Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are two of the more than 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemicals that have the potential to interact with a series of receptors in your body collectively known as the endocannabinoid system.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably more familiar with CBD than CBN.
CBD products have exploded in popularity since some states have begun to legalize recreational cannabis. Many people use CBD products to reduce anxiety symptoms or to help manage chronic pain.
There’s been very little human research on the potential benefits of CBN. But there are a few very small studies that suggest it may have the potential to reduce pain and act as a sedative.
Let’s take a look at the potential benefits and differences of CBD versus CBN.
CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, meaning that it doesn’t make you feel high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). People commonly take it to treat pain and anxiety, among other conditions.
Research on CBD is still in the beginning stages, but some early studies have had promising results and found that CBD has a
CBD is sold in a variety of forms, including:
Here’s what the research says so far about CBD’s potential benefits:
Anxiety and depression management
Early studies have found that CBD may be a potential alternative to traditional medications for treating anxiety and depression. Researchers still aren’t exactly sure how it works, but it’s thought that CBD’s benefits could be due to its action on
Neuroprotection and seizure reduction
Research is ongoing on CBDs potential to treat:
CBD under the name Epidiolex has been approved by the
Many people report that CBD helps them sleep.
There’s some scientific evidence that CBD may improve sleep quality, but more research is needed to fully understand its potential.
In the same 2019 study led by Dr. Scott Shannon, the researchers found that 66.7 percent of participants reported improved sleep quality after a month of taking between 25 to 175 mg of CBD daily.
Research has found that CBD may reduce symptoms caused by cancer treatment, such as pain and nausea.
Some very early studies have also found that CBD may have anticancer benefits.
CBN comes from the breakdown of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. It’s mildly psychoactive, but it generally doesn’t produce a high like THC.
CBN isn’t studied as often as CBD. At this time, there’s extremely little research examining its potential benefits. CBN products are commonly marketed as sleep aids, but much more research needs to be done to back these claims.
Here are some of the common uses and potential benefits of CBN:
Many people report that CBN helps them sleep. However, there’s only one study showing that it can potentially act as a sedative — it’s from
In the study, participants given a combination of THC and CBN experienced stronger sedative effects than with THC alone.
The researchers concluded that CBN and CBD may be able to relieve pain from temporomandibular disorders and fibromyalgia.
There’s some evidence in rats that CBN may reduce inflammation caused by arthritis. However, human research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits.
Despite their similar names, CBD and CBN are different molecules.
CBD is usually the
Manufacturers can’t directly adjust the amount of CBN in a plant, as it’s created from
Research on both cannabinoids is in the early stages. However, there’s currently much more research on CBD. Because of this, CBD is generally much easier to find.
CBD is currently FDA approved to treat two rare types of epilepsy, as well as seizures caused by TSC. CBN isn’t FDA approved to treat any conditions.
CBD is generally safe and has a good safety profile. The most common side effects are:
- changes in weight and appetite
CBD in a dose-dependent manner may increase the risk of
There are no known side effects of CBN — but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It just means that CBN hasn’t been studied enough to discover them.
It’s important to talk with a doctor before taking CBD, CBN, or other new supplements. A doctor can recommend a starting dose and tell you if the product has the potential to interact with any of your current medications.
Although CBD or CBN may have the potential to aid your current treatment, you shouldn’t use either as a replacement for proven therapies and treatments.
CBN and CBD are two cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Research on both is in the early stages.
To date, there’s been more research on CBD. There’s some evidence that it can help treat conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
CBN needs much more human research before conclusions can be drawn about its potential benefits.