More people are starting to discover that cannabidiol is not the only compound in the hemp plant that could be quite useful to us. The hemp plant’s flowering buds naturally offer hundreds of unique compounds that each boast their own special properties that may deliver effects to the human body. One hemp compound that’s getting more attention is CBN.
CBN is cannabinol, and it’s a minorly occurring compound in the hemp plant. It’s also a cannabinoid, like CBD, which means that it is processed by the body in a highly unique way that makes it quite different from other plant compounds that many of us are familiar with.
The biggest appeal of CBN seems to be its potential sleep-enhancing effects. An influx CBN products are hitting stores, being marketed as products that may help a person calm down and get more shuteye on a nightly basis. But can CBN actually deliver on these frequently referenced claims?
Our Sleep Cycle and How it Can Be Disturbed
We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy and regular sleep schedule, as sleep is one of several major components that relate to our overall health. But, still, many people struggle greatly with getting enough sleep each night. Some have a hard time falling asleep, while others find themselves waking up repeatedly throughout the night or waking up far earlier than they had intended.
Most people won’t be surprised that the most common culprit behind insomnia is stress. Most of us have had at least some nights here and there when we couldn’t sleep because we simply had too much on our mind, or had an important event coming up the next day.
When we’re under stress, our brains secrete hormones that directly interfere with sleep. When we go to bed, our cortisol is supposed to be at its lowest point during the day, and our serotonin and melatonin levels are supposed to be high. This allows us to feel a sense of calm that allows the mind and body to drift off with ease.
But, if we are constantly secreting hormones like cortisol due to an abundance of stress, melatonin and serotonin are inevitably suppressed. As a result, we find ourselves feeling “wired but tired,” as our bodies need sleep, but our minds are simply too active to allow that to happen.
Of course, stress is not the only cause for poor sleep. There are various physiological issues that can interfere with sleep, including hormonal imbalances, dietary issues and poor habits, such as consuming caffeine late at night. Also, many people who suffer from chronic pain have a hard time sleeping as the pain keeps them awake.
Cannabinoids, CBD, CBN and Sleep Insomnia
So, what does sleep have to do with CBN? Well, before we get into that specifically, we need to explain the role that cannabinoids play in our overall wellbeing. Cannabinoids are a class of compounds native to the cannabis genus, to which hemp belongs.
Of course, marijuana also belongs to the cannabis genus, and has just as many cannabinoids as the hemp plant. But, today we are focusing on the cannabinoids found in hemp, as hemp is legal, non-psychoactive and widely available, and CBD and CBN products found on the market are derived from hemp, not marijuana.
What makes cannabinoids so fascinating is that they directly interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is highly unique. The endocannabinoid system is a bodily system found in the 1990s, and since then, we’ve learned a lot about how it works, and the role it plays in our health. The endocannabinoid system is tasked with managing homeostasis, through a network of cannabinoid receptors found in every organ and tissue of the body.
Each cannabinoid receptor correlates to a bodily process, and it bonds with cannabinoids in order to regulate these processes. When we consume cannabinoids from the hemp plant, we’re feeding the cannabinoid receptors so that our body can potentially reach a state of equilibrium through a series of complex regulatory actions.
Sleep is, of course, a bodily process that, as we said, involves the specific balance of particular hormones in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors in the brain play a role in regulating these hormones so that they are secreted at the right times during the day to promote a healthy sleep schedule.
What is CBN?
CBN is a minorly occurring cannabinoid in hemp, as we said earlier. There’s only about 1% CBN in the hemp flower, compared to about 20% CBD. Therefore, it’s studied by researchers far less aggressively due to how much harder it is to extract a sample amount. However, we do have enough studies on CBN at this point to be able to see some pretty promising research on what it may be capable of.
How CBN Oil Can Help With Sleep?
CBN has been shown in studies to have the potential to aid in sleep. It’s been noted for its unique calming effects on the mind and body, and references to these effects date back several decades, as it turns out. The majority of people who seek out CBN products do so because they have found that it’s particularly useful for sleep-related purposes, as well as reducing stress through its calming effects. CBN may help regulate the specific hormones involved in the sleeping process.
What Forms Does CBN Come in?
Generally speaking, you can find CBN products that are extremely similar to CBD products. In other words, the market offers tinctures, capsules, gummies and more. Some CBN products contain CBN isolate, while others are made from hemp strains that are bred to yield higher CBN levels. Further, some CBN products consist of full spectrum, broad spectrum or CBD isolate hemp extract that is enhanced with CBN isolate, to offer a wide variety of compounds in hemp with particularly high levels of cannabinol.
How is CBN Made?
CBN occurs naturally in hemp but making a CBN isolate is a tricky process. Because CBN is so lowly occurring in nature, it’s hard to experience its unique effects without producing a concentrated extract of the compound. There are various methods that can be used to extract and isolate the compound, with most revolving around a distillation process or a supercritical CO2 extraction.
Can CBD and CBN Be Taken Together for Sleep?
A lot of people are currently using CBD for sleep and may wonder what would happen if they combined it with CBN. Well, remember that these two plants naturally sit side by side in the hemp plant, and so combining them is not considered dangerous in any way. In fact, they can work together synergistically, offering more in the way of sleep-enhancing properties. There have been studies on using cannabidiol for sleep, with promising results.
How to Use CBN for Sleep
If you wish to use CBN for sleep, you’ll need to find a CBN product. While full and broad spectrum hemp products contain CBN, the content is too low for you to notice the unique effects of this particular cannabinoid. This means you must find a CBN specific product that uses an isolate version of CBN, with much higher quantities than regular CBD oils.
You should look for a CBN product that appeals to you in terms of its delivery method along with milligram strength and take it just like you would CBD. Delivery methods include tinctures, softgels, and gummies. While MG strength can range from 300mg-500mg in an entire bottle. Or 5-10mg per use.
Then, you would time it before bedtime so that it peaks when needed. And, like CBD, CBN may be more effective if you take it on a nightly basis so that it can accumulate in the system.
How to Use a Combination of CBN and CBD for Sleep
If you wish to use both CBN and CBD for sleep, you can simply take both a CBD and a CBN product before bedtime or choose a specialized product that contains high levels of both of these cannabinoids.
Other Natural Options for Sleep
In addition to cannabinoids, there are other plant-based products that may enhance sleep. Let’s go over the most popular ones.
Melatonin is the hormone that is produced in the brain, that signals that it’s time to sleep. Melatonin-infused supplements are typically derived from food sources high in this hormone.
Valerian is a perennial flower, with a root that is known for offering anxiolytic properties. Its calming effects make it a popular sleep enhancer.
Passionflower is a native herb that seems to calm down the nervous system, which can make it easier for a person to fall asleep.
Used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, skullcap is an herb that comes from the mint family. It’s commonly used for anxiety relief.
A Goodnight’s Sleep Could Start with Cannabinol
CBN may offer unique calming properties that make it worthy of consideration apart from CBD. If you wish to use cannabinol for sleep, we recommend that you speak to your doctor, and choose a high-quality, lab-tested product from a trusted hemp company.