CBN for sleep

Credit: Maia Flore

May 4th, 2018

Is CBN from Cannabis the Alternative to Valium?

CBN or cannabinol may sound an awful lot like CBD, but beyond the non-psychoactive properties that both cannabinoids share, CBN is actually something altogether different.

CBN has a whole host of applications. And while there’s still a lot of research to be done—just as there is with CBD, THC, THC-V, and the rest of the cannabinoids—the existing research on CBN deserves a celebration.

CBN can help you catch those ZZZs

CBN is known for its powerful sedative properties without being psychoactive. That being said, it’s especially when combined with THC, which is psychoactive. Some research suggests that five milligrams of CBN is as effective for sleep as 10 milligrams of Valium. And since Valium belongs to a very addictive class of drugs called benzodiazepines, you can imagine there’s a ton of interest in a safer alternative like CBN—enough interest that the pharmaceutical interventions landscape for insomnia and anxiety could look very different soon.

CBN plays hardball with inflammation

Like so many other cannabinoids found in the plant, CBN has demonstrated some pretty potent anti-inflammatory properties. And since inflammation is the genesis of most chronic disease, harnessing and taming that fire is crucial to maintaining, or regaining, health. Asthma is a great example; in one study CBN helped reduce inflammation in the lungs of mice with asthma.

CBN anti-bacterial you’ve been dreaming about

A 2008 study found that CBN effectively killed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (also known as MRSA), an often-fatal staph infection that’s become resistant to antibiotics.

CBN is an appetite-stimulant (and that’s a good thing)

The appetite-stimulating properties of THC have been well-documented, both in scientific literature and by anyone who’s ever been struck with a case of the munchies. But CBN has demonstrated similar appetite-stimulating properties too. Appetite stimulation is rarely an objective for healthy people but for sick people, it’s an incredibly important and useful property. There are many instances and various wasting diseases in which a person’s appetite needs to be stimulated without inducing a high.

As strange as that may sound, the longer your cannabis ages and dries, the more CBN is found in the flower. So, if you’re wondering how you can ensure that you’re getting a decent dose of CBN, the trick is to leave some bud in an unsealed container for a bit. Let it go stale and then smoke it.

About Jillian Tuchman MS, RDN

Jillian Tuchman is an integrative and functional medicine dietitian and nutritionist, reiki healer and medical cannabis educator. She educates conventionally-trained physicians, nurses, social workers and dietitians about the clinical applications of medical cannabis.

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