Cannabinol (CBN) is a minor cannabinoid that now goes by the name of sleeper cannabinoid. Others have referred to it as the miracle sleep aid. The nickname is a result of CBN’s ability to induce sleep. A recent 2021 study brought to light CBN’s ability to tackle many forms of sleeping disorders. CBD helps those with sleeping problems to fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer. In general, CBN improves the quality and quantity of sleep, and as a result, most users wake up feeling energized and refreshed. The side effects from CBN are minimal and the majority of users tolerate it quite well. The benefits of CBN don’t end with sleep-promoting. Together with explaining how CBN affects sleep, this article also mentions other benefits of CBN that we will explore comprehensively in the next sleep article.
Let’s get started.
What is CBN?
CBN is one of the numerous cannabinoids that are produced in cannabis. Usually, it exists in minute quantities in cannabis strains. Such strains include Animal Cookies and Ace of Spades. CBN is likely to be found in higher amounts in aged cannabis that has been exposed to heat and UV light. This is because over time THC breaks down into CBN.
Is CBN Psychoactive?
CBN is slightly psychoactive; 90% less psychoactive than THC. Most users enjoy the mild euphoria that comes with consuming CBN. When this good feeling begins to wear off users are likely to find themselves drifting off to sleep.
How is CBN Different from CBD?
As much as both CBN and CBD are cannabinoids, they have different chemical structures and this affects how they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Ultimately, this affects the effects that they produce. For example, CBN is mildly, if any, psychoactive while CBD is not.
While CBD is abundant in most cannabis strains, CBN is not. CBN is only abundant in mature cannabis that has been exposed to heat and UV light, as this process allows for THC to be broken down into CBN.
CBN and Sleep
Research is now showing CBN is a sleep-promoting cannabinoid. A 2021 study (released at The International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) conference) supported CBN’s efficacy in treating sleeplessness.  In this study, participants were offered a water-soluble form of cannabinol obtained from hemp. All the participants were suffering from sleep disorders. CBN improved the duration and overall quality of sleep for all participants. They were able to sleep faster and remain asleep longer. The participants were also able to progress well from one sleep stage to the next. As a result, the participants were able to wake up feeling well-rested.
An earlier 1995 study done on mice also showed that CBN can be used to initiate sleep onset and to increase sleep duration. 
CBN and REM Sleep
REM Sleep stage is a phase of sleep that is important for memory and learning. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. At this sleep stage, your muscles become relaxed and your breathing, blood, and body pressure become well controlled. As a result, you get that restful and deep sleep that is good for restoring your body and mind.
CBN is efficient at helping you reach longer and deeper states of sleep in your third and fourth stages of sleep. CBN can deliver quick results. Most people have reported that they get the relaxing sleep effects of CBN within 20-60 minutes.
Additionally, they report waking up feeling refreshed and rested for the next day. It’s not important for you to be a frequent user of CBN to get its sleep benefits. You can start using CBN today and still receive the benefits.
Even though the evidence that we have now on CBN is still preliminary, it lays the foundation for future research to confirm the sleep-enhancing effects of CBN.
How To Consume CBN
CBN can be consumed through different ways that include the following:
- Capsules and tablets
- Smoking and/or Vaporization
CBN is still a relatively new product in the market. With the interest that is building around this cannabinoid, we expect to see more CBN products in the market in the near future.
CBN for sleep is best consumed an hour before bedtime. This gives your body sufficient time to adjust to the CBN before the full sedative effects kick in.
Side Effects of CBN
CBN, like CBD, has minimal side effects. When they occur, they may include the following:
- Unexplainable tiredness and dizziness
- Changes in weight
To prevent some of the side effects, follow the recommended dosages of the CBN product you want to consume. It’s also important you start with the lowest possible dose so that you can be aware of how your body reacts to CBN and any other cannabinoid or cannabis product you may be trying.
CBD vs CBN vs THC for sleep
CBD, CBN, and THC are cannabinoids that can be used in various degrees to promote sleep. Of the three, CBN appears to have the most potent sleep-inducing properties. In addition, CBN has milder psychoactive properties than THC, for many this makes it a better alternative. CBN can be combined with CBD to boost the sleep-enhancing benefits through the encourage mechanism. CBD can also be combined with THC for similar effects. A combination of CBN and THC for sleep has not been publicly/professionally studied as of yet. Terpenes which enhance sleep such as myrcene and linalool can also help to boost the sleep-enhancing effects of CBN. Therefore, those who have tried this cannabinoid have also found some success in combining cannabinoids with sedating terpenes.
Here are some safe and tested cannabis sleep products:
- CBD American Shaman Releases Studies Supporting Efficacy of CBD. PRNewswire. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cbd-american-shaman-releases-studies-supporting-efficacy-of-cbd-301321385.html
- Yoshida, H., Usami, N., Ohishi, Y., Watanabe, K., Yamamoto, I., & Yoshimura, H. (1995). Synthesis and pharmacological effects in mice of halogenated cannabinol derivatives. Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin, 43(2), 335–337.