What is CBN Oil?

5 minute read

CBN, cannabinol, is one of the over 100 cannabinoids found in hemp. A non-psychoactive compound, CBN oil is popular for its sedative qualities. Read on to learn what else makes CBN stand out from its fellow cannabinoids! 

Is CBN a cannabinoid?

Yes, but it is slightly different than the others. What makes CBN unique is most cannabinoids are genetically derived from CBG, and CBN is a byproduct of the THC aging process. For this reason, there are no high-CBN strains available.

Light, heat, and time cause THC to oxidize and break down. As this happens, CBN is formed. This process, in part, contributed to the sedative effects of older, poorly stored “hippie weed,” which is how CBN earned its reputation as a sleep aid.

CBN interacts with our endocannabinoid system differently than CBD and THC. It is considered a weak CB1 partial agonist, which means it binds directly to the receptor but induces much lower effects compared to a full agonist. In fact, CBN has been shown to only produce approximately 10% of the activity of THC.

Is CBN Legal?

Yes. CBN  was legalized in 2018 with the passing of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill classified hemp as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent THC. The bill legalized the entire plant,  including seeds, derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids. CBN is not specifically mentioned under the law, but there is no question that it is hemp-derived. The only caveat is with drug testing.

Can CBN fail a drug test?

The University of  Utah Health Science Center reported that CBN users should be cautious with drug testing because CBN is more likely to result in a false-positive THC drug test than other non-psychoactive cannabinoids. U of U researchers spiked urine tests with pure CBD, CBN, CBC, and CBG isolates (not full spectrum extractions) and tested the samples with two common THC screens.

CBN was the only cannabinoid that resulted in a false-positive for one of the two tests.  Because CBN comes from THC, their molecular structures are very similar. The drug tests screen for antibodies, enzymes that break down THC, which may be why CBN flunked the test.   

CBN Gummies

What Effects Does CBN have?

Like many cannabinoids, there are only a few CBN studies. While small in number, they are big on potential results. The following is a list of potential benefits associated with CBN.

CBN for Sleep
As mentioned, cannabinoid consumers primarily value CBN as a potent sleep aid. And while more conclusive research is necessary, there are a few theories that support the anecdotal evidence. 

Lots of medication and supplements induce sedation rather than encourage natural sleep. Natural sleep is a series of dreaming, not dreaming, deep sleep, and light sleep cycles. Sedation, in contrast, is more like being knocked unconscious. For an insomniac, that may sound dreamy, but in fact, it’s lacking sufficient dream stages (REM) that rejuvenate our minds. 

Part of the reason cannabis helps with all sorts of conditions is how it interacts with the ECS, which regulates the body’s natural processes like sleep, mood, and appetite. 

There could be several issues affecting one’s sleep—pain, depression, anxiety, and more. So whatever particular ailment may be affecting your sleep, there is hope that a hemp extract can help return your basic functions to a more balanced place. 

CBN vs CBD for Sleep
Research shows that other cannabinoids contribute to relaxation and thus restfulness, too, so which is better for sleep CBD or CBN? Anecdotally, cannabinoid users have better results using CBN for sleep. This could be because it comes from THC, which is typically considered a sedative, despite its energizing qualities for some people. 

Other Potential CBN Benefits

Pain Relief
In addition to its effectiveness as a sleep aid, CBN also potentially offers pain relief. Cannabinoids are well-known as anti-inflammatories. CBN, though not as widely used for anti-inflammatory purposes as CBD or THC, has complementary abilities. 

A 2009 study on cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, identified CBN as a possible treatment for inflammatory disorders such as allergic asthma. Research has also revealed that CBN can treat glaucoma by reducing inflammation that causes intraocular pressure, similar to CBG.  

Anti-bacterial
CBN is one of several cannabinoids with the potential to fight bacteria. When tested on multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria, CBN was highly effective and may prove a viable option for reducing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in the future.

Anti-convulsant
Studies dating back to the 1970s identify CBN as an effective treatment against convulsive illnesses. Similar to CBD and THC, CBN has the potential to reduce seizures and epileptic symptoms. However, CBN’s anti-convulsive properties may be more effective in conjunction with CBD and THC than as an isolated compound.

Appetite Stimulant
In addition to the potential medical uses already covered, CBN may be an effective appetite stimulant. A 2012 study found that rats administered with CBN showed a sizable increase in both quantity and duration of feeding. These findings present the possibility of using CBN as a non-intoxicating alternative to THC appetite stimulants.

Summary: How is CBN different than CBD?

  • CBD and CBN both interact with the endocannabinoid system.
  • CBN is derived from aging THC rather than the genetics of the hemp plant.
  • CBN is found in adult hemp, while CBD is the dominant cannabinoid at all stages of the plant’s life.
  • CBN is more likely to result in false-positive drug tests than other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
  • CBN and CBD offer the same benefits, but CBN is often the preferred cannabinoid for sleep.

Extract Labs CBN Products

a picture of all extract labs' cbn products: isolate, softgels, gummies and chocolateAfter a lot of exploration, our PM Formula was purposefully created as a full spectrum pure hemp extract without any other common sleep aid ingredients, as we feel hemp extraction is what we do best.

Many other CBD sleep aids on the market use various combinations of melatonin, valerian root, 5-HTP, GABA, and the like. As with our own products, we place emphasis on the individual – that each individual has a unique set of circumstances and biology, and that one size does not fit all. 

Are you melatonin deficient? Do you need more vitamin D to produce melatonin, less alcohol, or will a supplement help? These are questions best left for you to decide. With this approach, we leave it in your hands to decide what to take and in what combination.

Finding the Active Ingredient In Sleep Supplements

Another factor to consider with those CBD + sleep aid products is the difficulty in determining which ingredient is primarily helping to induce sleep. If it’s valerian root, perhaps all the other stuff is not needed. By keeping those things out of our formula, you can determine what ingredient is working for you.

Product Spotlight: CBN Tincture

Since CBN isn’t genetically common in hemp, it is rare to find CBN tinctures. Our new cannabinol tincture includes 300 milligrams of CBN and 900 milligrams of CBD per bottle. The 1-to-3  ratio strengthens the entourage effect and compliments the benefits of each cannabinoid. 

Like our softgels, our PM formula is a full spectrum product that includes less than 0.3 percent THC. We recommend taking CBN tincture before bed or as part of your nighttime ritual. 

OTher Types of CBN Products

CBN PM Formula Softgels
Extract Labs PM Formula softgels are an easy and convenient way to consume CBN. Each bottle will contain a month’s worth of capsules, with each capsule containing 30mg of CBD and 10mg of CBN. Simply take one softgel about an hour before bedtime!

CBN Full Spectrum Gummies and Peak Extract Chocolate
Our gummies contain the same formula as our softgels that come in a sugar-coated treat. Our Peak Extract CBN chocolate provides a smaller dose of 2 milligrams of CBN and 7.8 milligrams of CBD per square. People often prefer edibles for the sustained and steady effects. 

Isolate 
CBN isolate is pure cannabinol, which gives you complete control over how you incorporate the cannabinoid into your life. A popular option is to add CBN into nighttime tea or other relaxing drinks. 

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