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Many cannabis users are familiar with CBD and THC– two common cannabinoids that produce their own unique effects and benefits when consumed. But these are far from the only cannabinoids that are produced by cannabis plants. In addition to CBD & THC, there have been over 100 unique cannabinoids identified, including Cannabinol (CBN). But what is Cannabinol, and does CBN get you high?

In this article we break down everything you need to know about the effects, benefits, and uses of CBN, as well as how it could potentially help you out.

What Is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is a metabolite byproduct that is formed when the THC in harvested cannabis plants begin to break down over time. Make sense? No? 

To put it a little more simply, the longer your stash of greens sits around unused, the more it will begin to naturally break down. And not just in terms of freshness, but chemically as well. As the cannabis breaks down the THC within the plant will also begin to degrade.

This breakdown process is entirely natural and caused by exposure to heat and UV light over time. Though storing your greens in a cool, dark place can help delay this degradation, it is eventually inevitable.

Depending on the conditions in which the plants have been stored, this process can take place over a period of a few months to a few years!

While this means that your greens won’t be as potent as they once were over time, it’s not all bad news! As the THC degrades, it turns into the compound Cannabinol (CBN). As plants continue to age and break down, the amount of CBN within the plant will continue to increase. 

Similar to THCa, Cannabinol is a mostly non-psychoactive compound that is known for a host of sought-after health benefits. Let’s take a further look below at some of these benefits and how to take advantage of them.

What’s The Difference Between CBD and CBN?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most well-known and popular cannabinoid compounds found within cannabis plants and is favored for its non-psychoactive & healing properties. CBD is the second-most abundant compound found within cannabis after THC

While CBD & CBN both naturally interact with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies when consumed, they should be recognized as two distinct and different compounds that have their own effects and use. 

The main difference between CBD and CBN is that CBD is entirely non-psychoactive (aka it won’t get you “high”), while CBN may contain lingering weak traces of THC. While Cannabinol is generally non-intoxicating and is extremely unlikely to make you feel high, it is still a byproduct of broken-down THC and can be abstractly thought of as a much, much less potent form of THC.

What Is CBN Used For?

Though it hasn’t been as extensively studied as THC & CBD have yet, CBN has been growing increasingly popular as more individuals and research have begun to identify the compound’s potential therapeutic, health, and mental benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those effects and uses. 

How Is CBN Taken?

Cannabinol, like many other cannabinoids, are available in a range of products and delivery methods. Though you could simply wait for your greens to age a bit, there are certainly more direct (and quantifiable) ways to ingest CBN

These commonly include:

  • Oils & Tinctures
  • CBN-dominant flower
  • Vaping (via wax or oil)
  • Topicals

Potential CBN Uses

Before we take a look at some of the conditions in that Cannabinol can be effective at providing relief, it is important to know there is still much research required to fully understand the effects and interactions of Cannabinol. 

While some individuals and research have pointed to success in treating the following conditions, much more is left to learn. For that reason, this should not be taken as medical advice, and you should consult your physician with any questions or concerns before using CBN for strictly medical purposes.  

  • Appetite Stimulation: In a 2012 study, researchers found that mice who were given CBN saw an increased appetite and food intake, suggesting that the compound helps to stimulate the appetite. Though more research is needed, Cannabinol could prove an effective way to stimulate munchies. This could potentially help many individuals, such as those who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment or others who are trying to avoid THC (perhaps the most well-known appetite stimulant) but want to still take advantage of its therapeutic benefits.
  • Antibacterial Properties: In some studies, CBN has been found to be an effective antibacterial agent, showing early success in combating antibiotic-resistant strains and infections. It is possible that in the future, CBN may be used to fight off bacterial infections that antibiotics are unable to treat.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: CBN has initially shown promise as an anti-inflammatory agent that can be used to treat a range of conditions such as arthritis, headaches, cramps, and muscle aches & pains.
  • Sleep aid: One of the most touted benefits of CBN involves its potential sedative effects. Though there is not yet enough hard evidence to conclusively prove CBN is an effective sleep aid, many individuals have reported success in using Cannabinol to deal with symptoms of insomnia or restlessness. Of the existing studies, it appears likely that a combination of THC and CBN produces the most effective sedative effects.

Is CBN Safe?

CBD has been studied extensively, and many of its benefits and interactions are pretty well understood and reliable. CBN, on the other hand, has not been sufficiently researched at this point in time to definitively back up all of the benefits and uses that some people have claimed.

That being said, CBN is totally safe to use, and many individuals have reported positive results in finding relief for certain conditions. As long as you are aware that CBN likely contains some trace amounts of THC still, it is safe for most people to use. 

Does CBN Have THC In It?

CBN is a byproduct of broken-down THC, which means that it is essentially a much less potent form of THC. If you are worried about potentially how ingesting trace amounts of CBN may affect you, you may want to choose CBD instead. 

A study at the University Of Utah found that CBN may interfere with your ability to pass a drug test for THC, potentially creating a false-positive result. 

Closing Thoughts: Does CBN Get You High?

There are many different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, and each has its own unique effects, benefits, and applications- and not all of them get you “high” either! CBN is a mostly non-psychoactive compound with a host of potential therapeutic benefits that we are just now beginning to understand.

While CBN does not generally get you “high” in the sense that THC would, it is a compound that is created as THC breaks down, which means that there may still be minute amounts of the compound still present. 
If you’re located in the Okanagan Valley and would like to learn more about CBN and which products may benefit you, stop by our Kelowna Dispensary or West Kelowna Dispensary today!

Our friendly and knowledgeable staff would be more than happy to get you going!