Powered by Smartsupp

What is CBN and what are its effects?

Cannabinol, also referred to as CBN, is one of the many chemical compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Due to its potentially beneficial effects on health, CBN oil is rapidly gaining supporters among the general lay and professional public. Unfortunately, the road to stardom is not without obstacles. The current state of affairs is characterized on the one hand by the belief in the great potential of CBN, but on the other hand by very little substantiated information on which we can rely.

Like CBD oil and CBG oil , CBN does not cause the typical "intoxicating high" associated with the use of cannabis and its main component THC. Although CBN has not yet been the focus of researchers and academics nearly as much as CBD, early research on CBN indicates its promising potential.

CBN oil vs. CBD oil

Many people confuse CBN and CBD. It is understandable. It's hard to keep track of all the abbreviations that are so similar. Nevertheless, there are several fundamental differences between them.

The first difference is that we know a lot more about CBD. The research is still in its infancy, but the volume of information cannot be compared to CBN. It is also worse in terms of availability, with CBD profiting from its fame and CBN standing in the background. Experts don't mention it very often, and potential customers don't even know about it. For now.

CBN: a miracle sleep aid?

Companies that sell CBN oils often market them as sleep aids. They are based on certain findings and often anecdotal evidence that it could be an effective sedative .

Many people use CBN because it helps them fall asleep better and have better quality sleep. So far, however, there has been very little scientific research to indicate how (if at all) it can help in this regard. So it is more about assumptions and natural deductions, but there is still a lack of confirmation by experts.

There is only one (relatively old) study that mentions the aforementioned connections. But it was published in 1975, involved only five subjects, and tested CBN only in conjunction with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. So it could have been responsible for the sedative effects.

One of the reasons why people have associated CBN with sleep may be the fact that this compound is more prominently contained in old cannabis flowers. After long-term exposure to air, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) turns into CBN. Anecdotal sources argue that aging cannabis tends to make the user drowsy, which could explain the purported link between sleep and CBN. But so far, no one has stood up for the claim that the CBN and not other factors are behind all this. There is still little authoritative and verifiable information on this.



Not only for sleep or other benefits of CBN

Studies on the effects of CBN are slowly increasing, the beneficial effects, however wide range of benefits CBN may have, have not yet been conclusively confirmed. With this in mind, we summarize what the limited amount of available research results say:

  • CBN can relieve pain . A 2019 study in rats proved it. She concluded that CBN could reduce pain in people with conditions such as fibromyalgia.
  • It can stimulate the appetite . This is especially crucial in diseases such as cancer or HIV, where its loss is a side effect. This study was again created after testing on rats.
  • It may have neuroprotective effects . A 2005 study revealed that CBN slowed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rats.
  • It can have antibacterial effects . A 2008 study looked at how CBN affects the bacteria MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which causes staph. Researchers found that CBN can kill these bacteria, which are usually resistant to many types of antibiotics .
  • It could suppress inflammation . Many cannabinoids are associated with anti-inflammatory properties. This also applies to CBN. A 2016 rodent study concluded that CBN reduced inflammation associated with arthritis in rats.



Further research should verify the benefits of CBN. However, research conducted on humans is especially necessary, those on rodents cannot be presented as factual and serve as a basis for further research.

Risk of interactions

CBD is known to interact with some medications – especially those with a “grapefruit warning” (those not to be taken with grapefruit). However, we do not know if this applies to CBN as well.

Still, it's better to be careful in this regard. If you are taking any of the following medicines, consult your doctor before taking them for the first time:

  • antibiotics and antimicrobials
  • cancer drugs
  • antihistamines
  • antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • blood pressure medication
  • blood thinners
  • cholesterol medication
  • corticosteroids
  • drugs for erectile dysfunction
  • gastrointestinal (GI) medicines, such as to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or nausea
  • heart rhythm medications
  • immunosuppressants
  • medications to adjust mood, to treat anxiety and depression
  • painkillers
  • prostate medication

Not/Safe CBN?

There are currently no known side effects of CBN. But that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any. There simply isn't enough data on CBN yet to say anything with certainty.

The risks are most likely minimal , but selected groups of people such as pregnant and lactating women or children and patients suffering from chronic diseases should beware.

Product selection

CBN oil is often mixed with CBD oil in products. It usually comes in a glass bottle with a small dropper attached to the inside of the cap. Both also apply to our oils .

Choosing a CBN product has its own rules. Insist on independent lab testing and an output report or Certificate of Analysis (COA) confirming cannabinoid content. Sometimes a test for heavy metals, mold and pesticides is also included. Focus on products from reputable companies that will provide you with all the necessary information regarding the production process or certifications upon request. Hemnia and all our CBN oils work on exactly this principle .


Although we still lack verified information and demonstrable health benefits, we believe that CBN has its glory days ahead of it. The studies are being worked on diligently and the number of experts who see the potential in CBN is increasing rapidly.


Photo: Shutterstock

Short and simple:

  1. Hemnia does not and cannot replace the professional care of your doctor.
  2. Hemnia products are not medicines (or medicinal products), so please do not approach them as such.
  3. Hemnia offers cannabis products, but don't look for any narcotic or psychotropic substances here. We do not offer or recommend them.

Read the full text of the disclaimer here .