CBN: What it is and why it's the next big cannabinoid
Cannabinoid products are fast becoming a staple of industries across the globe.
But whilst you’ll no doubt be familiar with the likes of CBD and THC, you might be less familiar with minor cannabinoids, like CBN.
Despite its lower profile, CBN looks set to become one of the hottest cannabinoids on the market, as the industry continues to evolve.
That’s why, in today’s article, we want to introduce you to the CBN cannabinoid and the potential benefits of CBN.
Introducing the CBN cannabinoid
CBN — or cannabinol — is the non-intoxicating compound that’s found in aged, oxidized cannabis. It’s created when THC in cannabis is exposed to oxygen (or heat and UV light) for long periods of time, which essentially converts it into CBN.
When extracted in a controlled environment, CBN can contain non-detectable levels of THC if you find the right supplier. It’s not an easy cannabinoid to extract, however, as it requires a very specific approach.
Breaking down the science of CBN — how does it work?
Most cannabinoids work by binding to our cannabinoid receptors and stimulating them to trigger certain responses, such as relaxation and pain relief. This is brought about by the regulation of different neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin.
Much like its parent molecule, research suggests that CBN, in particular, works by binding to the CB2 and TRPV2 receptors, which regulate the body’s response to pain. It also connects to the CB1 receptors, which are what produce the euphoric high associated with THC.
The reason CBN doesn’t produce that same euphoric high, however, is because it has a far lower affinity to the CB1 receptors than THC, which stops it from being psychoactive.
Ultimately, CBN acts very similarly to THC, albeit with much less strength. And that’s one of the reasons why CBN is on the rise — because it’s associated with the same benefits as THC, without being psychoactive.
For brands, this positions CBN as a potential alternative to THC when it comes to launching new, less restricted hemp products in the market.
The potential benefits of CBN and what it could be used for in the future
It’s important to stress that research into CBN is in the very early stages, and we don’t yet know its full potential.
That said, there have been some really promising signs that CBN could be the cannabinoid of the future.
Let’s take a closer look…
CBN as a potential glaucoma treatment
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss if untreated.
One study on rabbits found that CBN could be a potential treatment for these conditions, as it can reduce intraocular pressure, which is the biggest cause of glaucoma.
That said, the study didn’t determine that CBN could be a potentially better treatment than existing medications, so it’s unlikely it’ll be used as a common alternative anytime soon.
CBN as an anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever
Just like other cannabinoids, some studies have found that CBN may also be an effective anti-inflammatory agent and pain-reliever.
One rodent study, in particular, found that CBN could be used to reduce rheumatoid arthritis, without the side effects associated with nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs.
Although more research is required, this is a sure sign that CBN could be a natural alternative to side effect heavy pain relievers.
CBN as a natural antibiotic
Some lab studies have found that CBN (and other cannabinoids, including THC and CBD) could be used as a powerful alternative to treat drug-resistant bacterias, like MRSA.
More research is needed, but as drug resistance becomes an increasing problem, this could certainly accelerate the widespread use of cannabinoids in the pharmaceutical industry.
CBN as a potential neuroprotective agent
Neuroprotective agents are used to help recover or regenerate the nervous system in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, like ALS and Parkinson’s disease.
One rodent study found that CBN could potentially be used as one of these agents for treating ALS and delaying the onset of the condition.
Human studies will be needed before drawing any conclusions on this, but it’s a positive sign that CBN could be used for medical purposes in the future.
CBN as an appetite stimulant
In yet another rodent study, CBN was found to increase the amount of food rats ate within a set period of time, indicating that it could be an effective appetite stimulant, much like THC.
The biggest benefit to this is that CBN, unlike THC, isn’t intoxicating, which increases its potential as a mainstream appetite stimulant in the future.
CBN as a potential sleep aid
A human study concluded that CBN can increase the sedative effects of THC, when taken in combination.
Although this doesn’t mean that CBN is an effective sleep aid on its own, it does mean that it could be used to enhance existing THC sleep aids on the market.
Looking for a CBN supplier you can trust?
Here at C-Side, we’re a fully compliant, FDA registered, Food Grade Manufacturer that specializes in combining science and innovation to help brands bring new and exciting hemp products to the market.
Our CBN isolate and distillate products are high-potency and have no detectable levels of THC — ideal for a wide range of products.