You’ve probably heard of THC and CBD. But what about Cannabinol or CBN? This minor cannabinoid may not have the same household recognition as its cousins, but it deserves its moment in the spotlight. Customers often say CBN influences their sleep, trying a tincture or an edible for a good night’s rest. What do we know about CBN, and how can you incorporate this cannabinoid into your routine? The Hello Cannabis guide to the top CBN products in California will get you started.
What is CBN?
Short for Cannabinol, CBN is a minor cannabinoid found in high-THC cannabis flower. It’s not as intoxicating as THC but isn’t fully non-intoxicating like CBD. Animal studies suggest that CBN alone has no or little effect on impairment.
CBN is the result of THC degradation in the cannabis plant. As cannabis flower ages, the THC content oxidizes. This oxidized THC turns into CBN.
What Do We Know About CBN?
We’re learning more each day about the potential of CBN and all cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant. Here’s what we know about how CBN may influence our bodies and minds.
CBN and Sleep
You may have heard of the relationship between CBN and sleep. This connection has been studied as far back as the 1970s. An example of one such study conducted in 1975 showed that participants given cannabis high in CBN shared that they felt more drowsy than those who tried cannabis that didn’t have high levels of CBN. That drowsiness may be helpful if you have trouble falling asleep.
However, it’s important to note that the research is still ongoing. A 2021 review of prior studies indicated that CBN for sleep is a “plausible mechanism” but that studies with more diverse subjects and a more rigid sleep examination are needed.
CBN and Chronic Pain
Millions of Americans are affected by chronic pain, whether that pain stems from an injury, illness or nerve damage. Cannabis has long been explored as a potential method for easing chronic pain symptoms. CBN is among the cannabinoids studied for its impact on different types of pain.
Studies have found that CBN is a CB2 agonist, meaning it interacts with the CB2 receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system. The ECS involves many processes in your body, including pain regulation. This is in addition to several other studies that examined the relationship between CBN and chronic pain. For example, an animal study conducted in 2019 observed that CBN reduced myofascial pain in rats when injected into their jaw muscles.
CBN has also been observed to have anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is a source of pain for many. Studies have observed that CBN activates the same neurons that are sensitive to capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers spicy and is often included in topical pain ointments.
Other Potential Effects of CBN
While additional studies need to be conducted, some initial findings suggest that CBN may affect other areas besides sleep and chronic pain.
- Brain health: A 2022 study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine found that CBN may have neuroprotective properties, particularly in the context of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Antibacterial: CBN, along with other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabidiol (CBD), was examined in a 2008 study for its effect on bacteria, particularly the MRSA strain.
- Cancer: One animal study conducted in 1975 found that CBN appeared to reduce the size of Lewis lung carcinoma tumors.
The Top 12 CBN Products on the Market in California
From vapes to edibles, CBN is available in many product forms and ratios in the dispensary. Check out these five product categories — learn a bit about what makes each product type unique and what products you can shop in a California dispensary.
CBN Oil Tinctures
Tinctures are faster-acting and longer-lasting than their inhaled or eaten counterparts. These products absorb through your mouth tissues and are partially eaten, so you experience the best of both worlds. Take a tincture by placing the desired dose under your tongue and holding it there for at least 30 seconds, then swallow what’s left.
You might want to try a tincture since they’re easy to measure and they avoid inhalation altogether. However, if you don’t like the taste of the tincture or don’t like holding it in your mouth, you might want to try a capsule or edible instead, depending on your goals.
Interested in trying CBN tinctures? These products are available in California dispensaries:
- Papa & Barkley CBD:THC:CBN tincture, with 4mg CBD, 5mg THC and 2mg CBN per serving
- Moon Beam CBN:CBG tincture with 12.9mg CBD, 7.8mg THC and 5.1mg CBN per serving
Intuitive and familiar, CBN capsules are simple to measure and take. Simply read the label of your chosen product and determine how many capsules to take to achieve the desired effect. While soft gels cannot be divided into smaller servings, certain tablets can be cut.
Capsules and tablets work just like edibles. They first pass through your digestive system and are broken down by your liver before the cannabinoids enter your bloodstream and take effect. You’ll wait about an hour for the effects to kick in, but they will last for several hours.
CBN capsules available at Hello Cannabis include:
- ABX Sleepy Time Soft Gels, with 5mg THC and 2.5mg CBN per capsule. They’re also available in a 25mg THC/12.5mg CBN per capsule formulation.
- Papa & Barkley Sleep Relief CBN Capsules, with 2mg CBD, 4mg THC and 1mg CBN per capsule
- Protab Lights Out Tablets, with 20mg THC, 5mg CBN, 5mg delta-8 THC, 2mg THCA and 2mg CBG per tablet
Gummies, chocolates and other products with CBN last for several hours once taken, depending on your tolerance and experience with cannabis. They’re precisely dosed, so they’re easy to measure out and take for your desired outcome.
Edibles and capsules work in precisely the same way, but you get to experience exciting flavors and textures with edibles that you wouldn’t get by swallowing a capsule. So if you’re interested in trying a sweet treat along with your CBN, an edible is the way to go.
Hello Cannabis offers a wide range of CBN edibles, including:
- ABX Sleepy Time Elderberry Gummies, with 5mg THC and 2.5mg CBN per serving
- KANHA Tranquility Sleep, with 5mg CBN and 5mg THC per serving
- Kiva Midnight Mint chocolate, with 5mg THC and 2mg CBN per serving
Balms, lotions, patches and roll-ons are among the variety of cannabis-infused topicals you’ll find out there. Topicals are unique from other product forms on this list because they aren’t systemic, which means they don’t reach your bloodstream. Their effects are localized instead, so you feel the effects right where you apply the topicals. If you want to feel the effects of CBN throughout your body, other types of products might be better for you.
There’s one notable exception to the localized effects of topicals, though. Transdermal topicals deliver cannabinoids into your bloodstream, so you’re more likely to feel the effects throughout your body when applying a CBN transdermal topical. Before trying your CBN topical, read the label carefully to confirm which type of product you’re using.
CBN topicals available in California dispensaries include:
- Mary’s Medicinals CBN Transdermal Patch, containing 20mg CBN per patch
- Mary’s Medicinals Formula 3:2:1, containing 15mg THC, 10mg CBD and 5mg CBN per patch
CBN Vape Cartridges
Inhalation is one of the faster-acting ways to introduce CBN into your system. Vape carts make this process easy, with no flower to grind or rolling to do. Depending on your vape cart, you’ll attach it to a battery or buy a disposable unit that comes attached to a battery. Follow the directions to inhale and wait around 15 minutes to see how you feel before trying more. Because inhalation is fast-acting, you may want to try it to help fall asleep or to help manage pain spikes.
Among the CBN vape cart products available at Hello Cannabis are:
- Flav Disposable Sleep Vape, formulated with THC, CBN and CBD
- ABX Sleepy Time Sauce Cart, containing THC, CBN and terpenes
How to Choose the Best CBN Product for You
- Think about your goals. Why do you want to try CBN? Whether you’re trying it for sleep, chronic pain, or just to unwind, that influences which product you buy and how much you take.
- Review the potency. Even if you’re familiar with THC and CBD, CBN may affect your body and mind differently. See how much CBN is contained in a serving of your chosen product and make adjustments based on your experience. Start with a small amount and take it easy if you’re trying CBN for the first time.
- Consider other cannabinoids and terpenes. Some products are solely CBN, while others contain ratios of other cannabinoids. A product with even amounts of CBN, CBD and THC will feel differently than one with larger ratios of CBN to CBD or THC. Called the entourage effect, different cannabinoids work together to elicit different feelings and responses. Take note of the ratio and any terpenes in your product, and see how each makes you feel.
- Explore the right form. Ingestible cannabis products, inhaled products, topicals and tinctures work differently from one another. The form you pick is key to shaping the experience you want.
- Consider your budget. CBN products are available at different price points. Explore the dispensary menu to find something that works for your budget.
- Talk with a healthcare professional. A nurse practitioner or doctor knowledgeable in medical cannabis can help you decide which CBN products are best for you. They can also help you navigate potential drug interactions or side effects as you incorporate CBN into your cannabis routine.
Shop CBN with Hello Cannabis
Exploring any new cannabis product is a process of trial and error to figure out what’s best for your body and mind. CBN may make a helpful part of your routine if its potential benefits align with your goals for consuming cannabis. At Hello Cannabis, we offer a great selection of products at the best possible price. We carry a wide selection of CBN products in varying product forms, formulations and ratios. Not sure which to try? Our helpful budtenders are your guide. Bring your questions to our Vista location, and we’ll be happy to help you find the best CBN product for your needs.