Marijuana 101: What is Cannabinol?

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Cannabis is a complex plant, one that contains at least 85 different cannabinoids. By some reports there are well over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, the most well-known of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Another cannabinoid however, cannabinol (CBN), is making a name for itself, becoming more prominent in cannabis products across the country.

What is Cannabinol (CBN)?

Some say cannabinol is the cannabinoid that contains the most sedative-like effects.  While everyone knows a good indica is great for knocking you out, a strain that is high in CBN is typically even stronger. Indica tends to be higher in CBN than sativa, which is part of the reason for its relaxing effects.

CBN is found in aged, improperly stored cannabis. While this might not sound like the most enticing form of cannabis, CBN occurs when THC oxidizes over time.

Steep Hill is a cannabis analysis, biotechnology, and research and development facility who studies cannabinoids in depth. According to Steep Hill, it takes very little CBN to produce a sedative effect. They say that the consumption of 2.5-5mg CBN is equivalent to the same sedation level of 5-10mg of diazepam (Valium).

Health Benefits of CBN

CBN has shown work in synergy with CBD and THC to help induce sleep. Research has shown that when mixed in the correct rations, CBN can provide a deep, restful sleep for 5-6 hours.

Sleep isn’t the only thing CBN has shown to benefit. Research has also shown that CBN is an excellent appetite stimulant. One study showed that rats who were given cannabinol were faster to eat, consumed more food, and ate for longer periods than rats who did not take CBN.

Not only does CBN provide better sleep and help increase appetite, but has also shown to help regulate the growth of cancerous cells. It has shown to be especially beneficial in controlling Lewis carcinoma, a type of lung cancer. There have been several studies that highlight the benefits of cannabinoids for Lewis carcinoma. A 1975 study showed that the suppression of Lewis lung carcinoma cell growth is due to the inhibition of DNA synthesis.

Like other cannabinoids, studies on CBN show it to be beneficial for a myriad of health issues. To date, CBN is known to be good for:

  • Insomnia
  • Pain management
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Antibacterial effects
  • Skin conditions such as burns and psoriasis

Cannabinol is Non-Psychoactive

Unlike THC, CBN is non-psychoactive. It won’t however, take away the psychoactive effects of THC like CBD does. One study showed that while CBN didn’t produce the psychoactive effects that THC did, when combined with THC, subjects felt more “drugged, drunk, dizzy, and drowsy.”

CBN can be likened to CBD. Before a few years ago, the cannabinoid was virtually unheard of. Now, CBD is as synonymous with weed as THC. While there is undoubtedly further research that needs to be done on cannabinol, early studies show that this cannabinoid is a powerful natural sedative and excellent for appetite stimulation.

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