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CBN Effects & Side Effects

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There's a lot of talk about cannabidiol (CBD) and what it can do for people. Many people use it to relieve pain, unwind from a stressful day, or start the day with better focus and concentration.

A newer cannabinoid to come onto the scene as specialized products are made with cannabinol (CBN).

Many brands are marketing this cannabinoid as a sleep aid because of its rumored sedative effects—What sort of effects can you expect? How long does the feeling last? How do CBD and CBN compare? And how do you know you've purchased a quality CBN product?

Key Takeaways: 

  1. CBN is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It's a metabolite of the THC molecule breaking down from oxidation and UV exposure. 
  2. CBN found to support mind and body relaxation and sleep when used alongside other cannabinoids in a full spectrum or THC-broad spectrum product. 
  3. As a metabolite of THC, CBN and THC share many of the same effects—muscle relaxing, inflammatory support, and the munchies. 
  4. Unlike THC, CBN is non psychoactive. It does not produce intoxication in most people.
  5. With more research emerging on CBN and its potential health benefits, CBN hemp strains, oil, gummies, and capsules are becoming more popular. 

First Off, What Is CBN?

CBN (cannabinol) is a minor cannabinoid, which means it's not found in very significant quantities in cannabis plants. CBN is found more concentrated in older marijuana flowers. It's been given the nickname the "sleep molecule" because many marijuana users found that older flowers produced a "couch-lock" and sleepy effect, and aged marijuana buds will naturally have higher levels of CBN.

It was at first mistaken as the primary psychoactive compound, but it turns out CBN is a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the true main psychoactive cannabinoid. CBN is formed as the THC molecule degrades from UV exposure and oxidation.

THC & CBN Molecular Structure


What Are The CBN Oil Effects?

Some people say that cannabinol has an extremely sedating effect, while others report feeling more alert and clearheaded after CBN. So, what's the verdict? What does cannabinol feel like?

As a metabolite of the THC compound, CBN's shape allows it to bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body. While they're both very similar, CBN doesn't appear to unlock the same flood of feel-good hormones that induces the marijuana high from THC, so it's classified as a non-intoxicating compound.

Activating these receptors with CBN may help balance mood, metabolism, the sleep-wake cycle, pain sensation, and the immune response.

What Are The CBN Side Effects?

There isn't much known about the side effects of CBN, but it appears to be very safe and well-tolerated, similar to CBD.

Most of the negative experiences with CBN involve taking large doses and poor-quality products, so it's advised that you build up your doses slowly and only shop for CBN with reputable brands.

Some of the side effects of CBN you should look out for include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Dry mouth

Thankfully none of the side effects of CBN oil are long-term, and they should subside after the CBN has run its course through your system. The effects of CBN can last 4–6 hours, depending on the dose and your metabolism.

Some people may also experience negative drug interactions when taking a CBD product or CBN products as cannabinoids and most prescription medication are metabolized by the liver, so you must speak with your doctor before looking to include popular cannabinoids into your wellness regimen.

Can CBN Help With Sleep?

CBN isolate products are becoming extremely popular in the cannabis space as a natural way to promote sleep. The problem with this marketing is that it lacks substantial scientific evidence.

The rumor emerged from people smoking high CBN cannabis flower or aged cannabis and experiencing a heavy, relaxed body and sleepiness. Leading cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo argues that this was due to the degradation of the THC molecule, which then lessens the psychoactive nature of the flower initiates the transformation of other phytochemicals—not just THC into CBN [6].

Most studies looking at CBN's health benefits found that it produces more substantial effects combined with other cannabinoids to produce the entourage effect. If you're looking to use CBN products to support a good night's sleep, it's best taken as a full spectrum or THC-broad spectrum extract rather than a pure CBN product [7].

There are many cannabinoids found to support healthy sleep cycles through their ability to tone the endocannabinoid system, which helps to keep the sleep-wake cycle in homeostasis.

CBN acts on certain receptors to support anti-inflammatory functions and muscle relaxation that may help some people fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night, depending on what causes their insomnia, but it's not known as a particularly sedative compound.

Does CBN Get You High?

CBN is considered a non-psychoactive compound. However, some people who take large doses of CBN may experience a very mild high—but this is rare.

You can think of cannabinoids as keys that bind to certain receptors to unlock a function in the body.

CBN is formed as THC breaks down, so it's no surprise that the two compounds have similar molecular structures, but even the subtle differences in the arrangement of atoms can drastically alter its effects.

CBN and THC bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors—When CB1 receptors located in the central nervous system are activated, it releases a flood of neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin that illicit a high. THC has a much greater affinity to the CB1 receptors than CBN and CBD.

Unless you're taking exceptionally high doses of CBN, you're very unlikely to feel intoxicated.

Is CBN Legal?

CBN is regulated under the same laws as CBD with the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill Act.

As long as the CBN is derived from hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC, it's considered legal. The problem is that it's very difficult to get high concentrations of CBN from hemp plants, as CBN is a byproduct of THC oxidation.

When shopping for CBN products, make sure you know the source of the extract. While some states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal programs, marijuana and THC remain on the federal list of Schedule I substances.

Look to see that the company discloses its CBN sourcing information. It should come from Farm Bill compliant hemp plants and come with third-party lab testing to prove its cannabinoid profile.

What Are The Doses For CBN Oil?

There's not much research available on the dosing for CBN oil and its effects as there are CBD products, but what we do know is that CBN and CBD seem to have very similar doses.

Dosing CBD oil and CBN oil are a personal affair as cannabis products can affect individuals differently depending on their weight, genetics, lifestyle, and what they're using the products for.

It's always best to start with lower doses and work your way up to help the endocannabinoid system adjust to the supplemented cannabinoids. Most product dosage ranges start at around 20–50 mg of CBN per serving—but you will need to test out the compound for yourself and see how you react to it, and adjust accordingly.

How Do CBN and CBD Compare?

CBD, widely found in hemp, stands out as a chief cannabis compound, heavily researched alongside THC. Users turn to CBD benefits span pain relief, sleep assistance, digestion, and focus, largely attributed to its enhancement of the endocannabinoid system. Unlike its direct binding to cannabinoid receptors, CBD optimizes endocannabinoid sensitivity and maintains their levels by halting their breakdown.

In contrast, CBN presents its own unique set of advantages. While both CBN and CBD can be sleep aids, CBN might be more sedative. Their mutual support for the endocannabinoid system is evident, but the way they interact with receptors sets them apart. Comprehensive research is essential to delve deeper into their individual and comparative effects. 

Potential Cannabinol Effects

Preliminary research suggests that CBN may have a range of potential benefits, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. This section will summarize some existing scientific evidence on CBN's health benefits.

While further research is needed to confirm these findings, this preliminary research provides some promising clues about CBN's therapeutic potential.

1. CBN May Cause The Munchies 

In this rodent study, CBN increased food consumption and duration of feeding time without any dangerous side effects [1]. These early stages of research on the effects of CBN on appetite are promising as CBN could be a viable alternative for those who need an appetite boost without getting high from THC.

2. CBN May Have Antibacterial Properties

It's believed that cannabis Sativa plants produce cannabinoids to protect the plant from harmful bacteria, pests, and the environment.

A few studies suggest that CBN may have antibacterial actions that inhibit the growth of microorganisms that cause disease. This in vitro study observed that CBN and other cannabinoid concentrates inhibit the growth of several methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria strains [2].

3. CBN May Provide Muscle-Relaxing Benefits

Researchers found that CBN on its own and combined with CBD offers potent anticonvulsant and analgesic effects (pain relief) in an in vitro study [3]. The combination of CBN and CBD seemed to have longer-lasting effects than isolate compounds.

4. CBN May Support Eye Health

CBN may also provide support for eye health without inducing intoxicating effects—unlike THC. One study found that CBN successfully relieved intraocular hypertension in rabbits [5]. Again, this research shows its potential medical effects, but as of right now, there's not enough evidence to suggest that CBN should be used to treat glaucoma in humans or replace current treatments.

What To Look For In A Good CBN Product?

Whether you're looking for a good CBN product or good CBD products online, always do your research when shopping for cannabis products. The company should disclose the following information:

  1. Hemp sourcing
  2. Extraction methods
  3. The concentration of cannabis compounds
  4. Third-party lab testing

Our CBN products is derived from Farm Bill-compliant hemp crops in the United States and extracted using sophisticated supercritical CO2 extraction methods to yield higher CBN concentrations. You can find all third-party lab testing on our products on our website organized by batch number or scan the QR code on your product to view its results.

We only use full spectrum or THC-free broad spectrum CBN extracts because we strongly believe in the evidence pointing to CBN's superior effects when combined with other phytochemicals from the hemp plant.

The Takeaway: Overall CBN Effect

CBN Oil and Gummies

Bottle of Full spectrum CBD + CBN Vegan gummies, amber colored container, white top lid

CBN Gummies for Sleep with CBD

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Our CBN Gummies pack 45mg CBN + 45mg CBD to naturally support sleep aid and rest. They harness the cannabinol's sedative effects for a tranquil night without melatonin. Crafted with...

Research on CBN use for medical treatment for health conditions is still ongoing and limited. Overall, the recent scientific research on cannabinol is very encouraging and suggests that CBN could play an important role in the future of cannabis-based therapies.

The effects of CBN seem to vary in individuals depending on the product, dosing, and the individual's health. The general sentiment of CBN use seems to be very calming and relaxing. Many people enjoy CBN products like CBN oilsCBN gummies and CBN tablets to ease muscle tension and support a good night's sleep.

There are currently no CBN products approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or mitigate any health conditions. If you have an underlying health condition, it's best to consult your doctor for professional advice.

The best CBN products are full spectrum or broad spectrum extracts as they provide more potent and well-rounded effects. You should be cautious of marketing claims on CBN isolate products as there's a lack of scientific evidence for its ability to provide support for anxiety or sleep on its own.


What are the side effects of CBN oil?

CBN oil may lead to side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. It also has the potential to interact with other medications, consult a healthcare professional before adding CBN to your routine.

What does CBN feel like?

CBN, or cannabinol, typically induces relaxation and a mild sense of euphoria. It's commonly associated with sedative effects and may promote calmness, though individual responses can vary depends on dosage and individual tolerance.

Does CBN get you high?

CBN may cause mild psychoactive effects, but it's usually less potent than THC and doesn't typically result in a strong "high." CBN-containing products usually have minimal THC, around 0.3% or less.

Can CBN cause anxiety?

No, CBN on the other hand has shown potential in some studies for its calming effects, which could aid in anxiety management. It's advisable to consult a healthcare professional before considering CBN or any other supplement for anxiety.

Does CBN make me sleepy?

Yes, Cannabinol (CBN) is commonly associated with sedative effects and may contribute to feelings of sleepiness.


  1. Farrimond, J. A., Whalley, B. J., & Williams, C. M. (2012). Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology, 223(1), 117-129.
  2. Appendino, G., Gibbons, S., Giana, A., Pagani, A., Grassi, G., Stavri, M., ... & Rahman, M. M. (2008). Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure− activity study. Journal of natural products, 71(8), 1427-1430.
  3. Wong, H., & Cairns, B. E. (2019). Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. Archives of oral biology, 104, 33-39.
  4. Mack A, Joy J. Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. 9, MARIJUANA AND GLAUCOMA.
  5. Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E. C., Benigni, D. A., & Waller, C. W. (1984). Cannabinoids in glaucoma II: the effect of different cannabinoids on intraocular pressure of the rabbit. Current eye research, 3(6), 841-850.
  6. Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344-1364.
  7. Corroon, J. (2021). Cannabinol and Sleep: Separating Fact from Fiction. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 6(5), 366-371.
  8. Cassano, T., Villani, R., Pace, L., Carbone, A., Bukke, V. N., Orkisz, S., ... & Serviddio, G. (2020). From Cannabis sativa to cannabidiol: Promising therapeutic candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 124.
  9. Devinsky, O., Cilio, M. R., Cross, H., Fernandez‐Ruiz, J., French, J., Hill, C., ... & Friedman, D. (2014). Cannabidiol: pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia, 55(6), 791-802.
  10. Velasco, G., Hernández-Tiedra, S., Dávila, D., & Lorente, M. (2016). The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry, 64, 259-266.Chicago
Nicklas Brandrup

BSc International Business, Copenhagen Business School Nicklas is the co-founder of Neurogan and a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in the health and wellness space.  Nicklas has generated more than $250M in sales on Amazon with brands that he owns and operates. He is passionate ab...

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