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CBN vs CBD: Effects, Benefits, and Best Products

CBN vs CBD: You've heard about the powerful benefits of CBD, a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in hemp. But have you heard the rumblings about CBN–a minor therapeutic cannabinoid that comprises hemp full spectrum healing potential? CBN and CBD share similar properties and complement each other in whole plant extracts. But they're also distinct in the unique benefits they offer and how they interact in the body.

Here's everything you need to know about CBN vs. CBD, two of Medical Mike's favorite healing compounds.

What is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the many cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants. But CBN is unique in that it develops much differently from fan-favorites like CBD or THC. Typically, the plant's natural genetics controls the cannabinoids it produces. But CBN is different. Hemp and cannabis plants produce CBN as a byproduct of THC oxidation. What does that mean? Over time, as the plant is exposed to heat and light, THC transforms into CBN. 

How are CBD and CBN Produced in Hemp?

You can find CBD and CBN in hemp's trichomes, which are the structures that line the buds of the flowers and some of the leaves. As trichomes grow, they fill with cannabinoid-rich resin that includes varying levels of CBD and THC. And as they degrade, some of the THC turns to CBN. Most farmers harvest the crops before that process occurs. But the market is changing today. As consumers learn about CBN's unique benefits, many growers are harvesting later to increase hemp's natural CBN concentration. 

CBD vs. CBN: What are the main similarities and differences?

CBN and CBD are fundamentally different molecules with distinct origins. But both are potent anti-inflammatory agents that interact with your body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote optimal wellness. Neither produces an intoxicating high when isolated. However, both can interact with high THC levels to change the way you feel. CBD counteracts some of THC's adverse effects–like anxiety. While CBN complements THC's sedative effects, promoting more restful sleep. Moreover, initial animal studies show that CBN could help mildly stimulate your appetite, while CBD might lean more towards appetite suppression.

We are still learning about CBN's potential benefits, but there are many reported therapeutic applications to consider. One of the most popular reasons people enjoy CBN is its ability to encourage a good night's sleep. Many people also take CBN for pain. Let's take a deeper look at what the science has to say.

What research says about CBN

  • A study from 2016 compared nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to cannabinoids for relieving pain. As a result, researchers found that CBN reduced symptoms in people with arthritis. While more studies are needed, CBN shows a lot of potential as an anti-inflammatory.
  • A 2005 study looked at CBN as a treatment for ALS in rats and found the compound helped delay the onset of the disease. The study also concluded that CBN could potentially relieve symptoms of ALS.
  • A rodent study in 2012 looked at the effects of CBN on appetite. The research showed that CBN increased the amount of food the rats ate, leading them to believe CBN could work as an appetite stimulant. On the other hand, CBD decreased the amount of food the rats consumed over the same period.
  • A study from 2008 looked at the effect of CBN on antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria. Researchers found that CBN acted powerfully against these strains. While more research is still needed, CBN holds promise as a way to fight bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic treatment.

How Do CBN and CBD Work in the Body?

CBN and CBD produce therapeutic effects by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system. However, they take very different paths to their healing destinations. Research indicates CBN may bind directly to chemical receptors in the brain and nervous system to produce its appetite-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and sedative effects. CBD, on the other hand, doesn't bind directly with receptors. CBD indirectly communicates with ECS receptors to help the body produce more naturally occurring compounds that boost homeostasis. 

Why should I Take CBD and CBN Together?

According to the Entourage Effect Theory, both CBD and CBN produce benefits individually, but they work even better together. Coined by Dr. Ethan Russo, the idea says that cannabinoids work in synergy to maximize each other's healing potential. So the more of you take at the same time, the better you'll feel. Based on that theory, CBD and CBN together deliver even more potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects when combined. That's why Medical Mike's is proud to launch a hybrid CBN:CBD full spectrum oil derived from organic hemp grown in New York. This nourishing oil includes various flavonoids, terpenes, and minor cannabinoids to ensure you're getting all the benefits from the entourage effect.

How Can I Use CBD and CBN?

The most popular way to consume CBD and CBN is through concentrated full-spectrum oils in a tincture. You can also find CBN in vapes, waxes, and edibles. CBN extracts and isolates exist, but they are much more expensive and potentially less effective than total spectrum products.  Medical Mike's takes things a step further by offering a unique CBD:CBN hybrid oil created through natural ethanol extraction, so you can maximize all the benefits CBN has to offer.


If you'd like to up your CBD game by using full-spectrum New York hemp products that include CBN, try them here at Medical Mikes

We look forward to helping you make the most out of everything organic hemp products can offer.

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