Better known as the cannabinoid that is generally present in trace amounts less than 1%, in the cannabis plant. Cannabinol (CBN) was long seen as a useless by-product with little or no medicinal and health benefits.
However, recent research has changed these opinions, making CBN a compound of potential interest for cannabis users, medical researchers, and entrepreneurs.
So today we’ll be providing you an overview of what CBN is, where it came from, and what possible and promising health benefits does it offer.
The Discovery of CBN
While the use of medicinal and recreational cannabis dates back thousands of years, the discovery of CBN was made in 1896. Scientists originally isolated the phytocannabinoid – the first of its kind – from red oil distilled from Indian hemp. In 1932, British chemist Robert Sidney Cahn discovered its partial chemical structure.
In 1940, future Nobel Prize winner Sir Alexander R. Todd along with American organic chemist Roger Adams isolated and purified CBN from hemp and also demonstrated its connection to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in independent studies. Even back then, Todd stated that the distinctive pharmacological effects and medicinal uses of CBN held significant potential.
For over two decades after the above-mentioned discovery, CBN remained largely misunderstood and was thought to be the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. However, in 1964, Israeli researchers Yechiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam isolated THC and found that it was the ‘high’-causing phytocannabinoid.
This led to further research, which confirmed what we know today – CBN is the compound obtained when THC is oxidized and degraded and does not have any intoxicating effects.
Scientific Research on the Therapeutic Properties of Cannabinol (CBN)
Indeed, research about the therapeutic potential of CBN is still in its early stages. However, with a new scientific exploration into cannabis over the last few decades, many institutions have conducted studies to determine and confirm the medicinal and health benefits of cannabinol.
One such study was conducted in1984in which CBN was topically administered in the eyes of cats in doses of 250, 500, and 1000 micrograms to regulate ocular toxicity, intraocular pressure, and neurotoxicity. Results showed that prolonged administration of CBN could considerably lower ocular tension.
Another peer-reviewed study published in 2006 in the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that CBN, in combination with other cannabinoids, regulated the growth of certain types of lung cancer cells. Another study demonstrated that CBN, similar to many other cannabinoids, could effectively combat various methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains.
In a 2012 study, scientists examined whether cannabinoids, including CBN, could enhance food consumption by rats. They concluded that the administration of CBN increased feeding requirements. Hence, cannabinol could provide a safe and non-intoxicating alternative to the present psychotropic-THC-based medication used to treat appetite and eating disorders.
Potential Side Effects
Generally, consuming cannabinoids does not pose any significant side effects or health hazards. But if used in large doses, or along with other medication and drugs, there might be certain side effects, such as:
- loss of appetite
The Market for CBN
Thanks to the growing global recognition of CBN’s potential health benefits, including a reduction in inflammation, pain, and anxiety, the demand for cannabinol-based products is steadily growing.
For consumers keen on using hemp-derived CBN as a nutritional supplement to maintain their health and overall wellness, cannabinol is commercially available in a variety of forms, such as vapes, oils and tinctures, topicals, and capsules. CBN-infused diffuser oils are also available, and so is full-spectrum hemp-based CBN organic tea.
The most popular CBN-based products are full-spectrum oils, also known as cannabinoid blends. These incorporate just trace amounts of CBN and are sold at reasonable prices by most online suppliers and retailers.
Choosing the Best CBN-Based Products
Since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have regulations for hemp-based products, there are many dishonest dealers of cannabinoid products who are simply looking to take your money.
Hence, when buying any CBN-based product, always confirm its quality and purity as claimed by the product’s label. Make sure that the manufacturer’s products have undergone independent, third-party lab testing from accredited cannabis laboratories. These tests attest to the quality and purity of the products and confirm that all the company’s products are developed using the best manufacturing practices.
Moreover, law-abiding suppliers also provide a copy of their test results. This is usually available on their websites under the category of ‘Certificate of Analysis Documents’ (COAs) for consumer convenience and satisfaction.
It’s true that CBN’s potential to enhance healing still requires much more medical and scientific research, but early indicators do highlight the cannabinoid’s capacity to regulate or address pain, manage appetite, reduce inflammation, and assist with other health and wellness problems.
Various responsible companies prioritize the health and safety of their hemp-derived cannabis products above everything else, and these are the companies you should choose and trust.
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- Sulé-Suso, J., Watson, N. A., van Pittius, D. G., & Jegannathen, A. (2019). Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review. SAGE open medical case reports, 7, 2050313X19832160. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050313X19832160
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