Key takeaways.

  • What is CBN, and how does it relate to sleep?

    Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBN is known for its potential sedative properties, which may be linked to the fact that it forms as the cannabis plant ages and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) breaks down. Factors like extended storage, high temperatures, and exposure to oxygen can also accelerate the conversion of THC into CBN.

  • How should CBN be taken for sleep, and what is the recommended dosage?

    There are no established guidelines for using CBN as a sleep aid due to limited research. However, a placebo-controlled clinical study conducted in 2023 suggests that 20mg of CBN nightly may reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and the number of nighttime awakenings without causing daytime drowsiness.

    Our CBN Sleep Solution contains up to 10 - 20mg CBN per mL, depending on the dose you purchase, plus other sleep-promoting plant extracts like CBD and Valerian Root. For best results, drop it under your tongue 90 minutes before sleep and hold it there for at least a minute, up to two minutes.

  • Is melatonin necessary when using CBN for sleep?

    Some products, like our in-house formula, CBN Sleep Solution, are melatonin-free and loaded with CBN. Omitting melatonin prevents morning grogginess and helps you get the sleep that amplifies energy levels. CBN Sleep Solution also contains clinical-level actives from other ingredients, such as full-spectrum CBD and Valerian Root, to promote calm, relaxation, and improve overall sleep quality.

  • What are the potential effects of CBN on sleep and health?

    CBN has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits, including inducing sleepiness, aiding in pain management, boosting appetite, supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and managing symptoms of conditions like ADHD. Some research explores combining CBN with other compounds in the cannabis plant to enhance its effects, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.

With up to one-third of adults in Canada experiencing insomnia, it's hardly surprising that the market for sleep aids continues to grow. People looking for new products might be wondering whether cannabinol, or CBN, can help them sleep.

Cannabinol (CBN) is one of many cannabinoids, which are a group of chemicals found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

What makes CBN interesting, and likely gives it its sedative properties, is that it's formed as the plant ages and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), begins to break down. Longer storage times, high temperatures, and exposure to oxygen can also encourage the breakdown of THC into CBN.

How THC converts to CBN

While other cannabinoids like THC and cannabidiol (CBD) may be better known, companies are gradually introducing CBN as a potential sleep aid. CBN can come in forms like tinctures, capsules, or gummies, and it may also be combined with other sleep aids such as melatonin.

Our in-house formula, CBN Sleep Solution, is melatonin-free and dripping with CBN. We find that there's no reason to combine melatonin with CBN, which can leave you groggy in the morning instead of helping you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. It's also packed with powerful clinical-level actives, including CBD and Valerian Root, to give you tranquil, uninterrupted sleep that repairs and regenerates, night after night.

In this guide to CBN for sleep, we examine the science behind CBN and how it compares to CBD. We also weigh the benefits and risks of CBN as a sleep aid and offer information for those interested in trying CBN for sleep.

What does CBN do for sleep?

CBN is growing in popularity due to its sleeping aid properties. Here's what we know.

Chemical structure of CBN for article on CBN for sleep

Anecdotally, CBN can help bring on drowsiness. The most logical and recognized claim asserts that aged cannabis products have more CBN and therefore tend to make a person feel sleepy. However, high-quality studies specifically examining the effects of CBN for sleep are just beginning to emerge.

The limited scientific evidence in favor of using cannabinol for sleep comes mostly from small studies conducted in the 1970s and 1980s. In one of these studies, CBN on its own had little to no effect on sleepiness, but participants did feel drowsier when they took CBN together with THC.

Conversely, results from a more recent double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of the safety and effects of CBN with and without CBD on sleep quality says that CBN alone is sufficient to improve sleep quality.

In the study, "individuals receiving 20 mg CBN demonstrated reduced nighttime awakenings and overall sleep disturbance relative to placebo, with no impact on daytime fatigue. The addition of CBD did not positively augment CBN treatment effects."

The findings suggest that taking 20mg of CBN for sleep nightly may help improve overall sleep performance, including the number of times one wakes up throughout the night, without impacting daytime fatigue.

Although cannabis products like CBN show promise for helping people fall asleep quicker and stay asleep through the night, additional high-quality research is needed to understand the potential effects of cannabinoids on sleep.

CBD vs CBN for sleep.

Illustration of canabis leaf in bed for an article on CBN for sleep

Both cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are cannabinoids, compounds that can be isolated from the cannabis plant and make cannabis, well, cannabis.

In your body, they both behave like compounds your body naturally produces called endogenous cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids); these compounds act on receptors in your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in a variety of functions in the body, including regulating homeostasis, or biological balance, as well as appetite, pain, and immune system functioning.

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is perhaps one of the most important systems in your body. It is supreme to and in control of all other systems in the body.

Its job?

To ensure all your other systems are balanced and functioning optimally.

Because the ECS is involved in so many functions, cannabinoids like CBD and CBN can be classified in several ways, one of which is Broad vs Narrow.

CBD is a very broad cannabinoid that does a good job of regulating the stress response, immune system, and general inflammation. However, CBN is very specific and contributes to sleep and the decrease of anxiety.

Although CBN was the first cannabinoid isolated in research, CBD is a more common subject of research due to its diverse therapeutic applications, from helping treat autoimmune disorders to treating depression, anxiety, and addiction.

Whereas CBD is not psychoactive, CBN is considered minimally psychoactive—like a very dialed-down version of the THC high. This sedative quality could in part explain why CBN can help you fall asleep more quickly.

CBD has been widely researched for its anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties, as well as its role in pain management and calming anxiety. For example, clinical trials indicate that CBD is non-inferior to pharmaceutical comparators in studies investigating its benefits for inhibiting the stress response and its manifestations (fear, anxiety, depression, burnout).

Research suggests that CBD may also be beneficial for sleep, especially for those with insomnia or EDS.

One placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in 2023 even suggests that 15mg CBD on its own proved just as effective as a sleep aid as 15mg CBD with 15mg CBN.

However, this could be dose-dependent; as mentioned earlier, another placebo-controlled study found that 20mg of CBN taken nightly was enough to improve sleep quality and duration.

Melatonin vs CBN for sleep.

Melatonin and CBN are two substances that are often used as sleep aids, but they have different mechanisms of action and potential benefits.

Melatonin can be an incredible aid for some people. But for others, it can cause some unwanted side-effects like daytime drowsiness.

That's because their body doesn't need the melatonin. The problem isn't in how much melatonin they're producing. For them, opting to take CBN for sleep may deliver better results.

Here is a brief comparison of melatonin vs CBN for sleep, so you can decide which is right for you:

  • Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm, which is the natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness. It is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and its levels rise and fall according to the light-dark cycle. Melatonin supplements can help people who have trouble falling asleep or adjusting to different time zones by mimicking the natural signal for sleepiness.
  • CBN is a cannabinoid that has a weak psychoactive effect, but it may have stronger sedative and anti-inflammatory properties than other cannabinoids.
  • Melatonin can help reset your circadian rhythm and help you fall asleep faster, while CBN can help support overall sleep restoration by addressing some of the underlying issues that prevent sleep, such as inflammation, anxiety, and pain. However, the effectiveness of both substances may vary depending on the individual, the dosage, the timing, and other factors.
  • Melatonin is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, but it may cause some side effects such as headache, drowsiness, nausea, or vivid dreams. It may also interact with some medications or medical conditions, so it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking melatonin supplements.
  • CBN is less studied than melatonin and its safety profile is not well established. It may cause some side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, or impaired coordination. It may also interact with some medications or medical conditions, especially those that affect the liver or the central nervous system.
  • Melatonin is widely available as an over-the-counter supplement in various forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, or gummies. CBN products are less common, although they're starting to appear in gummies, drinks, tinctures, and more.

We use both CBN and melatonin in three targeted blends because both ingredients have incredible benefits for your sleep.

CBN Sleep Solution is melatonin-free because both CBN and melatonin would be too much. Coincidentally, it's also great if you need that extra anti-inflammatory relief or to manage mild to moderate pain.

CBD Sleep Solution contains melatonin and is great for achieving calm and balance that helps you improve your sleep. 1:1 Sleep Solution contains CBD, THC, and melatonin and is perfect for managing pain and for lifting those spirits.

However, they are not a substitute for good sleep hygiene practices such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, limiting screen time at night, and creating a comfortable and dark sleeping environment.

Effects of CBN.

CBN for Sleep: Revealing the Truth | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.

Although less researched than other cannabinoids, cannabinol has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits. Although some of this research is promising, more studies are needed on the short- and long-term effects of CBN and other cannabinoids.

Some research has investigated the potential benefits of combining CBN with other compounds in the cannabis plant. For example, ongoing studies are investigating whether cannabinoids in combination with terpenes might enhance the benefits of each substance. Terpenes are substances in the cannabis plant that affect its smell and taste, and have therapeutic benefits of their own.

This synergistic interplay between cannabinoids, terpenes, and the other hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant is what's known as the entourage effect. It's what makes every strain and its effects unique.

How to take CBN for sleep.

Collage of sleeping man and CBN-rich flower in article on CBN for sleep

Because there is limited research on the use of CBN, there are no established guidelines for using cannabinol as a sleep aid. This can make it difficult to determine proper dosing when using products such as CBN oil or CBN gummies for sleep.

However, according to the placebo-controlled clinical study we mentioned earlier in this guide, 20mg of CBN nightly can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as the number of times you wake up throughout the night, without causing daytime drowsiness.

In addition, we know that full-spectrum products tend to outperform their isolated counterparts, so we recommend going for a CBN product that includes full-spectrum CBD.

Remember that, sometimes, sleep problems arise due to a sleep disorder or another health condition. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. They can assess your symptoms, order any needed tests, and determine the appropriate treatment if needed.

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