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What Is CBN? Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects Explained

Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plants. Whilst the most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD, CBN is gaining attention for its therapeutic properties, especially for helping with sleep and anxiety issues. In…

Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plants. Whilst the most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD, CBN is gaining attention for its therapeutic properties, especially for helping with sleep and anxiety issues. In this article, we will explore what CBN is, the potential benefits and effects of CBN, and its side effects.

What is CBN?

CBN is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis Sativa plants. By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and central nervous system, it may alter pain perception, and immune response and offer neuroprotective benefits. CBN is formed from THC after it breaks down due to ageing and after prolonged exposure to heat and light. CBN is also being studied for its potential use as a peripheral analgesic, providing pain relief without central side effects. There are specific processing techniques that increase CBN levels in the cannabis plants, making it more accessible for medicinal or recreational use. CBN cannabinoid effects are not studied as much as other popular cannabinoids, but it is clear that it has potential health benefits and may help with sleep issues or insomnia.

CBD vs CBN. What is the difference between CBN and CBD?

CBD and CBN share certain similarities and differences. While CBD and CBN share certain similarities, studies have shown that cannabidiol and CBN can exert opposing effects on sleep and anxiety. Cannabinol is well-known and widely studied for its therapeutic properties, including pain management properties, anti-inflammatory and calming effects. CBN is more known for its sedative effects and for promoting a more restful sleep. Both cannabinoids have unique health benefits often complementing each other when used together.

What is the difference between CBN and THC?

THC is the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, which provides the ‘high’ feeling associated with marijuana or ‘weed’ use. Unlike THC, cannabinol is a non-psychoactive compound that comes from THC after it breaks down and is found in older cannabis sativa plants. It is also important to note that CBN can potentially lead to a positive result on a drug test, especially when combined with THC.

The benefits of CBN

Sleep aid

One of the key CBN properties is its sedative effects which can improve sleep quality and duration. Research suggests that CBN could be beneficial for people who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia. By promoting deeper and more restful sleep, CBN can help people wake up more refreshed and energised. Sleep is incredibly important for overall health and improved sleep quality can have a positive impact on cognitive function, mood and physical health. For those suffering from a sleep disorder, CBN may offer a natural alternative to traditional sleep medications.

Reduced anxiety and stress

Anxiety and stress often disrupt a normal sleep schedule and by promoting relaxation, CBN can naturally lower stress and anxiety and help to fall asleep. By calming the body and mind CBN can help people who are suffering from stress-induced insomnia.

Pain relief

Like other cannabinoids, CBN’s potential benefits include analgesic properties that can help reduce pain, especially if you are suffering from muscle or joint pain. It modulates pain perception and provides relief from discomfort. If you are looking to alleviate chronic pain, blended CBD and CBN for pain relief could provide enhanced effects. CBN has also been studied for its potential to alleviate chronic muscle pain disorders, providing a non-psychoactive option to manage pain.

Potential CBN risks and side effects

The research on CBN effects is still in its early stages, so the exact side effects are unknown. One of the CBN side effects may be drowsiness or dizziness, especially if a high dose is consumed. To avoid experiencing these effects, start with a recommended dose and increase it slowly as needed. Like other cannabinoids, it can increase appetite and dry mouth. Additionally, there is a possibility that CBN could lead to a positive result on a drug test, particularly when used in combination with THC.

Where to buy CBN Products?

Many different retailers now offer CBD, CBN and other cannabinoid products. However, it is important to choose a reputable retailer that follows strict guidelines and ensures that products do not contain more than 0.3% THC.

Nordic Nutris ensures that all products undergo rigorous third-party testing to verify the purity, potency and safety of each batch. Nordic Nutris CBN oil “Relief” is crafted with care and precision, maintaining the highest standards to provide the best quality product.

How to use CBN?

If you are new to CBN, read the instructions on the products and start with a recommended dose. After a couple of weeks, you can slowly increase the dose to achieve desired results. If you are using the CBN oil, place the dropper under your tongue and hold the oil in place for 60 seconds for maximum absorption before swallowing. If you have any health conditions or use other medication, consult your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement.

Is CBN legal?

In 2018, The United States Farm Bill legalised the cultivation of cannabis sativa plants and its derivatives like CBD and CBN, as long as the products have >0.3% THC, according to the Controlled Substances Act. CBN products meet this requirement, however, individual states might ban the use of CBN, so check your local laws before purchasing any products with CBN. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is too much CBN bad for you?

Taking too much CBN may lead to experiencing unpleasant side effects, including, but not limited to dizziness, drowsiness, appetite changes. Generally, CBN, like other cannabinoids are considered safe even in large amounts.

Is CBN better than CBD?

CBN and CBD offer different properties so it depend on your personal needs if you should choose CBN or CBD. CBN may be more effective for sleep-related issues and specific types of pain, while CBD is broadly used for anxiety, inflammation, and neurological conditions. The best choice depends on your specific health needs.

Will CBN show up un a drug test?

Yes, there is a risk that CBN may lead to a positive drug test result. CBN formed from THC, so it may contain some THC metabolites that could potentially show up on a drug test.


  1. Arthur, P., Kalvala, A.K., Surapaneni, S.K. and Singh, M.S., 2024. Applications of cannabinoids in neuropathic pain: an updated review. Critical Reviews™ in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems, 41(1).
  2. Bonn-Miller, M.O., Feldner, M.T., Bynion, T.M., Eglit, G.M., Brunstetter, M., Kalaba, M., Zvorsky, I., Peters, E.N. and Hennesy, M., 2023. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of the safety and effects of CBN with and without CBD on sleep quality. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.
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