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Cannabinol (CBN)

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds you can find in the cannabis plant that give medical marijuana its healing properties. One of these cannabinoids is called cannabinol (CBN).

The Properties of CBN

When tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the two major cannabinoids, interacts with the air, it forms CBN. Savvy marijuana users make sure to keep their bud tightly sealed so the THC in it doesn’t turn into CBN. But, that doesn’t mean that CBN has nothing to offer patients in need of relief.

CBN mainly activates the CB2 receptors, or the cannabinoid receptors that affect your immune system. But, it also interacts with the CB1 receptors to a lesser degree. The CB1 receptors work with your central nervous system, so you can get some related benefits from CBN.

What Makes CBN Unique?

Cannabinol works as a psychoactive compound like THC does, but it has a milder impact. When we talk about the two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD, we often mention how THC causes psychoactive effects while CBD doesn’t. CBN lies somewhere in between. While it has psychoactive properties, it doesn’t cause a “high” like THC does.

These unique traits let patients take advantage of CBN’s cerebral benefits without feeling impaired when they take it. While medicine that contains THC can contain considerable amounts of it, medication with CBN often has a smaller, but still effective, amount.

CBN’s Medical Benefits

We don’t have as much scientific evidence showing CBN’s benefits as we do for more prominent cannabinoids. But, the knowledge we do have looks promising for folks with many health issues. Cannabinol seems to have the following effects:

  • Promotes sleep
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Relieves pain
  • Soothes inflammation
  • Reduces the intensity and severity of convulsions
  • Kills bacterial infections
  • Helps bone regeneration
  • Lowers body temperature
  • Reduces psoriasis symptoms

Due to CBN’s sedative traits, it can cause a few mild side effects. If you take it during the day, it can make you feel groggy, dizzy or confused. Patients who experience these symptoms can take their medication at night to avoid feeling these side effects in the daytime.

What Health Issues Can CBN Treat?

The research we have on CBN so far suggests the cannabinoid has the potential to treat a wide variety of conditions. CBN could help relieve symptoms of qualifying conditions like:

  • Insomnia: Promotes sleep and reduces symptoms that cause sleep problems like pain, inflammation and seizures
  • Chronic Pain: Relieves pain and reduces inflammation
  • Cancer: Addresses chemotherapy-induced appetite loss, reduces pain and enhances sleep
  • Epilepsy: Treats seizures by lowering their frequency and intensity
  • HIV/AIDS: Improves appetite problems caused by antiretrovirals, soothes pain and inflammation and facilitates sleep
  • Severe Psoriasis: Lowers the production of excess skin cells

CBN especially shines in its ability to help patients sleep. It provides the same benefits of pharmaceutical sleep medication in smaller amounts and with safer side effects. Using 5 mg of CBN gives you the same sleep benefits at 10 mg of diazepam, a common sleep medication.

Interested in CBN Medication?

If you don’t already have one, you need to get a medical marijuana card to buy marijuana medicine. Talk to a cannabis-trained doctor to get an evaluation, and use your card to purchase medicine at a local dispensary.


This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.

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