Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. When we don't get enough sleep, we can experience a range of problems, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and impaired judgment. Cannabinol (CBN) is believed to have sedative properties, potentially making it beneficial for sleep. This article explores CBN's effectiveness for sleep, how it works, and the research behind it.
Cannabinol is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning that it does not produce the "high" associated with THC.
Cannabinol is thought to work by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. These receptors are involved in various functions, including sleep, appetite, pain, and inflammation.
Cannabinol is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it can cause some side effects, such as drowsiness, increased appetite, falling, and dry mouth.
More research is needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of taking CBN products.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol (CBN) is a minor cannabinoid in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is a naturally occurring compound produced when tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) breaks down over time. Cannabinol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means it does not produce the same mind-altering effects as THC.
Cannabinol is considered a Schedule I controlled substance and is available in the U.S., where there are regulated cannabis programs. However, CBN is still a relatively new cannabinoid and more research is needed to understand its potential benefits and risks fully. So far, research suggests that CBN may be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of conditions.
For people considering using CBN, it is important to talk to a doctor first. They can help determine if CBN is right for the situation and can recommend a safe and effective dose.
How do CBN gummies work?
Cannabinol gummies are thought to work by binding to the body's endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and molecules that helps regulate sleep and other bodily functions. However, the specific mechanisms of CBN's effects on sleep are not yet fully understood and require further investigation.
However, researchers do know that CBN binds to cannabinoid receptors at a weaker rate than THC does. There are two cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) — CBN binds more to CB2 than it does to CB1, which causes some anti-inflammatory effects. However, CB1 is better known for its psychoactive effects, including sleep and sedation.
Risks of taking CBN
As with any cannabis product, CBN gummies may come with potential risks. The risks of CBN gummies are not fully known due to limited research. While there isn’t enough research to determine the exact side effects, experts believe the potential risks may be similar to other cannabinoid products, such as CBD or THC.
These side effects include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Cannabis use disorder
- Fetal development complications
- Fall risks
- Memory problems
CBN may interact with certain common medications including:
- Anticancer medications
- Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
- Some antibiotics
- Blood thinners
- Cholesterol medications
- Blood pressure medications
Benefits of taking CBN
It is important to note that more research is needed to understand the benefits of CBN gummies fully and to determine their optimal dosage for specific conditions. However, researchers believe that CBN use is beneficial in certain circumstances.
The potential benefits of CBN gummies include:
- Improved sleep. Because CBN acts as a sedative, it helps to promote sleep, but more research is needed on this process.
- Reduced pain. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce pain.
- Improved appetite. By increasing the production of the hormone ghrelin, CBN stimulates appetite.
- Improved immune system. Cannabinol has potential immunosuppressive activities when binding to CB2 receptors triggering apoptosis in immune cells and inhibiting cytokines.
- Neuroprotection. Cannabinol has neuroprotective properties, which help to protect the brain from damage. One study showed that CBN may help delay the progression and onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
- Reduced anxiety. Its anxiolytic properties help to reduce anxiety.
Can CBN improve sleep quality?
While CBN gummies may hold promise as a sleep aid, scientific evidence still does not fully support their ability to improve sleep quality. More research is needed to understand the precise effects of CBN on sleep and to determine the optimal dosage and potential interactions with other medications.
While it is commonly sold as a sleep aid and could possibly be effective in improving sleep, more research is needed.
What does science say about CBN?
Scientific research on CBN's effects on sleep is still in its early stages. The majority of the studies on CBN are outdated and performed in the 1970s and 1980s.
In one recent study from 2021, 24 volunteers in Australia studied the effects of a combination of THC, CBD, and CBN on chronic insomnia. The participants took this combination for two weeks and found improved sleep quality compared to a placebo group. Due to the small sample size of this group, the results may not apply to the entire population.
Another study published more recently in May 2023 had 1,793 study participants with symptoms of sleep disturbances. Over a period of five weeks, the participants took a mixture of CBD, CBN, cannabichromene (CBC), and melatonin in a range of dosages. The results concluded that CBN and CBC did not improve the effect of CBD and melatonin together. Specifically, CBN has been known to interact with Cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver which can cause medication interactions.
More research is needed on CBN to conclude if it is effective as a sleep aid, both in sole use or in combination with other cannabinoids.
How to use CBN?
Cannabinol isn’t available in asor other cannabinoid products. However, CBN comes in forms, such as the following:
- Gummies or edibles
- Tea bags
- Disposable vape pens
Here are tips for using CBN gummies for sleep:
- Start with a low dose. Cannabinol gummies are typically dosed in milligrams. Users should start with a low dose, such as 5 milligrams, to see how it affects them. If no side effects appear, users can increase the dose gradually. A typical CBN dose range for sleep should be 5-15 mg.
- Take them at least one hour before bed. Gummies can take up to an hour to work, so it's important to take them at least one hour before bed.
- Don't drive or operate machinery. Once the effects start to kick in, CBN gummies will cause drowsiness, so it's important to avoid driving or operating machinery.
- Talk to a doctor. Users should consult their doctor if they have concerns about using CBN gummies. A medical professional can help determine if CBN is a proper treatment and recommend a safe and effective dose.
CBN vs. CBD
Both CBN and CBD are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but they have different properties.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major cannabinoid found in high concentrations in the cannabis plant. It is thought to work by binding to cannabinoid receptors, as well as by increasing the production of natural endocannabinoids produced by the body. Scientists have more experience with CBD as it has been more extensively researched.
Cannabinol (CBN), on the other hand, is primarily associated with sedative properties and potential sleep-inducing effects. It is a minor cannabinoid produced when THC breaks down over time. It is thought to work by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. However, it is important to note that research on CBN is still in its early stages compared to CBD.
While CBN gummies have gained popularity as a potential sleep aid, their effectiveness and safety are not yet well-established by scientific research. While some individuals may find CBN gummies helpful for sleep, it is advisable to approach them with caution and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. Further research is needed to determine the benefits, risks, and optimal usage of CBN gummies for improving sleep quality.
- Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Cannabinol and Sleep: Separating Fact from Fiction.
- Sleep Foundation. CBN for Sleep.
- Journal of the American Nutrition Association. The Safety and Comparative Effectiveness of Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid Formulations for the Improvement of Sleep: A Double-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial.
- Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. Ghrelin and cannabinoids require the ghrelin receptor to affect cellular energy metabolism.
- National Cancer Institute. Cannabinol.
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- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor neuron disorders. Cannabinol delays symptom onset in SOD1 (G93A) transgenic mice without affecting survival.
- Sleep. Treating insomnia symptoms with medicinal cannabis: a randomized, crossover trial of the efficacy of a cannabinoid medicine compared with placebo.