What's the Difference Between CBD and CBN?

What's the Difference Between CBD and CBN?

| Spencer Beaudreault

Cannabis and hemp products are becoming more and more popular, particularly with CBD products. Believe it or not, 64 million Americans have tried CBD products in recent years, and those numbers are only growing.

However, there's a new cannabinoid taking its share of the market, but it's still not as popular or well-known as CBD. Hopefully, we can clear the air on it. Let's talk about the difference between CBD and CBN to see which is right for you!

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular types of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It's known for its potentially relaxing and pain-relieving effects and has become quite popular in recent years for its medicinal use. While CBD is federally legal for medical use, some states still consider possessing it illegal.

Moreover, CBD is a natural compound found in every cannabis plant in varying doses. There are numerous ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant while limiting THC. This prevents the euphoria or "high" feeling associated with THC.

However, CBD products can still make someone fail a drug test for THC. This is because the legal limit for most CBD products is about 0.3% THC, which isn't enough to get high, but it can be enough to appear on a drug screening.

What Is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is another of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Believe it or not, CBN is not scheduled under any "drug" classifications, meaning that it is legal in the United States. Even so, CBN products are still less popular than CBD.

This is partly because no cannabis plants contain high amounts of CBN themselves. CBN is actually a byproduct of oxidation when you expose THC to light and heat, breaking it down. For this reason, CBN works very similarly to THC, although with much milder effects.

Effects of CBD

If you read some websites, you'll see that CBD is the "miracle cure" for just about every ailment you could face. While research is very much needed, it has shown quite promising effects regarding potential:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antioxidation
  • Antipsychotic effects
  • Neuroprotective effects
  • Working adjacently to some cancer treatments
  • Immunosuppressive benefits

These potential benefits are currently recognized by the FDA, even though cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I drug with no medicinal benefits.

Anecdotally, people have expressed great potential benefits with chronic pain reduction, improved sleep, mood, and more. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.

Effects of CBN

While CBN has not undergone the same extensive research as CBD, existing research is promising. CBN is widely used as a potential sleep aid, whereas CBD is more well-known for its potential pain relief and relaxation.

Because CBN is so chemically and behaviorally similar to THC, it's used medicinally to achieve similar effects to THC without the high. For example, CBN is widely known as a potential appetite stimulant, so it's being researched for chemotherapy patients and those with other illnesses.

While THC has been studied far more for its sleep benefits, CBN binds to the same receptors and has similar results. This is one of the most sought-after potential benefits of CBN, specifically acting as a potentially mild and relatively safe sleep aid.

However, more benefits of CBN are still being researched and discovered. Some studies suggest that it can potentially:

  • Help limit cancer cell growth
  • Act as an anti-inflammatory
  • Offer restful sleep effects without the high
  • Stimulating appetite

The list goes on, but again, more research is required to list its benefits with certainty!

The Difference Between CBD and CBN

Again, there are about 150 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, all with their own molecular structures, effects, and more. After THC, CBD is the most abundant of these cannabinoids by far. Some manufacturers even breed certain cannabis strains to produce more CBD than THC.

Conversely, CBN is the result of processes within the plant, and there is no way to naturally breed a high-CBN strain. For a high CBN yield, you need a high THC yield.

While neither of these products is associated with a "high", they can still affect a THC-induced high. While studies are limited, anecdotal and limited research suggests that high amounts of CBD can help alleviate some of the negative effects of a THC high.

Moreover, CBN binds to the same CB1 receptor as THC, technically making it a psychoactive compound. Still, this is at a much lower intensity, and the psychoactive effects are quite limited, even to sensitive users.

However, there are many similarities between CBD and CBN. As we mentioned, they both offer mild sedative effects, anti-inflammatory effects, and more. 

Tips For Choosing CBD and CBN Products

If using CBD or CBN products, be careful to choose products based on their extraction methods. Because both use heat to an extent, some manufacturers may use butane or other chemicals in their extractions.

However, some will only use heat, CO2, or O2 for these products. These are more reputable and safe options. Learn more about the safety of plant products.

Shop For the Right Products

Now that you know the difference between CBD and CBN, you can make an informed decision as to which is right for you. Both compounds offer their own set of potential benefits for each of us, so just make sure you're buying the right products for your needs, and from reputable sources!

Stay up to date with our latest cannabis news, and check out our shop to find the right products for your needs!

Spencer Beaudreault

Spencer Beaudreault is the Founder of Hero Brands, a Business Development & Marketing Expert, and a lifelong advocate & user of cannabis, hemp, & plant-based alternatives.
Tags: CBD, CBN