You may not remember the first time you heard about cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. But if you keep up with the many movements happening in the cannabis world you are likely familiar with the term. At one point in time national opinion would not have allowed the facts of CBD to be known because it was perceived as directly associated with the psychoactive properties of THC. However, this changed a lot once enough research confirmed the non-intoxicating properties that CBD contains. In particular, how these properties can be of great benefit to the lives of children suffering from seizures, chronic pain, inflammation, and/or anxiety.
You may not be aware but there are many other medicinal compounds like CBD that are specifically related to the cannabis plant that we are now gaining more knowledge of. CBN is one of those specific compounds offering therapeutic benefits. Cannabinol or CBN is a cannabinoid and it basically complements the effects of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. CBN is a breakdown product of THC that comes from aging of the cannabis. In short, when THC begins to age it turns into CBN. When THC interacts with the air it begins to turn into CBN. Beyond the ‘high’, CBN offers relief to patients in need. CBN mainly activates your CB2 receptors, which help to control and affect your immune system. It also interacts, but on a lesser level, with your CB1 receptors, which work with your central nervous system.
What makes CBN unique? Cannabinol (CBN) works as s psychoactive compound but its effects are very mild in comparison to THC or CBD. THC causes psychoactive effects while CBD doesn’t, and CBN lies in between the two effects. CBN allows patients the healing attributes for the cerebral cortex without experiencing any impaired effects when using it.
CBN, unlike THC, produces very mild psychoactive effects, if any at all. Medical cannabis researchers believe this is due to CBN molecules not fitting into your brain’s CB1 receptors very well. The compound also has some difficulty binding to your CB2 receptors, although it binds better to CB2 receptors than CB1. The compound has around 10% of THC’s psychoactive effects, which means you’d have to take around 100 milligrams of CBN to experience similar effects of 10 milligrams of THC. The cannabis plant has a natural enzymatic process producing many cannabinoids, particularly within the trichomes. However, CBN isn’t produced the same way. THC’s degradation produces CBN instead. This process naturally occurs when cannabis gets exposed to lengthy and improper storage times, high temperatures and other particular conditions.
CBN was the first cannabinoid researchers and scientists identified and isolated from cannabis. In the 19th century, researchers first isolated CBN through a cannabis extract degradation. Robert Sydney Cahn, a British chemist, identified its structure in the 1930s. Researchers found about 789 grams of cannabis rich in CBN in a 2,700-year old China grave. This hidden supply of cannabis was the oldest discovered sample. The predominance of the CBN cannabinoid identified in these historical samples isn’t a surprise, since manufacturers have been producing CBN from THC degradation over long periods.
By Tracy Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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