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To say that marijuana is controversial is an understatement. To say that it is useful is also an understatement.
A meta-analysis of more than 10,000 studies found that marijuana reduces pain and nausea. Marijuana has hundreds of chemical compounds, and scientists can extract the compounds that decrease the most pain.
Many people are familiar with cannabidiol (CBD). Very few are aware of cannabinol (CBN). The similar names lead to confusion, but the two are different.
If you want to increase the positive effects of marijuana, you need to answer the question, “What is CBN?” Here is a quick guide.
What Is CBN?
CBN is a special component found in marijuana. Manufacturers derive CBN from tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A). THC-A is a precursor compound to THC, which causes the high found in marijuana.
THC-A produces CBN when it oxidizes. Manufacturers can expose THC-A to heat, creating CBN at a faster rate. Whole marijuana leaves can produce CBN if they age or are exposed to high levels of oxygen.
CBN does not produce a high, though it does have a small psychoactive effect. For people with low metabolisms, it can be mildly intoxicating.
As far as scientists are aware, there are no side effects of CBN. Doctors generally advise pregnant and breastfeeding people to avoid it. They do not advise people under the age of 18 to take it.
Very few scientists have studied CBN. The United Nations has only studied it to find out how THC-A produces it. More research needs to be done before scientists can make conclusive claims on the compound.
What Is CBN Used For?
The biggest use for CBN is as a sleep aid. The evidence is anecdotal, but many people find that the compound helps them sleep.
CBN may work as a pain reliever. One study from 2019 found evidence of pain relief in rats. People with muscle pain disorders like fibromyalgia may receive the strongest benefits from it.
CBN may stimulate the appetite. Another study on rats showed signs that the compound encouraged rats to eat bigger meals. These rats did not have diseases, so the effects on cancer and HIV patients are uncertain.
CBN can also delay the onset of ALS by at least two weeks. Long-term survival was not affected, but the study indicates that the compound may affect the neurons. Its effects on reducing pain suggest that it soothes nerve damage.
The compound can interact with a wide range of medications. Its interactions are similar to grapefruit, which can disrupt proteins in the liver.
Do not use CBN alongside antibiotics, blood thinners, or GI medications. Talk to your doctor if you want to take CBN for pain management. It can interact with certain pain medications, especially for GI pain.
What Is the Difference Between CBD and CBN?
The CBN vs CBD debate has raged amongst marijuana consumers. The key point of contention is how each reduces pain.
There is stronger scientific evidence to suggest that CBD reduces pain. Meta-analyses of scientific data have found strong effects for CBD in pain relievers. CBD is more versatile than CBN, with manufacturers putting CBD in skin creams and beverages.
CBD produces a weaker high than CBN. Though some people can become intoxicated through CBD, fewer people report getting high off of it.
CBN’s advantage is in sleep relief. Some people have used CBD to induce sleep, but most users report mixed results. Most anecdotal examples of CBN suggest it is a strong aid for sleep, even with insomnia and sleep disorders.
Most users say that CBN stimulates their appetite more than CBD. CBD does not affect ALS onset or relief from symptoms.
Though CBD and CBN are prominent compounds of marijuana, they are not the only ones that produce health benefits. Scientists are studying cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC) for their effects.
Out of these four compounds, CBN is the most effective at inducing sleep. CBG may provide strong pain relief, while CBC may control inflammation.
How Can You Use CBN?
Some suppliers provide CBN in the form of oil. Most CBN oils contain traces of CBD, and many CBD products contain traces of CBN. Read labels carefully before buying the product.
The oil comes in a glass bottle with a small dropper. Place a few drops under the tongue and hold the oil there. Your tongue contains numerous blood vessels, which will carry the CBN into all parts of your bloodstream.
You can mix oil into drinks. Cold drinks work better than warm drinks. Insert a few drops and then mix thoroughly so the oil doesn’t separate.
As you use CBN, take stronger doses. Build up from a few drops to a full dropper of oil. Chart your progress in a journal or with your doctor, and adjust your use accordingly.
Consider taking CBN alongside other marijuana compounds. Marijuana has an “entourage effect,” in which one compound gains potency when other compounds accompany it. You may see stronger benefits, but consider the effects of the other compounds.
Some suppliers make CBD gummies and candies. CBN gummies are not available, though a few companies are exploring CBN’s uses. You may find CBN in CBD or THC gummies.
The FDA does not regulate CBN or CBD products. Do your research on the companies you are buying from. Make sure a third-party lab tests the products for mold and pesticides.
What Is CBN Answered
Everyone knows what CBD is. But very few people know about CBN.
What is CBN? It is a derivative of THC-A, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. When marijuana reacts to the air, it produces CBN.
Many users find that CBN works as a sleep aid and pain reducer. CBD may offer stronger pain reduction, but CBN is the leading marijuana compound for sleep. You can find CBN in oils or gummies alongside CBD.
The controversy over marijuana isn’t going to go away soon. Get the facts you need to make your decision about it by following our coverage.