Cannabinol, or CBN, is one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis. Studies have shown it provides a variety of therapeutic benefits, most notably serving as a sleep aid.
Overview of CBN
Cannabinol (CBN) is the product of degradation, or oxidation, of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When THC is exposed to oxygen and heat, over time it breaks down to CBN, which is only mildly psychoactive.
Findings: Effects of Cannabis on Effects of CBN
While scientific research is significantly lacking compared to the more notable cannabinoids, THC and cannabidiol (CBD), evidence does suggest that CBN offers a variety of therapeutic benefits, including promoting sleep, stimulating appetite, stimulating bone growth, preventing glaucoma, and providing antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Of all the cannabinoids, CBN is the most sedative, making it a potential therapeutic option for those with insomnia, sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. CBN and its derivatives have shown effective at significantly prolonging sleeping time in mice (Yoshida, et al., 1995).
CBN has shown effective at reducing sensitivity to pain by stimulating the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide from sensory nerves. This pain relief response is performed without impacting the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which suggests that CNB could be used alongside CBD, which does lower pain through activation of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, thus providing a stronger pain relief (Zygmunt, Andersson & Hogestatt, 2002).
CBN has shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, suggesting it could assist in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and disorders like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, allergic asthma, and Crohn’s disease (Croxford & Yamamura, 2005).
CBN has shown to increase appetite, which suggests it could assist in the treatment of cachexia and anorexia, and help improve eating desires in those with cancer or HIV/AIDS (Farrimond, Whalley & Williams, 2012).
CBN and its derivatives have shown effective at significantly prolonging seizure latency in mice, suggesting it could assist in the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders (Yoshida, et al., 1995).
CBN, when administered topically, has shown to considerably lower ocular tension, thus reducing the risk and progression of glaucoma (Colasanti, Craig & Allara, 1984).
CBN is an agonist, although a bit weak, of both CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which means they’re among the cannabinoids that are effective at stimulating bone growth (Ofek, et al., 2006) (Idris, et al., 2005) (Idris, et al., 2008) (Scutt & Williamson, 2006). As a result, CBN and other cannabinoids reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases and support bone health.
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