CBD vs CBN: The Cannabinoids Showdown

by Jordan Hall on Mar 28, 2023



Lately, CBD has been known to make headlines and spark conversations. It's becoming so popular that it can now be found in most households alongside its relative, THC. Nowadays, you'll even find CBD as an option on the menu at your local coffee shop!

With the current booming enthusiasm for CBD, it's easily forgotten that there are over a hundred other cannabinoids besides CBD and THC. As researchers continue to uncover the therapeutic advantages of cannabis-derived cannabinoids, one essential question arises: when will we broaden our scope to explore these additional cannabinoids further?

In this article, we'll focus on two cannabinoids, CBD and CBN, to understand the difference between them.

Let's uncover why this incredible compound is so extraordinary and how it compares to CBD!

Table of Contents

  • CBD vs CBN
  • What is CBN?
  • How does CBN affect us?
  • Challenges to CBN research
  • Benefits of CBN & CBD
  • Conclusion

CBD vs CBN: The Cannabinoids Showdown

Step into the realm of cannabinoids! CBD, which is found in hemp and marijuana from cannabis plants, has a concentration range typically between 1-25%. It generally follows THC as the second most prevalent cannabinoid.

THC has long been recognized for its mind-altering effects, however, CBD's popularity is exploding in the wake of the plethora of healing benefits it provides. Those fighting chronic stress often find solace in CBD gummies or edibles while others use oil, balm, and capsules containing this compound to alleviate muscle pain, insomnia, and sadness.

Now let's talk about CBN.

What is CBN?

Even though you may not be familiar with CBN, it is in fact one of the original cannabinoids uncovered and separated back in the 1930s. Long before THC was recognized as an active compound, people believed that it was CBN that caused marijuana's mind-altering effects!

As THC ages, it undergoes a process of oxidation which results in the creation of CBN. Although trace amounts can be found in new-growth cannabis plants, this compound is much more plentiful when derived from aged specimens.

CBN is similar to CBD in many ways, yet it typically appears at a much lower rate within cannabis plants - normally just below 1%. Depending on the exposure to oxygen and heat, this amount can change. In actuality, as the cannabis plant ages its THC content disintegrates into CBN!

How does CBN affect us?

Although we don't have much knowledge about CBN yet, what little is available implies that it cannot induce intoxication on its own. Nevertheless, when cannabis' primary component—THC—binds with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, it produces a feeling of euphoria known as being "high". 

This happens due to THC's activation of your body's CB1 receptors. In comparison to other cannabis components and products, there are still many unknowns regarding CBN and its effects.

Just like THC, CBN binds to your body's CB1 receptors but with only a fraction of the strength. Therefore, it eliminates any kind of feeling associated with being 'high', making it the ideal choice for those who are seeking relief without getting intoxicated.

To attain any psychoactive effects, one would need to ingest a considerable amount of CBN.

Challenges to CBN research

Despite the legal constraints and lack of breeding strategies for cannabis plants with elevated CBN levels, scientists are still able to produce this cannabinoid through synthesis. Nevertheless, these hindrances have made it difficult to delve deeper into understanding its therapeutic capabilities.

Although there is insufficient data to corroborate it, this relatively obscure cannabinoid could perhaps provide some health and wellness benefits.

Benefits of CBN & CBD

Although researchers have been aware of CBN for some time, there is still much to be discovered about this molecule. However, what we do know is certainly positive and inspiring! Scientists are making headway in uncovering the details behind CBN's effects that rival those already established for CBD and THC.

CBN offers numerous advantages, but none more remarkable than its sedative properties. This makes it an optimal sleep aid and anti-stress medication, with evidence even suggesting that its relaxant effects are similar to those of diazepam! A 1995 study on mice further ascertained that the consumption of CBN may significantly prolong sleeping time too.

What's more, the advantages of CBN for sleep are significantly enhanced when taken in combination with CBD. Praised for its capability to boost REM sleep, minimize nightmares and treat sleeping disorders including insomnia or sleep apnea – leveraging these two cannabinoids can improve your quality of rest exponentially.

Not only are CBN and CBD helpful for aiding sleep, but their anti-inflammatory properties can help to diminish pain too. In fact, research has even suggested that these solutions are more potent when combined together!


The breadth of applications for CBN is remarkable. Aside from CBD's already established use in treating pain, insomnia, and stress relief- its potential may be further amplified when paired with CBN.

CBD has been the beacon in the cannabis industry lately- however soon researchers might turn their attention to other cannabinoids as well such as CBN! It could even eventually become a regular fixture at coffee shops just like CBD! We are excitedly waiting to find out what comes next!

Tell us what you think of the potential of CBN in the comments section! We value your thoughts and appreciate that you took the time out to read this. Please share your opinion with us - it matters!

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