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CBN (Cannabinol): The Active Cannabinoid Explained

It seems as if researchers continue to discover something new about the myriad of over 400 active compounds present in the cannabis plant every single day. And indeed, as the ban on marijuana is getting lifted across the globe, our understanding of the unique ways in which cannabis can impact our health and well-being keeps expanding. While still too little is known about the effects and benefits of the hundreds of active compounds found in the marijuana plant, several active cannabinoids have been steadily gaining more public attention, one of which is CBN (Cannabinol).

Cannabinol, similarly to CBC (Cannabichromene), CBG (cannabigerol), and CBD (Cannabidiol) are naturally present only in small amounts in most cannabis strains. However, unlike CBC and CBG, the amount of CBN present in weed can be manipulated by cannabis growers, and that’s because CBN is actually a byproduct of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Quintessentially, more CBN will keep forming as THC starts to degrade, which is why apart from being found in higher amounts in some cannabis strains, higher levels of CBN content can also be achieved purposely.

But what are the possible gains that recreational and medical marijuana users may reap by opting for a CBN rich cannabis strain, and is the rising CBN hype worth one’s attention

Join us below, as we are about to explain what Cannabinol is all about. Trust us, you shouldn’t miss knowing your green medication better! Now, switch to a geeky cannaface mode on, and let’s dig deeper into the mesmerizing world of cannabis plants’ active cannabinoids, our starring character being none other but the King of Restful Sleep, His Majesty CBN.

Is CBN worth the Hail or Is It just another Marketing Trap

For a start, CBN is only a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is typically found only in trace amounts in the over 1420 cannabis strains out there (please, note, that this is an ongoing number, so at the very moment you are reading these lines, new cannabis strains are most probably being created and/or discovered somewhere across the globe). Speaking of the whole myriad of cannabis strains out there, it might be astonishing to find out that a 2018 USB study showed that most weed strains contain relatively the same amounts of THC and CBD and that despite their unique names, it is not the amount of THC or CBD that determines the effects upon consuming different strains.

Now, what this study reveals is not that all cannabis strains are the same, and neither are they the same in terms of taste, flavor, effects, and benefits. As we know fair well, an Indica-dominant strain is more likely to make you feel introspective, totally chilled out, soothed, calmed, and relaxed, even though it may carry quite a similar THC to CBD content as a Sativa-dominant strain, which, on the contrary, would more likely get you in the mood for socializing, increase your motivation to get things done, etc.

What this study actually shows based on science and solid evidence, is that there is so much more going on when it comes to the unique benefits and effects of different cannabis strains than merely the levels of THC and CBD present, as beautifully summed up by Southern Indiana-based cannabis enthusiast, expert, and writer, Mike Adams in an October 2018 article published by Forbes.

But how do the results of this study relate to CBN (Cannabinol) What this study makes crystal clear to understand is the important role of the other active compounds found in the cannabis plant which all play a profound role when it comes to experiencing the unique effects of different strains, and one of these compounds happens to be the big star of this article – CBN (Cannabinol).

The thing is, you might have already tried out plenty of strains that possess rather high levels of CBN without even knowing it, as it is simply not labeled. Also, those who happen to grow their very own green medication from seed might have accidentally or intentionally made their harvest quite abundant in CBN because of letting the cannabis plants stay in flowering for a week or so longer than needed and/or exposing the plants to high temperatures and/or an abundance of natural sunlight, UV rays are known to be capable of degrading THC, thus, turning it into CBN.

Video by: Joshua Orr – CBN: the unsung hero of cannabis.

What is CBN (Cannabinol)

As briefly mentioned above, CBN is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is known to possess a mild psychoactive potency.

Despite the only mild psychoactive potency, the therapeutic benefits of this active cannabinoid are HUGE. And so, it comes as no surprise that cannabis business experts predict the CBD fever may switch onto a CBN fever in the foreseeable future, as the vast majority of cannabinoid content with biggest potential uses and development in the following decade is accounted for 10 – 12 compounds out of the more than 70 unique active phytocannabinoids, one of the pointed out superstar 10 – 12 cannabinoids on the list being Cannabinol.

The very discovery of CBN is quite intriguing. CBN is the first cannabinoid to be successfully isolated. Previously to the discovery of THC, it was actually believed that CBN is to “blame” for the psychoactive properties of marijuana.

CBN is born when THC gets oxidized, as oxidization triggers a degradation process which converts THC into CBN.

One of the most well-pronounced effects of CBN is sedation, and that’s exactly why consuming aged cannabis often leads users to an ultimate head to toe relaxation that blankets the mind and body into a sedative symphony of pure blissfulness.

In fact, after excavating a 2700-year-old grave in China where preserved cannabis was found, after testing the ancient pot stash experts confirmed that the cannabinoid found in highest amounts was none other but Cannabinol. Despite being rather aged and poor in THC, this amazing discovery means that the 2700-year-old weed stash would theoretically be quite usable, even after thousands of years have passed!

How Does CBN Work on Cannabinoid Receptors

Interestingly, CBN is found to share a very similar chemical molecular composition to THC. As of now, experts believe that Cannabinol primarily binds to the CB2 receptor. However, more research is needed for understanding the exact pathways through which CBN influences our bodies’ endogenous cannabinoid system, as Cannabinol is also believed to possibly interact with the CB1 receptor, too. Without a doubt, CBN is known to act as an agonist to the TRPV2 receptor. Subfamily V member 2 is a naturally produced protein that is encoded in humans by the TRPV2 gene. This valuable protein regulates several biological systems in the body, and thus, because of CBN’s effect on the TRPV2 receptor, Cannabinol is widely claimed to be an effective, all-natural compound for combating both inflammations, as well as pain, for improving bone health, lowering blood pressure, treating skin conditions, and nonetheless, controlling convulsant behavior. This leads us straight to the neat list of potential benefits of CBN that we have compiled for you below.

1. Pain relief

It was all the way back to June 2002 when a study focused on the pain-relieving potential of Cannabinol was published.

2. Appetite Stimulation

The possible appetite boosting effects induced by CBN has been the very subject of a study that was brought to the wide public as early as September 2012.

3. Antibacterial

In the search for possible treatment of MRSA, experts conducted an explicit study on the antibacterial efficacy of CBN, along with the antibacterial properties of other major cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in August 2008.

4. Anti-inflammatory

Published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology back in 2005, an extensive study examined the tremendous anti-inflammatory effects of CBN and other major active cannabinoids, such as CBC, CBD, and THC.

5. Bone cells growth stimulant

Even though more research and observations are needed (yeah, the exact phrases we get to hear almost every time when it comes to the science behind many things cannabis-related), the effects of CBN on stimulating bones cells growth are quite promising, as CBN, among other active cannabinoids, are found to stimulate the formation of fibroblastic colony by bone marrow cells.

6. Anti-convulsive agent

While CBD has been stealing most of the attention for its amazing anti-convulsive properties that are no longer a secret thanks to the numerous evidence from epilepsy sufferers, among others, CBN does seem to hide an untapped anti-convulsive potential, too.

7. Anti-insomnia and anti-anxiety

It was all the way back to 1967 when a scientific review suggested that CBN has valuable sedative effects, though it is important to mention that the review examined CBN’s sedative properties when paired with THC. Although more research is needed in order to reach conclusive evidence, experts believe that CBN’s sedative effects may prove to be especially useful (and somehow intertwined) with treating certain cases of anxiety disorders.

What is the Best Way to Take CBN

Considering the unparalleled benefits of whole cannabis plant consumption, enjoying a high CBN bag of cannabis flowers definitely tops the list of how to take the best advantage of CBN. However, for those who want to enjoy a rather higher dose of CBN for the treatment of a particular concern that Cannabinol may relief and/or alleviate, rest assured that CBN cannabis options such as edibles, capsules, tinctures, sublingual sprays, topicals, and nonetheless, vape cartridges are on their way to the global market both online and offline.

And while these products may contain higher levels of CBN, it is actually 100% achievable to enjoy high CBN, DIY, at-home infusions, too. Whether it comes to prepping a high CBN weed tincture, a high CBN weed salve, or CBN-charged edibles and beverages, among others, you’ll first need to boost CBN levels in your cannabis buds.

For this purpose, you simply need to allow your cannabis flowers to reach a high content of CBN. You can either ask your local budtender in helping you pick a high CBN cannabis strain, or you can select just about any random strain and let THC degrade in order to increase the CBN levels.

Of course, the best way to reap the maximum benefits of CBN is to let your homegrown cannabis plants spend a week or so more in flowering. This way, you will harvest flowers that are naturally rich in CBN, and then you can further let a bit more of the THC to degrade in the process of drying and curing (you basically want to expose your buds to higher levels of oxygen and light than the recommended for drying and curing), and you’ll get awesomely CBN charged buds.

Below is a short and succulent list of cannabis strains that are naturally high in CBN. If you choose to work with any of these cannabis strains to increase CBN by applying the methods we commented on above, you are sure to reap some fantastic Cannabinol potency of your green medication.

1. Durban Poison

This Sativa beauty boasts of an estimated of 0.363% CBN. For the record, if you are not quite sure how much CBN is actually considered a high level of CBN, a huge percent of cannabis strains contain as little as about 0% CBN.

2. Gelato

One of the modern-day hybrids that contain out of this world levels of THC topping about 27% is also naturally rich in an above the norm CBN content of about 0.075%. More importantly, keeping in mind the high levels of THC, the CBN content of Gelato cannabis plants is easy to increase intentionally.

3. Green Crack

One of the best strains for depression sufferers, Green Crack can also help one benefit from above the norm CBN levels of about 0.102%.

CBN (Cannabinol): Final Notes

Nowadays, we are lucky to witness the rise of accessibility and availability of various edibles, tinctures, oils, capsules, and nonetheless, patches, that contain pronounced levels of CBN. Although still rarer than CBD and/or THC-rich, well-pronounced products, CBN is sure to be the next cannabinoid to be marked on the labels of high-quality sources of the healing benefits of cannabis.

But until then, the best ways to understand (and see for yourself) the miraculous properties of CBN are to manipulate CBN levels in your cannabis garden or proudly homegrown stash, as well as to look for lab-tested cannabis flowers and concentrates that exhibit high CBN levels. Alternatively, you can always keep sneaking through that 730 days or so old stash, you nasty Cannabinolcannacionado (and we promise we won’t judge you because the truth is, we have been there before, lol)! Sending you tons of positive cannavibes, generously laced in high levels of CBN, we wish you a wonderful journey in getting to know cannabis better.