What is CBN and what does it do?
A beginner's guide to Cannabinol
Often referred to as “The Couchlock Cannabinoid”, CBN (cannabinol) is present in all strains of cannabis and does not provide a high on its own. Although there hasn’t been much research on Canabinol’s sedating effects, one human study did look at this question and found that it may be the combination of CBN and THC that cause the sedative effect.
CBN is the final terpene produced by the cannabis plant and is created as THC degrades over time. For that reason you see the highest levels of CBN in older strains. For many years the best way to find and take advantage of Cannabinol was to seek out old flower, or to buy some new flower and wait. As research has advanced on the benefits of other cannabinoids, products made from rarer strains have been found to be high in this cannabinoid have begun to emerge on the market.
Research available is limited (as we are just beginning to study this cannabinoid in depth) but did begin in the 1970s! Very few studies show results for the human body, they are often preformed on mice, making the findings mostly theoretical right now. The only human study done was in the 1970s and pertained to its assistance with sleep. Most of what we have learned personally comes from customer feedback. What research does exists suggests possible aid for things like glaucoma, as an antibacterial, neuro-protective, and appetite stimulant. We have provided links to these research studies below so you can learn more.
THE COUCH-LOCK CANNABINOID
That first study in the 1970s led the way for this cannabinoid to become known as the “Couch-lock Cannabinoid”. While the sample group was small, none of the respondents reported that cannabinol made them tired.
So why does everyone say that it’s sedating?
“Pure Cannabinol is not particularly sedating,” Dr. Ethan Russo, Cannabis Researcher and Neurologist, “But it is typically found in aged cannabis in which the monoterpenoids have evaporated leaving the more sedating oxygenated sesquiterpenoids. This accounts for the discrepancy.”
In other words, that older weed that is boasting high levels of Cannabinol is also high in sedating terpenes. Researchers believe it is the effect of the terpenes rather than the CBN that creates the relaxing effect we find in aged cannabis. They have also suggested that accompanying it with THC is necessary to receive that sedative effect.
One misconception to be aware of is that not all high CBN products will be non-intoxicating, some are mixed with even balanced ratios of THC. While Cannabinol alone will not produce a high, it can actually increase euphoric effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. If you are looking to take advantage of CBN’s benefits without a high, make sure you are using products that don’t contain too much THC!
Each cannabinoid occurs in different levels within different plants and can interact with each person uniquely depending on the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant in combination with how your body produces and reacts to them. Learning about the uses of each cannabinoid can greatly increase your success with using cannabis as a medication. Your budtender can be an excellent tool in helping direct you to the strains and intake methods that are right for you. We do offer CBN Products in our store- you can check out our menu here to see what we have available by using the search feature.
CBN is created at THC degrades over time (most commonly found in older weed)
Cannabinol does not produce a high on it’s own (much like CBD) but can increase euphoric tendencies of THC.
Studies have shown positive results with Cannabinol as an anticonvulsant, anti-biotic, neuroprotectant, appetite stimulator, and an anti-inflammatory.
Leafly’s, “What is CBN (cannabinol) and what are the benefits of this cannabinoid” https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbn-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid
Weedmaps, “The Difference between CBN vs CBD” https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/cbn-vs-cbd
High Times, “The Ultimate Guide to Cannabinoids in Cannabis” https://hightimes.com/guides/cannabinoids/
Weedmaps, “CBN, Definition” https://weedmaps.com/learn/dictionary/cannabinol-cbn
Science Directs, “CBN” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/cannabinol
National Library of Medicine, PubMed:
Antibacterial Cannabinoids of Cannabis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18681481/
CBN delays onset of ALS https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16183560/
CBN and CBD excerpt opposite effects on rat feeding patterns https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22543671/
Cannabinoids in Health & Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202504/
Cannabinoids, Inflammation & Fibrosis https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.201600646r
Effects of delta9-tetrahydracannabinol and cannabinol in man https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.201600646r
What is a Cannabinoid?
A beginner's guide to Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with receptors in the brain and body to create various effects. Dozens of cannabinoids exist in the cannabis plant, but THC is the one most people know due to its abundance and psycho-active attributes. Some of the other Cannabinoids we have begun to become familiar with include CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, THC-A, THC-V, and THC-O.
Why does cannabis produce cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are known as secondary metabolites, which means they are chemicals the plant produces that have no primary role in the plant’s development. However, the leading hypothesis is that secondary metabolites act as an immune system for the plant, fending off predators, parasites, and pests.
SCIENCE & THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
Because humans (and many other mammals) have receptor systems that cannabinoids bind to, we are able to reap their benefits for both health and recreation This system, called the endocannabinoid system (or ECS), is a group of specialized signaling chemicals (think “keys”), their receptors (think “locks”), and the metabolic enzymes that produce and break them down. The endocannabinoid chemical signals that our bodies naturally put out act on some of the same brain and immune cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) that plant cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) act on.
Put more simply, the plant’s cannabinoids mimic natural compounds in our bodies.
The isolation of THC came from an Israeli chemist by the name of Raphael Mechoulam. In 1964, Mechoulam isolated and synthesized THC from Lebanese hashish, marking the beginning of cannabis research and leading to the discovery of many other cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, and “endocannabinoids” – the THC-like compounds our body naturally produces to maintain stability and health.
Each cannabinoid occurs in different levels within different plants and can interact with each person uniquely depending on the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant in combination with how your body produces and reacts to them. Learning about the uses of each cannabinoid can greatly increase your success with using cannabis as a medication. Your budtender can be an excellent tool in helping direct you to the strains and intake methods that are right for you.
Coming Soon: Learn about each cannabinoid individually by clicking on the image above. Stay tuned while we role out this new education section of our website!
←Meanwhile- check out this cannabinoid wheel from Leafly! Super informative!
100s of Cannabinoids exist in each plant.
The first Cannabinoid was discovered in 1964.
Cannabinoids mimic compounds in our bodies and bond to receptors in our natural endocannabinoid system. Think of the cannabinoids as “keys” and our receptors as “locks”.
Using the correct cannabinoid for you will improve efficacy.