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What is CBN Nature’s Sleepy Secret
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What is CBN?

Also known by the name Cannabinol, CBN is a unique cannabinoid from the cannabis sativa plant (aka hemp). CBN is synthetically produced in a laboratory, but in hemp plants, cannabinol is primarily formed through a natural process that involves the degradation of THC.

As hemp plants age and are exposed to various elements (heat, air, light, etc.), THC degrades. It also undergoes a chemical reaction resulting in the formation of CBN. This process explains why higher levels of CBN are typically found in older, drier cannabis and hemp plants or products that have been stored for an extended period.

If we compare THC and CBN, the latter has no intoxicating effects, meaning it is not a psychoactive chemical compound. When you consume CBN-rich products, they should not make you “high.” Instead, CBN is believed to have a more subtle impact on the body, with potential therapeutic benefits that are still being explored through ongoing research.

Is CBN an effective sleep aid?

CBN may be classified as an “oxidization product” of CBN, wherein the latter degrades and becomes the former. CBN became popular due to its supposed effect on sleep, but we have insufficient evidence to back up this claim.

Sleep aids that contain CBN would often market this cannabinoid as something that can promote drowsiness and help people experience sleep. When we consider anecdotal records, many people report that consuming an aged cannabis plant, which tends to have higher levels of CBN, made them feel sleepier and more relaxed.

On the other hand, if cannabinoid research is still in its early stages, then CBN research is still in its infancy period. Most of the limited scientific evidence that grants CBN sleeping prowess comes from small studies. These research works were conducted decades ago, in the 1970s and 1980s.

In one of these older studies, the researchers discovered that CBN from the hemp plant on its own had little to no effect on sleepiness. However, when mixed with other cannabinoids, such as THC, CBN could be a reliable sleep aid.

While these early studies provide some initial support for the potential of CBN as a sleep aid, especially when combined with other cannabinoids like THC, the evidence is still scarce. We still need more human studies further to understand CBN’s effects on certain sleep disorders.

What health benefits does CBN bring?

CBN has more to offer other than possibly make you slumber. Below are other possible benefits of CBN:

CBN can offer pain relief.

CBN has demonstrated promising potential as a natural pain reliever. We have initial research studies that point to CBN’s ability to influence specific nerves in the body to encourage pain management.

These nerves are particularly sensitive to capsaicin, the compound present in chili peppers that give them characteristic heat. By interacting with these nerves, CBN appears to have the ability to modulate the way the body processes and perceives pain.

It’s important to note that more research is needed to understand the extent of CBN’s pain-relieving properties fully.

CBN can fight bacteria.

A 2008 study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute suggests that CBN, with other cannabinoids, can fight against drug-resistant bacteria. This discovery highlights CBN’s ability to become a natural agent that deals with certain bacteria.

By targeting and inhibiting these resilient bacteria, CBN could potentially provide a valuable alternative approach to treating infections. CBN is also believed to have good effects on the immune system.

CBN’s ability to fight bacteria still requires more research.

CBN can stimulate appetite.

CBN may have a unique effect on appetite that sets it apart from other cannabinoids, such as CBD. While CBD may suppress appetite, CBN is believed to exhibit appetite stimulation.

This effect on appetite could make CBN a potential option for people who struggle to maintain a healthy appetite due to some medical conditions. When someone’s appetite is suppressed because of illness or medical therapies, they may have difficulty sustaining adequate nutrition. By introducing CBN as a natural appetite stimulant, individuals in these situations may find it easier to regain their desire to eat.

Just like with its other potential benefits, CBN’s ability to promote appetite still needs further investigation.

CBN can reduce swelling.

When swelling occurs, it is a recognized natural response by the human body to protect itself from harm. However, sometimes, this swelling response can become overactive, and it produces more harm than good. CBN has been found to interact with the endocannabinoid system in a way that helps regulate and reduce excessive inflammation.

More clinical studies are needed to verify if CBN can indeed treat swelling.

CBN can promote bone health.

Emerging research revealed to us that hemp plant cannabinoids, such as CBN, can play a crucial role in stimulating the production of new bone cells. This potential property of CBN is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

By interacting with stem cells, CBN products appear to have the ability to initiate the creation of osteoblasts. These are known to be new bone cells. Such activation of stem cells helps replace old or damaged bone cells with fresh and healthy ones.

What CBN products are available today?

CBN oil

This hemp-derived product contains the compound cannabinol. CBN is a minor cannabinoid that is being studied for its effects on the human body. For now, based on some research studies, CBN is believed to induce sleep, provide pain relief, help with swelling, and promote bone health.

One advantage of CBN oils is that they are discreet and can be easily administered. By placing it under the tongue, CBN is introduced rapidly into the bloodstream. From there, CBN can easily access the human ECS and do its work.

CBN oils are also versatile, which means they can be added to someone’s favorite foods and beverages. They may also be applied directly to the skin for targeted relief, just like what topicals are known for.

CBN gummies

As the name implies, CBN gummies refer to hemp-derived edibles that contain CBN extract. In CBN gummies, the CBN is combined with other ingredients like pectin, natural fruit juices, organic sweeteners, etc., to make the gummy candy base.

In addition to CBN, the gummies may contain other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, and CBG in varying ratios. The CBN provides a relaxing, mildly sedating effect rather than an intoxicating high from THC.

Today, CBN gummies that fill the market are promoted as a sleep aid and relaxation supplement. This is because these gummies capitalize on CBN’s supposed ability to promote drowsiness, leading to a restful sleep.

CBN capsules

These CBN products are a form of oral supplement containing CBN in a capsule form. CBN capsules are filled with CBN oil or extract, usually coming from aged or oxidized hemp plant materials that have a higher CBN content.

CBN capsules provide a convenient way to ingest precise dosages of CBN without having to measure CBN oils or tinctures. Just like CBN gummies, CBN capsules are often marketed primarily as sleeping aids and relaxation supplements. These CBN edibles leverage cannabinol’s mildly sedative effects.

CBN cream

Infused with premium CBN oil, CBN cream products allow for localized application and absorption of CBN through the skin. Rather than providing some systemic effects via oral consumption, CBN creams target specific affected areas of the body.

The CBN infused in these creams may come from oxidized or aged hemp plants and flowers. These naturally contain higher CBN levels. Dosages of CBN creams may vary widely across different brands. Some contain higher CBN concentrations than others.

In addition to just CBN, some creams contain other cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, and CBG for added synergistic effects. CBN creams can be used for sore muscles, joint pains, skin conditions, or general relaxation and well-being for targeted areas.

CBN isolate

This product that you can obtain from a hemp or cannabis plant typically comes in a purified, crystalline powder form. CBN isolates have undergone special extraction and refinement processes to obtain pure CBN, removing all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.

CBN isolates provide a highly concentrated and standardized form of CBN that allows for precise dosing. They have no flavor, aroma, or other compounds from the hemp plant (otherwise known as cannabis sativa).

Stirling Products Equipped with CBN’s Benefits

Delta 8 Gummies for Sleep

Designed to be a game-changer, Stirling Delta 8 Gummies is the ideal CBN product for those who are seeking a natural solution to eliminate sleepless nights. Summoning the synergistic powers of some major cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, these gummies can promote a relaxing and restorative sleep.

CBN, also known as the “sleepy cannabinoid,” is produced when THC ages. By harnessing the power of CBN, these CBD Gummies for Sleep offer a potent sleep formulation that can help anyone drift off into peaceful slumber.

Delta 9 Gummies for Sleep

Stirling Delta 9 Gummies for Sleep are carefully formulated to usher you into that restful sleep your body needs. Each gummy enjoys a harmonious combination of 10mg Delta 9, 25mg CBD, and 12.5mg CBN. What makes these gummies stand out among the rest is their emphasis on the sleep-inducing qualities of CBN.

Cannabinol (CBN) is popular for its calming and sedative effects. Such properties make CBN an ideal addition to your sleep regimen. With a commitment to quality, Stirling Delta 9 Gummies for Sleep boast a maximum THC level, ensuring a consistent and effective experience with every use.

CBD with Melatonin + CBN for Sleep

Another meticulously curated CBD product that induces sleep, CBD with Melatonin targets several aspects of the sleep cycle, ensuring you are refreshed and rejuvenated. By taking advantage of CBN’s potency, Stirling’s CBD with Melatonin + CBN for Sleep offers a potent sleep solution that can help you drift off into peaceful slumber.

Complementing the sleep-inducing effects of CBN, this product also includes melatonin. The latter is a natural hormone that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Together, CBN and melatonin work in synergy, gently guiding your body into a deep, rejuvenating sleep.

How is CBN formed from the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant?

Below are some ways CBN is produced:

THC degradation

Fresh hemp plants and flowers contain relatively high levels of THC. However, THC molecules are somewhat unstable. They begin to break down when exposed to heat, light, and oxygen.


When THC degrades, it undergoes a process called oxidation. During this process, molecules experience rearrangement, affecting the chemical structure of THC. Oxidation is a natural process happening when hemp plants age.

Time and exposure

The longer hemp is exposed to air, light, and heat, the more THC will degrade into CBN. This is why older, aged, or poorly stored cannabis tends to contain higher CBN levels.


The last conversion of THC into CBN also involves the removal of a carboxyl group from the molecule. This process, called decarboxylation, happens when the plant material is subjected to heat.


CBD and CBN are two of the several hemp cannabinoids that you’ll find in hemp plants. These two plant compounds do share similarities, but differences exist, too.

Sources and Extraction

  • CBN is obtained from aged and oxidized hemp plants. These plant materials contain higher levels of CBN.
  • CBD oil is extracted from cannabis plants as well as industrial hemp plants through various methods.

Effects and Benefits


  • Possible benefits of CBN include promoting sound sleep, reducing inflammation, and providing pain relief
  • Many market CBN products as effective sleep aids due to their slight sedative effects
  • CBN can also deliver muscle-relaxant properties


  • Widely known for its pain-relieving effects and other useful benefits, it has been the subject of several research studies
  • Users enjoy a sense of calm and relaxation without worrying about the high associated with THC
  • The cannabinoid could support overall health and well-being without negatively affecting cognitive function


Sources and Formation

  • CBN forms over time when THC degrades due to oxidation and decarboxylation. This degradation of THC happens when the hemp plant is exposed to heat, light, and oxygen.
  • THC is most abundant in fresh, properly stored hemp plants.

Effects and Benefits


  • Very mild psychoactive effects compared to THC
  • Potentially promotes sleep, reduces inflammation, provides pain relief
  • Often used as a relaxation aid and sleep promoter


  • Potent psychoactive compound that significantly alters perception and cognition
  • Can produce euphoria, heightened senses, increased appetite, impaired coordination
  • Intoxicating effects can include mood elevation and fearful thinking in some users

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBN known for?

CBN is a minor cannabinoid that gained wide attention for its possible sleep-inducing effects. Unlike THC, CBN does not produce the “high” typically associated with marijuana use.

CBN interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the human body to produce its potential benefits such as a good night’s sleep. Some sleep problems may arise to a specific sleep disorder that may be addressed by CBN.

How is CBD and CBN different from each other?

CBD and CBN may originate from a cannabis sativa plant, but they possess distinct properties. In terms of formation, CBD is a major cannabinoid present in significant amounts in the hemp plant. On the other hand, CBN is classified as a minor cannabinoid formed when THC degrades.

Will I fail a drug test if I consume CBN products?

There are some factors to consider in order to determine if CBN products can make you fail a drug test.

First, if the CBN oil is derived from hemp plants that legally contain less than 0.3% THC, it is unlikely to produce a positive drug test result. However, if the CBN comes from a cannabis plant with higher THC levels, there lies a risk of trace amounts of THC.

Standard drug tests are designed to detect tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This explains why CBN from a cannabis plant puts you a risk of failing a drug test.

Can CBN make me high?

No, CBN does not produce an intense “high” that is similar to THC. Unlike THC, CBN has mild psychoactive effects that should not make you feel “high.” CBN may produce a mild sense of sedation, relaxation, or a gentle “body high” in higher doses, but nothing like the intense psychoactive effects of THC.

What are the side effects of CBN?

Generally considered to be safe, CBN can still potentially cause some side effects. They are the following:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Stomach issues
  • Interaction with medications

It’s important to note that these side effects are typically mild and infrequent, especially at lower doses.

Does CBN affect the central nervous system?

Yes, CBN can affect the central nervous system, though to a much lesser degree than THC. CBN has mild psychoactive properties because of its interaction with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and CNS. However, its effects are far less potent than THC in this regard.

Can CBN produce the entourage effect?

Yes, CBN (cannabinol) can contribute to the “entourage effect” when combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant.

The entourage effect refers to the theory that the various compounds in cannabis work synergistically together to produce enhanced therapeutic benefits compared to any single isolated compound alone.

While CBD and THC are the most abundant and well-studied cannabinoids, minor compounds like CBN can also play a role in the entourage effect.

Is CBN present in a cannabis plant?

Yes, CBN (cannabinol) is present in cannabis plants, though typically only in small amounts compared to other major cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

The exact CBN content can vary based on factors like the cannabis strain, growing conditions, curing process, storage methods, and age of the plant material.

Can CBN keep you awake?

No, CBN (cannabinol) is not known to have stimulant or wake-promoting effects that would keep you awake. In fact, quite the opposite – CBN is most commonly associated with inducing sedation, relaxation, and sleepiness. CBN is believed to result in improved sleep quality.

Can CBN cause frequent visits to the bathroom?

Yes, CBN (cannabinol) can potentially cause gastrointestinal issues in some individuals, though it’s generally considered a rare side effect. While CBN is typically well-tolerated, it’s possible that it could lead to digestive discomfort or upset stomach in certain cases, especially at higher doses.

What other common cannabinoids are related to CBN?

Here are other common cannabinoids that are closely related to CBN:

  • CBG (Cannabigerol): CBG is considered the “mother” cannabinoid as it is the precursor compound from which other cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBC are synthesized. CBN can form not just from the oxidation of THC but also from the degradation of CBG over time.
  • CBND (Cannabinodiol): CBND (cannabinodiol) is an oxidative breakdown product of CBD, similar to how CBN forms from the oxidation of THC. While much less studied, CBND is considered closely related to CBN in structure and may have some similar effects.
  • CBC (Cannabichromene): CBC is another minor cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. While not as closely related as THC or CBD, CBC can be present alongside CBN in aged cannabis and contribute to the overall “entourage effect” when multiple cannabinoids are consumed together.


Picture of Joe Kryszak
Joe Kryszak
A leader in the Hemp Industry since 2014, Joe has been at the forefront of the Hemp Industry's innovation and growth. He is passionate about creating an atmosphere of collaboration and education in the Hemp Industry through the growth of Stirling Oils. Prior to this, Joe led strategic growth teams and initiatives at HP, Lenovo, and Amazon. With a degree from SDSU and an MBA from Pepperdine, Joe guided numerous businesses beyond the $1b threshold.

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