CBD vs CBN: A Guide to Cannabinol

January 26, 2024
CBD vs CBN: A Guide to Cannabinol
Published on  Updated on  

Written by Clay Steakly


You’re probably here because you’re already familiar with CBD, and maybe even its less famous cousin, CBG. Perhaps, you’ve even dipped your toe into the pool of legal THC products, as well. Now, you’re seeing the term CBN pop up in various health products and, perhaps, you’re starting to get confused, annoyed, or both. What is CBN, anyway? Why does the CBD industry throw around so many terms and abbreviations? This whole thing is starting to look like a bowl of alphabet soup.

To best understand what CBN is, we’ll first need to drop a little CBD education on you. For starters, CBD and CBN are both phytocannabinoids synthesized by cannabis plants. But there’s more to it than that!

Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at CBD vs CBN, including an overview of cannabis, hemp, CBD and CBN oil, and more. We’ll look at what CBN is, its various effects and potential health benefits, and how this relative of CBD and THC is used in cutting-edge hemp products. 

CBD, CBN & Other Cannabis Compounds

Cannabinoids are molecular compounds produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabis creates these compounds to serve several purposes, including warding away insect predators and grazing animals, protecting the plant from harsh weather, and attracting pollinators. There are around 113 cannabinoids known in the cannabis plant, with the two most famous cannabinoids being cannabidiol, or CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC

What Is CBD?

CBD comes from CBDA and is naturally produced by the cannabis plant, as is THC. In fact, CBD and THC are the two cannabinoids that appear in the greatest quantities in cannabis, which is why they are referred to as the “major cannabinoids.” 

Cannabis CBD is non-psychoactive (it doesn’t cause a high) and carries with it a number of health benefits (some of CBD’s benefits we’ll discuss in a moment). Delta-9 THC is psychoactive and does cause a high … hence all the laws and regulations surrounding this cannabis compound. Here at CBDfx, we use the low-THC form of cannabis, known as hemp, to create all of our legal CBD and THC products, including gummies, tinctures, and more. 

But there are other cannabinoids, as well, which occur in lesser quantities and are known as “minor cannabinoids.” These include CBG, CBC, and the star of this article, CBN (cannabinol). 

What Do Cannabinoids Like CBD & CBN Do?

Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system, which is a series of chemical receptors closely integrated with our central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as systems that regulate digestion, sleep, and more, helping them to maintain homeostasis (balance). Humans and all other animals have an endocannabinoid system, including dogs and cats. When a cannabinoid, like CBD or CBN, interacts with an endocannabinoid system receptor, it imparts specific therapeutic benefits, depending on what that specific receptor does and what that cannabinoid’s properties are.** 

CBD benefits the endocannabinoid system by interacting with the same receptors as the body’s own endocannabinoids, bolstering their performance and promoting wellness.** CBD also has calming effects, which are great for stress and sleep, as well as minor pain relief benefits.**

What Is CBN?

It’s interesting to note that, even though CBN is far less known than CBD, it’s actually the very first cannabinoid ever to have been isolated in the cannabis plant. CBN was first isolated in the late 1800s. By the 1930s, scientist R.S. Cahn was studying CBN in depth, and soon scientists were synthesizing this cannabinoid.

CBN is short for cannabinol. CBN is actually formed by the breakdown of THC over time, often because of oxidation or heat. In fact, CBN was probably first identified in the 1800s because of poor storage of cannabis during transportation.

But CBN is hardly a weaker version of THC, as one might think. While the powerful psychoactive features of THC are long gone by the time CBN comes onto the scene, there are a multitude of potential health benefits that take their place.


One could say, CBD is more popular than CBN, which is logical given the widespread use of CBD as a wellness product and the fact that CBN is a lesser known compound. But CBN is gaining ground in popularity, especially for those seeking a great night of sleep.

CBN research, just like the research on CBD and other cannabis compounds, is ongoing. But we do know how people use CBN vs CBD, and how they take advantage of the natural effects of each cannabis compound. For a long time, people have depended on the potential calming effects of CBN to help them get a good night’s rest. CBN binds with receptors in the brain, and seems to promote calm and sleepiness.** In fact, many people buy CBN products strictly for their sedative effects. Often, CBN is combined with CBD and other calm-promoting ingredients, such as melatonin and certain terpenes, for products designed to enhance sleep, as well as promote calmness and ease stress.**

CBN works most powerfully in combination with other cannabinoid compounds to produce the Entourage Effect. This is the effect created when multiple cannabinoids (such as CBD and CBN) work synergistically, creating an overall effect stronger than what any single cannabinoid would produce on its own.

CBN-Infused CBD Products From CBDfx

If you’re using full spectrum CBD or broad spectrum CBD, you already have some experience with CBN. Full spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in the cannabis plant, including the legally allowed amount of less than 0.3% THC. Broad spectrum CBD filters out all detectable levels of THC and, in the process, a few of the other cannabinoids are filtered from the CBD oil, as well. Still, both full spectrum CBD and broad spectrum CBD products contain CBN. (CBD isolate, on the other hand, contains no cannabinol, nor any other cannabis hemp content beyond CBD.)

There are some CBD products, generally formulated for relaxation or rest, with bonus CBN added to the mix, so the user can feel the pronounced effects of cannabinol. Let’s look at a few of the best CBN-infused CBD products on the market today, made with pure, organic hemp. All of our products are medically reviewed and come with a Certificate of Analysis to verify their purity and potency.

CBD Sleep Tincture

Our CBD Sleep Tincture is formulated with CBN, CBD, a special blend of restful terpene compounds, and melatonin. By combining the Entourage Effect of broad spectrum CBD concentrate with the trusted effects of melatonin, this tincture is designed for the ultimate night’s rest.

Our regular strength CBD Sleep Tincture formula boasts 1000mg of CBD and 150mg of CBN. If you’re struggling with getting to sleep or sleeping through the night, check out our extra strength (2,000mg CBD/300mg CBN) and maximum strength (4,000mg CBD/600mg CBN) tincture offerings.

CBD + CBN Night Capsules

Our CBD + CBN Night Capsules combine CBN and CBD with terpenes and a natural sleep aid that has been valued for centuries: valerian. In addition to valerian, these capsules also include 30mg doses of CBD and CBN in every serving, plus GABA and magnesium for better sleep and better mood.**

CBD + CBN Calming Tincture

Our CBD + CBN Calming Tincture is a favorite around the CBDfx offices. This full spectrum CBD product delivers serious “chill” benefits, and is available in extra, maximum, maximum plus and ultra strength. These range from 1000mg of CBD and 150mg of CBN (extra) to 6000mg of CBD and 300mg of CBN (ultra).

If you’re already familiar with how CBD tinctures work for you, the CBD + CBN Calming Tincture is a great product to try out to learn how your body reacts to CBN.

Relax Blend CBD Mushroom Tincture

This unique tincture combines calming CBD and CBN, plus stress-busting adaptogenic mushrooms. Using reishi for stress, maitake for wellness, and turkey tail for immunity, our antioxidant-rich Relax Blend CBD Mushroom Tincture is as health-boosting as it is relaxing.**

Delta-9 THC Sweet Dreams Tincture

Our CBN + THC Sweet Dreams Tincture takes blissful rest to the next level, combining full spectrum CBD, CBN, and D9 THC.** You can also find added CBN in our Purple Punch THC Vape Pen and THC Vape Juice, for added “chill” in every puff.

Every CBD and CBN product we create at CBDfx is made with organic hemp, with oil extracted from the plant by means of clean CO2, and backed by a Certificate of Analysis that verifies its purity and potency. At CBDfx, your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities!

The Last Word on Cannabinol

We hope you have a better understanding now of what CBN is and the effects of this remarkable cannabis compound. The cannabinoid world can feel a little overwhelming sometimes, with so much terminology and regulation, but we like to hold to a very simple principle of creating pure, high-quality products that are carefully formulated and tested. 

If you’d like to learn more about cannabinoids (including CBN and CBD), terpenes, and the Entourage Effect, browse through our blogs. We have plenty of authoritative posts about what works and why. Whether you want to know more about the beneficial effects CBN and CBD, or you’re just looking for a CBD product that meets your needs, we have you covered.

Terminology and history aside, at the end of the day it’s about what works best for you. 

Published on  Updated on