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There is a rapidly-developing body of knowledge available in the world of supplements with reported therapeutic benefits that are being developed with extracts of plants from the cannabis family. While the potentially beneficial properties of cannabidiol (CBD) are more well known, there is another compound derived from the cannabis plant that is getting new attention for its attributes.
Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the over 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. While CBN shares a similar molecular structure with its more well-known cousin CBD, its effects and benefits are now being studied with greater focus and reported therapeutic benefits are coming to light. One of the more popular uses is cannabinol for sleep.
Both CBD and CBN are compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is reported to have a regulatory effect on certain systems in the body such as sleep, mood, and appetite. Many endocannabinoids occur naturally in the body. CBD and CBN are compounds that bind to the body’s CB2 receptors. While related, these compounds interact differently within the body. THC is the most well-understood compound found in the cannabis plant, and the compound responsible for the psychoactive effect of marijuana. THC is also the base compound for CBN. CBN is extracted by degrading THC by exposure to heat and oxygen, changing its chemical profile, and ridding it of many of its intoxicating properties. While studies suggest that CBN is non-psychoactive, it still retains between 10% to 20% of the potency of THC, and therefore there exists a potential for abuse, especially in larger than recommended doses. CBN, on the other hand, is entirely non-psychoactive, regardless of dose.
There are promising reports of CBN having real potential as a sleep aid. There was a study in 2019: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31158702/ that found that combination of CBD and CBN was effective in relieving pain in rats. Another rodent study in 2005 found that CBN was found to be effective in slowing the onset of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gherig’s Disease). There is also ongoing research in rodents that suggests the CBN may be effective in reducing the inflammation associated with arthritis. Further human studies are required to confirm these initial results. The Entourage Effect (the cumulative effect of multiple compounds) is reported to enhance the effectiveness of these compounds. CBN (cannabinol) shows real promise for aiding with sleep.
While CBN is expensive compared to CBD, CBN products are becoming more available in:
Contact The Hemp Pharmacist for a consultation and see what CBD and CBN preparations may be right for you.
Note- Please consult your physician before beginning or discontinuing any medication. CBD should not be used with any medication containing a “grapefruit warning”. There is not enough available research concerning drug interactions with CBN. Commercial cannabis compounds may, by law, contain no more than 0.3 % of THC. While this is not enough THC to create a psychoactive effect, it may still be detectable in some tests. If you are prohibited from using any product containing THC, CBD/CBN treatments may not be an option.
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