What is CBN? Benefits, Effects, Doses, and More About CBN Products

What is CBN? Benefits, Effects, Doses, and More About CBN Products

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, including CBD.

CBN, like many cannabinoids, has spent the past couple of years in the shadow of CBD. It’s the lesser-known relative, the shy and retiring sibling shirking from the limelight as CBD takes center stage. But that’s beginning to change and this cannabinoid is becoming increasingly popular as consumers discover its many unique benefits.

If you’re keen to learn more about CBN and the reasons it’s currently enjoying more time in the spotlight, check out the following guide, where you’ll find answers to questions such as:

  • What Is CBN?
  • What Is CBN Oil?
  • What Is CBN Good For?
  • Does CBN Make You Sleepy?
  • What are the Benefits Of CBN?

What Does CBN Stand For?

CBN stands for “cannabinol”. It’s one of the 120+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, with others including THC, CBD, CBG, and CBC. Unlike THC, it’s not psychoactive, so it won’t produce those feelings of euphoria, paranoia, hunger, and lethargy commonly associated with THC. 

However, it could provide a number of health benefits, and that’s why CBN is the talk of the town right now.

How is CBN Produced?

Cannabinol is a little different from other commonly consumed cannabinoids as it is not produced by the metabolism of the cannabis plant. Instead, it is formed following the degradation of THC, which happens when the plant material is dried and stored.

For this reason, you’ll typically find much higher concentrations of CBN in cannabis buds that have been dried and aged.

What Is CBN Oil?

CBN oil is one of the ways that cannabinol is consumed, with others including gel caps and edibles (also made from CBN oil).

CBN oil is produced following a conversion from THC, potentially giving hemp growers a way to diversify their production by turning that unusable THC into sellable CBN.

Oxidation and heat are required to degrade the THC (drying and storing expose the plant to both of these things), and so producers will typically expose the product to high heat to achieve the desired results.

Cultivators seeking to produce CBN often grow strains that are known to contain large quantities of CBNa, the precursor to CBN. These strains include Lemon Kush, Bubble Gum, and Super Green Crack. 

When extracted on a large scale in a laboratory setting, CBN is often created via solvent extraction techniques.

Other Ways to Consume CBN

CBN products are not as diverse as CBD or CBG products, but the compound can technically be used in the same way, which means CBN could be added to gummies, oils, extracts, gel caps, creams, vapes, and lotions.

If you want the most bang for your buck, you should stick with gel caps or oils. If you’re a first-time cannabinoid user and you’re looking for something that can help with stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, and chronic health conditions, look into full-spectrum oils, ones that contain several different cannabinoids (including CBN).

As the CBN market grows and producing this compound becomes more of a viable option, we’ll likely see many more CBN products on the market. 

Is CBN Legal?

For a CBN product to be legal under federal law, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. Producers will perform a series of checks on the plant and the product to ensure that it meets these requirements before making it to the end consumer.

The fact that THC is illegal at the federal level means it could be illegal to produce CBN directly from THC. However, it depends on the exact production method and the producer’s state. It exists somewhat in a grey area, as the compound itself is legal but the compound from which it is derived is not.

As a user, you shouldn’t have an issue purchasing and using CBN. If you’re hoping to extract the compound yourself, however, you’ll need to consult with your local laws.

Does CBN Make You High/Stoned?

As CBN is formed from degraded THC, you could be forgiven for thinking that it produces similar effects, giving you the “high” you get when you smoke marijuana or consume THC concentrates. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

CBN actually reduces the potency of THC, which is partly why cannabis that has been dried and aged for a long period doesn’t produce highs of the same intensity. 

If you’re worried that CBN will give you red eyes, make you stoned, and heavily impair your judgment, don’t be. It does have some sedative effects and as we’ll see in the below sections, these can be very pronounced and beneficial. But the effects will not hit you as hard as a hefty dose of THC or another recreational drug.

What Does CBN Do?

There aren’t a great deal of studies out there concerning the effects of CBN. It has been around for a long time, but prior to the signing of the Farm Bill in 2018, the federal government adopted a very hardline approach to cannabis and its derivatives, so research was scant.

That has changed somewhat in the last few years, but most studies have focused on CBD and CBG and CBN has been left in the dark somewhat.

Does CBN Make You Sleepy?

CBN is often positioned as a natural sleep aid and is considered to have more sedative properties than other legal cannabinoids. Anecdotal evidence suggests it can produce feelings of calm and aid with restful sleep, and it’s able to do this without making the user feel groggy the following morning.

There is even some scientific research to support these claims, with one study from 1995 noting that it could prolong sleep in mice.

A similar study was conducted a few years ago and even went as far as to suggest that CBN could be as effective as a 5 to 10mg dose of Valium. However, these results have yet to be replicated and seem to be a little far-fetched. After all, Valium is a very strong sedative and 5/10mg is a very effective therapeutic dose.

In short, we don’t know for sure whether CBN can help with sleep or not, but experienced cannabinoid users report that it has much stronger sedative effects than other cannabinoids and many users swear by those effects.

Is CBD Good for Anxiety?

CBN could help in the treatment of anxiety, but again, there isn’t a great deal of evidence out there and we only really have user reports to draw upon.

If we take those reports as gospel and combine them with what we know—or think we know—about CBN’s sedative effects, it’s very reasonable to assume that it could provide some anti-anxiety effects.

After all, anxiety is often worsened by sleep deprivation, and if CBN makes it easier for you to fall asleep and ensures you sleep for longer periods, it could reduce your anxiety levels.

It also seems to work well when combined with other cannabinoids. Many full-spectrum extracts (a term used to denote an oil or other extract that contains a “full spectrum” of cannabinoids and terpenes) are very effective at treating low levels of anxiety, insomnia, and other common ailments.

Is CBD Good for Pain?

Most cannabinoids seem to have analgesic properties and cannabinol is no exception. It takes the edge off for many users and seems to be very effective at reducing inflammation and dealing with low levels of chronic pain.

Of course, we should reiterate that these claims are mainly based on anecdotal evidence and there haven’t been enough studies on CBN to determine its efficacy one way or the other.

What Are The Other Benefits Of CBN?

There could be many other benefits of cannabinol, but as there are so few studies out there, it’s hard to know for sure.

That will likely change as the years progress, CBN becomes more popular, and more researchers explore this compound, but as things stand, the only way to know for sure is to try it yourself.

It could help with inflammatory disorders, chronic pain, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, immunity, and more, but it could also provide none of those benefits!

How Should I Take CBN?

As with all unprescribed remedies, you should start with the smallest recommended dose. As CBN is known for its sedative properties, this dose is best consumed during the evening, anywhere from 1 to 4 hours before you go to sleep.

Don’t be tempted to take more if it doesn’t work for you straight away. Not only will you be increasing the risk of adverse reactions, but it’ll also be harder to gauge the perfect therapeutic dose.

If it doesn’t work, just try again the next day, and increase your dose. 

Eventually, you’ll find the dose that works best for you and will learn when this dose should be taken.

Always stay within the recommended dosage guidelines and if you have a preexisting health condition or take any medications, consult with your physician before using this cannabinoid.

CBN is very well tolerated, with few known contraindications, allergies, and adverse reactions, but it’s still a concentrated medicine and so it’s always best to be on the safe side.


Cannabinol and Cannabidiol Inhibit Staphylococcus aureus Growth and Biofilm Formation (2015)
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 59(9), 5600-5607.


  • CBN and CBD demonstrated antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of hospital-acquired infections.
  • Both cannabinoids inhibited bacterial growth and biofilm formation, reducing the bacteria's ability to colonize and resist antibiotics.
  • Further research is needed to evaluate the potential of CBN and CBD as antibacterial agents in clinical settings.

In Vitro Activity of Cannabinoids against Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans (2016)

Mycoscience, 57(5-6), 362-369.



  • CBN exhibited strong antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungal pathogen responsible for invasive aspergillosis.
  • CBN's mechanism of action may involve disrupting fungal cell membranes and inhibiting fungal growth.
  • Studies suggest CBN's potential as a complementary or alternative antifungal therapy, but clinical trials are needed for confirmation.

Cannabinol Attenuates β-Amyloid-Induced Neuroinflammation and Cognitive Decline in Mice (2017)

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 57(2), 487-501.



  • CBN reduced β-amyloid-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive decline in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
  • CBN's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may contribute to its neuroprotective effects.
  • These findings warrant further investigation of CBN's potential for treating Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Cannabinol Ameliorates Glaucoma-Induced Retinal Ganglion Cell Loss and Neuroinflammation in Mice (2019)

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 60(10), 1504-1515.



  • CBN protected retinal ganglion cells from death and reduced neuroinflammation in a mouse model of glaucoma.
  • CBN's neuroprotective effects may be related to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • These findings suggest CBN's potential for protecting against vision loss in glaucoma patients.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, including CBD.

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