Dispensary shelves are constantly evolving, with new items popping up on a near-daily basis. From THC-V vape carts to CBN gummies, there’s something for literally anyone. But where are these cutting-edge products coming from?
It turns out the cannabis plant is extremely complex, made up of hundreds of different active compounds. The most prominent naturally occurring chemicals in marijuana are called cannabinoids, which play a huge role in the plant’s effects.
What are minor cannabinoids like CBN?
The most well-known and prevalent are THC and CBD, but there are actually hundreds of different cannabinoids present. So-called “minor cannabinoids” have been rising in popularity, especially as research conducted on their potential benefits increases.
Currently, very few peer-reviewed studies focusing on these compounds exist due to the designation of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance but anecdotal evidence shows a wide variety of promising benefits.
Demand for products containing lesser-known cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, and THC-V is growing as more is understood about how they work, especially within the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS exists within all mammals and is thought to be responsible for helping the body’s different systems maintain harmony.
The ECS is made of thousands of receptors, called CB1 and CB2 receptors. When you smoke a joint or eat an edible, the cannabinoids bind to these CB1 and CB2 receptors, allowing you to feel the plant’s full effects.
One compound making waves is CBN, short for cannabinol. Touted for its potential to promote restful sleep (among other benefits), the cannabinoid is finding its way into edibles left and right.
Read on to find out why CBN is so popular and what it could possibly do for you.
How is CBN produced?
Unlike CBD and THC, CBN does not naturally occur in the vast majority of cannabis strains except for in minuscule amounts. Rather, THC turns into CBN after long periods of time, especially when exposed to heat or light.
To mass produce the cannabinoid, producers will speed up this natural process, converting THC to CBN, or will opt to isolate the cannabinoid in a laboratory setting.
CBN vs CBD vs THC
One of the most common questions regarding CBN is how it compares to its more famous cousins THC and CBD. In terms of effect, the cannabinoid may be slightly psychoactive, more so than CBD but far less than THC.
Researchers believe this is due to the fact that CBN is a descendant of THC, with studies showing CBN could actually enhance the effects of THC when taken in tandem.
Therefore, it’s better for producers to extract the cannabinoid from higher potency cannabis plants versus hemp plants.
There is also a bit of overlap regarding the potential therapeutic uses. Some studies indicate that all three cannabinoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, a leading root cause of many other illnesses.
While research is still limited on CBN, it’s thought to be more of a wellness aide, thought to promote relaxation, alongside CBD products.
At the same time, THC is used in more recreational settings (although it does have a wide range of potential medical benefits as well).
What types of products contain CBN?
There are no high CBN strains of cannabis flower, so people seeking out the cannabinoid will need to look for extracts or edibles.
There are several high-quality tinctures, confections, capsules, and beverages on the market today that contain CBN with more entering the market all the time. You can also purchase CBD isolate which can be dabbed or eaten on its own.
The Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate CBN products, so only purchase CBD and CBN from trusted sources with certificates of analysis.
CBN gummies: the simplest way to consume CBN
One of the easiest methods of consumption for CBN is in gummy form. CBN gummies come in a variety of flavors, with a range of potency. Oftentimes, CBN will appear alongside other cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
It is believed that cannabinoids work better together thanks to a theory called the ensemble effect, which may explain why CBN typically doesn’t fly solo.
Do you like orange-flavored cannabis edibles?
The potential benefits of CBN gummies
While scientific studies on CBN remain fairly limited, there is a growing amount of anecdotal evidence that shows the cannabinoid to have several potential benefits:
The vast majority of CBN products out there are marketed for improving sleep. One small study conducted in the 1970s revealed taking CBN could result in drowsiness.
Some theorize that CBN makes people fall asleep and stay asleep because it’s so closely related to THC and likely has a more relaxing effect than its counterpart CBD.
What flavor is this STIIIZY cannabis gummy? Grape?
Relief from chronic muscle disorders
One recent study of rats showed the potential of CBN as a pain reliever. The research specifically focused on illnesses that lead to muscle pain such as fibromyalgia but the findings were promising.
Interestingly, rats who took both CBN and CBD had better results than CBN alone, further reinforcing the ensemble effect theory.
Another study of rats conducted in 2012 found that CBN could help increase appetite. While THC is also known to give people the munchies, CBN may be a good alternative for those seeking less intense psychoactive effects.
CBN may also be a powerful tool in the fight against germs and viruses. In a 2008 study, the cannabinoid performed well as an antibacterial agent when exposed to antibiotic-resistant MRSA, the cause of staph infections.
This is one instance where isolated CBN may work well on its own.
It turns out CBN could also ward off debilitating neurological conditions. Research released in 2005 showed that the cannabinoid helped delay the onset of ALS in rodents.
While human studies are still needed, the results revealed CBN’s capability as a tool to help protect the brain.
There is also been evidence that CBN may relieve intraocular pressure, the main cause of glaucoma.
A 2007 study revealed both CBN and THC had the potential to treat the disease. InMed, a pharmaceutical company developing cannabinoid therapies, also saw their initial trials of CBN for glaucoma achieve exciting results.
A pile of STIIIZY’s delicious orange-flavored cannabis gummies.
CBN Gummies—Final thought
Lesser-known cannabinoids are the future of the cannabis industry with CBN gummies and other products lining the shelves of dispensaries more and more.
Research may be limited, but as interest in these compounds increases and legalization spreads, studies are sure to increase.
CBN in particular has shown an immense amount of promise and it’s likely the cannabinoid will be front and center before too long.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.