Cannabis has an interesting and varied chemistry. The array of acids, enzymes, and chemical compounds that compose the cocktail of cannabinoids in the cannabis flower varies from strain to strain. Generally, THC and CBD take the lead in terms of raw percentage, though there are a handful of strains that are exceptions to this rule and exist as outliers containing higher than average levels of esoteric cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and CBC.
It’s important to note that certain strains and genetic crosses are more prone to creating higher quantities of these seldom-seen cannabinoids, but the phenotype and cultivation method play a big role in the overall chemical composition of a strain. The following strains* have been known to create higher percentages of CBG, CBN, and CBC, respectively.
Cannabis Strains That Contain CBN
CBN has indica-like effects in terms of reducing pain and inflammation, offering sedative, body-driven effects while stimulating the appetite. This cannabinoid is usually more accessible in medical cannabis dispensaries because of its application in treating a litany of different ailments. Also, growers have noted that later harvests can generated higher CBN content in cured flower. This makes sense, given that CBN is a breakdown product of THC. The longer a bud is exposed to the elements (especially heat and UV light), the more CBN is likely to form.
CBN is a mildly psychoactive compound in marijuana and is unique to the plant. Like the vast majority of cannabis components, CBN is fat-soluble, not water-soluble. It has a specific relationship with THC because, unlike other molecules, CBN doesn’t come directly from the marijuana plant. Instead, it forms from the exterior oxidation of THC. In other words, THC converts into CBN during its degradation. When you cut and store weed, THC ultimately becomes CBN. The acid form of THC, THC-A, gets converted to CBN-A when it is exposed to air for a significant period. The presence of air causes THC-A to lose hydrogen molecules, and then it undergoes oxidation. The result is the acid form of CBN. You can then treat the compound with UV light and heat and convert it to CBN. It dissolves well in methanol and ethanol. Poorly stored marijuana plants are often high in CBN.
Since CBN is the breakdown of THC as the psychoactive compounds ages, people often dismiss it. After all, you only find it in stale buds, so how useful can it be?
However, recent research has determined that CBN potentially has an array of medicinal benefits. According to Steep Hill Labs, it is the most sedative of all cannabinoids. Just 5mg of CBN is the equivalent of 10mg of Valium in body relaxation terms. Although CBN has some psychoactive properties (it is derived from THC after all), they are about 10% as potent.
What Is the Difference Between CBN & CBD?
CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in weed and can comprise up to 40% of cannabis resin. It doesn’t cause consumers to get high and people generally use it for medicinal rather than recreational purposes. CBD produces anxiolytic effects that reduce the hallucinogenic effects of
CBN doesn’t seem to have a direct effect on the ECS. Overall, experts believe CBN to reduce the potency of marijuana. It is also a weak partial agonist at the two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. At present, medical researchers have yet to understand the metabolic effects of CBN fully. With CBD, there is far more data available.
What Is CBN Used For?
- To relieve insomnia
- To improve appetite
- Anti-inflammatory action
- Antibacterial action
- Bone formation
- As an analgesic
- Treatment of burns
- Treatment of Psoriasis
The benefits of CBN are manifold. First and foremost, CBN is by far the most potent sedative of any identified marijuana compound. It may help you get a restful night’s sleep without the grogginess or side effects of prescription sleeping pills. Evidence of its ability to treat insomnia goes back as far as 1976. A study from 1995 on insomniac mice all but proved its efficacy concerning promoting better sleep.
As a result, one of the primary uses of CBN is to treat insomnia. As we mentioned above, it is even more sedative than Valium. THC-high marijuana strains that also contain CBN and myrcene may be good options if you’re sleep-deprived.
CBN is synergistic with D9THC and CBD regarding sleep inducement. When you combine it in the right ratios, it may provide at least 6 hours of sleep without you waking up feeling drowsy.
What Are The Methods To Use Cannabis?
The popular most method is smoking the dry flower of cannabis. The effects appear quickly, and the process is quite simple. Vaporizing is another method.
In this method, you use cannabis oil and vape it using a vape machine or pen. Cannabis is also available in the form of edibles. The vaporizer is the safest method of taking Cannabis.
Like other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, CBN works as a potent anti-inflammatory agent in your body. Although a certain amount of inflammation is perfectly fine as it is an adaptive bodily function, too much causes illness. Like CBD, CBN doesn’t interact strongly with the CB2 receptor, but it does modulate the levels of endocannabinoids. CBN influences specific immune cells to produce anti-inflammatory effects and even impacts levels of other compounds known to cause inflammation.
An anticonvulsant is a compound capable of reducing epilepsy-related seizures. Researchers have found that CBN is almost as effective an anticonvulsant as THC and CBD.
Admittedly, the research has only involved rats. The study found that when rodents consumed CBN, they ate larger portions of food more regularly and for longer. The likely reason for this is the impact of CBN on the CB1 receptor. As CBN has a far weaker psychoactive effect than THC, it is arguably a better option to increase appetite.
Bone Formation & Healing
CBN could help heal bones as it recruits stem cells from your bone marrow. Stem cells are converted into various cell types, including muscle, fat, cartilage, and bone cells. CBN could be responsible for increasing fibroblast cells, which greatly aid the healing of bone. The effects of CBN might stretch to bone formation, which means faster recovery from injured tissues and fractured bones.
Chronic Pain Relief
Medical marijuana is known to relieve chronic pain, and CBN might play a more significant role than you think. As CBN comes from degraded THC, it is unsurprising that it acts like the psychoactive compound in some ways. For example, it stimulates the release of peptides from sensory nerves, which helps decrease pain sensation. According to new research, the painkilling effects of CBN are independent of CB1 and CB2 receptors. They possibly come from another cannabinoid receptor that has yet to be discovered.
This is the process of relaxing blood vessel walls, which results in the fall of blood pressure. CBN acts as a vasorelaxant, which means it is useful if you have a condition such as glaucoma. It may increase the blood flow to the eyes via vasorelaxation, and reduces pressure in the eye. The process is also helpful for people with conditions, such as heart disease, or hypertension.
Researchers tested the effects of five significant cannabinoids, including CBN, on different strains of the superbug, MRSA. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can cause fatal staph infections, and their prevalence is increasing due to the nation’s overreliance on prescription drugs. The team found that CBN has potent antibacterial effects, and therefore, it could become an important MRSA treatment.
CBN potentially has a hypothermic effect, which means it lowers body temperature. Therefore, CBN may be useful as a topical to alleviate burns because of the compound’s pain-relieving and cooling effect. Cannabinol seemingly can activate the TRPV2 receptor, a cell site which only becomes activated when the skin is exposed to high temperatures.
This is a troubling skin condition that leads to the creation of flaky, crusty, red patches of skin. In some cases, silvery scales cover them. Preliminary research suggests that CBN decreases keratinocytes (a type of skin cell) proliferation. With psoriasis, these cells become hyperactive, grow, and create the flaky skin patches. Therefore, CBN may help to reduce the process and alleviate the symptoms of your skin condition.
Is CBN Legal?
There is plenty of information available about the legal status of the marijuana plant. However, the waters become positively murky regarding the legality of its many compounds. The main issue surrounds the psychoactive compound THC. This is the main reason why marijuana is illegal in so many places. Meanwhile, the non-intoxicating compound CBD is less strictly regulated, although it is also illegal in certain states.
As CBN is the product of THC degradation, you may assume CBN is illegal, where THC is illegal. However, things are not as clear as you might expect. For starters, CBN is NOT listed amongst the list of scheduled controlled substances.
However, since it is an analog of CBD or THC, both of which ARE Schedule I substances (i.e., CBD derived from marijuana, or CBD oil with a THC content higher than 0.3%), there is a possibility that selling or possession could result in prosecution under the Federal Analogue Act of 1986. Then again, there is a chance that CBN won’t meet the legal standard of an analog.
The Farm Bill of 2018 made a clear distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. Industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC, is now legally recognized as a separate agricultural commodity. Therefore, CBD oil from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC is federally legal.
However, there is no such distinction regarding CBN in the 2018 Farm Bill. In December 2016, the DEA added marijuana extracts to the list of Schedule I drugs. Therefore, one can infer the legal status of CBN from the DEA’s official statement:
High CBN Strains
Since CBN comes from the degradation of THC, there are few marijuana strains with a reasonable concentration. You’ll be lucky if a strain has up to 1% CBN. Here is a list of a few strains with over 0.3% CBN:
- Bubble Gum:386%
- Durban Poison:363%
- Lemon Kush:49%
- Purple Cadillac:313%
- Super Green Crack: 788%
Some of the strains mentioned below are rich in CBN. That is why these strains are mostly consumed to ensue sedation, as a treatment for insomnia. Let’s have a look at these 10 high CBN Cannabis strains;
- Amsterdam Flame
This is a pure Indica strain that contains around 16-20% THC. It is derived from California Indica. It provides with a couch-locking effect. It induces relaxation, sedation.
It can also be used to improve mood, reduce muscle spasms, and alleviate stress. It is available in some flavors that include mango, berry, and strawberry. It has psychoactive properties.
This is an Indica-Dominant hybrid strain containing an 80:20 ratio of Indica to Sativa. It is originated from Alien Dag as well as Sour Double. It has a high amount of 27-32% of THC, which makes it psychoactive along with 1% CBD. It is rich in CBN content. It is used to alleviate muscle spasms and stress. It is available in a range of favors.
- Death Star
This is an Indica Dominant hybrid strain containing 75:25 Indica Sativa. It is originated from Sensi Star as well as Sour Diesel. It contains around 20-24% THC. It produces effects like euphoria, happiness, sedation. It alleviates depression as well as insomnia. It is also an analgesic. It is available in flavors like earthy, sweet, diesel and skunky.
- Blue Blood
Once again, this is an Indica Dominant Hybrid that contains 70:30 Indica. It is originated from blueberry and Ogre Kush, containing THC in a range of 15-20%. It contains around 10% CBD and a high amount of CBN.
It is an effective energizer that promotes relaxation which ultimately leads to sleepiness. It is also good for nausea and inflammation. It reduces muscle spasm. It is available in the flavors peppery, sweet, berry and earthy.
- Kosher Kush
It is an Indica variety strain that originated from Los Angeles. It contains more than 20% THC. It produces a calming effect at high doses that lead to sedation.
At lower doses, it produces an energetic feeling that results in euphoria. It is useful for appetite loss, depression, pain, insomnia, and stress. It is available in some aromas including lemon, herbal, earthy, pungent and pine.
- Cataract Kush
It is an Indica variety that contains only 1% Sativa. It is derived from LA Confidential and OG Kush. It contains around 20-24% THC.
It produces a calming and relaxing effect that reduces fatigue and helps in the alleviation of symptoms of migraines and pain. It leads to sleeplessness. It is also good as an anti-depressant as it elevates mood. It is produced in a number of aromas.
- Pineapple Chunk
It is an Indica Dominant hybrid that contains up to 26% THC and more than 1 percent CBD. It is derived from Cheese Skunk and Pineapple. It produces euphoria and thus alleviates stress and depression. Taking Pineapple Chunk helps in ensuring a relaxed state that leads to sleepiness thus it is good for insomnia. It also acts as an anticonvulsant. It is available in many flavors.
- Purple Sour Diesel
It is a Sativa-dominant strain containing almost 70% Sativa and 30% Indica, derived from Purple Kush, Sour Diesel, and SR-71. It contains up to 21% THC. It is an energetic strain at a certain dose, but generally, it also causes sleepiness. It relieves one from anxiety and depression.
- Shark Shock
It is an Indica Dominant strain derived from White Widow mainly. It also contains a high content of THC and CBD.
It helps in achieving a relaxed state, which ultimately leads to sedation. It reduces signs and symptoms of depression, migraines and other types of a headache. It is also an effective analgesic.
- Red Dragon
It is a Sativa hybrid that is originated from Himalayan Cush and Utopian Haze. It produces euphoria as it is high in THC. It also produces relaxation and causes sleepiness. It is good for the alleviation of mood swings, migraines, and nausea. It also acts as an anxiolytic.
Although most of our attention appears to be on THC and CBD, we should not overlook CBN. Experts consider it to be one of the best sedatives on the planet. Also, since it only has around 10% of THC’s psychoactive effects, it won’t get you high. If you wish to try CBN, then allow your marijuana to go stale so its THC can degrade to CBN.
It is important to note that a CBN high makes you feel groggy and disoriented at times. Therefore, it is best to look for high-CBN products online. Cannabinol may be useful for people with insomnia due to its potent sedative effects. CBN could also have anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, which makes it a multi-faceted cannabinoid.