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What is CBN?: The Real Story Behind It's Production And CBN For Sleep.

Updated: Feb 18

Sleeping Woman

What IS CBN?

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has been gaining popularity in recent years for its potential health benefits. One of its lesser-known counterparts, CBN, has also been making waves in the wellness industry as a sleep aid. But what is CBN, and do people use CBN for sleep?

CBN, short for cannabinol, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is a byproduct of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, that forms when THC is exposed to light, heat, and oxygen over time. THC converts to other cannabinoids in an effort to become a more stable molecule. Cannabinoids are very close in chemical structure and molecular weight, but some of the minor differences in structure make big differences in effect. Unlike THC, CBN is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a "high" as THC does.

Researching CBN For Sleep.

Studies have shown that using CBN for sleep may offer some benefit. In a 1975 study, researchers found that CBN had sedative effects in mice. More recent studies have also suggested that using CBN for sleep may have some potential benefit. One study published in The Journal of Sleep Medicine in 2008 found that CBN increased sleep time in rats. Another study published in The Journal of Pharmacology in 2017 found that when using CBN for sleep, it had a mild sedative effect in humans. Yet another study and some anecdotal reports indicate that using CBN for sleep on its own had no impact but was somewhat effective when combined with THC. Still, others have reported that using too much CBN for sleep made it more difficult for them to fall asleep. So you can see that there is no hard evidence for using CBN for sleep, possibly due to the lack of studies, like most cannabinoids, but from what we have seen, we are not convinced about using CBN for sleep yet.

It's not all doom and gloom however, using CBN for sleep may offer some potential benefits. Just remember that you may have differing results when using CBN for sleep depending on the dose and how your body reacts. You should also thoroughly vet the products you use and the company that makes them.

The Potential Benefits Of Using CBN For Sleep:

  1. Sedative Properties: CBN has been shown to have sedative effects, which can help promote relaxation and facilitate the onset of sleep. It may help individuals fall asleep faster and experience a deeper, more restful sleep.

  2. Sleep Duration: Studies suggest that CBN may prolong the duration of sleep, allowing individuals to stay asleep for longer periods without disturbances. This can lead to improved overall sleep quality and feelings of refreshed wakefulness upon waking.

  3. Pain Relief: CBN may possess analgesic properties, which can be beneficial for individuals who experience pain or discomfort that interferes with sleep. By alleviating pain, CBN may help promote more restful sleep and reduce nighttime awakenings.

  4. Anxiety Reduction: Some research indicates that CBN may have anxiolytic effects, meaning it can help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of calmness. By reducing anxiety levels, CBN may make it easier for individuals to relax and fall asleep.

  5. Muscle Relaxation: CBN may possess muscle-relaxant properties, which can help relieve tension and stiffness in the body. By promoting muscle relaxation, CBN may contribute to a more comfortable sleep environment and reduce the likelihood of waking up due to muscle discomfort.

Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBN on sleep, preliminary evidence suggests that it may offer promising benefits for individuals struggling with sleep disturbances or insomnia. As with any supplement or sleep aid, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBN to address sleep issues, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Due to the limited and conflicting studies on the benefits of CBN for sleep and the ongoing issues we have found with sourcing or creating clean CBN, Blackhouse Botanicals does not offer a product containing CBN. Creating a CBN product would be easy enough; we just don't feel it offers enough of our customers any different or more profound benefits than our current products to justify selling it. Instead, we have created a number of incredibly clean, safe, and extremely effective products using CBD, CBG, and THC that work amazingly well, and adding CBN for sleep is just not necessary. Many more studies show that CBD and THC may induce sleep faster and help you stay asleep longer, and we are more confident in the safety profile of these products. Check out our customer reviews, and you'll see what we mean. However, the research on using CBN for sleep is still in its early stages, and more studies are needed to determine its effectiveness. It's important to note that using any product including CBN for sleep is not a magic cure. It should be used with other healthy sleep habits, such as establishing a regular sleep routine, avoiding caffeine and electronics before bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.

Not All CBN Is Created Equally.

Most (if not all) of the commercially available CBN is produced using a conversion process. This process starts with pure CBD isolate and uses isomerization to convert the CBD to CBN by pushing it down the degradation pathway. During a conversion process, CBD will follow the degradation pathway to Delta 9 THC, then Delta 8 THC, and finally CBN, its most stable form. This process is not uncommon, and similar processes are used to create many household products. The issue comes when there is a lack of testing and tight parameters used during the conversion, and the "clean up" process at the end of the conversion is insufficient to remove or neutralize contaminants. A common chemical used in CBN producers' processes is sulfur, which is exceedingly difficult to remove. Several samples of CBN we have received still have a sulfur smell, meaning there are probably residual amounts in the sample. This is not something you want to ingest.

The conversion of cannabinoids is not uncommon and can be done in a manner that creates a safe product. CBN is more challenging to create in a conversion process because stronger chemicals and longer conversion processes are required to push the cannabinoid further down the degradation pathway. These conversions are also more likely to create weird isomers and side reactions if not done by a trained chemist. There are many different ways to convert a cannabinoid, and we don't claim to know everyone's process, but we do know some unsafe products exist, and you should be aware of this.

Blackhouse Botanicals relies on science; we use research and hard data to make product decisions. We have long been frustrated by the misinformation, ongoing legislation attempts, and media attacks on Delta 8 THC, which uses a shorter, more controllable, and easier-to-neutralize conversion process when compared to CBN. Yet, there are no attempts to ban CBN. We have thought for years what a shame it is that a more studied and useful cannabinoid like Delta 8 THC is a casualty of ignorance, misinformation, and the greed of the marijuana industry while CBN is overlooked and readily available. Don't take this as a condemnation of CBN itself; we are just being transparent about the lack of research and oversight on the industry members producing it. We believe that all cannabinoids should be thoroughly researched before they are dismissed. We wouldn't want to overlook a possible miracle cure now, would we?


There are many more studies and more positive anecdotal evidence that CBD and THC product are more effective or just as beneficial as using CBN for sleep. Take a look at our wide variety of edibles that our customers swear by. As with any supplement, it's essential to approach it cautiously and talk to your healthcare provider. If you decide to try CBN for sleep, thoroughly research the company you are buying from and check that they provide a FULL panel of test results on their website. If you take CBN for sleep and it works well for you, we couldn't be happier. Just please be sure it's a clean product.

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