What is CBN? Medical benefits and effects of cannabinol

What are the CBN and CBNA?

Other than the two most popular cannabinoids, THC and CBD, researchers have found more than 200 rare cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Initial research proved these rare cannabinoids to be more potent than THC and CBD. These rare cannabinoids are different from each other in terms of their effects and medicinal benefits. One of these important rare cannabinoids is CBN which is also known as “sleep” cannabinoid. CBN is found in older cannabis plants in a minimal concentration.

Cannabinolic acid (CBNA) is an acidic form of cannabinol as well as its precursor cannabinoid. CBNA is expected to have benefits similar to CBN.

How CBN/CBNA is made?

Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabinolic acid (CBNA) is found in cannabis leaves in a very low concentration ranging between 0.1 and 1.6%. The concentration of cannabinol in the cannabis plant increases as the plant ages. Moreover, storage conditions may also affect cannabinol concentration.

Cannabinolic acid (CBNA) is present as the primary metabolite of THCA in the cannabis plant. Oxidative degradation of THCA in the presence of oxygen or UV lights produces cannabinolic acid. This cannabinolic acid results in cannabinol (CBN) on decarboxylation.

More studies have diverted their focus on CBN and other relevant degradation products due to the increasing attention to the cannabis plant and its potential benefits. The production of CBN is not controlled but depends on several parameters, such as plant growing conditions, processing, and storage conditions.

The uses of CBN and CBNA in medicine


All cannabinoids exhibit their effect by binding the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body. Cannabinol was considered an inactive cannabinoid during the initial stages of its discovery. Later on, the researchers found cannabinol to have twice a lower affinity for CB1 receptors and three times higher affinity for CB2 receptors than THC.

Due to the higher affinity of cannabinol for the CB2 receptor, its effect on the immune system is more than the CNS.

CBN and its precursor compound show the following medicinal effects.


CBN studies found it to be a potent antibacterial agent. Researchers found CBN to be a potent antibacterial agent against MRSA bacteria resistant to traditional antibiotics. Perhaps CBN may be used to fight off antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in the future.

Appetite Stimulation

THC is a well-known appetite stimulant but is often avoided due to its intoxicating effects. A recent study in rats suggested CBN as an appetite stimulant as it increased the amount of food that rat subjects ate. However, CBN’s appetite stimulation effect is still to be strengthened by more research.

Reduce intraocular pressure

CBN may also be helpful to treat glaucoma. A study found that both CBN and THC reduce intraocular pressure. This study is a base to treat patients with glaucoma. However, because the research is in the early stages, we can’t predict if cannabinoids such as CBN and THCV could effectively replace traditional glaucoma treatments.


CBN may help patients with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory property. CBN was shown to reduce arthritis in one rodent study. We expect CBN to be used one day to fight this debilitating state.

Neuroprotective effect

The effects of CBN/CBNA on the brain and nervous system have also been investigated for its potential in neurological conditions. By protecting the brain from oxidative stress, CBN can promote movement in conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

The uses of CBN and CBNA in other areas

CBN has been harnessed within dermatology and cosmetology. By decreasing inflammatory molecules, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukins, CBN/CBNA can help promote a healthy inflammatory response in conditions such as dermatitis, acne, and skin cancer.

Legality of CBN

Several states have legalized the recreational and medicinal use of cannabinoids. However, investors are waiting for legalization at the federal level.
To date, in the United States, CBN is not on the controlled substance list.

However, because CBN is considered an analog of CBD or THC, it may face some complex legal issues.

Misconceptions about the CBN

Sedating capability of CBN is considered to be a misconception by scientists. Even though the old cannabis user regards CBN as a sedative agent, there is no clinical trial that strengthens this perception. A study was performed to determine the sedative effect of CBN, THC, and a combination of CBN and TCH. The researchers observed that a combination of CBN and THC produced a higher sedative effect than THC alone. This study established a synergistic effect of CBN and THC. However, researchers hypothesized that though CBN alone has no sedative effect, however, because people observe drowsiness after CBN intake, this may be due to some sedating terpenes present with CBN.

CBN is also assumed to be non-intoxicating at a high concentration which is negated by the euphoric effect of THC that is often present in CBN products.

A little comparison of CBN with CBD and THC

Of all cannabinoids, CBD is the second most abundant compound. Advanced biotechnology has helped manufacturers to breed strains that contain higher amounts of CBD. In contrast, CBN and CBNA is a by-product of another plant cannabinoid THCA/THC. However, both CBD and CBN share some similarities. Because both these compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, they have similar uses.CBD is claimed to help prevent the harmful effects of THC, such as anxiety or paranoia. CBD does not produce euphoria or altered senses.

THC undergoes degradation as the plant ages and form CBN. The improper storage of THC results in CBN reveals that both THC and CBN share alternative affinity and mechanism of action for ECS (endocannabinoid receptor system) receptors.

CBN oil

CBN is available in various dosage forms, including CBN capsules, topical formulation, and tinctures. CBN oil is the most popular CBN formulations. This oil is considered as best sleep aid product. However, not enough studies have established the sedative effect of CBN alone. CBN oil comes in combination with CBD or THC (have a sedative effect) in a few products.

Why Biomedican biosynthesis from yeast is the best way to produce CBN?

Rare cannabinoids, such as CBN/CBNA, exist in minimal quantities in cannabis plants. This makes their extraction and purification inefficient, costly, and environmentally taxing. CBN/CBNA is extracted from cannabis, which requires significant regulatory oversight and can produce inconsistent yields prone to contamination from pests, mold, and pesticides. Due to these limitations, the chemical synthesis of CBN has become the leading production method.
However, chemical synthesis produces artificial forms of CBN, which can have undesirable side effects.

What kind of business will need CBN and CBNA?

The cosmetics industry, food industry, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceutical industry are significant players in CBN stock growth. CBN produced by Biomedican is also best for researchers who aims to perform extensive study on these compounds.

Contact us
To overcome these challenges, the production of CBN/CBNA through biosynthesis has become more popular. This process offers a way to reduce the environmental footprint, decrease production time, circumvent regulatory oversight, and produce high-quality cannabinoids. Biosynthesis, a process that has been used for several years in multiple industries, revolutionizes the production of cannabinoids by reducing the cost of their production by 70-90%.

The benefits of investing in this industry

Biomedican generates cannabinoids such as CBN/CBNA and terpenes directly from proprietary yeast without costly plant cultivation or inefficient extraction and purification procedures in a scalable fashion. Production facilities for biosynthesis cost a fraction of traditional cannabis facilities enabling much more cost-efficient manufacturing.

Investors benefit from the ability to participate in an industry currently gaining enormous momentum. Our proprietary technology can revolutionize the CBN/CBNA supply chain and directly feed into several markets where cannabinoids and terpenes are in high demand. Due to efficient production, investors can expect a faster return on investments.

Content author Dr.Saba IqbalAuthor posts

Saba Iqbal

Dr. Saba Iqbal is a contributing writer for BioMedican. She's a rocket pharmacist turned writer. Dr. Saba's education includes a doctoral degree in pharmacy (Pharm D) from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. In search of a career that would take advantage of her medical and pharmaceutical skills, Dr. Saba found medical writing – a career path a few medical students consider. In her journey "from a medical bench to pen," she has worked with several startups for many years managing content on biotech products, pharmaceuticals, drugs, devices, and techniques. While keeping up with the latest trends in medical writing, she aims to use her writing skills to clearly communicate complex scientific, medical, and health information to the potential investor and general audience.

You may be interested

What is Cannabinol(CBN)? Is CBN an inactive cannabinoid?

How to grow rare cannabinoids in yeast

Cannabinoids: definition, effects, benefits. List of all Cannabinoids

What is a Biosynthetic Platform?