CBN stands for cannabinol. CBN is very low in fresh, growing cannabis plants, but occurs naturally after the plant is cut and dried in the sun and heat. Like CBD, CBN has no intoxicating effect. CBN, CBD and CBG together have a strengthening effect (Entrourage effect).
Potential effects of CBN:
Better sleep: studies have shown that CBN has the strongest sedative effect of all cannabinoids, rivaling even benzodiazepines (sedative/hypnotic) in potency, with even stronger effects when CBN and CBD are combined. Studies have shown that effective serving sizes of CBN can increase drowsiness and relaxation without causing dizziness and general weakness and without being addictive, and therefore have a high potential to be a safe and effective tool for falling asleep and improving sleep quality.
Anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant and analgesic effects. Studies show that CBN can activate nerve cells by stimulating them to secrete proteins that are associated with pain relief, and may be effective in the treatment of chronic pain, such as that caused by rheumatological diseases (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1054358917300273).
Anti-nausea and appetite stimulating effects. CBN has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea and vomiting, thereby stimulating appetite.
Antibacterial effect. In studies investigating the antibacterial potential of several cannabinoids, CBN has shown significant antibacterial activity against MRSA, a strain of bacteria that is resistant to many of the treatments offered by doctors.
Neuroprotective effects. One study showed that CBN could delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rats. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Although the neuroprotective effects of CBN are not yet clear, the study of ALS suggests another potential benefit of CBN.
CBN may interact with both of these receptors, whereas CBD works in other ways to increase the production of our own endocannabinoids. More research is needed to understand how CBN works with the ECS, however this suggests the importance of full-spectrum hemp extracts that contain a variety of plant cannabinoids. This is because they likely work in complementary ways, helping to maintain a balanced response within the body.