In 1964, Israeli scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his colleagues identified and named delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Known by its abbreviation, THC is revered for its intoxicating effects and became the first rock star of cannabinoids, or active compound of cannabis.
Most people simply talk of THC and its increasingly famous cousin, cannabidiol (CBD). But did you know that marijuana contains over 100 cannabinoids? There is another active compound worthy of attention: cannabinol, or CBN.
While CBN creates only a mild euphoria, it is most effective as a sedative. According to Steep Hill Labs:
The consumption of 2.5 mg to 5 mg of CBN has the same level of sedation as a mild pharmaceutical sedative, with a relaxed body sensation similar to 5mg to 10mg of diazepam (Valium).
An important note: CBN can deliver all of this sedative ability without the known side effects of popular and addictive drugs such as Ambien, which can include double vision, nausea, diarrhea, loss of sexual desire, painful intercourse, hallucinations and sleep walking. Just to name a few of the negative side effects. Cannabis enthusiasts will not be surprised to find that CBN is more prevalent in indica dominant strains.
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But, like other cannabinoids, CBN’s strength lies in its multifaceted medicinal influence.
It is a champion at fighting bacteria, even the robust and hard to kill drug-resistant staph infections like the notorious MRSA virus known to plague hospitals, nursing homes as well as competitive wrestlers and gymnasts. CBN has even been identified as a non-narcotic painkiller as potent as aspirin, an agent to help with bone healing, and a powerful tool in fighting some lung cancers in lab mice.
CBN can also reduce or prevent vomiting and seizures as well as increasing appetite. Again, it does all of this with little to no intoxicating effects, which is crucial to some patients who don’t want to feel the psychoactive high associated with THC.
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Although currently public access to CBN-focused products is limited, some vendors, like Mary’s Medicinals in the U.S. and Herbal Dispatch in Canada, have staked a claim in this growing market.
With a growing body of evidence that this cannabinoid is a multi-talented healer, it should only be a matter of time before the public becomes more familiar with CBN and begins to share the love once reserved for only THC.