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Unless you’ve searched for natural sleep aids, most likely you’ve never heard the word “cannabinol.” No, this isn’t a misspelling of the more popular cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinol (aka CBN) is a distinct cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana. Touted as an effective sedative, CBN has many unique features worthy of investigation.
In this article, we’ll break down everything we now know about this fascinating compound. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know whether CBN would be a good addition to your daily routine.
As mentioned above, CBN is one of the hundreds of unique cannabinoids found in cannabis. In a nutshell, cannabinoids are compounds that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system. So far as we know, cannabis is the only plant on earth that has these compounds.
Often classified as a “minor cannabinoid,” an average strain’s CBN content is only 1 percent. Yet, there is an easy way to bump up CBN’s cannabinoid status. All that cultivators have to do is harvest their crops later in the season.
Believe it or not, CBN forms as a byproduct of oxidized THC. So, in a weird way, leaving the cannabis plant to degrade causes CBN to flourish.
The easiest way to tell when a cannabis plant is past-peak is to look at those sticky trichomes. When THC is high, these hair-like strands will appear white. Once CBN gains dominance, you’ll notice most of these trichomes turn orange-brown.
As you might already know, THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid. Yeah, this is the stuff that gets you “high.” So, the more CBN a strain has, the less THC there will be.
Since most cannabis growers want high THC counts, CBN has a bit of a bad reputation in the industry. Indeed, it’s only recently that cannabis farmers have started developing high-CBN strains.
Why don’t most people like late-harvested cannabis? Well, high-CBN cannabis has a reputation for knocking people out cold. Besides heavy sedation, some users claim late-harvested weed has an inferior taste.
Let’s now turn to some of CBN’s supposed physiological effects.
When most people talk about CBN’s effects, they usually start talking about sleep. There’s a strong myth in the cannabis world that late-harvested weed will put you to bed. Since old weed has a lot of CBN, most users assumed it was the principal sedating agent. But is it that simple?
At this point, all we have to “confirm” CBN’s sedating effects are anecdotal testimony.
Indeed, a few studies have even suggested CBN isolate has no sedating qualities. For instance, a study conducted in São Paulo found CBN isolate didn’t make volunteers feel drowsy. By contrast, CBN combined with THC did produce a sensation of sleepiness.
These findings suggest CBN might exert a strong “entourage effect.” It might be the case that CBN enhances THC’s sedating qualities. CBN might also strengthen the sleep-inducing effects of certain terpenes.
Bottom line: CBN on its own might not have a strong sedating effect. But, when it’s combined with other compounds, it might strengthen sedation.
Like CBD, there are no established guidelines for how to dose CBN oil. How you use CBN will depend on many factors like your age, weight, and medical conditions you want to treat.
As with all other cannabinoids, it’s a good idea to start off slow when dosing CBN oil. Only start with the smallest recommended dose and see how your body reacts. If you don’t notice any adverse side effects, then slowly increase the daily dosage until you get results.
To be on the safe side, test CBN oil before bedtime on a non-working night. Sometimes manufacturers put herbs, terpenes, and cannabinoids in CBN mixtures to strengthen sedation. Always read the ingredients list well before purchasing a CBN product.
People on prescription medications should be extra cautious when taking CBN oil. Certain cannabinoids could adversely interact with drugs. It’s always a good idea to check with your health care provider before adding CBN to your diet.
Because CBN oil isn’t in high demand, it’s pretty difficult to find a reliable vendor on the Internet. Yes, there are CBN isolate products on the cannabis market, but they tend to be pricy. It’s not uncommon to see tiny CBN vials in the $100-range.
More people need to get interested in CBN to create a greater demand for the product. With increased media hype, farmers might invest more in researching how to extract CBN at more affordable prices. Until that day arrives, it’s unlikely CBN prices will fall to CBD levels anytime soon.
In the meantime, people interested in CBN should look into more affordable hemp oils. Oftentimes these full-spectrum products have significant traces of CBN. Ask whatever manufacturer you’re interested in for a detailed cannabinoid lab result. This should tell you how much CBN is in whatever product you’re looking into.
You most likely won’t see CBN oils on supermarket shelves anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean CBN is an “inferior” cannabinoid. As you could see above, many studies show CBN could offer a diverse range of healing qualities. As more studies come out, it’s likely the CBN market will soar in the coming decades.
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