CBD & CBN: What’s the difference?

CBD & CBN Benefits Infographic

Why is CBN getting so much press lately?

Many consumers refer to CBN as being “THC without the high.” (It’s also referred to as “extra strength CBD.”) While CBD (cannabidiol) works great for millions of people around the world, it’s pretty much universally accepted that CBD and THC together are extremely effective.

This is why people are so excited about CBN’s potential. It’s a byproduct of THC and has many of the same properties (but to a lesser degree) as THC but without the euphoric effects. It’s a 100% legal way to receive similar benefits of THC without having to worry about the still restrictive laws surrounding THC, people’s perception of THC, and THC’s intoxicating sensations.

So what exactly is CBN anyway, and how does it differ from CBD? While CBD is the most prominent cannabinoid in hemp, CBN is one of the least prominent. CBN is not present in a live-growing indoor cannabis plant. It’s only when THC is exposed to heat, light, and oxygen that it turns into CBN. (Outdoor-grown cannabis, because of its exposure to the sun’s rays and the outdoor environment, may consist of one percent CBN or less.)

Because CBN results from environmental effects that act on the cannabis plant, there is no way for cannabis breeders to produce a high-CBN strain of cannabis. The only way to accelerate more CBN in a cannabis harvest is to age it while exposing it to heat, oxygen, and sunlight. More time to harvest means CBN can be rather expensive—especially CBN isolate.

If you’ve done some research into CBD and the other cannabinoids, you know that our endocannabinoid system (ECS) acts on multiple systems in our body, including the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, reproductive system, and nervous system. It sends out

neurotransmitters throughout the body to check whether everything is running smoothly. If it finds a problem, it sends out instructions on how to fix it

Like THC, CBN acts differently within your ECS than CBD.

To understand how CBD and CBN act differently, it’s necessary to look at how CBD and THC interact with the two main cannabinoid receptors in our ECS, which are referred to as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors impact your Central Nervous System (CNS), which means it affects your mood, memory processing, motor control, speech, sensations, thoughts, etc. Your CB1 receptor also influences lung, liver, and kidney function.

The CB2 receptor is concerned with your body’s natural defense system, your immune system. The CB2 receptor also helps with your hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are the stem cells that produce other blood cells.

THC and CBN bind to both receptors, CBD does not

CBD and THC interact with your CB1 and CB2 receptors differently. CBD does not have a strong affinity for CB1 receptors, and it does not directly activate CB2 receptors. It is thought to interact with the body through other mechanisms which indirectly impact both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

THC, on the other hand, binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. It mimics the endocannabinoids produced by your body and activates the receptors. This can produce both positive and less than desirable results. For example, THC has the potential to reduce your pain, but, in some cases, it can also cause paranoia.

Here’s the thing… like THC, but to a lesser effect, CBN binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, which allows you to get potentially comparable medicinal benefits to THC without the high sensation.

The potential benefits CBN brings to the table

According to sleephealth.org, 70% of American adults report that at least one night a month, they get insufficient sleep, with 11% saying they receive insufficient sleep every night. Like THC, it’s thought to provide people with a night of more restful sleep. Although the research is limited on CBN, there is lots of anecdotal evidence that gives credence to CBN being nicknamed “the sleepy cannabinoid.” (If you’re looking for your nights to be filled with more restful sleep, check out our 1000mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil (plus, 333mg of CBN & 333mg of CBG), our CBN Tincture Oil 400mg, and our CBN Sleep Supporting Capsules.)

Because CBN is suspected of promoting calmness in both the mind and body, it’s also being heralded as being a cannabinoid that supports stress management. Plus, like CBD, CBN also provides immediate relief from exercise-induced joint and muscle discomfort, with many researchers concluding that they each are more effective when taken together.

More research is needed, but everything points to yet another cannabinoid that promoted general wellness, health, and vitality in both humans and pets. And because it appears to have similar effects within our bodies as THC does, without the high, it makes CBN all that more intriguing