If you’ve found your way to this blog, you are likely familiar with the most well-known cannabinoids: THC and CBD. This dynamic duo often takes all the credit for the benefits of cannabis therapies, but there are other minor cannabinoids such as CBN that you should know about!
Everything you should know about CBN
What is CBN?
If you’ve been paying attention to trends in the cannabis industry, you might have found yourself wondering – what is CBN? CBN is a minor cannabinoid that’s produced when THC goes through the process of oxidation. This occurs naturally as THC ages, however, factors such as light exposure and heat can speed up the process. Because of this, it’s found in higher concentrations in aged THC-dominant cannabis than fresh hemp flower. Keep in mind that this change occurs on a molecular level, therefore CBN does not affect the body in the same way that THC does.
You may notice that many industry-level CBN products contain CBN isolate. This is because it occurs in relatively low concentrations in fresh, natural cannabis flower, so it’s not always practical to extract CBN directly from biomass (harvested cannabis plant material). CBN isolate is typically supplied via applying heat and pressure to cannabis extract to speed up the process of oxidation. While this is a more resource-intensive process, the reward of this minor cannabinoid as an up-and-coming candidate for sleep support has the cannabis market readily investing!
How does it work?
We are still learning much about how CBN works in the body, however, we do know that it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). There is growing interest in CBN’s potential to assist in stress relief, relieving discomfort, and supporting restful sleep. However, as it grows in popularity, many are touting its sedative effects to be particularly helpful for falling and staying asleep. The market is eagerly exploring CBN’s sleep support capabilities, as improved sleep is one of the most common health goals in our modern-day busy world.
CBN and the Entourage Effect
While the jury is still out on the exact therapeutic benefits of CBN, we do have evidence that suggests that just like CBD, CBN works best when paired with other naturally-occurring phytochemicals in cannabis. The effects of CBN appear to be particularly enhanced when paired with THC and CBD. This is not surprising! You may be familiar with the Entourage Effect which suggests that we can achieve the greatest therapeutic benefit from a cannabinoid by pairing it with other phytocannabinoids and terpenes. This remains true for CBN!
The Industry’s Perspective
While it seems like CBN is a brand new discovery, we’ve actually been isolating this minor cannabinoid since the 1940s! Its recent rise in popularity has taken the cannabis industry by surprise, but it looks like this cannabinoid is here to stay. Its exponential growth has companies vying to bring the best CBN product to market. Animal and human studies are on the rise with a focus on studying CBN and sleep, and its role in the ECS. There is specific interest in CBN’s potential sedative qualities that may promote a restful night’s sleep, particularly when combined with other cannabinoids. We expect to see this trend continue as more consumers begin to ask, ‘what is CBN’?
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