Difficulty sleeping affects millions of adults regularly. Chronic insomnia affects your physical health, mental well-being, productivity, and quality of life. Pharmaceutical sleep aids come with side effects and are addictive or ineffective long-term. As a result, many people are turning to natural remedies like cannabidiol (CBD) oil to address sleep disorders. While CBD oil does seem to help promote sleep, another lesser-known cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN) is emerging as a potentially stronger remedy specifically for sleep issues.
Breaking down the science of CBN for sleep
First, what exactly is CBN and how does it work in the body? CBN is one of over 100 naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike the main psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBN is completely non-intoxicating and does not produce a high sensation. CBN forms from the degradation of THC that occurs as cannabis ages and gets exposed to oxygen and heat over time.
Studies indicate CBN interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, including binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors involved in regulating sleep/wake cycles. CBN also appears to amplify the overall sedative qualities of cannabinoids. Through these and other mechanisms, research shows CBN has the ability to induce sleepiness, increase sleep duration, and enhance sleep quality – all major benefits for insomnia.
Reducing sleep latency
Several studies demonstrate CBN’s effectiveness at reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, also known as sleep latency. In one of the first human trials on CBN, participants took either a placebo or 2.5mg to 10mg of CBN. Those who took CBN fell asleep significantly faster compared to the placebo group. Higher doses of CBN had the strongest effects, with some falling asleep up to 92 minutes faster. These results were supported by a recent study on CBN’s sedative qualities. Participants reported feeling significantly sleepier after taking CBN compared to a placebo. CBN’s ability to quickly induce sleepiness can make it easier to fall asleep when it’s time for bed.
Is CBN safe?
With promising results for addressing insomnia, how safe is cbn for sleep? So far, research indicates CBN has a very strong safety profile. Unlike some prescription sleep drugs, CBN does not seem to impair motor skills, coordination, balance, cognition, or memory – even at higher doses. Studies have not found the potential for overdose or addiction/dependence with CBN. While considered largely safe, you should still use caution when taking CBN oil and not operate heavy machinery. As with any supplement, discuss CBN use with your doctor especially, if taking other medications. If you struggle with falling or staying asleep at night, CBN oil may be worth trying alongside healthy sleep habits and under the supervision of your physician. As research continues, CBN’s unique properties are positioning it as a leading cannabinoid for addressing disrupted sleep.