult to synthesize. Most of the studies that exist are still in preclinical phases, but we can retain some interesting potential effects:

  • It helps to reduce anxiety
  • It acts against certain bacteria
  • It increases appetite, without psychoactive effect
  • It has a soothing effect on inflammation
  • It promotes sleep and a better sleep

Researchers are particularly interested in its effect on appetite, since it seems to stimulate hunger behaviors like THC. Its main advantage? Unlike the latter molecule, it does not produce undesirable and psychoactive side effects.

As with CBD, the benefits of taking CBN include improved sleep quality, pain relief and anti-inflammation. However, CBN is much more potent when it comes to sleep. “CBD is not as useful as CBN when we’re talking about these relaxing properties,” says Dr. Ardillo.

After taking a CBN supplement, the average consumer can expect to feel the effects within 30 to 180 minutes. “We don’t want someone to take one dose and after 15 minutes take another because they don’t feel any effects. It’s very important to understand how these products work to ensure your health and safety,” she says. If you don’t feel the effects of CBN, wait at least an hour before taking another dose.