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CBN is The Mellow Spawn of THC That Makes You Sleep Hard

Emily Robertson
sleep, sedative, CBN, THC, CBD, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, appetite, hunger stimulant, relax

Most of the CBN (Cannabinol) in cannabis comes from the breakdown of THC when exposed to heat and light, and it sure gives a good night’s sleep.

Research is constantly uncovering the properties and uses of various cannabinoids, and while most people know about THC and CBD, the lesser known cannabinoids are also gaining prominence as medical treatments.  One such cannabinoid is cannabinol (CBN), which is, in a way, THC’s mellow spawn.

Man sleeping happy

What is CBN?

There is no hard and fast rule regarding sativa/indica and CBN concentration. You’ll find CBN in both types of cannabis, but CBN will always have an indica-effect. It will make you feel hungry and sleepy, two great qualities for treating many, many medical conditions. The overall effects of CBN include appetite stimulation, pain relief, and sedation. Unfortunately, even in strains containing CBN, the levels are usually only around 1% (usually less).

You can find higher quantities of CBN in older, cured plants within which the THC has begun to degrade. Sadly, that means that CBN is difficult to come by.

There’s a compound in cannabis called CBGa (Cannabigerolic acid) that is sort of like the mother of all the other cannabinoids.  It is the “stem cell cannabinoid” that converts to THCaCBDa, CBCa, and CBGa. It does this through different types of biosynthesis, where chemicals combine to form new compounds. Once the cannabis is heated, however, these acids are decarboxylated and become the cannabinoids that we are so familiar with: THC, CBD, CBC, and CBD. The cannabinoid, CBN is what happens after exposure to the elements (heat and light especially) and the oxidizing of THC.

Relaxed Asian Woman

Sedative Effects of CBN

CBN has actually been shown to be an incredibly powerful sedative. Just 5 mg of a cannabinol edible or capsule relaxes the body as well as 10 mg of valium! This is great for people that suffer from insomnia and even anxiety. Try vaping strains that are high in CBN to treat your anxiety: Ace of Spades and Animal Cookies.

Appetite Stimulant

Researchers have used animal models to understand the effects of CBN on hunger. They administered CBN to a group of rats and concluded that the rats that were fed CBN ate larger quantities more quickly and for longer time periods. Additionally, CBN is non-psychoactive – so if you struggle with appetite, you don’t need to go to cloud 9 every time you need a little boost.

Other Benefits of CBN

CBN has a range of other effects, from potentially slowing the progression of ALS, to working as an antibacterial agent. This is unsurprising, given what we know of cannabis already. As a topical, it has antibacterial benefit, and, as one preclinical study has suggested, it also effectively treats psoriasis and even burns.

Young woman scratching psoriasis on her hand

Non-Psychoactive Effects

CBN has no psychoactive effects. In one study, a small sample size of men were given CBN without THC, and then provided with CBN combined with THC. Researchers found that when given the combination, CBN actually enhances the effects of THC. However, on its own, CBN offered no ‘high.’ In another study, however, they found that, if while there were effects of CBN on THC outcomes, they were so slight as to barely be noticeable. Science is still up in the air, and research on this cannabinoid is definitely lacking.

CBN is only found in small quantities in the cannabis plant. Because of this, some people in the industry have been moving toward extracting the cannabinoid to create concentrations. For instance, in Colorado Mary’s Medicinals serves up Cannabinol Capsules, as well as CBN transdermal patches.

Another company, SpOILed Patients Collective, has produced Hornet Hibernate – a CBN-rich drink (around 10-12%) that uses the entourage effects of CBC, CBD, and trace quantities of THC to induce sleep. In fact, this drink is so powerful that all you need is a teaspoon to get a quality 8 hours.

CBN = A Good Night’s Sleep

And the effects of CBN aren’t going unnoticed. Veterans in the Weed for Warriors initiative in the US are using Hornet Hibernate to help reduce opioid and fentanyl patch dependency. Insomnia (and other sleep disorders) plus high stress are devastating symptoms of PTSD that afflict many veterans.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, CBN may be even better than THC. Much more research is on the way to cover off the medical benefits of CBN. Still, anecdotal reports already give it two sleepy thumbs up.

Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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