Cannabis plants contain over one hundred naturally occurring chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. THC has been researched for sometime, but CBD is slowly becoming increasingly well-known too. Both these cannabinoids and their benefits are being recognised by scientists, but what about the other cannabinoids?
Behind THC and CBD, Cannabinol (CBN) is also showing some results for use in medicines. Read on below to understand more on CBN and what its benefits are.
What is CBN?
The cannabinoid CBN comes from THC: CBN occurs when THC is broken down due to oxygenation and UV light exposure. This means that, unlike CBD and many other cannabinoids, CBN does not naturally exist within the cannabis plant. Instead, it occurs when the plant is aging.
THC is found in the buds and flowers of the plants, so you also won’t find CBN in very young cannabis plants that haven’t flowered yet. Due to its THC origin and fact it begins to appear after the plant has aged a bit, some people often think that it is a degraded or less potent form of THC and struggle to look past this to understand its benefits.
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How Does CBN Compare to CBD?
CBD is found in cannabis and hemp plants and is thought to be the most prevalent of all cannabinoids. CBN is generally far more common in cannabis that has been cut, as it is a result of the aging process.
As it comes from breaking down THC, CBN is psychoactive but not anywhere near the way that THC is. In fact, it is only very mildly psychoactive. CBD, by comparison, is non-psychoactive and hemp strains, known for their high-CBD content, generally has a max. of 0.3% THC in it, making any ‘high’ near impossible.
Current research into CBN is showing strong therapeutic results. Cannabinol has strong sedative qualities: the most powerful of the studied cannabinoids. The cannabis testing facility Steep Labs has reported that 2.5mg- 5mg of CBN is comparable to that of mild pharmaceutical sedative, such as 5mg to 10mg of Diazepam.
Though studies into the cannabinoid are limited, the ones that do exist show the variety of effects that CBN has. One study’s findings showed that CBN is an appetite stimulant, whereas CBD by comparison is more of a regulator in terms of appetite and could be used to combat obesity.
Other benefits that are being discovered as research into CBN advances are the positive effects it has on those suffering with pain, insomnia, inflammations, or seizures. In addition, the compound also encourages of growth of bone cells. Each of these benefits can be attributed to both CBN and CBD use, though CBD is generally more researched with results showing significantly more known benefits.
So, What Other Cannabinoids Are Being Overlooked?
Most well-known of cannabinoids is the psychoactive THC, closely followed by CBD, due to the amount of research that has taken place on these. However, there are over a hundred more cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.
Generally, other cannabinoids are understudied, but research is regularly showing that there are therapeutic benefits of so many of these compounds.
One example is CBG. Though the benefits of Cannabigerol (CBG) are not largey researched, it is understood that this cannabinoid is like the ‘building block’ for may of the others, including THC and CBD. This means that it is somewhat of an enabler, in that its presence in cannabis plants is vital for other cannabinoids to function as they do.
Whilst the known therapeutic effects of CBG are limited, like CBN, it could also be used to help with pain and inflammation. More specifically it could help with skin complaints as well as neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease, as its use in tests has resulted in improved motor skills and higher antioxidant levels.
Another lesser-known cannabinoid is Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), not to be confused with THC, which has some opposite effects to that of CBN: CBN has proven to be an appetite stimulant, whereas THCV is a appetite suppressant. This could lead to its use in assisting with weight loss and the prevention of diabetes.
THCV doesn’t have side effects that influence or heighten emotion, so in the future it could be valuable as an antidepressant or in the treatment of PTSD or anxiety. In these cases, it offers many of the desired effects of an antidepressant but without negative side effects.
Despite Cannabichromene (CBC) being one of the most common cannabinoids in cannabis, it’s not being studied nearly as much as CBD and is pretty ‘under the radar’ of both scientists and cannabis users. CBC offers zero psychoactive effects, meaning this could be a great go to for users who want cannabis’ medicinal benefits but not getting high. As some cannabinoids work well on their own, CBC could work great both independently and in addition to other cannabinoids.
So, whilst CBD continues to be the cannabis compound that dominates the media and science world, there are so many other compounds that are under-researched and under-utilized.
The true potential of cannabis only seems to be growing, with research into the plant and anecdotal evidence both growing steadily, but scientifically confirmed benefits could still be a long way off.