Introducing, the Latest Cannabinoid Craze, Cannabinol.

You have heard of CBD, CBG, and THC; now we are presenting the latest feature in the science community, Cannabinol, or CBN. CBD has been the longest in the spotlight, and the longest under scientific research for its medicinal and beneficial properties. Now leading the way is Cannabinol, or CBN, with its own health benefits.

What is CBN (Cannabinol) ?

Cannabinol, or CBN, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has at least 85 different cannabinoids, and researchers have only scratched the surface of the beneficial properties that they contain.

When ingesting these cannabinoids, they bind to cannabinoid receptors found in the body. These receptors are tagged to the Endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of many important things like homeostasis, mood, hunger, and that’s just some of them.

CBN actually isn’t naturally occurring during the “fresh” stage of cannabis, there are trace amounts, but CBN is a cannabinoid that is a product of when THC breaks down. This process is called THC Oxidation, the action of when cannabis ages and THC transforms into CBN. Its benefits have already been compared to those of the well-researched CBD.

It’s still very much in the beginning stages of research, but so far it has been proven to have effects such as anticonvulsant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. The most affluent characteristic for CBN is its sedative effect that may induce sleep.

What are the Differences Between CBN, CBD, and THC?

CBD, CBN, and THC are all cannabinoids, but they all have distinct differences.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is its own cannabinoid, whereas THC transforms into CBN, more on that later. Let’s divide and conquer each cannabinoid on its own.


First off, the most well-known cannabinoid thus far, THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the agent that is responsible for the “high,” but we call this a psychoactive property. So far this is the only cannabinoid found to have the psychoactive property, but THC too has its own health benefits. It’s been proven to have therapeutic properties with strong evidence that is decreases inflammation.


Next is CBD, the second most well-known cannabinoid. If you haven’t heard the benefits of this cannabinoid, where have you been? CBD can do anything from decreasing inflammation, relieving pain, calming you down, and even aiding anxiety and depression.


Last is CBN, this is an interesting concept. Since CBN is the aftermath of THC degrading, it means it’s not psychoactive, but still holds the same benefits as THC.

How is CBN Produced?

If you pay attention to THC’s proper name, tetrahydrocannabinol, the last part is “cannabinol,” or CBN. This means they’re related, but how?

CBN is the product of the degradation of THC. We’ll get into the scientific process next, but the process starts as soon as the plant has been harvested and has stopped receiving nutrition. The cannabinoid biosynthetic pathways are disrupted and result in the compounds altering due to exposure to certain things.  

For example, THC acid (THC-A) goes through decarboxylation (drops a carbon dioxide molecule) and turns into THC, and THC oxidizes over time and becomes cannabinol.

Oxidation of THC

On a molecular level, THC and CBN’s chemical makeup are practically the same except for 4 hydrogen atoms. This makes it easy for THC to be able to convert to CBN.

It has been found that under 3 circumstances, THC can lose those 4 hydrogen atoms in order to become CBN; air, heat and light.

What Are the Potential Benefits, Effects, and Uses of CBN?

Nearly 30% of Americans struggle to sleep at night, and CBN might be a helping hand. Out of all cannabinoids, CBN seems to be the one with the most powerful sedative effects; which is optimal for those who wish to induce sleep.

But other than being a sleep aid, Cannabinol has many other benefits. Studies have shown that CBN may be beneficial to the following problem;

1. Appetite

A 2012 study conducted by researchers from the University of Reading’s School of Pharmacy has found that cannabinol increased appetite in rats. Making for a great choice to assist those who struggle to find an urge to eat without a psychoactive effect.

2. Anti-inflammatory

Tests undertaken on rodent models have shown the compound’s ability to successfully reduce inflammation in mice.

3. Anticonvulsant

Research dating back to 1973 has consistently found that cannabinol has anti-convulsing effects in various animal models, but to a lesser degree than THC and CBD.

4. Antibacterial

A 2008 study discovered that cannabinol kills methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, which causes highly infectious and potentially dangerous infections.

5. Pain relief

Cannabinol activates the same pain pathways as THC and CBD, according to a study from 2002. It performs similarly to THC in pain reducing and anti-inflammatory effects but doesn’t come with the potential adverse symptoms of intoxication.

6. Burn Treatment

CBN has hypothermic ability, meaning it lowers the body temperature, and when coupled with anti-inflammation, may help with burn treatment.

7. Bone Growth

Recent studies have also discovered that CBN may help in triggering stem cells in the bone marrow.


  1. https://www.projectcbd.org/about/book-excerpt/cannabinoids-and-oxidation
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinol
  3. https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/23-sciencebacked-health-benefits-of-marijuana/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22543671
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681481

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About the Author

Geena Turbovsky
Geena Turbovsky

Geena is a content writer for the cannabis industry.
Her favorite food is 🍟 and she loves playing her 🎸 on her free time.

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