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CBN Effects – How Cannabinol Powerfully Supports Sleep, Mood, and Health

CBN effects on the human body have been researched by scientists, particularly in the US, for decades. 

Cannabinol (CBN), a by-product of THC found in trace amounts in some cannabis plants, is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid renowned for its calmative properties. 

How CBN Effects The Human Body

CBN Basics

Although it’s currently not as well known or as mainstream as CBD (Cannabidiol), which itself is widely used to treat an array of anxiety and sleep-related issues, CBN is an interesting and emerging alternative for people to consider.

Both CBN and CBD are cannabinoids – a chemical, of which there are over 100 different types, present in strains of cannabis – but there are some key differences between the two.

Perhaps most importantly, CBD is not psychoactive, while there’s currently no clear answer with regards to CBN’s psychoactive properties – some research has suggested cannabinol is “mildly psychoactive”, while other studies found it to be non-psychoactive. 

Although CBN was the first cannabinoid to be discovered, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH) are far better studied and more widely known. When cannabis is consumed, all three of these chemical compounds, plus countless others, enter the body.

The chemical properties of the various cannabinoids vary heavily, as do their effects on humans. 

CBN effects

CBN and the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids like CBN and CBD exert effects on the human body by interacting with its endocannabinoid system; the system which works to regulate some of the body’s physiological functioning and responses, such as appetite, mood, and cognitive functions

Note: CBN products available for purchase today are commonly derived from hemp, rather than marijuana. These products generally contain less than .03% THC and are considered non-psychoactive and are legal even in most states where marijuana is still illegal. Using these products will not generally show up on drug tests.

The Various Benefits of CBN 

CBN is used by some to tackle sleep ailments and improve one’s quality of sleep. By acting as a sedative, CBN effects may support prolonged sleep, as scientific research initially showed via a study in samples of mice.

Commenting on this study, Zoe Sigman, a principal researcher at Project CBD, a think-tank and non-profit CBD information hub, said:  

“We found that CBN slightly prolongs the sleep time in barbiturate-induced sleep in mice. There is no current information that I am aware of that proves CBN is a sedative, even though it is already being marketed as such.

The pharmacokinetics of CBN seems to be in between 1/6 and 1/10 of the potency of the CB1 receptor (cannabinoid receptor type-1) that THC is,”


Early research suggests that CBN effects can be amplified by combining the cannabinoid with THC, though there isn’t concrete scientific research supporting the potential sleep-inducing properties of cannabinol.

CBN as a Cancer Fighter?

With regards to the compound’s health benefits, there is some limited but encouraging evidence that CBN can act as a “cancer fighter”. Other cannabinoids are also being studied by scientists to determine if they can indeed play a part in tackling cancer, by reducing or completely halting the growth of cancerous tumors. 

A scientific study in 1975 found CBN to slow the growth rate of lung cancer in a sample of mice, and a more recent study, in 2014, found that the cannabinoid can be used to prime cancer cells ahead of radiation therapy, leading to better results. 

Other Potential Uses for CBN

There’s also been some promising research suggesting that CBN can help aid bone healing and growth, by stimulating the production of new bone. 

Additionally, by acting as an anti-convulsant, CBN can be used in the treatment of epilepsy. However, cannabinol’s anti-convulsant capabilities are reported to be far weaker than those of THC and CBD.

Other potential medical applications being researched include CBN’s potential to treat glaucoma, to act as an antibiotic, as supported in a 2008 study which found it to be effective in treating MRSA and to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. 

Cannabinoids, including CBN, alter and improve one’s mood via their interaction with the endocannabinoid system, and, in turn, influence the function of some neurotransmitters and hormones. 

This chain of interactions ultimately means CBN – and other cannabinoids – can affect your body’s energy levels, appetite, mood, cognitive function, and more. 

It’s because of these body-altering effects some people are looking to cannabinoids to improve the quality of their sleep, help them quit smoking, tackle anxiety, and improve their appetite. 

The scientific research conducted into cannabinoids, particularly CBN, has thus far proved inconclusive but nevertheless highly promising. 

As further research and trials are conducted, we’ll gain a better idea of exactly what ailments CBN can alleviate and improve – not just confirmation of the potential medical applications listed above, but perhaps also new uses and ways to improve the quality of people’s life.