Ask a Stoner: What Is CBN?EXPAND

Ask a Stoner: What Is CBN?

Dear Stoner: I’ve noticed the CBD and THC percentages on my marijuana products, but what is CBN? That percentage is also on the bottle, but I’ve never heard of it.

Dear Derrick: Cannabinol, or CBN, is one of around 113 known cannabinoids that can be isolated from the cannabis plant. Like THC and CBD, it's also one of the handful of cannabinoids that’s actually been studied — albeit not very much. If popular cannabinoids were named after Snow White’s seven dwarfs, psychoactive THC would likely be Dopey, while nurturing CBD would probably be Doc. CBN, known for its highly sedative qualities, would definitely be Sleepy.

CBN hasn't reached the limelight yet, but it's coming.
CBN hasn't reached the limelight yet, but it's coming.
Shutterstock.com/ Canna Obscura

Although it’s considered a stronger pound-for-pound sleep aid than diazepam, the main ingredient in Valium, CBN has minimal psychoactive effects. However, there's research that suggests it can enhance the effects of THC and CBD while also treating chronic pain, inflammation, eating disorders, muscle spasms and certain bacterial infections. CBN forms as a byproduct of degrading THC, which is why buds that you found in your closet after a year or two might make you feel sleepy when you smoke them. So if you have some stale nugs or notice a relatively high CBN percentage on your next weed bottle, expect some yawns.

Have a question for our Stoner? Email marijuana@westword.com.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >