As you may know, many of the effects of the cannabis plant are due to the chemical compounds it secretes, called cannabinoids. While almost everyone is familiar with the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, there are actually over 100 cannabinoids. Recent popular and scientific interest in the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol, or CBD, has brought long-overdue attention to some of these other, lesser-known cannabinoids. Today, we’ll be taking a look at one of them: cannabinol, or CBN.
Where does it come from?
Cannabinol is a product of degradation. When cannabis oxidizes, THCA, the precursor to THC, degrades and forms CBNA. Oxidation occurs naturally with time, or with exposure to the air.
For this reason, poorly-cared for and older bud will often have higher concentrations of CBNA. Upon exposure to heat or UV rays — that is, when you smoke it or leave it in the sun –, CBNA then becomes CBN.
CBN and sleep
CBN and CBN-rich strains are known for inducing sleep. For those of you with insomnia or other sleep-related problems, CBN-heavy bud could be a good solution.
Indica and indica-dominant strains are also known for their sleep-inducing qualities. Researchers believe that this may be due in part to their tendency to have higher concentrations of CBN.
As we explored in our last post, some non-cannabis plants may also be beneficial for the endocannabinoid system. Some may also act synergistically with cannabis and cannabinoids. CBN, for example, tends to be a more effective sleep aid when consumed alongside hops, lavender, and chamomile.
Other therapeutic effects
CBN is also known to be anti-bacterial. Studies have shown its potential use as a topical in treating MRSA, an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that has developed resistance to many traditional antibiotics.
It may also aid in bone-growth. Further research is needed, but it has demonstrated potential to help treat osteoporosis and aid the recovery of broken bones.
As the body of research on cannabis grows, we will likely continue to discover therapeutic benefits of CBN and other cannabinoids. Here at Substance, we hope to continue to seeing roadblocks to this kind of meaningful cannabis research removed.