What Does CBN Do?

*This article is purely informational and does not constitute medical or legal advice. Consult your healthcare provider about CBN.

What does CBN do?
What does CBN do?

What Does CBN Do?

What does CBN do, according to studies?

In two of our last articles on CBN, we discussed the quintessential facts about the cannabinoid and how it fares with other cannabinoids such as CBG (Cannabigerol), respectively. In this blog, let’s dive even further into what CBN does for animals and humans, at least according to studies.

More and more people have been discovering the delights of cannabis-derived products. Cannabidiol or CBD has become popular to the point that it has been commercially developed into several product forms such as gummies, oils, and creams.

But did you know cannabis offers more than just CBD? The hemp plant, where CBD is derived, has hundreds of other types, with suspected benefits to its users. One component you probably haven’t heard of is CBN or Cannabinol. 

What is CBN?

CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid derived from cannabis. It’s one of the rarer cannabinoids in the plant, making up only 0.3 to 1% of all cannabinoids. CBN is formed as a result of the oxidation of Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid or THCA, the precursor to Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives its users that “high” sensation. CBN may be derived from THC, but it’s considered to have a much milder psychoactive effect compared to the latter. It contains about a quarter of the psychoactive factor of THC. 

CBN may not be as popular as CBD and THC, but it was the first cannabinoid to be isolated from varieties of cannabis. 

CBN was first discovered in the resin liquid of Indian hemp in 1896. However, the compound wasn’t really looked at until 1932. Esteemed British chemist R.S. Cahn defined CBN’s chemical structure, leading to its chemical synthesis in 1940.

Is CBN legal?

It depends on where it was sourced. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (“the 2018 Farm Bill”) makes CBN legal if it was sourced from hemp. The bill defines hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids . . . with a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

RELATED: 2018 Farm Bill CBD: How Does the Bill Relate to CBD?

CBN is still highly unregulated. This is why you should practice caution when shopping for CBN products that have some shady and unrealistic health claims.


CBN isn’t FDA-approved to treat any conditions.

The studies presented do not imply that CBN can treat the condition mentioned. Most studies too are preliminary, meaning “not tested on human volunteers.” Therefore, the information presented here is not meant as a substitute or alternative to information from healthcare professionals. Consult your healthcare provider about CBD before use.

What is CBN Good For?

Despite being discovered first, there are limited studies on CBN as compared to other cannabis components. In fact, very little is known about CBN and what it can do. 

Research on CBN may be dire, but there have been some studies conducted on CBN inferring the potential benefits.

CBN is found to have good sedative effects

In 1975, the first-ever study on CBN revealed that test subjects experienced dizziness, drowsiness, and inebriation after taking CBN alongside THC. The researchers of the study inferred that CBN has the power to amplify the effects of THC. 

There’s also a more recent study supporting the same claim. 

It was discovered CBN has the same sedative effects similar to Diazepam, a pharmaceutical drug used to treat various ailments such as panic disorders, alcohol withdrawals, and even seizures. 

The study further explained that 2.5-5 mg of CBN has the same sedative effects as 5-10mg of Diazepam, suggesting CBN to have twice the effects of Diazepam. 

What are the Side Effects of CBN?

From a scientific perspective, there are no known side effects from taking CBN. This is mainly because there are not enough studies thoroughly analyzing CBN’s use, potential health benefits, and side effects.

While CBN has no known side effects, one can’t entirely rule out that it doesn’t have any. Most compounds have potential side effects, increasingly experienced the higher the dosage. 

Discuss with your doctor the probable effects of cannabinoids like CBN on your current health status. This is especially if you’re taking prescription medications (that may interact with CBN and, in turn, render some unwanted effects) or if you have health conditions. 

The Wrap: Taking CBN for Your Health

At the end of the day, it’s up to you if you’re willing to explore alternatives like CBN. Each body reacts to CBN differently, so how CBN may affect someone you know may not be the same in your case.

CBN is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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