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What is CBN Oil? 5 Promising Benefits With Back-Up Research

What is CBN oil how does it stack up against CBD? Let’s deep dive into Cannabinol (CBN) to learn what it does in the human body.
Hayley Smith
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CBN (Cannabinol) A Therapeutic Sister of CBD & THC

There are well over 100 different cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant and while CBD and THC are certainly the most famous of them all, they’re not the only ones that possess therapeutic benefits.

CBD and THC are considered to be major cannabinoids as they are the most prolific in hemp and cannabis plants. However, with advancements in breeding and seed genetics, farmers are able to cultivate plants in which minor cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN, are encouraged to appear more abundantly.

As research into the major cannabinoids grows, so too does the body of evidence supporting the fact that minor cannabinoids also possess remarkable therapeutic properties.

In this article we answer any questions you may have, such as “what is CBN oil?”, “what are the potential benefits?”, and “what are the best CBN products available?”.

What is CBN Oil?

Cannabinol, or CBN for short, is a rather unusual cannabinoid as you can only find it in aged cannabis or hemp.

Many cannabinoids start out as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and then after being exposed to UV light, oxygen, and heat, through various stages of the plant’s life cycle, they gradually transform into CBN.

Natural enzymes in the plant turn CBGA into either CBG, THCA, CBDA, or CBCA.

At this point, if any of the acids are exposed to heat (decarboxylated) then they will transform into THC, CBD or CBC.

If, however, they’re exposed to UV rays from the sun instead, these compounds will change into CBNA which then, when exposed to heat, turns into CBN oil.

CBN is most widely known for its contribution to the “couch-lock”effect that causes a strain of cannabis and hemp to be classified as indica over sativa. Cannabis and hemp strains that contain high amounts of CBN are known to be more sedating than others.


Potential Benefits of CBN

Scientists are keen to know more about CBN for the same reasons they are interested in CBD.

They are both showing remarkable therapeutic potential but have the added benefit of not possessing any mind-altering effects such as those experienced from taking THC.

CBN doesn’t naturally occur in large quantities like CBD does, so it has proven more difficult to research in the past. The research that has been carried out, however, is promising in many different areas.

The connection between CBN and its “couch-lock” sedative-like state has many people clamouring to buy CBN oil for sleep in particular, so let’s look at CBN oil for sleep first.

CBN oil for Sleep

While many people have often attributed sedative effects to CBN in the past, it appears that on it’s own, CBN may not actually help you sleep.

study back in the 1970’s tested CBN, CBN and THC, and THC on humans, and found that CBN on it’s own didn’t make people feel sleepy.

What’s interesting however, is that THC made people feel a little drowsy but the combination of the two caused the subjects to feel the most drowsy. The same was found with intoxication caused by THC, as CBN enhanced this effect also.

While CBN on its own doesn’t appear to possess sedating properties, it can still help people sleep better by working in synergy with other cannabinoids and compounds.

CBD has already been found to be an effective sleep aid, so this is probably why many companies are combining both CBD and CBN to produce more powerful sleep aids, thanks largely to the entourage effect.

Other companies still are having great success by combining CBN with proprietary blends of cannabinoids and sedating terpenes.

Many customers that have used CBN products are impressed with the results, saying they haven’t slept so well in years.


CBN Oil for Pain Relief

Like many other cannabinoids, CBN has also been found to possess pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties as it exerts influence over certain neuronal activity that is significant in our pain signalling and perception.

Further to this, an animal study conducted in 2019 found that a combination of both CBD and CBN was effective in relieving chronic muscle pain disorders without any central side effects.

This research suggests that non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as CBN and CBD, have great potential in treatment use for disorders such as fibromyalgia and temporomandibular, hopefully avoiding patient dependence on steroids and opiates.

View our best CBD oil for migraines


CBN for Skin

CBN possesses potent antibacterial properties and is one of around five cannabinoids that have been showing potent activity against more than one Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) strain.

These antibacterial properties will no doubt find CBN a prominent place in the acne-fighting division of the cosmetic market before long.

CBN could also be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis as it is one of a handful of cannabinoids (along with THC, CBD, and CBG) that has been found to inhibit keratinocyte proliferation that leads to the skin condition, psoriasis.

CBN for Glaucoma

study back in 2007 showed that many cannabinoids, including CBN, were effective in relieving intraocular eye pressure.

Intraocular eye pressure is a common symptom of glaucoma that can lead to severe damage of the optic nerve, vision loss, and eventually blindness.

CBN oil for Cancer

Cannabinoids and their potential role in treating and managing cancer have long been the subject of interest, but unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research on CBN.

We did find one study on mice, published in The Journal of Cancer Institute back in 1975, which found that CBN not only inhibited “Lewis Lung” tumor growth, but also increased survival time.

CBN oil could also have potential use in palliative care for appetite stimulation.

In a 2012 study, CBN was also shown to increase appetite and overall food consumption in rats, meaning it could be used as an alternative to current THC-based medications.


The 2018 hemp farming act made hemp and all of its derivatives legal at a federal level. Therefore, as long as your CBN product has been extracted from hemp, CBN is completely legal across all 50 states.

Some states operate strict, zero-THC policies, but at the time of writing there are no such restrictions on CBN.

How to Use CBN

Having learned more about the benefits of CBN oils, you may be keen to try it for yourself, to see if it can work for you…

How you use CBN will depend on the product delivery method and the product you choose should be influenced by the reason you want to use it.

If you are interested in the therapeutic benefits of CBN for your skin then you may wish to find a cream or lotion that can be applied topically, directly to the affected area.

If, on the other hand, your reasons for wanting to try CBN are more internal, you could consider smokable hemp, edibles, capsules, or an oil that can be dropped under your tongue.

When working out your ideal dosage, always start low and increase the dosage slowly.

It may help to keep a diary to monitor how much you’ve taken and how you felt afterwards and slowly increase your dose until you achieve the symptom relief you’re looking for.

Capsules and gummies are ideal for consistent dosing but it may be easier to work out your dose using a CBN oil or smokable product as you can alter the dosage more accurately.

Choosing the Best CBN Product

The market is already responding to CBN research findings and you can now find products that are particularly rich in this cannabinoid.

Due to the fact that CBN is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp, it will also be present in most broad or full spectrum CBD products, although it may appear in lower concentrations.

Full spectrum CBD products contain all of the plants naturally occurring compounds including the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. By making sure that the product is derived from hemp will also ensure that it contains 0.3% or less THC and will therefore not make you feel high.

A good broad spectrum product should contain all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, but without any THC. These products are great if you live in a state where THC is banned outright, but if you’re able to, we recommend you buy full spectrum as the small amount of THC can still offer benefits, including contributing to the entourage effect of the overall product.

Check the third-party lab reports of the products to make sure that they contain a concentration of CBN before you buy them as the certificates of analysis should offer a breakdown of all the cannabinoids present in a particular product.

Avoid buying from companies that don’t conduct third-party lab testing.

If you’re considering buying smokable hemp then you also have the added benefit of being able to keep hold of it in order to let it age more.

Although this is far from being an exact science, the longer you hold onto it for, the higher concentrations of CBN will be allowed to develop.

Where to Buy CBN

If you’re wondering where to buy CBN oil, or any other CBN product, then the easiest place is probably going to be online as you have so much choice available at your fingertips.

If, however, you prefer to buy these products at a store then you can visit your local head shop or alternative health food store, to ask if they stock it.

More and more these days, cannabinoid products are also available at supermarkets and other venues so keep your eyes peeled in the beauty, health and supplement sections.

Best CBN Oil 2024

As authorities in the field, people often ask us what our favorite products are and when it comes to CBN, there are two products that stand out for us in particular.

1. CBD American Shaman

CBN from American Shaman

CBD American Shaman only extract from the finest quality hemp plants, cultivated on sustainable farms in the USA and their industry-leading standards in product quality and safety are certified by the US Hemp Authority.

Their products use nanotechnology to decrease the particle size of the cannabinoids, meaning they are faster and more easily absorbed by the body.

CBD American Shaman is also another company that gives back by offering a financial assistance program to veterans, disabled and low-income households, to try and offer better health and wellness to everyone who needs it.


CBNight from CBD American Shaman is another great CBN oil product.for sleep that contains a massive 125.4mg CBN per 30ml bottle (just over 1floz).

They use a proprietary blend of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes (undisclosed), which are naturally found in the hemp plant and can help to enhance relaxation and support healthy sleep cycles.

View price here

2. Smilyn Wellness Gel Caps

Smilyn Wellness CBN gel caps
Smilyn Wellness CBN Gel Caps

Smilyn Wellness has only recently come into my radar of great CBD brands. Their broad-spectrum CBN Gel Caps harness the power of adaptogens reishi and ashwagandha, on top of CBN and other cannabinoids.

Like the tincture from CBD American Shaman, Smilyn’s CBN Gel Caps are also marketed for sleep, but they will also be fantastic for pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety, and for boosting the immunes system.

I know this is a list of Best CBN Oils, but in the case of this product, the CBN oil is inside the gel caps! They will be the best option for anyone that doesn’t like the taste of oil or the feeling of holding it under your tongue.

View price here

3. Plant People

Plant People CBN drops

This oil contains both CBD and CBN and although it is marketed as a sleep aid, we also think this would prove to be a great CBN oil for pain relief.

Use this oil at night to help you achieve a pain-free, restful night’s sleep.

The formula is made using organic full spectrum hemp extract with 697.8mg of CBD and 28.2mg of CBN in each 30ml bottle (just over 1floz), infused with USDA organic coconut MCT oil.

As well as the cannabinoids, the oil also contains an organic terpene blend including linalool, myrcene, humulene, geraniol, terpineol, delta-3-carene, and nerolidol. These synergistic botanicals will help promote relaxation for a restorative night’s sleep, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and balanced the following day.

View price here

Hemp for Health

Whichever product you choose, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’re enhancing the power of nature to enhance your health and wellness, as opposed to turning to OTC chemical substitutes.

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