CBN vs. CBD: The Differences Explained

  • CBD

The global cannabidiol (CBD) market was worth a staggering $2.8 billion in 2020. Consumers worldwide swear by CBD for pain relief, better sleep, and increased energy. However, this is just one of the hundreds of compounds extracted from the hemp plant. Cannabinol, or CBN, has similar properties as CBD. Although it’s mildly psychoactive, it has none of the side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This natural compound exhibits anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and sedative effects. When it comes to CBN vs. CBD, there are similarities and differences between the two.

Both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid (ECS) system, but they have a different mechanism of action. Choosing one over the other depends on your health needs.

Not sure where to start? Here’s what you should know about the potential benefits of CBN and how this compound compares to CBD!

What Is CBN?

CBN is one of the compounds in hemp and cannabis plants. Although it’s relatively new on the market, it was the first cannabinoid to be isolated in its pure form. Researchers began studying its benefits more than 125 years ago.

This naturally occurring substance is a byproduct of THC oxidation. Like THC, it binds to the CB1 receptors but to a lesser degree. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabinol shares similarities with both CBD and THC. Even though it has mild psychoactive effects, it’s safe and non-intoxicating. Like CBD, it can be smoked, vaped, dabbed, or ingested.

Both CBN and THC stimulate appetite, but the former has a better safety profile. In clinical trials, it has been shown to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, improve sleep, and boost brainpower. Moreover, it may reduce pain and inflammation.

For example, an earlier study confirms its neuroprotective effects. Rats treated with CBD for 12 weeks experienced a delay in the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Other studies suggest that it may improve arthritis symptoms, reduce seizures, and promote relaxation.

How Does It Work?

This compound maintains about one-quarter of the potency of THC, reports a 2017 review. In addition to its effects on the CB1 receptor, it inhibits several enzymes that may play a role in disease pathogenesis.

CBN also promotes bone formation by stimulating stem cell recruitment in the marrow. On top of that, it increases the activity of phospholipases. These enzymes convert phospholipids into fatty acids.

As the researchers note, this cannabinoid may inhibit the activity of MRSA and other pathogens. Its anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and sedative effects are backed up by science.

The potential benefits of CBN are still under research. So far, scientists agree that it may improve sleep quality, alleviate pain, and fight inflammation.

CBN appears to be even more effective when combined with CBD. In one study, rats treated with both CBD and CBN experienced greater relief from chronic muscle pain disorders than those treated with either compound alone.

How CBD Works with Your Body’s ECS System

As mentioned earlier, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound extracted from the cannabis plant. People use it as an alternative treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and other health complaints.

Unlike THC and CBN, cannabidiol doesn’t act directly on the cannabinoid receptors in your body. Instead, it stimulates the endocannabinoid system and interacts with various ion channels. The ECS system regulates appetite, sleep, memory, mood, and other processes.

CBD and other cannabinoids influence the ECS system, which in turn may boost immune function, stimulate or curb appetite, improve memory, and more.

This compound also stimulates several non-cannabinoid receptors. For example, it activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, leading to anxiety relief.

Due to its effects on the ECS system, CBD can reduce pain, improve cognition, and boost heart health. Moreover, it exhibits antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

In a clinical trial, researchers investigated its anxiolytic activity. Subjects who took 300 milligrams of CBD before making a speech experienced less anxiety than the placebo group.

CBN vs. CBD: Similarities and Differences

While both CBD and CBN hold therapeutic value, they act differently in your body.

First of all, CBD doesn’t directly target the cannabinoid receptors. CBN, on the other hand, binds to the CB1 receptor.

Second, cannabidiol doesn’t get you “high.” Cannabinol, by comparison, has mild psychoactive effects because it’s derived from THC.

Also, note that CBD and CBN have different molecular structures. Manufacturers cannot extract CBN from the cannabis plant like they do with CBD. Instead, they must use various methods to oxidize THC to CBN.

Both cannabidiol and cannabinol are considered safe and may benefit human health. These compounds protect against inflammation, brain damage, and oxidative stress. They also appear to be effective for pain relief.

These cannabinoids, either individually or combined, have relaxing effects and may improve sleep. Due to its mild psychoactive activity, CBN may be a better choice for those struggling with insomnia. CBD tends to have energizing effects, depending on the strain used.

Make an Informed Decision

Now that you know more about CBN vs. CBD, assess your needs and make an informed decision. Consider talking with your doctor before choosing a product, especially if you have any chronic conditions. Start with the minimum effective dose and increase it gradually based on how your body reacts.

Most importantly, choose a trusted supplier. Etanicals carries some of the highest quality botanicals on the market. All of our products are tested in cutting-edge labs and carry a certificate of authenticity.

Browse our online store and take your pick! Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.


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