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Most people are familiar with the term cannabinoids these days and you probably know the difference between CBD and THC, but as research about cannabinoids progresses, we’re seeing more and more cannabinoids become available to consumers.

Cannabinol (CBN) has been gaining popularity for a while now and is becoming more readily available, so it’s no wonder you want to know more. In this article, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we come across about CBN, including:

  • What is CBN oil?
  • What is CBN oil used for?
  • What is the difference between CBN vs CBD oil?
  • Is CBN oil legal?
  • Is CBN oil safe?

What is CBN?

CBN is a naturally occurring minor cannabinoid in both the hemp and cannabis plants as a result of processes within them. Most cannabinoids start out life as CBGA and as the plant matures, CBGA transforms into compounds such as CBG, CBDA, and THCA.

THCA then becomes THC (delta-8 and delta-9) when exposed to heat, but when exposed to UV light, THCA will instead transform into CBNA or cannabinolic acid. CBNA then becomes CBN when exposed to heat.

CBN is classed as mildly psychoactive but it has a weak affinity with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. It is estimated to be about 10% as strong as THC and only the most sensitive people feel any psychotropic effects from CBN products.

Because levels of CBN in the hemp and cannabis plants are controlled by the environment instead of genetics, you won’t find high-CBN strains of hemp buds. The most common way of producing it is to oxidize either CBD or THC and this is why, when people want to take CBN, they usually turn to CBN oil tinctures.

Cannabinoid Chart

What is CBN Oil?

CBN oil is a cannabinoid oil that is particularly rich in CBN, which is extracted from the plant and then dissolved into a carrier oil to improve deliverability. You can drop a small amount of this oil under your tongue or add it to your food and drinks. The health benefits of CBN are still up for debate but we do know that CBD if effective at attaching to your CB1 receptors and other cannabinoid receptors in your body to produce slight euphoric effects and has potential benefits thanks to its sedative properties.

CBN oil also usually contains a concentration of CBD as well as other minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, all of which naturally occur in the plant. These compounds and cannabinoids are widely thought to work better together and will achieve enhanced effects, due to the entourage effect.

What is CBN Oil Used For?

Despite the fact that there is currently very little research on CBN, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBN has sedating effects, leaving you feeling very sleepy and relaxed making it a natural sleep aid. This makes it perfect for nighttime use and its reputation as an effective sedative is the main reason that people with sleep issues buy it.

You can also use CBN oil to make homemade gummies – Follow our recipe here.

More research is needed on this cannabinoid, but several early studies suggest that it also could be used to help regulate some bodily functions like sleep.

*To learn more about the effect of Indica and Sativa CBD products you can read our article here.

Is CBN Oil Legal?

The legality of CBN, like many other cannabinoids, is pretty hazy at the moment, with some contradictory state and federal laws.

If you live in a state where marijuana is illegal, then you should make sure that your CBN is sourced from hemp (and not cannabis). The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 made hemp and all of its derivatives federally legal. So, as long as the CBN oil you buy is derived from the hemp plant, it is legal at the federal level (assuming that the delta-9 THC is below 0.3%).

However, some states have already gone ahead and banned it outright or placed restrictions on the sale and use of CBN, so you should check your local state guidelines to check if it’s legal in your area.

CBN Sleep tincture

Is CBN Oil Safe?

When people ask about the safety of taking CBN, they usually want to know, “is CBN oil addictive?” and “are there side effects?”, so let’s discuss these concerns first.

There are currently no known side effects from taking CBN, but there just isn’t enough research on the subject to say for sure. However, as a natural alternative to lab-produced pharmaceutical products, it is widely thought to be safer and less addictive than the pills it’s usually replacing.

Due to the lack of research, you should avoid taking it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and consult your doctor if you’re on medication (like blood thinners) or have any pre-existing condition. Likewise, if you are sensitive to cannabinoids and experience psychoactive effects or extreme sedative effects you should seek medical advice on whether it’s safe for you to continue or lower your dose.

A lesser-known concern about the safety of CBN oil is actually connected to the way in which the hemp plants are grown. Always make sure that the CBN oil you buy has third-party lab reports available, proving its safety and potency.

What is the Difference Between CBD vs CBN Oil?

At the end of the day, both CBD and CBN are cannabinoids that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system. We’re sure that further research will show that they have a lot of benefits common and share many similar effects. But how is CBN different from CBD?

Firstly, CBD is one of the most abundant compounds in the hemp plant and can be controlled by genetics and breeding, whereas CBN is rare and a result of processes.

Perhaps this is why CBD has been the subject of so much study, whereas CBN has hardly been studied at all? The therapeutic benefits and safety of CBD are backed up by mountains of research, while CBN continues to thrive on anecdotal evidence alone.

CBD is also hugely more popular than CBN and is an important wellness partner to millions of Americans to combat a variety of symptoms. CBN on the other hand is mainly used for its sedative properties by a much smaller group of people.

At Green Unicorn Farms we use a blend of CBD, CBN and Melatonin in our popular Deep Sleep Gummies to give you the most effective sleep gummies that we can make.


About Hayley Smith

Hayley is passionate about all things cannabis and has been a strong advocate for CBD for over a decade. As a former marijuana farmer and smoker, she knows a thing or two about cannabis and is constantly on the lookout for new research from around the world regarding her favorite plants. Hayley is also the owner and operator of CBD Incubator.