Cannabinol (CBN): What is it and What Effect Does it Have?

Last Updated on March 28, 2022 by Maxwell Harris

CBN (cannabinol) is currently the talk of the town, but what exactly is it? Very few people know that it is not a drug, but an active ingredient that can contribute a lot to our health.

What is cannabinol? – Biochemistry and Botany

Cannabinol (CBN for short) is a so-called “analgesic” cannabinoid, which is produced by oxidation during THC degradation. Although CBN has a slightly psychoactive effect, it cannot be compared to the effect of a drug. In fresh cannabis, the active ingredient is present only in very small quantities. If cannabis is stored in a dry, dark place, for example, the CBN occurrence can be reduced to its minimum.

How does cannabinol work?

Although many people confuse CBN with CBD, it is a different active ingredient that has its own spectrum of effects to offer. CBN can:

  • Relieve pain,
  • act against insomnia,
  • stimulate appetite,
  • relieve cramps,
  • be anti-inflammatory,
  • and provides an antibacterial effect.

Probably the most pronounced effect of CBN is its sedative effect. For this reason, CBN is taken by many people who suffer from insomnia and hope to find relief. However, CBN fortunately does not have any significant psychoactive effect, which many people always fear at the beginning. Thus, those who reach for the active ingredient need not worry about becoming addicted or falling into an intoxicated state.

The endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system (ECS for short) was discovered by researchers in 1992. The system was named after the active ingredients of the cannabis plant, i.e. cannabinoids.

It was discovered that the body carries many cannabinoid receptors. Because of this, the body produces certain molecules that are thought to be responsible for the psychological and physical effects of cannabis in the human body. This system is therefore the reason why cannabis works in our bodies in the first place. The discovery of the system provides the basis for the study of the cannabis plant and its effects on the body.

Uses and pharmacology

Although CBN has the properties of a sedative, it does not have a psychoactive effect and is therefore often used as an alternative for medical treatments, where intoxication is of course not desired.

In medical use, cannabinol also has an antispasmodic effect and is therefore used as an antiemetic. (Drug that acts against vomiting.) Studies show that CBN can also be helpful in schizophrenia. There it acts as an enhancer of the body’s own so-called “cannabinoid anandamide”, which can alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia. CBN is said to be exceptionally helpful in acute episodes of schizophrenia. CBD can also be effective in psychosis and offers significantly fewer side effects than conventional medications.

Application & Use of CBN

Many studies show that CBN has a good effect in the treatment of nausea as well as vomiting. Especially when it comes to nausea due to chemotherapy. In this case, CBN is often more effective than the usual drugs.

Studies also show that CBN could also be helpful in treatments for burns because it could have an analgesic effect. In addition, the active ingredient can alleviate an overgrowth of skin cells. For this reason, CBN could even help with psoriasis. Even bone fractures and other injuries could be better healed by CBN because the active ingredient can stimulate bone tissue growth.

CBN, unlike CBD, which is also available in drop form, is usually only found processed in medications.

Side effects

Since CBN is an active ingredient that is purely herbal, unlike synthetic medications, you do not have to expect any severe side effects.

The most common side effects known from cannabinoids are fatigue as well as dizziness. Some people complain of general malaise, especially at the beginning of treatments with CBN, but this usually subsides after a short time.

Serious side effects are therefore not to be expected, even if there are always people who simply do not tolerate the active ingredient or may have an allergic reaction to it.


Studies show that CBN has different benefits to offer. For example, the active ingredient could stimulate a growth of our bone tissue, as it can indirectly cause a recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow.

Various studies also show that CBN can provide better and faster healing in bone fractures. In addition, the popular ingredient is said to provide better skin regeneration. Inflammations are said to disappear up to four times faster than with other drugs.


CBN is not available in its pure form. Not even on the black market. However, you can find medications that contain CBN and can be prescribed by a doctor.


CBN also offers numerous benefits to our health. In pure form, the active ingredient, which is formed by oxidation of THC, is not available, but it is available in some medicines. CBN is known for its calming effects and, like the well-known CBD, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Unlike synthetic agents, CBN is not expected to cause severe side effects.

Studies show that CBN is also helpful for nausea and vomiting, and can even be used for broken bones, burns, and various skin conditions.

There is no need to worry about an intoxication-like state with CBN, as the active ingredient has only been shown to have a very low psychoactive effect.

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