The Complete Guide to CBN for Dogs

Dog standing in tall grass in nature

Your dog is part of the family. You want to see him happy, healthy, and thriving. And since your pet depends on you, you’re always searching for new ways to give him the best quality of life you can.

You’ve probably started seeing CBD products marketed as treatments for canine anxiety, pain, arthritis, seizures, and cancer. So, what about CBN? If cannabinol is another soothing, pain-relieving cannabinoid for humans, could it safely help dogs, too?

In many cases, yes. With a veterinarian’s guidance and responsible doses, CBN should be a safe and natural way to address some concerns for canines.

Here is a complete guide to the uses, benefits, safety, and administration of CBN for dogs.

What is CBN, and What are its Uses?

Aging hemp plant matter produces CBN as the THC breaks down from light, heat, and oxygen exposure. 

Even though CBN originates from THC, its psychoactive properties are too minuscule to notice at normal doses. That’s because CBN is an altogether different compound from THC, and the body’s endocannabinoid system absorbs CBN differently through the cannabinoid receptors than how it processes THC.

Just like humans, dogs have endocannabinoid systems (ECS) with cannabinoid receptors in their immune and nervous systems for processing cannabinoids. That’s why dogs tend to experience many of the same effects humans get from CBD, for example.

So, although there is very little scientific research so far on exactly how CBN affects dogs’ central nervous systems and immune systems through their ECS, we can look to CBN’s utilities in humans for clues. 

By far the most predominant use of CBN is for its calming and sleep-promoting qualities, partially due to the presence of terpenes, the relaxing aromatic oils in hemp products. Cannabinol is also popular for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help some people manage pain. 

Later on, we’ll delve deeper into more potential uses of CBN for dogs.

Is CBN safe for dogs?

Unfortunately, there is not much existing science yet on CBN for dogs. But dogs’ endocannabinoid systems are so similar to those of humans we can assume that CBN is about as safe for dogs as it is for people.

In short, CBN is probably safe for most dogs. But you take your dog’s wellbeing seriously, so the best source of information on whether CBN is safe for your specific dog is a trusted veterinarian. 

Your vet is likely becoming more familiar with cannabinoids for dogs while veterinary supplements from hemp become more popular. Plus, your vet should be well-versed in your dog’s individual needs and health history and will guide you in the right direction regarding hemp product treatments.

Is CBN Psychoactive in Dogs?

No, CBN is not known to be toxic or psychoactive to dogs at appropriate doses.

Though THC is significantly psychoactive in humans and potentially toxic to dogs, when THC decomposes into the distinct compound CBN, almost all of the psychoactive properties dissipate. CBN only has a tiny fraction of the psychoactive effects of THC, about 10%, which is negligible and does not alter mental faculties or motor function at normal doses. 

What are the Potential Benefits of CBN for Dogs?

If you talk to your veterinarian and decide that CBN is a good idea for your dog, there are a few ways CBN could prove helpful. We need more clinical trials to establish CBN as an official veterinary treatment for dogs. But we can infer the following benefits in dogs based on anecdotal reports as well as CBN’s effects in people and animal experiments.

Convulsions and Seizures

In experiments on mice, researchers identified cannabinol as one of three cannabinoids that work as an effective anticonvulsant. Especially with more research going forward, this could be good news for dogs suffering from convulsions, seizures, and epilepsy


Dogs with allergic airway disease can be sensitive to pollen, mold, and other allergens. This can result in asthma, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. 

Fortunately for these dogs and their owners, CBN also performed well in a study on allergic airway response in mice from exposure to ovalbumin, the main protein in egg whites. Cannabinol appeared to lessen the allergic inflammatory response, prompting scientists to say CBN has potential as a treatment for allergic airway disease.


It’s heartbreaking to watch a dog endure arthritis, and as many as 60% of dogs will go through osteoarthritis at some point. If your pal can’t run, jump, play, get around the house, or sleep soundly pain-free like they used to, their overall quality of life can take a major dive. 

Since CBN is both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent, it could help dogs with arthritis pain. Plus, CBN’s known side effects are few and mild. It’s not likely to significantly dampen your dog’s mood or energy levels or introduce other serious side effects like some other pain relievers. 

This is important because the typical veterinary treatment for dogs with arthritis is prescription NSAIDs, which are toxic to dogs at certain doses and without preliminary blood tests to determine safety.


In addition to being anti-inflammatory and analgesic, CBN also seems to be antinociceptive. That means it can change how the mind perceives pain. Also, the pain-relieving benefits of CBN increase when it’s combined with CBD.

Therefore, CBN’s potential use is not limited to treating arthritis symptoms in dogs. It could also relieve pain from injuries and surgeries without the extensive life-threatening side effects of NSAIDs and other traditional pain relievers for dogs.


Early evidence suggests that CBN might be worth studying for its activity in slowing cancer growth. Along with THC, when mice received a CBN treatment for 20 days straight, the size of their tumors reduced. The THC and CBN also increased the average survival time of the mice with adenocarcinoma, cancer affecting the glands on interior linings of various organs.

We hope cannabinoids’ apparent ability to slow cancer growth gets more attention since it could offer hope and a gentle, natural treatment option for dogs with cancer.

Sleep Issues and Anxiety

CBN is most famous for improving sleep and is rumored to help lower anxiety, according mostly to anecdotal reports. 

For dogs who are generally nervous or experience the common separation anxiety and uneasiness around loud noises, CBN could offer relief. Though there isn’t a solid link between CBN and decreased human or canine anxiety, CBN has multiple effects that imply efficacy in treating storm and separation anxiety. 

CBN may help regulate anandamide levels, imbalance of which is a predictor of stress-induced anxiety. Cannabinol may also have an impact on vasorelaxation and the release of sensory neuropeptides. Researchers have also explored both of those functions in relation to stress and anxiety.

Sleep problems in dogs can result from anxiety, arthritis and other pain and conditions, and old age. In these cases, CBN could help improve dogs’ sleep because CBN can somewhat increase sleep duration in animals.

For more information read our blog article Is CBD good for anxiety?

Appetite Stimulation

Issues like pain, anxiousness, illness, and old age can also cause dogs’ appetite and eating to decrease. CBN has significantly increased appetite and food intake. In this way, CBN could be useful as a secondary measure of improving dogs’ quality of life and prognosis when they’re dealing with other health challenges.

What’s the Best Way to Administer CBN to a Dog?

It’s worth reiterating that the most important step in trying CBN with your dog is consulting a veterinarian first. Beyond giving you the okay that CBN is safe for your dog, the vet can also provide guidance on the exact dosage and help you interpret cannabinoid products’ certificate of analysis (COA) and trustworthiness.

Some studies have examined the comparative safety of various cannabinoids in dogs. For example, dogs seem to tolerate ratios of 1:20 THC:CBD in low to moderate doses but have adverse reactions to the THC at higher doses. So for safety, favor CBN supplements with some CBD but little to no THC (0-0.3%).

Regardless of what type of CBN product you’re administering, carefully follow dosage instructions from the manufacturer and from your vet. A good starting point is 0.5-0.6 mg CBN per 25 pounds of your dog’s weight. But remember that dosage will vary based on age, breed, weight, and desired result. For instance, administer CBN for sleep right before bedtime. 

Some pet parents apply CBN pet tincture oil directly to their dogs’ gums to stimulate appetite before meals. For other purposes, it’s easy to mix CBN into your dog’s food or make your own CBN-infused treats. 

Since you know best what kinds of snacks appeal to your dog most, you can add a CBN pet tincture to their favorite treats. Try biscuits, yogurt, peanut butter, cheese, fresh meat, eggs, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, or fruits like apples, bananas, and berries.

Canine CBN FAQs

How much CBN should I give my dog?

The best authority on dosage is your vet. But 0.5-0.6 mg CBN per 25 pounds of dog may be an appropriate baseline for some dogs.

How long does it take for dogs to feel CBN?

There’s no straightforward answer since CBN onset depends on the dose, body weight, food intake, and the type of CBN product.

Will CBN calm my dog down?

Yes, CBN is often calming and may help your dog relax.

Do vets recommend CBN for dogs?

Many vets and researchers are beginning to acknowledge the potential benefits of high-quality cannabinoid oils for dogs, including CBD and CBN.

How do I know if CBN is working for my dog?

If your dog has an issue you’re trying to resolve with CBN, pay close attention to your dog’s behavior, habits, and health. Monitor progress in food intake, sleep, pain-related behaviors, anxiety and activity levels, etc.

Can you give too much CBN to a dog?

Yes. It’s possible to give a dog too much CBN, so use a vet’s guidance and be meticulous about dosage.

Is it legal to give dogs CBN?

Yes, CBN is legal for human and veterinary use.

How could your dog benefit from CBN?

Our dogs rely on us for everything. It’s easy to feel powerless if you have a dog with cancer or if your dog struggles with problems like anxiety, sleep disturbances, pain, arthritis, allergies, and other health problems.

You want your dog to bounce back and feel like a puppy again, but maybe you’re tentative about the standard veterinary meds, or maybe the regular meds aren’t ideal for your dog for some reason.

With CBN, you and your four-legged friend may find the gentle, natural relief you’ve been waiting for. Hopefully, the body of research on CBN oil for dogs will develop further, so we know more about the benefits and possible side effects, but there’s a good chance your dog will feel great from nose to tail.

If you think CBN might improve your dog’s health, fetch, and tail-wagging, shop high-quality, lab-tested CBN products from Nature’s Legend.