In a world filled with an ever-increasing number of cannabis acronyms, it can be difficult to keep up with what it all means and how these different substances work in our bodies. Thanks to their one-letter difference, CBN is commonly confused with its better-known “cousin,” CBD.
While they certainly share similarities, they are indeed different cannabinoids with their own specific properties. So we will dive in here and set the record straight once and for all on CBN vs. CBD. By learning more about these cannabinoids and how they can benefit your health, you will be better informed on choosing between them (or use both!)
Cannabinoids: What Are They and How Do They Work in Our Bodies?
Perhaps the word cannabinoid in the introductory paragraph made you pause. Even if you are acquainted with CBD (or CBN, THC, or others), you may not have known they were cannabinoids. This makes a great starting point for exploring CBN vs. CBD.
The cannabis plant boasts more than 400 compounds, which are divided into cannabinoids along with flavonoids, terpenes, phenols, fatty acids, and others. The main groups are cannabinoids and terpenes.
From terpenes, the cannabis plant gets aroma and flavor; with cannabinoids, we have compounds that mimic our own endocannabinoid system when introduced to the human body’s endocannabinoids. This system in our body plays an instrumental role in functions such as mood, memory, appetite, and even how we feel and respond to pain.
The endocannabinoid system comprises cell receptors that help us maintain homeostasis. In other words, it helps us regulate how our bodies function and how we feel.
When there are deficiencies in that system, and we introduce cannabinoids—such as CBN or CBD—we may help our bodies regulate themselves, which could mean everything from improving sleep quality to reducing anxiety.
Thanks to these therapeutic benefits, the health and wellness consumer market has been flooded with CBD products in recent years. It is only a matter of time before we see even more CBN products available as more studies are done to determine how this lesser-known cannabinoid also offers tremendous health benefits.
Next, we will look at each of these compounds separately to better understand how they work within our endocannabinoid systems.
CBD and Its Benefits
CBD is often considered the counterpart for THC for those who want healing benefits without the high. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and along with THC (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), it is one of the primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
CBD in our bodies will act as a CB receptor agonist, meaning it does not bind to the receptors like THC. So its action in our bodies is more indirect (though still quite effective when it comes to specific therapeutic benefits).
Ultimately it blocks the overstimulation of certain receptors, which is why it is lauded as a sleep aid or for use in reducing anxiety.
Even if your primary goal is not to reduce anxiety or get a better night’s rest, there are still plenty of ways you may benefit from the use of CBD. Users have also reported that CBD products have helped with the following:
- Pain relief
- Muscle aches
- Relief from rheumatoid arthritis
- Appetite suppression (for those wanting to lose weight)
- Reduced inflammation
- Workout recovery
These are just some of the many ways CBD has been shown to improve health. In some cases, it has also been used successfully to treat those who suffer from epileptic seizures (when combined with THC).
While there is still much to be learned about CBD, what we know now is that it shows tremendous promise in providing therapeutic relief from various conditions, from minor health issues to more serious ones.
CBN and Its Benefits
CBN, or cannabinol, is a lesser-known cannabinoid than CBD, and its origin actually starts with THC. When THC in the cannabis plant is exposed to air, heat, and light, it will start to break down over time. This process, often referred to as degradation, is what creates CBN.
CBN is not as prominent as THC or CBD, which is why we still have somewhat limited scientific information on its effects as well as how we might use it in more health and wellness products. But it is starting to appear more as an ingredient in gummies, oil tinctures, and more.
We do know from users thus far that CBN seems to be a useful tool when battling insomnia, and it relieves those who suffer from various sleep disorders. In addition to sharing similar therapeutic properties as CBD, CBN is showing promise in these areas:
- Treating inflammation
- Relieving pain
- Stimulating the appetite
- Stimulating bone growth
- Treating glaucoma
There is still so much to be learned about CBN, and like CBD, it shows promise as a potential treatment for those who suffer from epileptic seizures.
We expect research in the coming years to yield more good news about how CBN can be used either on its own or in conjunction with other cannabis compounds to provide relief for a variety of conditions.
What About Side Effects?
The most important thing to consider when using CBD products, CBN products, or a combination of both is that these compounds have a sedative effect. This should come as no surprise to someone using a CDB/CBN gummy to sleep; however, if sleep is not the user’s objective, she should still be aware of this.
For example, if using a CBD or CBN supplement for the first time as an attempt to manage anxiety, it is best not to drive until you see how the quantity affects you. Also, we should mention here that introducing any new supplement to address a health concern is best discussed with your healthcare provider first.
It is possible you could experience side effects when combining CBD or CBN with your existing medications. Some CBD users have reported side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, or appetite changes.
To minimize the impacts of potential side effects, you should never use more than a manufacturer’s recommended dosage (and start with the smaller end of what is recommended, only working your way up if needed to achieve the desired outcomes).
Since CBD is widely used, we have more data regarding its side effects. We still have much to learn regarding CBN, though both are generally considered safe and natural when used in the appropriate quantities for their therapeutic benefits.
Which One Should I Choose: CBD or CBN?
Some users are more inclined to stick with CBD until more research and studies are available on CBN. Alternatively, there is always the choice to try them both! Snoozy CBD: CBN products offer users the therapeutic benefits of both compounds in a delicious, natural, organic product that promotes rest and relaxation.