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What is CBN?

 What is CBN?

You’ve likely heard of CBD and even THC, but what about CBN? In this post, we’ll go over all of the details about CBD’s lesser-known cousin, CBN.

CBN (cannabinol) is a mildly intoxicating compound that’s created when THC ages. For this reason, it is commonly present in high amounts of older cannabis. This might sound like a turn-off to you, but some people do seek out older cannabis to enjoy CBN’s effects.

CBN has a specific relationship with THC because it does not come directly from the cannabis plant, unlike other molecules. It comes from the exterior oxidation of THC— the THC converts into CBN as it degrades. When cannabis is cut and stored, the THC will eventually turn into CBN.

Benefits of CBN

What benefits could possibly be associated with old cannabis? Here are a few:


CBN studies have found that the compound may have antibacterial properties. CBN was tested on strains of MRSA bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics, and it was found it to be a potent antibacterial agent against antibiotic-resistant strains.


Research suggests that CBN might also be a strong neuroprotectant. A rodent study that used CBN to treat ALS found it could delay the onset of the condition. Human studies still need to be done, but this does suggest CBN might play a powerful role in the fight against ALS and other neurodegenerative conditions.


CBN may also help people who suffer from glaucoma. A rabbit study found that CBN and THC rescue intraocular pressure — the biggest risk factor for glaucoma. This research is still in its early phases and has not been shown as a superior alternative to other glaucoma medications, and therefore more research is needed.

Appetite Stimulant

Rodent studies also found that CBN increased the amount of food that rats ate, suggesting CBN could be an effective appetite stimulant. Some people avoid THC for a-tektite stimulation due to its intoxicating effects, and CBN could potentially be a non-intoxicating alternative for people seeking the munchies without the high.


CBN might also be a strong anti-inflammatory agent to help people with rheumatoid arthritis. One rodent study found that CBN could reduce arthritis. Although more research still needs to be done, this could end up being a terrific solution for people suffering from the debilitating condition.

What Is the Difference Between CBN and CBD?

CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis. It can comprise up to 40% of cannabis resin. CBD does not cause users to get high, and therefore people generally use it for its medicinal properties.

Unlike CBN, CBD does not appear after oxidation because it is already abundant in the cannabis plant. 

CBD acts directly on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to influence 

anandamide levels, whereas CBN only occurs when weed is exposed to air and THC degrades.

CBN does not have a direct effect on the ECS, and overall, researchers believe it reduces the potency of cannabis. 

Although most of the focus is currently on THC and CBD, CBN has some impressive properties and benefits and should not be ignored, especially for people looking for cannabis’ therapeutic properties without the high.