You may already be familiar with two of the most well-researched chemical compounds found in cannabis today, known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These naturally occurring cannabinoids provide a wealth of wellness benefits by helping boost your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This vital system oversees many important mind-body functions such as digestion, memory, hormone levels, sleep-wake cycles, and pain/pleasure centres. When the cannabinoids found in your body, known as endocannabinoids, become depleted or worn down, the exo-cannabinoids found in cannabis work to ensure that your ECS thrives by activating and deactivating key receptors throughout your brain and body.
What you may not know is that there’s another healing component of cannabis that was actually the first of these three cannabinoids to be isolated. CBN (cannabinol) is formed when THC breaks down due to exposure to air, heat, or light. It was originally thought to be the psychoactive component of cannabis. Yet, unlike THC, it has only mild intoxicating effects. Thanks to a growing body of scientific research highlighting how CBN works in tandem with other cannabis compounds to increase your well-being – a process known as synergy – it’s fast becoming the next breakthrough cannabinoid among medicinal and recreational users alike.
8 Key Ways CBN Helps You Manage Your Health
It Works as a Powerful Sedative
About one third of Canadians have trouble getting enough sleep, and over time this can lead to troubling health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression. CBN has a long-held reputation as one of the most powerful cannabinoids for helping you reduce your insomnia so that you can rest easier. It helps to extend your sleep time by acting as a powerful sedative, especially in combination with a terpene called myrcene that’s found in cannabis’ essential oils.
It Protects Your Eyes
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, and affects approximately 400,000 Canadians. Along with it’s ‘parent’ cannabinoid THC, CBN works to reduce ocular pressure of the eye, which lessens the damage to your optic nerve and helps to lower your risk for the disease.
It Helps Fight Infection
CBN combines forces with THC, CBD, CBG, and CBC to help stop one of the most dangerous and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, known as Staphylococcus aureus. If left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia, meningitis, and bone infections. This bacteria thus far cannot develop a resistance to cannabis the way it does to antibiotics, and more research is being conducted to determine exactly why.
It Reduces Pain Levels
CBN acts with THC to reduce pain levels by activating sensory nerve peptide release, which helps lower sensation levels. It has also been found to successfully treat difficult to manage pain, such as that associated with cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis.
It Aids In Reducing Inflammation
The latest research indicates that the chronic inflammation caused by factors such as poor diet, environmental toxins, and allergies is a leading cause of some of the Western world’s most prominent diseases, including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. That’s why research indicating that CBN and its fellow cannabinoids have strong anti-inflammation properties is so promising. It works as a sedative helps to reduce stress, which one of the leading causes of illness-induced inflammation.
It Helps Stimulate Appetite
As a single compound, CBN has been shown to increase food consumption and feeding time in animals. Because its appetite stimulating and psychoactive effects aren’t as powerful as THC, it shows promise as a treatment for those looking to moderately increase their food intake without experiencing the “high” associated with its parent compound. This is especially helpful for those with conditions such as anorexia, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
It Can Keep Your Skin Healthy
People with the skin condition psoriasis can experience dry, flaky skin because of an overabundance of a certain type of skin cells called keratinocytes. CBN works together with other leading cannabinoids to reduce the proliferation of these cells, and helps keep your skin smooth and glowing.
It Promotes Strong Bones
CBN appears to stimulate bodily signals that lead to the recruitment of stem cells for the production of bone marrow, which is why it may be a useful treatment for bone fractures and to reduce the risk for osteoporosis. More research is needed to understand all its benefits when it comes to keeping your bones strong and healthy.
Finding the Best CBN-Rich Strains
Since THC breaks down into CBN, finding strains with moderate to high levels of THC can be helpful when researching the best cannabis for your wellness needs. Older cannabis strains naturally contain more CBN because THC degrades slowly over time, and that’s why it’s sometimes recommended to allow air into your storage container to speed up the oxygenation process. However, strains can also be bred to promote higher levels of CBN, which is a much more favourable option to ensure freshness.
Many Indica-dominant strains that are used in the treatment of insomnia contain higher levels of CBN, although these rarely exceed one percent. However, just a little of this cannabinoid packs a big punch: according to Steep Hill labs, dose for dose CBN is a more powerful sleep aid than the pharmaceutical grade drug Diazepam. CBN edibles, oils, capsules, and tinctures are also becoming more popular, and their market is predicted to grow as scientific research into this health-boosting cannabinoid continues to expand.