CBN for Pain Relief: Everything You Need to Know

Woman with pain holding her back

Whether the source of your pain is known, like TMJ, arthritis, or fibromyalgia, or still a mystery, persistent pain can be debilitating. It’s frustrating to maintain a normal life when nagging pain is constantly getting in the way.

Taking pharmaceutical medications to manage pain can, no doubt, help people function better. But for some, they become a necessity. The problem, then, is narcotic pain relievers are often habit-forming and full of serious side effects. While there are milder pain medication options, like NSAIDs and acetaminophen, those have limited efficacy and can significantly strain or damage vital organs with sustained use.

If you struggle with chronic pain in your daily life and are looking for a natural alternative to treat it, you’re not alone. 

CBN is one of the chemical compounds in cannabis plants that can act as an effective pain reliever for a wide range of conditions. Arthritis, burns, TMJ, fibromyalgia, and inflammation-related pain are just a few of the issues CBN can help address. 

Keep reading to find out more about the correlation of CBN and pain relief, whether CBN could help you, and how to take it responsibly.

Understanding CBN and its Effectiveness for Pain Relief

The cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol) is a by-product of THC oxidation. When the components of cannabis plants age, heat, oxygen, and light gradually cause the THC to convert to CBN.

Though it originates from THC, CBN is a different chemical compound with different effects and only a fraction of the psychoactive effects. Therefore, unlike THC, taking CBN in moderation will not significantly impair users’ mental faculties or motor skills.

When someone takes CBN, their body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) responds via cannabinoid receptors in the immune system (CB2) and central nervous system (CB1). CBN interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors but has a stronger effect on the CB2 receptors in the immune system.

These interactions are responsible for CBN’s analgesic activity. An analgesic is simply a medicine that helps relieve pain. There are two main classifications of analgesics, those that reduce inflammation and antinociceptives, which change the brain’s perception of pain.

CBN actually works as both an anti-inflammatory agent and an antinociceptive. That’s why it has overwhelming potential benefits in treating chronic pain from inflammatory, neuropathic, and muscle pain disorders like fibromyalgia, temporomandibular disorders, and other painful conditions without central side effects.

One of the ways CBN works as an anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive analgesic is by affecting amino acids, including neuropeptides, and the channel proteins TRPA1 and TRPV2. Let’s dig deeper into which conditions CBN can help with and how.

Medical Conditions that May Benefit from CBN’s Potential Analgesic Effect

Since CBN can act on the nerves and their pain signals via TRPA1, TRPV2, and neuropeptides, cannabinol has broad potential in treating all types of pain, whether it be inflammatory, neuropathic, or physiological in nature. Here are some of the pain-related issues for which CBN may have medical benefits for:

TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) of the sliding hinge joints between the jaw and skull can be genetic or a result of arthritis, teeth clenching/grinding, or a jaw injury. TMD can cause pain in the jaw, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), face, and ears, lockjaw, and make chewing painful or difficult.

TMD Treatments

Treatments include pain medication, muscle relaxants, physical therapies, injections, or even surgery. 

By promoting more restful sleep at night and by alleviating myofascial pain from face and jaw muscle tension, CBN could help treat TMD in those who clench their jaw or grind their teeth.


Individuals with fibromyalgia suffer from widespread musculoskeletal pain thought to result from pain signaling in the brain and spinal cord. Fibromyalgia often comes with poor sleep patterns, fatigue, tension headaches, TMD, IBS, anxiety, and/or depression.

Fibromyalgia Treatments

Pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and physical and occupational therapies are some of the treatment methods typically recommended for fibromyalgia.

Since CBN has been reported to work as a sleep aid, help regulate pain signaling, and may treat chronic muscle pain, it could be a beneficial fibromyalgia treatment with few central side effects relative to other treatment plans.

Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis in older individuals, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Both conditions cause inflammatory joint pain, while the inflammation from RA can cause chronic centralized pain.

Arthritis Treatments

Osteoarthritis treatments include acetaminophen, NSAIDs, antidepressants, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), injections, osteotomy (cutting and realigning bones), and joint replacement surgery. 

RA is historically responsive to NSAIDs, steroids, DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs), biologics, and various surgeries and therapies.

But, with more research, CBN could be a more natural way to help osteoarthritis and RA patients by targeting immune response, inflammation, and pain perception.

Other Inflammation

In addition to the pain from inflammation in degenerative diseases, inflammation may also be the culprit in conditions like chronic migraines, back pain, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

In the case of CRPS and migraines, researchers have observed neurogenic inflammation arising from the peripheral nervous system and the regulation of neuropeptides. Neuropeptides, the nervous system signaling molecules involved in pain perception, also likely play a role in back pain.


  • Treatments for back pain include OTC or prescription NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, narcotics, topical pain relievers, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and/or surgery. 
  • Standard pain relievers, corticosteroids, blood pressure medications, anticonvulsants, and intravenous ketamine can treat CPRS
  • Besides regular pain medicine, there are a host of medications specifically for treating migraines, plus opioids, anti-nausea drugs, blood pressure drugs, anti-seizure drugs, and botox injections. 

Unsurprisingly, people suffering from these inflammatory pain problems can find themselves spinning around a pharmaceutical merry-go-round for years before finding a treatment plan that works best for them. 

By influencing neuropeptides, general inflammation, and neurogenic inflammation, CBN can work in two ways; 1) calming the body’s inflammatory response to pain stimuli and 2) easing pain perception. Hopefully, future research will establish CBN as a natural, safe, and effective treatment for inflammatory pain, including CRPS, migraines, and back pain, while also having safe sedative effects. 


Severe second- and third-degree burns can lead to chronic pain that persists for many years. Since third-degree are severe enough to reach the nerves, survivors can suffer from neuropathic pain, including burning, shooting, stabbing, ‘electric,’ and ‘pins and needles’ sensations in the body.

Pain treatments for severe burn survivors include opiates, NSAIDs, anticonvulsants like gabapentin, sleep aids, antidepressants, and relaxation-focused therapy techniques.

CBN can potentially regulate pain signaling while also having a calming effect and improving sleep. It also specifically acts as an agonist of the ion channel TRPV2, a thermosensor that responds to high temperatures. Therefore, CBN may work to treating persistent pain from burns.

CBN vs CBD: Which is Better for Pain?

Actually, the answer is both.

Like CBN, the popular cannabinoid CBD interacts with the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system and behaves as an analgesic in multiple ways. Like CBN, it has anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects.

The biggest difference between CBN and CBD in treating pain is that CBD is the subject of a much higher volume of research; scientists know more about it. 

For example, in one study, 94% of chronic pain patients who used CBD saw improvements in their quality of life. More than half were able to decrease or cease opioid use within eight weeks.

CBN is harder to research than CBD because of its lower prevalence in cannabis plants. If researchers were able to study CBN’s impact on pain to the degree they’ve explored CBD, they may discover CBN to be just as effective, if not more so, especially when combining the two.

Will Combining CBN with Other Cannabinoids Enhance Its Analgesic Effect?

In short, yes. Combining cannabinoids causes an entourage effect, meaning when multiple cannabinoids work together, their results are greater than the sum of their parts. Research has shown combining CBN and CBD can multiply the cannabinoids’ pain-relieving effects.

This synergy of combining multiple cannabis plant compounds likely creates a broader spectrum of phytocannabinoids, therapeutic terpenes, and possible immune and nervous system effects. 

In certain proportions, certain cannabinoids like CBD can actually counteract THC intoxication. This fact could allow more people to experience the benefits of THC with fewer of the unwanted psychoactive effects.

Tips for Using CBN Products for Pain Relief

There are numerous ways to take CBN. If you’re considering CBN for pain relief, here are the next steps you should take for the best chance at positive results without complications.

First, Check with Your Physician

There is not a copious amount of conclusive information available about CBN side effects or drug interactions. So, as with any drug or medication, it’s advised to talk to your doctor before trying CBN or any other supplement. Your physician can help determine if CBN or other cannabinoids are a good idea based on the status of your health and other medications you might be taking.

Use the Correct Dosage and Frequency

Follow dosage instructions carefully, and moderate your daily intake of CBN. It can have sedating effects, so large doses or excessive use may cause drowsiness or other unpleasant effects.

Be Aware of the Possible Side Effects

Like any cannabinoid or new supplement, there is always a chance that CBN could affect you in unintended ways, especially as you’re still getting acclimated to the proper dose unique to you. There is a chance of side effects like grogginess, dry mouth, and appetite fluctuations, which most people can mitigate by changing their dosage or making healthier habits.

Make Sure the Products are Tested

One of the main causes of unintended or unpleasant effects from cannabinoid supplements is questionable quality. Manufacturers of high-quality CBN products provide rigorous third-party lab test results and accurate labeling to guarantee the exact cannabinoid contents, so there are no surprises. 

Choose CBN Supplements Containing CBD or CBG

To maximize the effectiveness of CBN in treating pain, look for products that also include CBD and/or CBG, which have cumulative pain-relieving properties.

Have you ever improved your quality of life with any natural pain remedies?

One of the worst parts of chronic pain is trying one treatment after another in search of relief. Many current medications for chronic pain conditions have numerous side effects, lose their effectiveness as tolerance is built, and/or pose serious threats to overall health with prolonged use.

It’s not surprising that many individuals with chronic pain turn to alternative or natural pain remedies like popular cannabinoids. CBN has a unique range of potential medical benefits because of how it can treat pain perception and inflammation.

Order high-quality CBN products online with Nature’s Legend if you’re ready to trust lab-tested cannabinol supplements backed by the latest research.