CBD vs. CBN: The Benefits and Differences

CBD vs. CBN: The Benefits and Differences

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Cannabis is more popular and commonplace today than it's ever been. While THC and CBD continue to be the big players in cannabis products, different kinds of cannabinoids are also starting to make a splash for their potential benefits. One of the newer compounds starting to make headway is CBN, and we often get questions about the differences when looking at CBN vs CBD. 

In this article, we'll talk about what CBN is, how it compares to CBD, and why you might seek out a CBN product for yourself. 

CBN and CBD: What are they?

CBD (or cannabidiol) and CBN (or cannabinol) are both cannabinoids found in cannabis. Since they're cannabinoids, they are able to interact with your endocannabinoid system like the natural cannabinoids your body produces. This system is responsible for regulating your appetite, your sleep cycle, and your mood. 

tincture of CBD oil dripping from single hand

Remember, comparing CBN and CBD is not like comparing hemp oil vs CBD oil. Both CBD and CBN will have some kind of impact on your mind and body, unlike hemp oil, which has no cannabinoids present. 

Are CBN vs CBD Similar?

Both CBN and CBD are naturally found in cannabis, and they both can have an effect on your body. As we already said, they can both interact with your endocannabinoid system, and theyare potential options for helping to manage pain. 

CBN vs CBD: The Differences

There are several notable differences between CBN and CBD. First, CBD is naturally found in high quantities in hemp, a certain kind of cannabis. CBN, on the other hand, is usually created as a byproduct of decarbing THC (which is when THC is exposed to high temperatures). That means that CBN doesn't occur naturally in high concentrations in any form of cannabis

How they impact your body is another difference. CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it won't get you high. CBN, while extremely mild, can produce a mild high, especially if you're someone who is already sensitive to the psychoactive effects of THC. You have to have a decent concentration of CBN to feel high, but it's something to consider if taking CBN products. 

CBN vs CBD: What are the Benefits and Uses?

CBD has been widely available long enough that most cannabis customers have an answer to the question of "how does CBD make you feel?" In short, it doesn't get you high, it has anti-inflammatory properties (which can help manage pain) and is being studied for a number of health uses like treating seizures. It may also be able to treat anxiety, depression, and even sleep disorders. 

hand reaching for CBD gummies for sleep on nightstand

CBN has a different set of benefits. Early research suggests that CBN might have neuroprotective properties, which can delay the onset of certain nerve-related diseases. It also shows promise as a pain reliever and helping to treat sleep disorders, and CBN can help to stimulate your appetite, similarly to THC.

You should keep in mind that the research on the effects of CBN is very early. It's possible that some of these effects aren't as strong as early research suggests, and there may be other effects that research has yet to uncover. 

CBD vs CBN: Are There Side Effects?

As with any cannabis product, you should be on the lookout for side effects. CBN and CBD share similar side-effects, most of which can be avoided by taking each kind of product in moderation. Side effects to look out for include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleepiness 
  • Light-headedness or dizziness 

Can You Mix CBD and CBN?

You can mix CBD and CBN for potentially more potent effects. In fact, there's been some research examining how CBD and CBN work together, and using both might create a strong pain-relieving effect while avoiding some of the negative side-effects of more potent doses. 

This combining effect is known as the entourage effect, which describes cannabinoids amplifying their effect when taken together. Research is still ongoing about how cannabinoids may work together to create the entourage effect, but early research suggests that potency may increase while reducing the psychoactive effects of compounds like CBN or THC.

CBN or CBD, which works better for Sleep?

Currently, it's hard to say. Earlier in this article, we linked to an early study that suggested CBN could provide unique sleep benefits, but another recent study suggests that CBN doesn't help you sleep any more than a placebo. You may need to take CBN in high enough doses to feel a light high from it, which means that taking THC may provide an easier, more potent benefit.

bottle of cbd gummies for sleep on bed with woman behind reading book

CBD, on the other hand, has a solid body of research suggesting it can help with sleep. This could be by helping manage anxiety disorders, which in turn will make sleep easier, as well as the sedative effect more potent doses of CBD can provide. 

At the end of the day, cannabinoids affect people differently, so you may need to try both products to determine which one might be best to help you sleep. 

What Makes CBN More Expensive Than CBD?

The reason why CBN is more expensive than CBD is because harvesting CBN requires far more processing. While CBN exists in trace amounts in cannabis, it's usually created as a byproduct when THC begins to degrade or decarb. This means, in order to have a potent CBN product, you have to start with THC and manually degrade it, and then harvest the CBN. 

CBD, on the other hand, is naturally found in large amounts in hemp. While there is some processing involved to strip CBD from the plant material, there isn't any unique or special processing that needs to take place to get enough CBD to infuse into products. So, CBD products tend to be more widely available and less expensive. 

Whether you buy CBN products online or CBD gummies online, always make sure there are available 3rd party lab reports available. This will help to confirm the concentration of any given cannabinoid in a product, which is especially important for CBN products, as they are usually very expensive. 

Can CBN Make You Sleepy?

CBN in high enough quantities can make you sleepy, similar to how getting high off THC can also make you sleepy. However, as we mentioned earlier, research doesn't seem to suggest that CBN has any unique or special properties that help to encourage sleep any more than CBD or THC. 

If you're looking for a cannabis product to help with sleep and are comparing CBN vs CBD, you're better off looking at CBD gummies for sleep. They're far less expensive, easier to find, and have a solid body of research showing how they can help encourage healthy sleeping habits. 

Does CBN Make You High?

There is a possibility that CBN can make you a little high, but you'd have to take a lot of it and already be sensitive to the effects of cannabis. The reason why the possibility exists is because CBN interacts with your brain in the same way that THC does (which should make sense, since CBN is created as THC degrades).

This makes it possible for CBN to give a very light high. However, the likelihood of this happening is small, and any high you feel won't be intoxicating (like getting stoned from THC). Instead, you may feel sleepiness, or other sedative effects. 

We always encourage customers that are starting a new cannabis product to start with low doses and work their way up to a comfortable potency. In general, if you're concerned that CBN will make you high like THC, rest assured that this won't happen. 

CBN Takeaway

CBN may offer exciting new benefits that work together with CBD to help promote calmness and better sleep. CBN-only products are still very expensive, so full-spectrum CBD products (like our sleep gummies that contain CBN), are the best ways to get a taste of the benefits CBN may offer.