Cannabinol or CBN is generally classified as one of the components of the cannabis plant, called cannabinoids: THC, CBD, CBN, etc… They are considered to be liposoluble molecules classified according to their chemical structure. Like many other components of cannabis, CBN is rejected by water, as it is only soluble in a fatty body.
CBN has a specific relationship with THC: unlike the other molecules, CBN does not come directly from the cannabis plant, but from the exterior oxidation of THC. Therefore, in its degradation, THC leaves the molecule with a low rate of psychoactive effects. Heat and light favour this process.
One of the most well-known aspects about CBN is that when cannabis is cut and stored, THC eventually becomes CBN. In this sense the presence of CBN in cannabis is usually associated with the aging of the plant: as THC disappears, the concentration of CBN increases.
The properties of cannabinol
One of the characteristics of CBN is that it is contains psychoactive components, but they are between 8 and 10 times less strong than in THC, so its effects are attenuated. Several studies have investigated its effects on mice and pigeons comparing it with the effect of THC . Thus, it has been found that one of the most important benefits of cannabinol are the relaxing effects when doses much more potent than THC are delivered. Other studies have also detected particularly sedative side effects of CBN, which could improve sleep quality.
Combined with different terpenes (hydrocarbon compounds produced by several plants), CBN has analgesic, anti-insomnia, anti-convulsive and anxiolytic properties, among others. Other studies have also observed anti-bacteriological, anti-inflammatory and appetite stimulant effects. However, there is still a long way to go in order to investigate the full therapeutic potential of cannabinol.
Cannabimietic activity of cannabinol in rats and pigeons, T.U.C. A.J. Hiltunena, Accepted 29 April 1986.