How Does CBN Help Me Sleep?
Published on 7/28/21
The wave of cannabidiol (CBD) popularity shows no signs of slowing. The market for products with the popular cannabinoid is projected to reach $16 billion in the United States by 2025 and the extract is finding its way into everything from breath mints, hand sanitizer, even lube and suppositories. Another cannabinoid that is riding the coattails of the CBD surge is cannabinol (CBN). What is CBN? Produced through the oxygenation and decomposition of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this compound is quickly gaining a following primarily due to its ability to help with insomnia.
CBN vs. CBD
CBD and CBN have similar genetic makeups, but they are different molecules. CBN is more prone to link with both CB2 and (less so) with CB1 receptors in the brain. It has not been studied as much as CBD, so information is not as readily available. Like THC, it can be mildly psychoactive because of its proclivities to link CB1 receptors. CBD is currently known to treat more ailments and disorders than CBN, but the cannabis medical community is hopeful that more studies will reveal a greater potential for therapeutic use. In addition to its use as a sleep aid, it is noted for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, as well as a source for neuroprotection. CBD is used for those purposes as well but also eases anxiety and depression, can be helpful in the fight against opiate and alcohol addiction and has been proven to be very effective in fighting seizures associated with epilepsy.
Is CBN legal?
The CBN cannabinoid, when made from hemp (understood federally to mean cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC) is considered legal based on language in the 2018 Farm Bill. The manner in which laws across the states and at the federal level vary leaves some wiggle room for law enforcement. While CBN is not on the list of federally scheduled controlled substances but has a "perceived and assumed" similarity to THC and CBD, it could be considered an analog of those two cannabinoids. Under the wide-reaching Federal Analogue Act and sales or possession could potentially be prosecuted. Of course, it is not known whether a judge would rule that CBN meets the legal standard of an analog and charges would be dropped.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) now includes on its Schedule I narcotics list marijuana extracts that are an "extract containing one or more cannabinoids that have been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin" so technically CBN oil could be argued to fit into that category.
CBN for Sale
If you are wondering where to buy CBN and not fall afoul of the law, do not worry. The often-hypocritical nature of U.S. statutes surrounding cannabis and cannabinoids has not prevented the market from surging. The likelihood of any type of police interference with CBN sales or possession is minuscule. It is easy to buy CBN online and there are usually plenty of CBN options available for purchase where CBD products are sold. Tinctures, capsules, topical balms, salves and oils are the most common forms of CBN.
Benefits of CBN
Although there has not been a lot of research into how CBN use might benefit humans, we are beginning to get a better picture of how it might assist us on a day-to-day basis. Beyond what is mentioned above, CBN has shown effectiveness as an anti-bacterial and as a pain reliever in mice. Another study in the UK on rats showed CBN to be an effective appetite stimulant. Despite the lack of human clinical trials, anecdotal reports from CBN users depict relief from Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The main source of excitement surrounding CBN is how it works effectively as a sleep aid or sedative. Individuals who suffer from horribly debilitating insomnia have found CBN to be helpful in allowing them to lead normal lives. Since CBN comes from THC that has broken down after exposure to light and oxygen, thinking of CBN as "old THC" is one way to understand why CBN for sleep makes so much sense. CBN is a different molecule than THC but the origin remains, and CBN's ability to link with CB1 receptors in the brain is thought by researchers to be a key component of CBN's sleep-inducing activity. Again, there is a distinct lack of peer-reviewed study in humans that supports CBN's use as a sleep aid on its own without additives, but the amount of anecdotal evidence is difficult to ignore.
If you've never tried CBN, begin with a small amount before moving to a higher dosage if necessary. If using as a sleep aid, take the CBN product about an hour prior to when you want to fall asleep. Look for a product that indicates the addition of terpenes to the CBN. The combination of the two will increase the sedative effects over time. The terpenes that promote energy will dissipate from marijuana that has aged, because of this those terpenes that promote relaxation will remain longest because they are more stable compounds.
Do you use CBN as a sleep aid or for any other type of relief? How often do you use it? How effective is it? Take a second to let us know in the comments section below!