CBN Basics: What is it? How does it work?
Ever wondered where it comes from and what it does to your body? Here’s the answer:
CBN is one of the many (almost hundred) cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis plant, although not so widely known as its relatives CBD or THC because it’s not that easy to find. CBN is only present in a very small quantity in the plant, and this makes it a rare or minor cannabinoid which, by definition, makes up only 1% or less of the plant’s compounds. Moreover, CBN is not always in the plant: it appears only during the drying phase of its life cycle as a natural result of THC’s exposure to air, light, and heat which cause it to decompose.
CBN used to be considered as a waste by-product of THC and hadn’t been subjected to comprehensive examination until recently. However, the findings of its sedative properties among other health benefits have brought it into light: it’s been found that CBN may have an important role in the regulation of our endocannabinoid system; and strangely enough, even though it comes from THC it only has 10% of its psychoactive effects without an intoxicating impact.
CBN is not always in the plant: it appears only during the drying phase of its life cycle.
But how does it work? CBN interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, specially with those related to the immune system and the central nervous system: CB1 and CB2 receptors respectively. In this regard, scientific research has found that CBN works best on CB2 receptors, meaning that it’s potentially more effective when used to improve immune functions. However, it’s also been suggested that it could have a great influence on anxiety and sleeping issues.
CBN interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors responsible for immune and nervous functions. 20
Even though CBN is relatively new in the health field, it has quickly earned a place of interest for scientists. As a cannabinoid compound, it gets our endocannabinoid system in motion, specifically those areas regarding our immune and nervous functions. CBN’s properties are still being studied but have yielded promising results so far; they are currently used to address diverse conditions such as pain, bacterial infections, epilepsy, psoriasis, immune deficiencies, and sleep deprivation, all of which are related to the regulation of our endocannabinoid system.
- 1.-Murillo-Rodriguez, E. (2020, August 28). The Endocannabinoid System Modulating Levels of Consciousness, Emotions and Likely Dream Contents. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28240187
- 2.-Chayasirisobhon, S. (2019, June 15). Cannabis and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Updated Review. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31867704/
- 3.-Kroner, G. M. (2020, May 1). Cannabinol (CBN) Cross-Reacts with Two Urine Immunoassays Designed to Detect Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Metabolite. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32445358
- 4.-Kroner, G. M. (2020, May 1). Cannabinol (CBN) Cross-Reacts with Two Urine Immunoassays Designed to Detect Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Metabolite. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32445358
- 5.-Appendino, G. (2008). Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18681481
- 6.-Cannabinoids and cancer: pros and cons of an antitumour strategy. (2006, May 15). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1617062
- 7.-Anticonvulsant properties of Î9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids. (1974, September 1). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0024320574900095
- 8.-Cabral, G. A. (2015). Turning Over a New Leaf: Cannabinoid and Endocannabinoid Modulation of Immune Function. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26054900/
- 9.-Takahashi, R. N. (1975, August 28). Pharmacologic interaction between cannabinol and delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/168604
- 10.-Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. (2019, August 1). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003996919302249?via%3Dihub
- 11.-Farrimond, J. A. (2012, April 28). Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-012-2697-x?error=cookies_not_supported&code=b7c3f632-fa43-4680-929d-0edb21175ea1
- 12.-J. Med. Chem. 1997, 40, 20, 3228–3233 Publication Date:September 26, 1997 https://doi.org/10.1021/jm970126f
- 13.-Turner, C.E. and Elsohly, M.A. (1979), Constituents of cannabis sativa L. XVI. A possible decomposition pathway of Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol to cannabinol. Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry, 16: 1667-1668. doi:10.1002/jhet.5570160834
- 14.-Pertwee, R.G. (2008), The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabivarin. British Journal of Pharmacology, 153: 199-215. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707442
- 15.-Russo, E.B. (2011), Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163: 1344-1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
- 16.-Zurier, R.B. and Burstein, S.H. (2016), Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis. The FASEB Journal, 30: 3682-3689. doi:10.1096/fj.201600646R
- 17.-Karniol IG, Shirakawa I, Takahashi RN, Knobel E, Musty RE. Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man. Pharmacology. 1975;13(6):502-512. doi:10.1159/000136944
- 18.-Cairns EA, Baldridge WH, Kelly ME. The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma. Neural Plast. 2016;2016:9364091. doi:10.1155/2016/9364091
- 19.-Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM. Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. J Dermatol Sci. 2007;45(2):87-92. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.10.009
- 20.-Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the plant cannabinoids, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and cannabinol ,
M A Huestis1 DOI: 10.1007/3-540-26573-2_23
- 21.-Aplicaciones terapéuticas por acción de los cannabinoides DOI: 10.24875/GMM.18004928.
- 22.-Exogenous cannabinoids as substrates, inhibitors, and inducers of human drug metabolizing enzymes: a systematic review DOI: 10.3109/03602532.2013.849268