A Buyer's Guide to the Therapeutic Benefits of the CBN Cannabinoid

A happy couple walking through a field in spring

You’ve likely watched countless CBD shops crop up everywhere recently, both online and brick-and-mortar. Understandably, you’re wondering what all the hype is about, and why it seemed to appear overnight.

The sudden CBD craze is largely due to 2018 federal legislation that freed up our ability in the U.S. to produce, trade, study, and use low-THC cannabis, also known as hemp. 

CBD is one of the many useful cannabinoids from hemp. Although it gets the most attention, CBD is not the only cannabinoid with an unbelievable list of potential benefits. 

Introducing CBN, a rare but mighty ‘minor’ cannabinoid. 

Cannabinol (CBN) was first discovered and studied in 1896, yet well over a century later, still very few people know what CBN is or what it does. So far, the science on CBN’s possible medical applications is limited, but as that body of research grows, the case strengthens for CBN and its potential benefits.

Once you learn about CBN’s potential as a sleep aid, pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, glaucoma treatment, neuroprotectant, antibacterial, and appetite stimulant, we bet you’ll wish you’d heard about CBN sooner.

So today, we’re answering questions like ‘what is CBN?’ ‘what are its potential medical benefits?’ and ‘how does one take it?’ 

CBN: What is it and How Does it Work?

To understand what CBN is, first we must understand what cannabinoids are. Cannabinoids are the unique chemical compounds in cannabis plants that have a wide range of effects on the body and mind. 

Cannabinoids’ various effects are due to the different ways they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its cannabinoid receptors in the immune system and nervous system.

Like all other cannabinoids, both CBN and CBD originate from CBG. After CBG produces THC while a cannabis plant grows, CBN forms when THC degrades due to the plant material aging over time with exposure to oxygen, heat, and/or light. Though CBN is a by-product of THC, they are two distinct compounds.


There is some overlap in the effects of CBN and CBD, for example, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing properties. However, the two cannabinoids differ in a crucial aspect. 

CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t induce a ‘high,’ whereas CBN is mildly psychoactive, meaning it can alter mental state/functioning and behavior. Also, CBN can have sedative effects, while CBD does not.

For reference, CBN is only about 10-25% as psychoactive as THC, the primary ‘high’ compound in cannabis. Due to its slight psychoactive effects, CBN is not for everyone, and taking it requires more caution than non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD.

What are the Potential Benefits of the CBN Cannabinoid?

Before CBN becomes an approved medical treatment for any conditions, we still have to wait for randomized clinical trials to confirm the cannabinoid’s medical benefits and investigate its possible side effects. 

So, although the below CBN health benefits aren’t yet certain, here are some of the ways this cannabinoid might help people by aiding in nervous system and immune functions and balance.

Sleep Aid

Scientists understand CBN to be sedating, and it likely helps people fall and stay asleep. Users only need to take low doses to get the mildly sedative effects of CBN and probably don’t have to worry about any adverse effects.

That could be good news for people struggling with insomnia or other sleep issues. But knowing this, anyone taking CBN for sleep or other benefits should anticipate drowsiness and time their dosage accordingly (i.e., before bed or at the end of the day, without having to work or drive later).

Fighting inflammation

The way CBN interacts with the endocannabinoid system helps the body counteract inflammation in a different way from NSAIDs, and CBN is free from the adverse effects of most current treatments. 

Pain Relief

So far, studies have examined CBN’s effects on inflammatory pain, myofascial pain, chronic pain, and even opioid-resistant pain. So far, the results have been encouraging.

As both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent, CBN could prove to be a helpful pain reliever. Cannabinol may even be able to help treat painful rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia

Combining CBN with CBD seems to enhance the pain-relieving properties, which is an example of the entourage effect at work.


Brain aging and neurodegeneration are related to cell death in processes called oxytosis and ferroptosis. CBN is an effective neuroprotector, protecting nerve cells from those cell death processes independently of cannabinoid receptors. Here are some possible medical applications of CBN related to neuroprotection:

Neurodegenerative Conditions

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor-neuron disorder. When researchers looked at whether cannabinol could be a useful clinical treatment, they found that CBN significantly delayed the onset of ALS in mice. More research could someday validate CBN as a treatment for ALS and its symptoms.

Alleviating Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that leads to permanent vision loss via increased intraocular pressure and damage to the optical nerve and retinal ganglion cells. As a neuroprotector, cannabinol appears to control intraocular pressure and protect retinal ganglion cells in experimental models.  

Anti-bacterial Properties

MRSA is a dangerous, medication-resistant form of Staph bacterial infection. Alongside other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, and CBG, cannabinol is very effective at fighting MRSA bacteria.

Stimulating the Appetite

For patients in need of an appetite stimulant, CBN could one day be an option. A rodent study showed that cannabinol increased appetite in mice across multiple measures. The mice ate more frequently, ate some meals in higher quantities, ate for a longer period of time, and ultimately ate more overall.

How can You Consume CBN and Other Cannabinoids?

There are several options for consumers looking to try cannabinol products, though most of these products aim at improving sleep. Here’s an overview of some common ways to take CBN, so you can compare and decide what’s best for you.

Benefits of CBN oil tinctures

Cannabinoids work best when taken alongside some kind of fat, such as oil, making oil tinctures potentially more effective. Specifically, coconut oil, which Nature’s Legend uses in CBN oil tinctures, may be the best cannabis compound carrier. Plus, you can mix CBN oil tinctures into most foods and drinks, and using the dropper gives you full control of dosage.

Some CBN oil tinctures even include extra vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. Anecdotally, the benefits of CBN oil include relaxation, stress reduction, exercise recovery, sound sleep, and overall well-being when using CBN oil tinctures.

Benefits of CBN capsules softgels

The packaging and CBN capsules and softgels themselves look and work just like any other supplement. So capsules and softgels are a discreet and easy way to incorporate CBN into your daily vitamin regimen.

CBN gummies

Some CBN comes in the form of gummies, like gummy vitamins. They’re just as convenient as taking a capsule or softgel, only a little bit tastier.

CBN hemp flower

There are special strains of hemp plants that have high CBN, so the plants’ flowers are a smokable way to take CBN.

Benefits of CBD/CBN formula

Cannabinoids sometimes work best when combined together, which is called the entourage effect. Naturally, by combining the calming and possibly pain-relieving effects common to both CBD and CBN, you’ll get better results. 

Benefits of CBN/CBG formula

If you add mood-boosting CBG to your CBN formula, you may enhance the sense of relaxation and well-being while increasing your chances of a good night’s sleep. 

FAQs About the Benefits of CBN

How much CBN should I take to sleep?

One serving of Nature’s Legend Full Spectrum 3:1 Oil with CBD, CBN, and CBG is 1 ml, which includes 12 mg of CBN. A 1 ml serving of CBN tincture oil with CBG has 20 mg of CBN. 1 CBD/CBN softgel contains 10 mg of cannabinol hemp extract.

Can CBN make you lose your appetite?

No. CBN will probably increase your appetite.

Can CBN be used topically?

Yes. CBN can be used topically, especially for pain relief.

Is CBN good for nerve pain?

Possibly. CBN has analgesic properties and interacts with the nervous system in a way that may help relieve nerve pain by protecting nerve cells.

Is CBN euphoric?

Though nowhere near the intoxication of THC, CBN is mildly psychoactive. It might induce slight euphoria, but you’d have to take way more than the recommended dose to experience a ‘high’ similar to THC.

How long does it take CBN to work?

It Depends. The onset time of CBN depends on a variety of factors, including your body size, what you’ve eaten recently, how much you take, and in which form. If you’ve waited and haven’t yet noticed CBN’s desired effects set in, resist the impulse to take more.

Does CBN sound right for you?

Since CBN is mildly psychoactive, there’s definitely a time and a place for it, and it may not be for every person or every lifestyle. Regardless, which possible medical benefits of cannabinol surprised you or encouraged you? Did you learn anything about CBN that made you think that it might help you with things like sleep, pain, appetite, or inflammation?

If so, we hope you got a feel for the different ways to take CBN and got answers to any remaining questions you might have had.

Head over to shop CBN products you can trust from Nature’s Legend. Get the CBN health benefits you want from the high-quality, sustainable, and lab-tested products you expect.