What is CBN?

THC and CBD may be the most frequently discussed cannabinoids out there, but they aren’t the only ones. There are actually over 100 different cannabinoids we know about, all with their own unique benefits. We call these the minor cannabinoids. Today, we’re going to take a look at one minor cannabinoid that has been rapidly growing in popularity—CBN.


THC is primarily known for creating the intoxicating effects associated with marijuana consumption, and CBD has a reputation for having a slew of curative and medicinal benefits, but what does CBN do exactly?

 THC tetrehydrocannabinol molecule comparison E1011 Labs


CBN (cannabinol) comes from THC that’s been aged and undergone a process called decarboxylation. Though the compound originally begins as THC, it’s more like CBD in that it is non-intoxicating—meaning it won’t get you high. Also, like CBD, CBN has the potential for a myriad of therapeutic applications. As we go through some of the most exciting of these benefits, keep in mind that while research into this cannabinoid is growing, existing studies are still relatively sparse.


Though both CBD and CBN are non-intoxicating, they interact with our bodies in very different ways. Researchers speculate that CBD doesn’t produce intoxicating effects because it doesn’t bind directly to the CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system the way that THC does.

CBD cannabidiol vs CBG cannabigerol molecule comparison

Instead, CBD alters the way other cannabinoids and endocannabinoids bind to these receptors. CBN, on the other hand, behaves more like THC by binding directly to the CB1 receptors. However, this binding is at a significantly lower strength than THC, which may explain why it doesn’t produce the sensation of being high. 

CBN Benefits 

Many people take CBN for sleep health, and there’s some science behind it. In Dr. Ethan Russo’s famous paper Taming THC, Russo mentions how CBN can create increased sedative effects when combined with THC. This could make CBN useful in treating certain sleep disorders such as insomnia. 

In studies conducted on rodents, CBN has been shown to function as an appetite stimulant. Since CBN is non-intoxicating, it could prove to be a useful alternative to THC for people suffering from reduced appetite who don’t want any impairment due to THC. 

Research also suggests that CBN is particularly good at reducing intraocular eye pressure, which indicates that CBN could be an effective treatment for glaucoma. 

Like many other cannabinoids, CBN possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics may be beneficial for those dealing with arthritis. 

list of common cananbinoids

What Is CBN Oil? 

What is CBN oil used for? One of the most common ways to access the benefits of CBN is with CBN oil. Like CBD oil, CBN oil is a concentrated form of the cannabinoid combined with a cutting agent such as MCT oil or coconut oil. CBN oil, sometimes labeled as CBN distillate, can either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBN isolate depending on the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Most CBN oils are meant to be applied sublingually. To use one, apply a drop underneath your tongue and wait 30 seconds for the cannabinoids to be absorbed by the tissues in the mouth. 

When purchasing CBN oil, always make sure not to buy hemp seed oil mistakenly. While hemp does contain minor cannabinoids such as CBN, and there are several CBN-rich strains of hemp, hemp seeds do not contain a significant amount of cannabinoids. 

Other Forms Of CBN

  • CBN is available in other forms well, giving consumers various options depending on their needs.
  • CBN Gummies: sweet edibles like gummies can be a tasty and easy way to enjoy CBN, but bear in mind that oral methods of cannabinoid administration have low bioavailability, so you may need to increase your dose to compensate.
  • CBN Capsules: Capsules with CBN can make integrating the cannabinoid into your daily wellness routine seamless since they can be taken along with other vitamins. However, like with edibles, capsules will have a low bioavailability. 
  • CBN Cannabis Flower: Utilize plant power with whole flower. Both CBN hemp flower and CBD weed strains are available depending on your THC preference. Inhalation methods offer higher bioavailability than any other form of cannabinoid intake, so smoking CBN flower is a great method for those who want to get the most bang for their buck. 

        Where To Find CBN

        In the last few years, CBD has become a mainstream product appearing on the shelves of local pharmacies, in convenience stores, and even in your skincare products. However, minor cannabinoids like CBN and  CBG are not quite as ubiquitous. If you happen to live in a state where marijuana is legal, you can likely find CBN products at your favorite dispensary.   

        For those who live in places without dispensaries, you may need to look online. Searching CBN for sale is a good place to start, but always make sure you purchase from reputable brands. Check for a COA indicating that the CBN you are buying has been third-party lab tested for potency, heavy metals, pesticides, and mycotoxins.