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CBN - Cannabinol

CBN is often referred to as a minor cannabinoid because it's typically found in lower concentrations compared to more well-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD. CBN is formed through the degradation of THC, which occurs as the cannabis plant ages or is exposed to heat and light. 

While research on CBN is still in its early stages, preliminary studies suggest that it may have several potential therapeutic properties such as sedative, pain-relief and anti-inflammatory.

What is CBN and what does it do?


CBN typically forms as a result of the degradation of THC over time and is accelerated due to exposure to heat, light, and oxygen. This degradation process leads to a change in the molecular structure of THC, resulting in the formation of CBN. For this reason flower material should be protected from these elements as much as possible, otherwise over months of exposure a significant portion of THC will convert to CBN. 


CBN is not known for its psychoactive effects. It is considered non-intoxicating, making it a potential option for individuals seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without experiencing similar "high" that THC provides.  CBN's binding affinity to CB1 or CB2 receptors is weak which helps explain why users don't report getting high from CBN. 


While CBN's interaction with cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors has been studied to some extent, not as nearly much as other cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

There's a lack of definitive evidence regarding affinity for CB1 and CB2 compared to other cannabinoids, but you can take a big clue by the fact that it's non-intoxicating.  It would have to interact with your central nervous system to be intoxicating and that means binding to CB1 receptors. So if it's not getting you high, then it's not connecting with CB1.

The primary difference in the molecular structure of CBN (C₂₆H₂₆O₂) compared to THC (C₂₆H₃₀O₂) lies in the number of, and arrangement of atoms within the molecule.  As you can see in the model above, it looks very similar to THC except it has a more planer alignment of its carbon ring and has lost 4 of its hydrogen atoms.

A free radical oxygen atom causes the loss of the hydrogen atoms and the changes in geometry, which directly impacts how this molecule is shaped and interacts with your body.  If you're interested in the technical details of how free radicals transformation molecules, follow this link.

Sedative Effects: CBN is believed to have mild sedative effects, which may help promote relaxation and sleep. Some users report that CBN-rich products help them achieve restful sleep without the psychoactive effects commonly associated with THC.

Pain Relief: Early research indicates that CBN may have analgesic properties, meaning it could potentially help alleviate pain. This makes it of interest to individuals seeking alternative pain management options.

Anti-inflammatory: Like other cannabinoids, CBN may possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could make it beneficial for conditions characterized by inflammation, such as arthritis.

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