A Guide to CBN: Benefits, Extraction, Storage, Price, Consumption and More

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A Guide to CBN: Benefits, Extraction, Storage, Price, Consumption and More

While CBD and THC are the most popular compounds in the industry, CBN is one of the most well known minor cannabinoids known for its ability to promote maximum wellness. CBN was actually the first cannabinoid ever extracted and has been the subject of decades of research.

Studies have shown that it is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective agent, to name just a few. CBN also supports sleep enhancement, which can improve the lives of millions who suffer from sleep related disorders. CBN’s health benefits along with its extensive history of research and growing popularity, are major reasons why you may want to sell potent CBN products.

What are the Reported Benefits of CBN?

CBN first appeared in scientific literature in the 1940s and was the first isolated cannabinoid to be studied. Since that time, researchers have uncovered a multitude of findings surrounding its therapeutic effects:

Anti-Bacterial

CBN is also the subject of research related to its antibacterial properties. In a 2008 study by the Journal of Natural Products, CBN was shown to exhibit potent activity against a variety of dangerous bacterial strains such as MRSA. While more research is needed, this shows that CBN may be useful as a supplement or in treating widespread bacterial infections.

Anti-Inflammatory

Research indicates that CBN may be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which can help stave off a variety of age and stress-related illnesses. In one animal study, CBN was shown to help treat the symptoms of collagen induced arthritis. Another scientific review indicated that CBN’s anti-inflammatory powers may be able to treat allergy related diseases.

Sleep Aid

Sleep deprivation and insomnia affects millions of Americans and is one of the biggest number one reported  reasons for medical cannabis use. Not But not all strains are as effective for this widespread condition.

While THC is known for sedative properties, research shows that it is much more effective when combined with CBN (Cannabinol). Other studies indicate that isolated CBN may be a powerful sedative and that it may even extend the hours of shut eye.

A recent study investigated the effects of cannabinol (CBN) on sleep architecture and next-day function in patients with clinician-diagnosed insomnia disorder. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-arm, crossover, single-site, pilot study examining the acute effects of oral dose CBN at 30 and 300 mg in twenty patients. Participants underwent overnight sleep assessment using in-laboratory polysomnography and next-day neurobehavioral function tests.

The study found that CBN had a positive effect on sleep continuity, with the 30 mg dose showing the most significant improvement. However, the study had a small sample size, so further research is needed to confirm these findings.

Pain

Pain is quite possibly the number one overall reason why patients turn to cannabis. Research shows that CBN exhibits analgesic (or pain relieving) properties in the body by influencing neurons that are responsible for pain signaling and perception.

Brain Health

CBN has also been shown to be an effective neuroprotective agent with a promise to help delay the onset of neurological diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s. Recently the Journal of Molecular Biology conducted an Alzheimer's study that determined when CBN is paired with THC it synergizes to help reduce oxidative damage, protect from loss of energy, and target inflammation in the brain. While we wait for more studies to confirm the correlation, the research to date is extremely powerful.

Appetite Stimulation

Appetite stimulation is another major reason why patients use cannabis--especially those undergoing chemotherapy. In a study published by the Psychopharmacology Journal, CBN was shown to speed up the desire to eat and increase overall food intake. Studies like this show that CBN could provide an alternative to THC as the cannabinoid of choice for appetite stimulation--especially due to the fact that CBN is (mostly) non-psychoactive.  

How Does CBN Work?

CBN vs CBD

CBN is very similar to CBD in terms of chemical structure and therapeutic profile but it does have important distinctions in how it occurs as well as its potential for mild psychoactive effects.

How Does CBN Occur?

Unlike CBD, whose precursor is CBDA, CBN occurs when THC breaks down. This process happens naturally over time as a result of air, heat or light exposure.

While newly cured hemp and cannabis strains won’t contain a high concentration of CBN, the potency will inevitably increase over time. Therefore CBN is usually the most potent in older, more mature hemp or cannabis strains.

Can CBN Get You High?

While CBD has no psychoactive properties and actually mitigates some of THCs intoxicating effects, CBN is a slightly different story. Current research indicates that CBN exhibits insignificant psychoactive effects when isolated. However, when combined with THC, CBN may increase the effects related to altered perceptions, emotions, cognition, and sociability-- according to a study in the Journal of Pharmacology. It’s important to understand this distinction when determining what type of product or strain will best serve your market.  

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How Does CBN Work in the Body?

Like THC, CBD and other cannabinoids, CBN exerts therapeutic effects through interaction with chemical receptors in nearly every system of the body. The two primary chemical receptors are called CB1 and CB2, which make up what is known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is involved in regulating a wide range of our body’s functions required for optimal health.

CB1 receptors are found throughout the body but are concentrated in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more prevalent in the immune system. CBN interacts with these receptors to help regulate a variety of functions including pain, appetite, hormones, inflammation, and blood pressure. This process is what defines CBN’s ability to promote healing.

CBN Products

CBN may be found in trace amounts in full-spectrum hemp CBD products including vapes, oils, waxes, and edibles. CBN extracts, isolates, and distillates also exist but are less prevalent.

One example of a CBN vape comes from Hempzilla, combining 175 mg of CBD and  CBN in a broad-spectrum formula. The brand says this product is THC-free and terpene-rich, providing a calming, non-psychoactive experience. 

 

CBN Products for Sleep

CBN products specifically tailored for sleep have emerged as a growing category in the hemp and cannabis market due to their potential to address related issues. The market offers a range of CBN-infused evening options, such as tinctures, capsules, and edibles, providing consumers with various choices to suit their preferences. Many also contain THC to maximize the sleep-inducing benefits. 

Extract Lab’s CBN Isolate  

Extract Lab’s CBN Isolate contains 1000mg CBN per jar, ready to be ingested alone or mixed into at-home formulas. Several user reviews indicate the formula works well for sleep and relaxation. For example, customer Ramekul said:

I have used this product in the evening to help cope with insomnia. I use it sublingually and find myself feeling happy and growing tired within 90 minutes. It's an excellent tool and resource.

Kiva Confections Petra CBN 2:1 Blackberry Mints

Kiva's Petra Blackberry CBN mints offer a combination of fresh blackberry and vanilla flavors, blended with sugar-free, plant-based ingredients. With 2 MG THC and 1 MG CBN per mint, Kiva markets these edibles as perfect for those seeking a restful night's sleep or a relaxing power nap.

Metta Hemp CBN:CBD Nitetime Disposable Vape Pen 

Metta Hemp's CBN:CBD Nitetime Hemp Disposable Vape Pen delivers the soothing effects of CBN in a fast-acting form. With a blend of CBD, hemp-derived terpenes, and 100mg CBN, this lab-tested vape pen promotes a sense of ease and relaxation, without any additives or fillers.

MONTKUSH's True Sleep CBN Softgel

MONTKUSH's True Sleep CBN softgel is a sleep supplement derived from organic hemp. It combines a therapeutic terpene blend with 5mg CBN, 25mg CBD, and 1mg THC to promote relaxation and sleep quality through the entourage effect. MONTKUSH prioritizes organic hemp as a pure, chemical-free product. 

Bcureco CBD/CBN Tincture

Bcureco CBD/CBN Tincture Composition: CBD 3.000mg | CBN 1.000mg | THC < 0.03% Ingredients: CBD Extract, CBN Extract, MCT Oil, and Mint Flavoring.

CBN sleep products like these are likely to continue their upward trajectory with ongoing research and positive anecdotal experiences, 

Are There High CBN Strains?

Hemp and cannabis naturally produce CBN in much lower quantities (below 1%) than other cannabinoids.

CBN is primarily produced as a result of the degradation of THC, which can occur over time due to exposure to oxygen, heat, and light. It is not a primary cannabinoid in fresh cannabis or hemp, and its presence is more common in aged plants.

For this reason, high CBN strains are generally derived from mature cannabis plants with high THC levels. Hemp strains can also be genetically bred for CBN content. 

According to Botany Farms, high-CBN strains include Death Bubba, Animal Cookie, Ace of Spades, Blackberry, Bubble Gum, Durban Poison, and Lemon Kush.

What are CBN Crystals?

CBN crystals are natural crystalline products that are extracted from hemp or cannabis plants using CO2. They’re nearly 100% pure and free of THC and odors.

CBN crystals look like powdered sugar and can be melted under the tongue, sprinkled in smokeable flower or mixed with oils. You can also use this pure powder as a dietary supplement by mixing it in smoothies or juices.

Can You Smoke, Vape and Ingest CBN?

Yes. Like CBD and THC, CBN can also be smoked in flower form, vaped in an oil or wax, or ingested sublingually using a tincture.

How Do I Extract CBN?

Like other cannabinoids, CBN is extracted through a supercritical extraction process that uses CO2 or solvents like ethanol to separate the compounds from the plant. The solution is then evaporated with heat under a vacuum to remove all the solvents and leave a high purity CBN concentrate behind. Once extracted, CBN products should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight to preserve potency.

Is CBN Legal?

Although CBN is a byproduct of THC, it’s not a scheduled controlled substance in the United States. CBN is federally legal as long as it’s extracted from hemp. At a state level, CBN is also permitted in all cannabis strains where medical and/or adult use is legal.

What Does CBN Cost Per Kilo?

According to Hemp Benchmarks:

The average observed price for CBN Isolate in March [2023] was $2,014 per kilogram, down 8% from the month prior. Individual transactions were reported to span between $1,250 and $2,600 per kilogram.

How is CBN Potency Measured?

CBN is measured through potency tests in the same way that CBD, THC and other cannabinoids are detected. For edibles and extracts, ACS Laboratory uses Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography Ultraviolet (HPLC-UV) machinery to measure with precision. HPLC is the preferred instrument for these products due to its ability to test samples at room temperature without requiring heat, which changes the results. 

Why Should I Test for CBN?

CBN is the third most widely known cannabinoid and your customers are becoming educated about its effects. CBN is a major topic of discussion and is the subject of numerous studies related to its ability to stave off bacteria, inflammation, neurodegenerative disease, pain and notably its potential to promote deeper, longer sleep. Studies show that more than a third of Americans experience sleep deprivation or poor sleep resulting in high stress, brain fog and illness over time.

Nearly a quarter of Americans each year report periods of acute insomnia that can last for days or weeks. They are desperately turning to cannabis for natural relief but many do not want the psychoactive effects that come with THC. That means CBN has the potential to offer an effective alternative, capturing even more customers. Aside from sleep deprivation, customers want a compound that they know will be effective at addressing their major wellness concerns.

As more research is published surrounding CBN, educated customers want to know about the concentration level of this vital cannabinoid.

At ACS Laboratory, we test hemp and cannabis products for CBN as part of our 11 Analyte Potency Test. Because of its public recognition as a potential remedy to ease pain, inflammation, anxiety and sleeplessness, CBN is one of the most valuable cannabinoids today. We’re confident that accurate CBN potency tests are vital for brands like yours to successfully market your products. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a potency test. We deliver precise results within 2-5 days. 

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