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Cannabinol (CBN) is a phyto cannabinoid derived from the cannabis sativa plant and is usually connected to products promoting sleep and having sedative properties. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support these claims and a few scientific studies. Here are some highlights.


Antibacterial Properties– One study from 2008 looked at how effective CBN was at killing off MRSA bacteria and findings indicate CBN has antibacterial properties after effectively killing off MRSA bacteria.

CBN used in topical applications has the potential for inhibiting keratinocyte proliferation (low micromolar) via CBR-independent mechanisms and has been suggested for psoriasis conditions. (Wilkinson & Williamson, 2007)

This study demonstrated possible topical applications for CBN in treating burns (Qin et al., 2008; Russo, 2014).

Anti-Inflammatory Effects– A study in 2016 found that CBN reduced the inflammation associated with arthritis in rats.

Neuroprotective – A study conducted in 2005 found that CBN delayed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rats.

Appetite Stimulant – In another rodent study researchers concluded that CBN made rats eat more food and for a longer duration.

Pain Reliever – In a 2019 rodent study researchers discovered that CBN relieved pain in rats.

Sleep Aid – CBN has been shown to attach to cannabinoid receptors in the brain resulting in a meditative effect, inducing sleep. According to a study done on CBN’s sedative effect, 2.5 mg of CBN is equivalent to 5mg of diazepam.

Bone Cell Growth – CBN stimulates recruitment of quiescent mesenchymal stem cells in marrow (10 μM) promoting bone formation (Scutt & Williamson, 2007)

CBN has been shown to decrease heart rate without affecting coronary blood flow, to decrease intestinal motility, and to inhibit platelet aggregation.

CBN is a downregulator of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), and counters the effects of THC, which increases NF-κB.214

What’s interesting is that CBN was the first cannabinoid to be isolated and is derived from THC. As cannabis plants age they are exposed to oxygen, heat and other conditions depending on storage and begin to break down. During this process, the cannabinoid THC degrades into THC-A and further converts into CBN.


Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study Giovanni Appendino  1 Simon GibbonsAnna GianaAlberto PaganiGianpaolo GrassiMichael StavriEileen SmithM Mukhlesur Rahman


Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns – Jonathan A Farrimond  1 Benjamin J WhalleyClaire M Williams


Anticonvulsant effects of cannabinoids in mice: Drug interactions within cannabinoids and cannabinoid interactions with phenytoin

Cannabinol – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics