Cannabidiol vs. Cannabinol — Can You Spot The Difference?

There are dozens of hemp cannabinoids that researchers haven’t even begun to understand. Heck, according to some scientists, there are still plenty of hemp compounds we haven’t even discovered yet! However, of these secondary cannabinoids, CBN (cannabinol) has a relatively long history in cannabis circles. 

Although CBN isn’t as widely known as CBD, it has been steadily creeping into the hemp market. Also, many people involved in the legal marijuana business have heard about CBN’s standard effects and traits. Cannabis fans often associate CBN weed with super-chill “sedating” experiences. 

However, when you look at the research into CBN, you’ll find there are gaps in our knowledge of this unique cannabinoid. While CBN may have sedative potential, there are a few things customers should know before trying hemp products that contain CBN. 

Back Up For A Second — Where Does CBN Come From? 

Before highlighting CBN’s distinguishing properties, it’s essential to go over this cannabinoid’s backstory. The interesting thing about CBN is that it only appears when cannabis plants are past “peak harvest.” As cannabis buds interact with oxygen, the THC molecules gradually morph into CBN. You could see this process unfold as the plant’s trichomes turn from white to amber. 

Most cultivators snip their cannabis buds when most trichomes are bright white to capture the most THC or CBD. However, if cultivators wanted higher-than-average CBN, they could wait a few extra weeks for the trichomes to turn orange. 

So, Does That Mean CBN Is Psychoactive? 

Due to CBN’s close relationship with THC, most customers assume it’s a psychoactive cannabinoid. In fact, there’s a rumor that CBN is most responsible for the sedating “stoner high” people experience when taking late-harvested weed. 

Some reports suggest CBN may have slight psychoactivity, but it’s way less than delta-9 or delta-8 THC. CBN may bind with CB1 receptors in our brain, but there’s no evidence this cannabinoid will induce a significant “high” sensation. People who are only used to CBD may experience more pronounced effects with CBN, but it’s safe to say CBN is a relatively mild cannabinoid. 

Many people who are interested in CBN express concerns over its legality. Since CBN is literally “oxidized THC,” how could it be legal in the USA? 

Well, remember that the 2018 US Farm Bill only banned hemp products with over 0.3 percent delta-9 THC. If companies produce CBN products using legal hemp cannabinoids and screen for delta-9, they’re legal in the USA.

For instance, many companies use CBD or delta-8 THC to make CBN in a lab setting. Both CBD and THC molecules share a relationship with the “mother cannabinoid” CBG. Therefore, it’s relatively easy for experienced technicians to create CBN with legal hemp molecules.

Just be sure to review the third-party lab results with your CBN products to double-check they meet the federal standards for hemp.  

Is CBN Superior To CBD? — Comparing CBN With CBD

Given CBN’s famous association with sleep, it’s no surprise most CBN supplements are in the “sleep health” category. Indeed, most people interested in CBN are concerned with conditions like insomnia. 

However, there’s zero evidence that CBN works better than CBD for sleep disorders. A few recent trials didn’t suggest CBN had spectacular sedative potential. Like CBD, many people argue CBN’s anti-anxiety effects may help patients relax, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sedative.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to say whether CBN is the “better” choice versus CBD. Some studies suggest CBN has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects like CBD, but we don’t know how these cannabinoids compare or interact. Similar to CBG vs. CBD, some people may respond better to CBN than others. 

Therefore, if you’re not experiencing the results you want with CBD products, you may want to experiment with high-quality CBN supplements. There’s a chance CBN may be slightly more intense than CBD, so please be careful with your first dosage. Also, check whether your CBN supplements have any secondary ingredients. Since CBN is often marketed as a “sleep aid,” you may find products with additional herbs or melatonin. 

Who Should Try CBN Oils? 

Like many other hemp cannabinoids, CBN shows a lot of promise. Some customers are already raving about CBN’s effects on stress and pain relief, and many customers still swear CBN helps with sleep. It also appears CBN is generally well-tolerated in healthy adults. 

Whether you should try CBN depends on your health goals and your experience with CBD. Since CBD is more readily available and better studied, new customers should start with standard CBD products to see if they offer any benefits. If customers find CBD isn’t enough for their needs, it may be worthwhile to test alternative cannabinoids like CBN. 

Please remember to always request third-party lab results when shopping for hemp products. If you need help deciphering Certificates of Analysis, be sure to read through a few of Real Tested CBD’s unbiased hemp reviews. 

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