What is CBN (Cannabinol)?

The cannabis plant creates cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that interact with receptors in our cells. Many of these compounds have unique effects on our bodies, brought on by releasing chemicals in our brains as the compounds travel through neural pathways. Some of these cannabinoids help treat certain forms of epilepsy, increase appetite in those with HIV/AIDS, and reduce nausea from cancer chemotherapy. Yet, one form of cannabinol that’s lesser-known yet just as beneficial is cannabinol (CBN). But what is cannabinol, and does it have therapeutic effects? Here’s everything you should know.

An Introduction to Cannabinol

Unlike THC, you won’t find much cannabinol present in the cannabis flower. Instead, cannabinols accumulate within degrading cannabis plants that are usually improperly stored and aged. CBN develops as THC oxidizes and is typically very mildly psychoactive, if it’s psychoactive at all. However, because cannabinol is not as psychoactive nor as potent as THC, industry leaders include more cannabinoids in their products. And this fact is beneficial to those who suffer from THC sensitivities that would still like to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

The Many Benefits of Cannabinols

There are many benefits of cannabinols for you to know. Cannabinol works as a sleep aid. It’s more sedative than any other known cannabinoid and possibly the reason why Indica strains of cannabis relax your body and make you tired. According to research, cannabinoids are stronger than diazepam (Valium) at helping you relax. So, if you’re trying to stay awake and alert, it’s probably best to save the cannabinol for another time.

Reduces Intraocular Pressure in Glaucoma Sufferers

Additionally, CBN reduces intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure occurs in the eyes when there’s a buildup of aqueous humor fluid. This pressure causes damage to the optic nerve. Typically, those who suffer from glaucoma need treatment for their intraocular pressure. Since CBN reduces helps treat glaucoma, those who suffer from this health condition can use it instead of THC to avoid any psychoactive effects.

Delays ALS Symptoms Without Psychotropic Effects

Another benefit of cannabinol is its ability to delay amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a type of neurological disorder common in adults. While several research studies show that cannabinoids offer therapeutic benefits to those who have ALS, the psychoactive effects of THC and the potential for addiction make it unideal for clinical use. However, non-psychotropic CBN is perfect for ALS patients because it influences disease progression without any psychotropic effects. Although more research is necessary on the impact of CBN on those with advanced forms of ALS, one study showed that CBN could delay ALS onset by over two weeks.

There’s a lot we know about CBN and much still to learn. CBN’s impact on neurological disorders like ALS, its appetite stimulation properties in those who’ve lost weight from HIV or AIDS, and the ability to help treat glaucoma are lovely for those that are sensitive to THC. While cannabinol improves relaxation and sleep, among several other benefits, there will likely be major medical applications of CBN that we learn in future medical trials. Until then, there are already many reasons to experience CBN for pain relief, better sleep, and relaxation.


David Yrigoyen is the founder of Natural Healing Care Center, and has been helping introduce people to cannabis and holistic medicine for over 12 years. David is a Cannabis Consultant and Cannabis Specialist at Natural Healing Care Center

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