Cannabis possesses over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. While CBD and THC are the most famous, cannabinoids like CBN (cannabinol) are quickly gaining popularity and driving demand. Unfortunately, due to cannabis prohibition, research into all cannabinoids has been suppressed over the past century. Even today, most cannabis research is dedicated to the dangers of using hemp or marijuana instead of the benefits.
We are far behind where we should be regarding the most popular cannabinoids like CBD and THC; other compounds get even less attention. In addition, minor cannabinoids like CBN have very little research on their uses, and the widespread double-blind clinical trials using humans don’t exist.
Based on research limitations, the effectiveness of CBN continues to receive split opinions. On one side, you have the fact that it’s not psychoactive like THC, meaning you won’t feel the “high” that people generally associate with cannabis. However, the sedative effects of CBN more than likely come from the aging process of cannabis (when THC converts to CBN) and the way the compound interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (more on this later). Conversely, it’s also true that CBN is an understudied cannabinoid. A large part of the available research comes from animal/human studies conducted in the 1970s. Meanwhile, current research relies on anecdotal evidence from self-reported surveys that involve both THC and CBN, making it difficult to assess the unique effects of CBN alone.