There are the two cannabinoids that almost everyone has heard about – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both have made a name for themselves within the community. However, there is another cannabinoid that has recently been getting more attention from connoisseurs and scientists alike. This cannabinoid is none other than cannabinol (CBN).
You may be wondering what this cannabinoid is and where it comes from. CBN has been known for quite some time now. In fact, CBN was the first cannabinoid to be discovered and isolated from cannabis back in 1899. From that point on, a moderate amount of research has been performed on CBN. So, what do we now know about CBN?
What do we know about CBN?
For starters, CBN derives from THCa. More specifically CBN is created through the process known as degradation. Through either drying, prolonged storing, or combustion (being burned) of cannabis products. Though it is deemed to be non-intoxicating, CBN plays a significant part in providing some of the benefits that can come with consuming THCa.
To be more specific, CBN has shown sedative, anticonvulsant, antibiotic, and anti inflammatory properties. Additionally, CBN has shown potential to aid in the treatment of psoriasis, treating burns/wounds, assist in bone marrow growth, inhibit a drug-resistant protein associated with breast cancer, delay conditions associated with ALS, and much more.
Like THC, CBN has demonstrated the ability to bind to both the CB1(associated with the nervous system) and CB2 receptors (associated with the immune system). However, a study aimed to research the true ability of THC and CBN to bind to either receptor showed that THC had a stronger affinity for the CB1 receptor compared to the CB2. CBN, on the other hand, had a stronger affinity with the CB2 receptor than the CB1 receptor. As a matter of fact, CBN is only shown to have about a fourth the potency of THC.
With this wealth of information that we now have, what can we expect CBN’s future to look like? Well, CBN is starting to gain attention in the pharmaceutical community because of its chemical structure. It has shown higher structural integrity and stability when exposed to extreme stresses such as heat, light, and air, compared to other cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. This translates to CBN having a longer shelf life than other cannabinoids, which is highly valuable when it comes to producing pharmaceuticals.
Recently, we have seen a spike in interest around CBN content from growers and producers. So far this year, the lab has had 222 samples that contained CBN. 40 of those had some trace of CBNa, the acidic precursor to CBN. From the 222 samples ,about 165 samples had 0.1% of CBN, about 35 samples had 0.2% of CBN, about 15 samples had 0.3% of CBN, 5 samples had 0.4% of CBN, and 2 samples had 0.5% or more of CBN. From this data we can see that CBN potency is usually small but as it gains more research and market traction, we could see cannabis products with much higher percentages of CBN in the future.
This remarkable cannabinoid has demonstrated the ability to assist and potentially alleviate many ailments. Though in-depth research on various ailments are limited, we are looking forward to seeing what other potential benefits CBN presents as it becomes more prominent in cannabis flower and products.
To learn more about CBN as well other great cannabinoids feel free to check out our Cannabis Review | Cannabinoids, an extensive list of cannabinoids accompanied with conditions that they may treat, the benefits they may have, and more.