What is the CBN Cannabinoid?

Close up of a young cannabis plant flowering

With all of these new cannabinoids being introduced to us left and right, it can be hard to keep up with them all. THC and CBD are the most well-known cannabinoids associated with marijuana, but with the rise of alternative cannabinoids like delta 8 and HHC, and increased demand for full-spectrum products, we’re learning about a whole new slew of abbreviated cannabis chemical compounds; one of those being CBN (or cannabinol).

But what exactly is CBN, and how is it any different from other cannabinoids we’re familiar with, such as THC, CBD, and delta 8? We’re going to break down exactly what the CBN cannabinoid is, how it compares to other cannabinoids, and why it’s a cannabinoid worth checking out.


How Do Cannabinoids Work?

Before we can understand what the CBN cannabinoid is, we first must understand exactly what cannabinoids are and how they work.

There are two different types of cannabinoids: phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. The difference between them is simple: phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids found in nature, and endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced by the human body. The cannabinoids we’re most familiar with are phytocannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc) which are found in the cannabis and hemp plants.

The human body contains a naturally-occurring system called the endocannabinoid system (or the ECS). The endocannabinoid system exists within the nervous system and immune system and includes two different types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 (or cannabinoid receptors type 1) and CB2 (or cannabinoid receptors type 2).

Phytocannabinoids enter our system in two ways: via smoking weed or via ingesting infused food or drink. When we smoke cannabis, the cannabinoids are inhaled through our lungs, absorbed through our bloodstream, and carried to the brain, where they’re distributed to the cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.

Alternatively, when we eat edibles, the cannabinoids are digested through the stomach, metabolized by the liver, and then dispersed through the bloodstream, where they’re distributed to our cannabinoid receptors. (Fun fact: That’s why edibles take so much longer to kick in!) Once the cannabinoids reach our cannabinoid receptors, their interaction produces the physical and mental feelings and effects we’ve come to associate with cannabis.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most well-known cannabinoids found in weed, but as cannabis continues to legalize in more states across the United States, cannabinoid scientists and researchers have been able to identify more than 100 unique cannabinoids found inside the cannabis and hemp plants. And there may be even more! Years of marijuana prohibition have stunted cannabis research, but with ongoing legality, innovations, and discoveries in cannabis science, more cannabinoids are sure to be discovered.


What is the CBN Cannabinoid?

What is CBN in weed? CBN (or cannabinol) is one of over one hundred individual chemical compounds found inside the cannabis and hemp plants called cannabinoids. CBN is created when THC is exposed to prolonged periods of light, air, and heat. Typically, this is why you’ll find more CBN in cannabis that has been aged or intentionally dried out.

Even though CBN is derived from THC, because it must exist via light/heat exposure, the psychoactive components are degraded in the processes, resulting in CBN being non-psychoactive; meaning, it won’t get you high.

What is CBN Oil?

CBN oil is a concentrated, extract form of the CBN cannabinoid. Some popular cannabis products that feature different forms of cannabinoid oils include vapes, carts, and tinctures. While most people are familiar with vaping concentrated cannabis oil, it has also become an extremely popular way to make edibles in lieu of decarboxylated weed.

Using cannabinoid oil or extract in edibles instead of consuming it in raw flower form is an enticing option for many cannabis users who want to get the benefits of CBN without inhaling any smoke into their lungs. Instead, you can get the same effects by precisely dosing foods like brownies or cookies.

Full-Spectrum CBN

In terms of cannabis, full-spectrum means that the cannabis product contains as many cannabinoids as possible. Most full-spectrum products highlight one cannabinoid as the “main” cannabinoid but come with an entourage of cannabinoids to boot. For example, our full-spectrum delta 9 gummies contain 10mg delta 9 as the highlighted cannabinoid, but also contain 10 additional cannabinoids: CBN, CBG, CBD, CBC, CBCa, CBGa, CBDa, THCV, THCva, D8, and THCa.

Since CBN is still a relatively newly discovered cannabinoid, it may be challenging to find a full-spectrum product that most prominently features CBN. Instead, you’re more likely to find CBN in full-spectrum products that feature CBD, delta 8, or delta 9 as the primary cannabinoid. 

Where to Buy CBN

Cannabinoid isolates can be difficult to find because they’re extremely difficult and expensive to make. Cannabinoids exist naturally together, so isolating one cannabinoid from the rest is a tedious process that takes a lot of energy and resources.

This means that outside of the most popular cannabinoids like THC and CBD, you’re unlikely to find CBN in isolated form. However, CBN is one of the most popular cannabinoids included in full-spectrum products, so you can find CBN in many products like our full-spectrum delta 9 gummies.


What is CBN Good For?

Even though CBN is non-psychoactive and doesn’t provide the traditional “high” that’s associated with smoking weed or eating marijuana-infused edibles, there are still many benefits of CBN that don’t include getting high.

CBN Benefits and Uses

It’s important to remember that, since research on CBN has been limited, most of what we know is from anecdotal evidence. There are a few different CBN benefits and uses, including:

CBN Has Antibacterial Properties

CBN has shown promising antibacterial properties, according to a study published in 2008. Ingesting a naturally antibacterial substance can help the body fight off infections that are resistant to traditional antibiotics such as MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).

CBN Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Cannabis has long been researched for its anti-inflammatory properties, and CBN has shown promise as a cannabinoid that’s particularly potent in that area. Some users have reported that using cannabis (especially full-spectrum products that include CBN) is effective in fighting against inflammation caused by ailments like arthritis.

CBN Has Antioxidant Properties

When taken in an extracted oil form, certain cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to protect your body against free radicals which can cause damage to the cells. However, you won’t get these same antioxidant properties when smoking cannabis, because the inhalation of smoke can cause damage to the cells in the lungs. But taken as an extract, CBN in cannabis oil can provide natural free radical protection.

CBN Has Neuroprotectant Properties

While it’s important to note that these tests have not been done on humans, a study done on mice showed that CBN has promising neuroprotectant properties and slowed down the onset of certain neurological diseases such as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

CBN Can Help Promote Sleep

One of the most common reasons people use cannabis (besides to get high) is to help them sleep. Studies show that certain strains of cannabis, as well as certain cannabinoids, have highly sedative effects and can help users fight sleep issues such as insomnia or chronic restlessness.

CBN Can Help with Appetite Stimulation

Even though stoners have coined the term “munchies” to describe the hunger they feel after consuming weed; there’s actually a scientific reason for this near-universal experience. Cannabinoids such as CBN have been shown to stimulate appetite in users and can be helpful for people struggling with things like eating disorders, chronic nausea, or other ailments that may prevent them from obtaining and sustaining a healthy appetite.

CBN Can Help with Pain Relief

When added to a full-spectrum product, CBN can help to amplify marijuana’s pain-relieving effects. Cannabis has been used to manage pain in patients for many years, and now that full-spectrum products are rising in popularity, more people are realizing the benefits of the presence of cannabinoids like CBN in products that may help alleviate pain. Research suggests that using cannabis can help to relieve intraocular pressure and provide temporary relief to patients experiencing eye diseases that can cause vision loss.

Misconceptions about CBN

The main misconception about CBN is that it’s a synthetic cannabinoid. While CBN technically can be synthetically made, the CBN cannabinoid itself is naturally occurring in nature and isn’t considered a man-made cannabinoid.

Will CBN Show Up on a Drug Test?

Contrary to popular belief, most drug tests don’t test for all drugs at the same time. Most drug tests are only looking for specific substances, and in terms of cannabis, drug tests are typically looking for THC. Since CBN isn’t technically THC anymore, there’s a chance it may not show up. However, there is also a chan


What is the Difference Between CBD and CBN?

While CBD and CBN are both cannabinoids and can even have similar effects, their difference lies in the way they’re created. CBN starts out as THC and is created after being exposed to prolonged light, heat, and air, while CBD exists independently in nature.


Does CBN have THC?

No, CBN does not contain any THC. Although CBN does start out as THC, after enduring the prolonged exposure to light and heat necessary to turn the THC into CBN, the psychoactive components break down and render the cannabinoid non-psychoactive.


Does Delta 8 Have CBN?

No, delta 8 on its own does not contain any CBN. But, because CBN is present in almost every full-spectrum product you can find, most full-spectrum delta 8 products will also contain CBN. 

CBN helps to amplify the “entourage effect,” which is a natural phenomenon that occurs when multiple cannabinoids exist within the same substance. Cannabinoids seem to love teamwork, so the more the merrier! When cannabinoids exist alongside one another, they begin to play up each other’s strengths, creating a more potent experience than if you were to consume a single cannabinoid by itself. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still benefits to consuming a cannabinoid isolate, but this is why full-spectrum products have recently become so popular among the cannabis community.


CBN vs. Delta 8

CBN and delta 8 THC are both found together in many full-spectrum products, but they’re fairly different cannabinoids. Even though delta 8 is a form of THC and CBN technically starts off as THC, CBN is not a form of THC and is non-psychoactive. On the other hand, delta 8 THC still retains its psychoactive properties and, depending on user tolerance, can easily get someone high.

Comparing these two cannabinoids is like comparing apples and oranges since they’re primarily used for different purposes. But, both can be appreciated for their own individual strengths and uses. A few highlights of delta 8 include:

Mild psychoactivity. Delta 8 THC is a close cannabinoid cousin of delta 9 THC, which is the main chemical compound in marijuana that’s responsible for getting people high. Similar to delta 9, delta 8 is also psychoactive. However, it’s markedly less potent than its predecessor. This makes it a great “goldilocks” cannabinoid for people who want to enjoy a buzz without being incapacitated. 

Promising wellness properties. CBD has long been the front runner in terms of cannabinoids used for wellness purposes, but delta 8 is quickly making a name for itself in the wellness space as well. Because of the mild effects in comparison to delta 9, delta 8 THC has been described by some users as “CBD with a kick” and has been found to be more effective in some areas because of the mild high that comes with it.

Legal accessibility and industry popularity. CBN isolate isn’t something that’s easily found, but delta 8 has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years and can now be found in online cannabis shops and brick and mortar smoke shops across the country.

Want to try delta 8 for yourself? While we haven’t dipped our toes into the world of CBN products just yet, we have a full catalog of delta 8 products that will appeal to users of all kinds. But don’t just take our word for it! Join the thousands of members of the Delta Munchies fam who have fallen in love with the world of alternative cannabinoids.


Disclaimer: Delta Munchies is NOT providing any medical or legal cannabis advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the legality of cannabis or its potential effects of cannabis or any of its components, please reach out to a trusted medical or legal professional.

All statements made by Delta Munchies regarding delta 8, delta 9 THC, delta 10, CBN, HHC, CBD, and other cannabinoids have not been evaluated by the FDA. No entity at Delta Munchies is a medical professional, nor is Delta Munchies giving any medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the potential effects of cannabis, please reach out to a trusted medical professional.

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