When it comes to hemp-derived compounds, we have all already heard of the notorious THC, the cannabinoid that causes intoxication, and the one that lately gained popularity- CBD, which does not cause the feeling of being “high”, but can act beneficially for many processes in the human body. What about CBN? We already wrote some basic stuff about CBN; you are welcome to read our blog.

Formation of CBN and its role in the endocannabinoid system

You will not find CBN in fresh cannabis since it is a breakdown product of THC. So even if CBN is formed naturally in older cannabis, the process can be fastened up by exposing the cannabis to light and/or heat. After extraction, CBN can be isolated by different purification techniques.

Like its cousin THC, CBN also has quite a high affinity towards CB1 receptors, located in the central nervous system (brain). Despite this fact, CBN does not cause the feeling of being “high”, like THC does. However, it was proven to provoke mild sedative effects, which may help us towards better goodnight sleep.

What do scientists say about CBN as a potential sleep promotor?

CBN can be used in night-time medical cannabis products for rest and sleep as well as pain. Its properties include sedative and sleep-promoting properties (Gordon, 2020).

Both CBN and its metabolite, 11-OH-CBN, were shown to prolong pentobarbital-induced sleeping time (Yamamoto, 1987).

However, Corroon’s mini-review study from 2021 suggests that there is still not enough data to confirm whether CBN is a helpful tool in fighting insomnia. According to the article, additional randomized controlled trials are needed to verify the sleep-promoting effects of CBN.

Other compounds in hemp that can contribute to better sleep

Terpenes are the compounds in hemp that are responsible for the smell. In addition to that, they also provide pharmacological effects and contribute to entourage effect (= synergistic effect of different compounds).

Let’s see the four significant terpenes that are most commonly found in cannabis plants:

  • Myrcene
    Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis. In full-spectrum CBD drops, for example, myrcene is the one to provide sedating and relaxing effects.
  • Caryophyllene
    Caryophyllene is a compound besides cannabis most commonly found in holy basil. It is famous for its well-being effects and helping to cope with inflammations and stress.
  • Linalool
    Linalool is the one that gives lavender its fantastic aroma. We can find it in the products for topical pain relief, but it is also known to provide sedating, calming, and mood-balancing effects.
  • Pinene
    Pinene is known to impact the nervous system. It has a unique skill of potentially blocking the short-term memory impairment from THC and enhancing memory retention. Adding anti-inflammatory properties on top of that, it is a precious compound.
  • Conclusions
    Many of us have experienced insomnia already. Since we know we are at our best performance, most charming and good looking after a good night’s sleep, we find sleepless nights just a nightmare. If you are dealing with insomnia yourself, we suggest giving CBN drops enriched with valuable hemp-derived terpenes a chance.


  • Gordon, Dani. The CBD Bible. London, The Orion Publishing Group Ltd, 2020
  • Yamamoto I, Watanabe K, Kuzuoka K, Narimatsu S, Yoshimura H (1987). The pharmacological activity of cannabinol and its major metabolite, 11-hydroxicannabinol. Chem. Pharm Bull. 38(5): 2144-2147
  • Corroon J (2021). Cannabinol and sleep: separating fact from fiction. Cannabis and cannabinoid research 6(5)


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