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What is CBN – Cannabinol – and what are the benefits of this Cannabinoid?

CBN – Cannabinol

Are you using Cannabis for insomnia? Many South Africans are successfully using Cannabis oil to help with their chronic insomnia.

The reason behind this sedative action is the Cannabinoid CBN.

The number of known cannabinoids is over a hundred. Each one has its own set of effects. People with limited knowledge of Cannabinol (CBN) have assumed that it is simply a degraded, less potent cannabinoid derived from THC. It’s barely present in cannabis flowers and it is nowhere near as psychoactive as THC. You can find more cannabinol in older, degraded material making anything with its presence less desirable. As a result, this cannabinoid hasn’t received much attention. However, the industry is catching on to the fact that Cannabinol has therapeutic effects that benefit people who are sensitive to THC. Now, more CBN is being found in cannabis products like topicals, edibles, capsules and more.

Early research suggests that those with insomnia, asthma, psoriasis, and pain may one day benefit from the cannabinoid CBN.

What Are CBN’s Effects and Benefits?

Its name may bear striking resemblance to CBD, but cannabinol, or CBN, offers a unique profile of effects and benefits that have researchers clamouring for more scientific investigation. So far, CBN’s studied benefits include:

  • Pain relief
  • Anti-insomnia
  • Promotes growth of bone cells
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-convulsive
  • Appetite stimulant

As mentioned above, cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are the active components in the cannabis plant that provide medicinal and therapeutic effects.

Unlike many other cannabinoids, CBN is not typically present on fresh cannabis flowers. In fact, even in dried and cured strains, the percentage of CBN often doesn’t reach more than one percent.

CBN is actually a breakdown product of the most famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the primary psychoactive in the plant, and its what causes the plant’s classic “high”. As THC ages, it transforms into CBN.

Typically, more CBN is found in buds that have gone stale. While that may sound unappealing, the cannabinoid has several surprising benefits. In fact, high-THC strains that contain higher levels of CBN are thought to provide a more sedative, couch-locking effect.

If you happen to find a strain high in THC, CBN and a flavour molecule called myrcene, you can expect some serious yawns. However, sedation isn’t the only benefit that CBN provides. In general, the compound is considered nonpsychoactive. Research in human cells has shown that CBN has only a mild ability to activate the same cell receptors as THC.

A 2006 study found that CBN and several other cannabinoids have the ability to control the growth of cancer cells. CBN was specifically able to control a type of lung tumor called Lewis carcinoma.

Back in 1974, researchers found that THC, CBD and CBN all had anticonvulsant properties but potency-wise, CBN is less active than the other two.

As THC oxidizes (i.e. exposure to oxygen over time), it converts to CBN. This is why aged, poorly stored cannabis is likely to have higher levels of CBN than fresh flower in an air-tight container.

The best way to get more CBN? Age your flower. If you’re growing from home, push your harvest time back. Let trichomes begin to develop amber coloration prior to cutting down your plant. Then, it’s time to dry and cure.

Coaxing out CBN is not an exact science. Since CBN is a breakdown product of THC, different environmental factors may either speed up or slow down the conversion process. There are four primary factors that break down THC. These include:

  • Light
  • Air
  • Heat
  • Age

Cannabis flowers that have been sitting out for a while and have gone stale tend to be higher in CBN. However, no one likes to smoke or vaporize stale flower. The real trick is to try to allow the THC to degrade without sacrificing the overall quality of the bud.

To do this, setting your cure jars in bright warm place with a 65 percent humidity pack is likely helpful. Poking a few small holes in the top of the jar to let out built up humidity may be necessary for a time while the THC degrades. Burping the jars might also be useful if the buds seem to evaporate

However, keep in mind that light and heat can wreck havoc on dried cannabis buds. Keeping dried cannabis flowers in a sunny environment can cause them to break down and become harsh to smoke. With a humidity pack and air vents, cannabis flowers can cure in a bright window or sunny spot for a few days max.