As more states in the United States pass legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, and since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, most people are at least familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two compounds are two of the over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, there’s one cannabinoid that’s gaining popularity you may not have heard of. This cannabinoid is cannabinol (CBN). CBN holds some similarities with CBD, but these two cannabinoids differ in several ways. In addition, their potential benefits vary.
In this article, we’ll examine three potential benefits of CBN oil and how you may be able to take advantage of them. Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve cannabis products, including CBD, CBN, and THC, to treat, prevent, or cure any medical condition or disease. In addition, you should always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement.
What is CBN?
Before we dive into the potential benefits of this cannabinoid, you should understand what CBN is. Cannabinol is a cannabinoid not present in a fresh cannabis plant or fresh cannabis buds. Cannabinol is actually a by-product of THC. As THC oxidizes, it turns into CBN. Whether it’s older marijuana left out or in a container that wasn’t sealed, as the air gets to the bud and oxidizes it, most of the THC will transform into CBN. However, this doesn’t mean that CBN will get you high. In fact, CBN has no psychoactive or intoxicating effects.
Since this cannabinoid doesn’t occur until THC oxidizes, there are no high-CBN strains, and the process to source CBN takes longer than many other cannabis products. Although, research suggests that all that hard work may be worth it due to the following potential benefits.
1. CBN may have antibacterial properties.
Several studies have shown that CBN may be helpful as an antibacterial agent. For example, in laboratory settings, CBN was tested on several methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria strains, which are resistant to most traditional antibiotics. These studies found that CBN had potent antibacterial properties against MRSA bacteria. As a result, CBN oil may be used in the future, after much more research, to fight off various bacterial infections that our conventional antibiotics can’t.
2. CBN shows potential as a possible neuroprotectant.
CBN shows potential as a neuroprotectant. Recently, a study was conducted with CBN and rodents with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing a loss of muscle control. During the study, CBN was shown to have some neuroprotectant properties that may one day prove helpful in protecting the brain from conditions such as ALS. However, much more research is needed, and, according to the FDA, CBN should not be used to treat any medical condition at this time.
3. CBN can possibly be used to stimulate an appetite.
Another recent rodent study concluded that CBN might show potential to become an appetite stimulant one day. THC is currently used in many medical facilities as an appetite stimulant for those with various medical conditions that would otherwise reduce a person’s appetite. Although, many of these people avoid THC due to its intoxicating effects. As a result, many of these people deal with appetite loss on their own, especially children.
During the study, rodents given CBN increased the amount of food they ate, suggesting that CBN could potentially help increase a person’s appetite. Therefore, CBN may one day prove useful in helping people deal with a loss of appetite without using a substance that intoxicates them.
More research is needed, but CBN shows potential for many benefits.
To reiterate, the FDA doesn’t approve CBN to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. However, with more research, CBN may provide us with many benefits for various situations in the future.