what is it?
how does it compare to cbd?
and how can it benefit us?
while both cbn and cbd share some similar properties, they vary significantly when it comes to how they're produced and how they interact with the body.
cbn stands for cannabinol. cbn was the first naturally occurring cannabinoid to be isolated in its pure form back in 1896. originally it was thought to be responsible for the cannabis high, but later found that tetrahydrocannabinol (thc) provides the intoxicating effects of cannabis. the mystery was solved when it was discovered that thc will slowly turn into cbn when exposed to heat and light.
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how is cbn formed from the cannabis hemp plant?
the basis of all known cannabinoids is cannabigerolic acid (or CBGa for short). CBGa produces THCa, CBDa, and CBCa, the acid forms of thc, cbd, and cbc, respectively.
CBNa, the compound that breaks down into cbn, is produced from the aging of THCa and its exposure to uv lighting. a live, growing plant will not have any cbn in it. the process of creating cbn comes with time and the natural breakdown of raw cannabis acids. if left for several weeks, THCa-rich cannabis will begin to produce cbn naturally.
as cbn is a by-product of thc, it's believed to be only mildly psychoactive, only 10 percent as strong as thc. one would need a very large dose to feel anything resembling a traditional high, but it works in a similar way as thc by binding to CB1 receptors.
cbn is generally considered a potent sedative that can potentially offer an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals for certain conditions.
some of the researched health benefits of cbn include:
sleep: researchers at steep hill labs claim that cbn is the most sedative of all cannabinoids, with efficacy that surpasses those of pharmaceuticals. the study also asserts that cbd and cbn work together to provide an even better sedative synergy.
sedative: a 2011 study, published in the british journal of pharmacology, found that the combination of thc with cbn has demonstrated the ability to produce a more sedated, couch lock high in human subjects.
pain relief: research has shown that cannabinol can help with pain relief as it alters the pain signals that are sent to the brain by the neurons and could act as a pain reliever when combined with cbd.
antibacterial: cbn has shown promise at fighting mrsa bacteria, an infection particularly resistant to antibiotics.
although early results are promising, more scientific research is needed to keep learning about the many benefits of cannabis and it's 100+ cannabinoids.