Cannabinol (CBN) is a nonenzymatic breakdown product of THC and THCV exposed to UV light and oxygen, and is commonly found in aged cannabis. Discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams, it is a partially psychotropic, psychoactive phytocannabinoid typically used as an indicator of how fresh a dried bud is, but is also known to be particularly useful for reducing pain and muscle spasms, as well as having anticonvulsant effects. It’s been known as a rather effective sedative and used to be found occurring in higher than average amounts in Cannabis indica, contributing to the “couch lock” effect commonly reported in those strains. Another strange property of CBN is its ability to decrease heart rate without decreasing blood flow. At lighter doses, it’s a strong sleep aid, but at higher doses it seems to produce higher levels of alertness. It has psychoactivity at about 10% to 25% that of THC. CBN is commonly seen as a negative phytocannabinoid in cultivation, as it signals “degraded” cannabis. This can be a partially reliable indicator for indoor grown cannabis, but outdoor cannabis is bound to have light CBN concentrations, around 0.5%.
How CBN Assists
CBN in particular has been shown to assist with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, bacterial infections, seizures, epilepsy and muscle spasticity.
- Ross, SA. ElSohly, MA. Sultana, GN. Mehmedic, Z. Hossain, CF. Chandra, S. Flavonoid glycosides and cannabinoids from the pollen of Cannabis sativa L. Phytochemical Analysis. (2005)
- Piomelli, D. Russo, EB. The Cannabis sativa Versus Cannabis indica Debate: An Interview with Ethan Russo, MD. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. (2016)
- Miller, S. Understanding Cannabinoids – CBN. Green Flower. (2018)