CBD has had quite the run on the hemp scene. Often even used interchangeably with the term ‘hemp’, CBD has become synonymous with the mother plant from which it comes. But it’s not the end-all-be-all, as research has recently proven.
Despite making up the largest chunk of hemp’s cannabinoid chemistry, CBD is just one of the hundreds of other organic compounds that give hemp its remarkable power for wellness. Among the lesser known yet equally important cannabinoids in the plant are CBN, and today, we’re talking all about her.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol or CBN represents just one of the hundreds of cannabinoids available in the hemp plant. While CBD or cannabidiol makes up close to 20% of hemp’s chemistry, CBN stands for just less than 1% of the overall cannabinoid content of hemp.
So it’s easy to see why researchers didn’t immediately notice or highlight its importance. Today, however, CBN has made a blip on the radars of experts and researchers who have come to discover its powerful effects.
According to studies, CBN comes from CBNA or cannabinoid acid. This precursor exists in hemp before the decarboxylation (or heating) process occurs. Interestingly, some studies suggest that before CBNA exists itself, it starts off as THCA.
Yes, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, or THCA stands as the precursor for both CBNA and THC -- the controversial psychoactive compound found in hemp. When exposed to heat, THCA becomes THC. But when the compound is exposed to UV radiation, it turns instead into CBNA.
Remember that for any hemp-derived product to be considered legal, it would have to come from legitimate hemp and not marijuana. By that logic, all CBN products come from plant material containing 0.3% THC or less, which explains why CBN concentrations are equally low in natural, law-abiding hemp flowers.
What are the Effects of CBN?
Presently, research surrounding the effects of CBN still lingers in their early state. Although researchers have discovered a few possible benefits that emphasize CBN’s advantages against poor sleep patterns and behaviors.
According to their studies, CBN may work wonders as a sleep support agent. The organic compound interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, eliciting effects that improve sleep quality and duration.
Here are some of the effects of CBN as reported by its users and researchers:
- Sleep quality enhancement
- Extended sleep duration
- Calm and relaxation
- Stress relief
- Discomfort management and relief
Keep in mind however that everyone can have a unique response to CBN. So while most people experience benefits that fall into the sleep and relaxation department, it’s possible to encounter entirely different effects based on your body’s response to the compound.
Where Do CBN Products Come From?
Because of the limited amount of CBN found naturally in hemp, some products on the market use synthetic CBN. For this to happen, manufacturers have to extract CBN from natural hemp plant material, and then synthesize it in labs to multiply the amount.
The whole process is quite extensive and technical, requiring unique skills and knowledge that few people possess. For that reason, most CBN products come with a steep price tag that reflects the kind of tedious work and expertise that go into producing them.
Is CBN Legal?
It pays to revisit the 2018 Farm Bill now and again to refresh exactly what it qualifies as illegal and legal. According to the Bill, all parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant fall into legal status as hemp if they contain less than 0.3% THC.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, tetrahydrocannabinol or TCH has long been recognized as the sole psychoactive compound in cannabis. The cannabinoid causes mind-altering effects that can produce symptoms of a high.
This impairs a person’s ability to make sound decisions and reduces inhibitions, which may be a threat to themselves and others around them. Thus parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant containing more than 0.3% of THC fall into the marijuana category and may be subject to strict local regulations, depending on where you live.
All of that said, CBN is legal, but there is a catch. Any and all CBN products on the market must come from hemp and not marijuana to maintain legal status. This is where manufacturers struggle, because THCA -- the CBNA precursor -- exists in copious amounts in marijuana, but would render the resulting product illegal.
Whatever the case, as long as your CBN products come from hemp, there shouldn’t be any problems.
What is CBN Hemp Flower?
So, what exactly is CBN hemp flower? As its name suggests, these strains contain slightly more CBN than the average varieties. Most often, high CBN hemp flower also maxes out THC content, since both of these cannabinoids share a precursor.
To make sure you’re buying high CBN hemp flower, try to consider these tips the next time you go shopping:
- Check lab reports - There’s not a lot that vendors can hide when they make certificates of analysis available to their customers. These lab reports provide a detailed look into the chemistry of each hemp flower, going as far as detailing the cannabinoids it contains.
Don’t be satisfied with just having copies of lab reports, because those can be faked too. Really read the contents and see if the batch and lot numbers match that on your products’ packaging.
- Go for trusted vendors - It’s always enticing to buy hemp flowers from a new vendor with fancy, exciting, new offers and branding. But don’t be fooled. Always seek out reputable vendors with a proven track record. Avoid flashy marketing and ask any questions necessary before clicking that check-out button.
- Read reviews and more - Vendors make customer reviews available on their websites to bolster the image they try to present. And while many of these might be legit, it’s always better to check out forums for more detailed and authentic feedback.
There are tons of threads on forums like Reddit with real, live people who share extensive reports and anecdotes about their experiences with vendors and hemp strains. Read through their recommendations and make the most of the resources they have to offer.
A Cannabinoid Contender
Gone are the days when CBD monopolized the market. These days, names like CBN and CBG have entered the scene, piquing the interest of countless consumers across the country. Are you one of them?
If you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep and CBD just hasn’t worked out for you, then it might be high time to give CBN a try. Consider these tips when you shop for your CBN stash to guarantee nothing short of the best CBN hemp flower money can buy.