Cannabinol (CBN) is a non-psychoactive oxidation product of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is most abundant in dried and older hemp raw materials. The acidic form of CBN under the influence of heating is decarboxylated to CBN.
The concentration of CBN in hemp products depends on their age and storage conditions. It is an insignificant component of fresh hemp because it is a product of THC oxidation. CBN is also a weak agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors, showing an effect of 10% compared to THC. This cannabinoid has a potential therapeutic use in the treatment of diseases in which cannabinoid receptors are expressed in an increased way.
Unlike other phytocannabinoids, CBN is not derived from cannabigerol (CBG). After the discovery of CNB, it was thought to be an inactive component of cannabis, however, it was found to have many medicinal properties, mainly due to its action on cannabinoid receptors.
Researchers have found that CBN may stimulate appetite in people with anorexia, and in patients whose lack of appetite may result from depression, cancer treatment and Alzheimer's disease, among others.
According to a study presented in 2003, CBN also shows that it has a strong analgesic effect. Interestingly, CBN and THC were the only cannabinoids that relieved pain by releasing endorphins and relaxing blood vessels.
CBN is arguably the most sedative cannabinoid of all, providing a promising tool for treating anxiety- and stress-related diseases.