The Complete Guide to Taking CBN for Sleep

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

Move over CBD! When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, the cannabinoid you need is CBN. The non-intoxicating, hemp-derived substance has emerged as a remarkable natural sleep remedy, providing pleasant sedative effects for both mind and body.

Curious about the benefits of CBN, but haven’t yet tried it for yourself? I’m glad you’re here. In this guide, I’ll introduce you to the best CBN products for sleep and show you how to get the most out of them. I’ll also discuss the science behind CBN for sleep and detail how CBN differs from CBD. We have lots of ground to cover, so let’s dive straight in.

Top 3 Begin Here

1. Best Selling CBN Oil

NuLeaf Naturals – Full Spectrum CBN Oil

Nobody is making higher quality CBN products right now than NuLeaf Naturals. The company’s full-spectrum CBN oil is a blueprint to making safe, potent, and effective CBN supplements.

NuLeaf’s CBN tincture contains a unique proprietary hemp extract, with unusually high levels of minor cannabinoids, enhancing the therapeutic benefits. The full and rich cannabinoid mix is perfect for bringing out the heralded entourage effect.

While not legally required, NuLeaf goes the extra mile, following the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure maximum product safety and purity. NuLeaf uses US-grown, non-GMO hemp, and this third-party tested tincture contains less than 0.3% THC.

Available tinctures: 300mg (60mg/ml), 900mg (60mg/ml), 1800mg (60mg/ml)

2. Most Popular

Active CBD Oil – Water Soluble CBN Tincture

Nanotechnology is the next big thing in the legal hemp industry, and Active CBD Oil has showcased its power with this impressive water-soluble CBN tincture. Outperforming expectations, the 150mg CBN extract (5mg per serving) goes much further than usual.

Thank the nanotech. By making the CBN molecules water-soluble, Active CBD Oil has increased the bioavailability and the potency of the hemp extract. A tiny dose of water-soluble CBN is enough to get you sleepy and ready for bed!

This THC-free, broad-spectrum CBN oil contains no additional flavorings, leaving an authentic, earthy taste. Active CBD Oil regularly submits its tincture for third-party testing.

3. Runner Up

NuLeaf Naturals – CBN Capsules

Enjoy long-lasting, sleep-inducing CBN relief with full-spectrum capsules from NuLeaf Naturals. Infused with the same, cannabinoid-rich hemp extract found in its tinctures, these capsules promise sustained relaxing effects.

These vegan-friendly soft gel capsules are easy to swallow, and also contain organic virgin hemp seed oil and therapeutic cassava extract. NuLeaf recommends taking two 15mg CBN capsules per serving.

Third-party tested and cGMP-certified, these capsules are the best on the market. If you find tinctures wear off too fast or you don’t like the flavor of hemp, NuLeaf’s CBN capsules are a delightful alternative.

Available potencies: 300mg (20 x 15mg capsules), 900mg (60 x 15mg capsules), 1800mg (120 x 15mg capsules)

What is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid, a special type of compound found in cannabis that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBN is one of more than 120 identified cannabinoids and has acquired an impressive reputation for its sleep-inducing effects.

CBN was the first cannabinoid to be identified, back in the late 1800s. Scientists defined CBN’s structure in the 1930s and first synthesized the compound in 1940. All these milestones were achieved before any other cannabinoid.

Often labeled as a secondary or minor cannabinoid, cannabis plants typically have very low concentrations of CBN, in comparison to THC and CBD. Indeed, research shows that THC cannabinoids degrade into CBN over time, due to aging and exposure to oxygen and ultraviolet rays from sunlight.

Popular hemp-based CBN products include tincture oils, capsules, edibles, concentrates, e-liquids, and flower. Some CBN products consist of pure CBN, while others also contain additional hemp extracts, such as CBD and delta-8.

Despite having no approved medical uses at present, CBN has encouraging therapeutic potential. Research suggests the compound has strong anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial effects. CBN is a promising neuroprotectant and may also reduce intraocular pressure and is being trialed as a treatment for glaucoma.

Will CBN make me high?

No, CBN will not get you high in the traditional sense, although most researchers describe CBN as a mildly psychotropic compound. But caffeine and nicotine are also technically psychotropic, and we don’t consider those everyday substances as intoxicating.

Chemically speaking, CBN and THC similarly impact the ECS. Both cannabinoids bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors, although studies show THC has a much higher affinity to these receptors. THC’s action on the CB1 receptor generates the psychoactive effects of marijuana, hence why CBN is only mildly psychotropic.

Is CBN legal?

Only hemp-derived CBN is federally legal in the United States. CBN derived from marijuana remains a tightly restricted Schedule 1 drug. You’re probably wondering what the difference is. In terms of the CBN itself, nothing.

From a botanical perspective, hemp and cannabis are the same Cannabis Sativa L. plant. Until the 2010s, the plant was completely prohibited. But lawmakers voted to legalize non-intoxicating forms of cannabis with the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill).

According to the government, hemp is any Cannabis Sativa L. plant with no more than 0.3% delta-9-tetahydrocannabinol (THC). In legalizing hemp, lawmakers also legalized all components of the plant, including cannabinoids such as CBN.

Therefore, providing that a CBN tincture oil or capsule contains less than 0.3% THC, it’s classified as hemp and legal at the federal level.

Can CBN Improve Quality of Sleep?

Judging by the popularity of CBN sleep supplements, it sure seems like CBN works for sleep. Online anecdotes and glowing product reviews all speak to CBN’s beneficial effects, but does the scientific evidence back it up?

So far, there isn’t any compelling research that suggests CBN is effective for sleep – although there aren’t any studies saying it doesn’t work, either. This epitomizes the current state of play with cannabinoid science – we don’t have enough research to make many bold claims.

The long-time ban on cannabis has set research back decades. While we have some idea now about the effects of THC and CBD, secondary cannabinoids like CBN are still on the back-burner.

1975 Psychopharmacology study

The best research we have on CBN’s benefits for sleep is a clinical trial published in Psychopharmacology in 1975, that explored the effects of CBN and THC. However, we should take the study with a pinch of salt, as it involved only five male participants.

The study entailed giving the following treatments to the volunteers, spaced one week apart: 50mg CBN, 25mg THC, 12.5mg THC and 25mg CBN, 25mg THC and 50mg CBN, and a placebo.

The researchers found that the addition of CBN made the volunteers feel more drowsy than when taking THC alone. Therefore, we can infer that CBN may have sleep-inducing properties.

Since CBN appeared to be most effective when combined with THC, there’s an argument that full-spectrum hemp could work better than other hemp extracts. The trace – but legal – levels of THC in full-spectrum CBN products may enhance the sedative effects.

However, we must be careful not to make too many judgments from such a limited study. We need a new, wide-ranging trial before saying with any scientific confidence that CBN works.

How to Take CBN Products for Sleep

Not all CBN products absorb the cannabinoids into your body in the same way. Therefore, different products offer different effects. Here’s a look at how to take CBN products for sleep, and what to expect.

Tincture oils

CBN oil is a fast-acting product that is mostly enjoyed sublingually. You can take CBN tinctures like an edible, by mixing oil into your drink. But let’s focus on sublingual absorption.

Tincture bottles come with a dropper fitted to the cap. Fill the dropper and administer the CBN oil under your tongue. The bottom of your mouth has sublingual glands which can directly deliver the CBN into your bloodstream, skipping the first-pass metabolism altogether.

Increase the rate of absorption by holding the oil under your tongue for as long as possible. Effects from sublingually-absorbed CBN should be noticeable after a few minutes and last for up to three or four hours.

Capsules and edibles

CBN capsules, gummies, brownies, and other edibles are all taken orally, resulting in less speedy but longer-lasting effects. These products can work for up to eight hours or more, with large doses producing particularly lengthy benefits.

I recommend swallowing down capsules with a glass of water, especially if they aren’t soft gel caps. Keep in mind that with capsules and edibles, the CBN only becomes effective after digestion and absorption of CBN into the bloodstream.

This explains why orally-taken CBN products can take up to an hour to kick in – eating on an empty stomach may speed up the effects. I suggest taking your dose around an hour prior to bed. Time it right and you should start feeling drowsy right before your head hits the pillow!

What to Look For When Buying CBN Products

The hemp scene has a notorious but accurate reputation as a Wild West market – you need a bit of industry knowledge to avoid falling victim to scammers and grifters. But beyond that, with so many different CBN products out there, how can you tell which one is right for you? Here are three things to look out for when buying CBN.

Third-party lab reports

CBN products might not be FDA regulated, but third-party testing helps promote good ethics and standards. All genuine hemp-based products should come with an independent certificate of analysis, showing that they are legal, free from contamination, and sufficiently potent.

The transparency brought by third-party testing separates the legit brands from the scammers. Fraudsters selling fake or low-quality CBN won’t be able to acquire third-party approval, hence you’ll immediately know which brands to stay away from.

Type of hemp extract

CBN products may contain any of the following three extracts: full-spectrum hemp, broad-spectrum hemp, and CBN-isolate. Let’s look at the benefits of each.

Full-spectrum hemp: Perfect for a complete CBN experience, with a full array of cannabinoids and terpenes, and trace levels of THC for extra therapeutic effects.

Broad-spectrum hemp: Just like full-spectrum hemp except without the THC. Broad-spectrum CBN products provide maximum benefits and complete peace of mind over drug tests.

CBN-isolate: For those who want CBN’s effects, but not any othercannabinoids or terpenes. CBN-isolate products are slightly cheaper and ideal if you’re on a budget.

CBN to CBD ratio

Many CBN products also have CBD extract. Products with high quantities of CBN should cost more because of the additional challenges in extracting CBN – meanwhile, products rich in CBD should be a little cheaper.

In terms of effects, the higher the CBN to CBD ratio, the greater the relaxation. CBD does have sedative properties, but it’s not on the same level as CBN. For that reason, first-timers may prefer a CBN product with a little more CBD.

The Difference Between CBN and CBD

Neither CBD nor CBN will get you high, and both cannabinoids appear to have therapeutic health effects. But there are differences between the two. Firstly, hemp contains much more CBD than CBN – it’s not uncommon for hemp to contain more than 20% CBD, whereas CBN levels rarely exceed 1%.

Effects-wise, CBN appears more promising than CBD for sleep, appetite stimulation, and pain relief. Meanwhile, CBD may be better at alleviating depression and anxiety. The FDA has also approved a CBD-based drug for rare forms of epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome.

Will CBN Make Me Fail a Drug Test?

No, CBN cannot cause you to fail a drug test. However, you may be at risk depending on the type of CBN product you’re using. Full-spectrum products with trace amounts of THC could be problematic, while CBN products with delta-8 extract may also pose issues.

When testing for marijuana, drug tests look for tetrahydrocannabinols (i.e., THC and delta-8). CBN is not a tetrahydrocannabinol, hence why it’s perfectly safe.You can purchase CBN and other third-party tested hemp products at CBD Genesis! Shop for products from Treetop Hemp Co, Koi CBD, Nimo Nutrition, and more at CBD Genesis, America’s favorite online hemp retailer. 

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