CBN For Anxiety

For anyone interested in the benefits of CBN, this guide will give you fact-based answers to your questions.

How can CBN help you?

The medical studies selected for this guide are published by highly reputable organizations.  Collectively, they show CBN has a significant and positive impact on individuals contending with anxiety.

In this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of exactly why CBN has such potent and fast-acting effects.

  • learn how CBN may affect you
  • learn the exact benefits of CBN
  • learn how to use CBN as a sleep aid
  • learn techniques to boost CBN effects
  • learn how to recognize possible adverse effects

All the answers to your CBN questions are here so let’s get started.

If you don’t find an answer in this guide to a question you have, leave us a comment below. We’ll search the published studies to see if an answer exists and get back to you.

What is CBN?


Is anxiety persistent in your life?

Are you able to get restful sleep?

Not getting the sleep you need is a recipe for feeling miserable and anxious.

CBN can help with both anxiety and insomnia.


CBN Insomnia and Anxiety Benefits

CBN (cannabinol) is a mildly psychoactive compound from hemp that has significant sedative effects. (1)

Do the symptoms of clinical insomnia below sound familiar to you?


Do you have overly anxious feelings sometimes? or, persistent anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are surprisingly common. (2)

Anxiety and insomnia are often—but not always—linked. (3)


If you experience frequent stress, anxiety or insomnia, CBN has sedative properties that may benefit you.

Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, phobia or panic attacks can feel overwhelming.

CBN may help you overcome what can feel like a continuous cycle of anxious feelings and sleeplessness.

Often, anxiety leads to insomnia which leads to more stressful days and anxiety which leads to more difficulty sleeping. 

Sometimes anxiety feels like a stalemate of no-win repetition.

Further reading: Interested in CBD benefits for anxiety?  Check out this guide.

cannabidiol guide to anxiety benefits based on latest medical studies recent to 2020



What is CBN?

CBN (cannabinol) is an organic compound that comes from cannabis and some high CBD hemp chemovars (strains).  


CBN is formed after hemp flowers have been harvested and cured.

It usually forms in aged cannabis flowers.

CBN (cannabinol) is created when THC breaks down after contact with light, heat, and air. (4)


In mature hemp plants, CBN is present in such small quantities that it has been overlooked for many years.

Only upon repeated inspection of dried, cured hemp flowers was CBN found in large quantities.

Scientists didn’t know to check for it in already cured hemp flower so this beneficial compound was disregarded for years.



Types Of CBN For Sale

You can find CBN for sale online or in dispensaries in the form of CBN isolate and CBN concentrate.

Pure CBN isolate has a very strong sedative effect, especially when blended with a terpene like myrcene.

2019 research suggests CBN may turn out to be the most effective hemp compound for anxiety and insomnia (compared to CBD).




 CBN Chemistry

Check out this quick video on the simple chemical structure of Cannabinol (CBN).


CBN Legal Status

The legal status of CBN in the USA may seem a little confusing because laws are liberalizing quickly.

Unlike THC, CBN is not listed as a scheduled substance. (5)

While CBD and THC are schedule 1 substances and can be illegal based on that classification, CBN is not required to be a controlled substance under international law.

So it would seem that CBN is not illegal.

But there is another law that says compounds similar to THC can be illegal.

CBN is thought to be mildly intoxicating substance (about 10% as intoxicating as THC) and has a similar chemical structure so…

Unfortunately, it is not clear if CBN is “similar enough to THC” under that law for it to be illegal. 

Legal status: Confusing.

CBN vs. THC vs. CBD

CBN is thought to be mildly psychoactive (about 10% as psychoactive as THC)

THC is highly psychoactive.

CBD is not psychoactive.

Psychoactive is a technical term for “gets you high.”

CBN and THC bind with the CB1 receptor causing varying euphoric effects.

CBD binds with the CB2 receptor causing relaxing effects without the euphoria.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors are part of your nervous system called the endocannabinoid system.

Each receptor in your endocannabinoid system causes very different effects which are still not completely understood by medical science. (6)

If you’re interested in learning more about the endocannabinoid system check out this scientific guide to CBD and the endocannabinoid system here.

Currently, CBN’s most prominent benefit is that it has similar effects to pharmaceuticals used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

But unlike pharmaceutical drugs for anxiety and sleep, CBN doesn’t have the same dependence dangers and sometimes poor safety profiles that come with many pharmaceuticals.


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CBN Anxiety Effects


Compared to CBD’s relaxing effects, Cannabinol (CBN) is truly a sedative with strong effects.

If you’re taking CBN for its powerful sedation properties, try taking it together with a hemp terpene like myrcene.

Cannabinoids like CBN may have their effects boosted by when consumed together with complementary terpenes.

This lengthening and strengthening of benefits are referred to as the “entourage effect.” (7)

It is a common effect across all cannabinoids, not just CBN.

Taking full-spectrum CBN and terpenes together will help you realize greater effects from your CBN tincture product.

The same is true when taking pure CBN or CBN isolate.

The benefits of CBN are particularly enhanced by taking a CBN oil with the terpene terpineol.

Terpineol is the terpene thought to be responsible for the “couch-lock” effect that results from consuming some indica types of cannabis.

Whatever type of CBN product you are consuming, full-spectrum CBN from sources like live rosins will likely be the most effective.

Check out this video of hemp rosin packed with the terpene terpineol being pressed.


CBN Insomnia Sedative

CBN may be especially useful for insomnia symptoms.

Difficulty sleeping is frequently caused by anxiety, depression (chronic and seasonal) or even moderate stress and worry. (8)

CBN’s strong sedative effects may be helpful in treating anxiety and, in turn, alleviate your insomnia symptoms.

Try taking CBN for sleep if you struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep for a full restful night.

If insomnia is why you are researching cannabinoids, check out this CBD guide to sleep here for a more in-depth look at the relief that cannabinoids can provide.


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CBN Health Benefits

Although CBN was only recently described, there have already been important studies published on the health benefits of CBN.


CBN Appetite Effects

A medical study from 2012 showed CBN is an appetite stimulant in animal models. (9)

It is believed that CBN activates the CB1 receptor in your endocannabinoid system.



Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is part of your body’s nervous system.

It’s a vital regulatory system that helps maintain your mental, emotional and physiological balance. (10)

Your endocannabinoid system has an incredibly broad range of effects.

It regulates:

  • mood
  • fertility
  • appetite
  • sleep
  • and many other vital functions (11)

Cannabinoids such as CBN, CBD, and CBG mimic the natural signaling compounds that the endocannabinoid system naturally uses to regulate your body. (12)


CBN Cancer Benefits

According to a 2019 medical study, early research in multiple studies show the potential for cannabinol in slowing the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. (13)


According to another 2019 study, CBN, among other cannabinoid compounds, is currently being researched in multiple cancer studies for its promising therapeutic effect. (14)




CBN Glaucoma Benefits

A 2007 medical study showed that CBN may help reduce intraocular pressure. (15)



CBN Pain Relief

CBN may have benefits for relieving chronic muscle pain disorders such as fibromyalgia and temporomandibular disorders. (16)

In early research, a 2019 medical study showed that CBN, in combination with CBD, had analgesic effects in myofascial pain in animal models.



CBN Airway Inflammation Benefits

CBN may be a promising treatment for allergic airway diseases characterized by inflammation. (16)



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There are many differences between CBD and CBN.

While our knowledge about all cannabinoids is still in its infancy due to decades of prohibition, much more is known today about CBD than about CBN.


CBN Compound Formation

CBN is a chemically decayed form of THC.

CBN is created by the exposure of THC to UV light, oxygen and heat post-harvest. (17)


CBN Psychoactive Properties

For a long time, CBN was thought to be nothing more than a waste product of stale cannabis flowers and overlooked.

So, research was neglected.

Only in the last couple of years has a medical interest in the benefits of CBN increased.

Additionally, CBN is present only in very small quantities in live hemp plants while CBD may comprise up to 40% of the hemp plant’s cannabinoid recoverable extract.

CBN, unlike CBD, is thought to be mildly psychoactive.

Some report that CBN is about 10% as intoxicating as THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants.

Unlike CBN and THC, most cannabinoid compounds like CBD and CBG are not psychoactive.

CBN Effects

Both CBD and CBN are taken for relaxation and to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms.

CBN is believed to have much stronger sedative effects than CBD. (18)

Both CBD and CBN can have their effects lengthened and strengthened by taking a full spectrum CBD product or blending terpenes into your cannabinoid tincture. (19)

The terpene myrcene, for example, is believed to boost the sedative properties of both CBD and CBN.

This is an example of the entourage effect.

By learning about terpenes and their effects you can dial in the best CBN concentrate and terpene mix for the benefits you want.

Check out this full guide to the benefits of terpenes and the entourage effect here.

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CBN Entourage Effect

CBN is most effective when taken as a full spectrum product together with other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Check out this video of delicious full-spectrum live rosin being pressed from hemp.

CBN sedative effects are lengthened and strengthened when combined with terpenes. (20)

This gain in health benefits is referred to as the entourage effect.

Cannabinoids and terpenes are both organic compounds created by the hemp plant.

There are 113 cannabinoids in hemp and at least 120 terpenes.

CBD and CBN have their most powerful analgesic effects when taken together. (21)

Full-spectrum CBN tinctures often work better and have longer effects.

To boost or modify the sedative effect of CBN, you may want to try taking CBN with the terpenes linalool.


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CBN Side Effects

CBN is thought to have minimal side effects but proper dosages and effects of chronic consumption are still not adequately described in the medical literature.

The side effects of CBN are ones that you would be expected from a strong sedative cannabinoid and you should take precautions until you know how CBN will affect you.

Drowsiness, tiredness tend to be reported as common side effects. (22)

Some people who consume CBN have also reported a loss of appetite as an unexpected adverse effect.

Variations in effect can be due to specific body chemistry.

Start taking any new cannabinoid slowly and modify your dosage as your body adjusts to the new compound.

Check out this CBD dosage video by Dr. Liptan.  Many of the same principles will apply to find the best CBN dosage.


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  1. Karniol IG, Shirakawa I, Takahashi RN, Knobel E, Musty RE. Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man. Pharmacology. 1975;13(6):502–512. doi:10.1159/000136944
  2. Bystritsky A, Khalsa SS, Cameron ME, Schiffman J. Current diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. P T. 2013;38(1):30–57.
  3. Choueiry N, Salamoun T, Jabbour H, El Osta N, Hajj A, Rabbaa Khabbaz L. Insomnia and Relationship with Anxiety in University Students: A Cross-Sectional Designed Study. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0149643. Published 2016 Feb 22. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149643
  4. Andre, Christelle M.; Hausman, Jean-Francois; Guerriero, Gea (2016-02-04). “Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules”Frontiers in Plant Science7: 19. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00019ISSN 1664-462XPMC 4740396PMID 26870049.
  5. UN International Drug Control Conventions
  6. Lu HC, Mackie K. An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System. Biol Psychiatry. 2016;79(7):516–525. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.07.028
  7. Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344–1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  8. Roth T. Insomnia: definition, prevalence, etiology, and consequences. J Clin Sleep Med. 2007;3(5 Suppl):S7–S10.
  9. Farrimond JA, Whalley BJ, Williams CM. Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012;223(1):117–129. doi:10.1007/s00213-012-2697-x
  10. Campolongo P, Trezza V. The endocannabinoid system: a key modulator of emotions and cognition. Front Behav Neurosci. 2012;6:73. Published 2012 Nov 6. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00073
  11. Lu HC, Mackie K. An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System. Biol Psychiatry. 2016;79(7):516–525. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.07.028
  12. Zou S, Kumar U. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(3):833. Published 2018 Mar 13. doi:10.3390/ijms19030833
  13. Sharafi G, He H, Nikfarjam M. Potential Use of Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. J Pancreat Cancer. 2019;5(1):1–7. Published 2019 Jan 25. doi:10.1089/pancan.2018.0019
  14. Dariš B, Tancer Verboten M, Knez Ž, Ferk P. Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation. Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2019;19(1):14–23. Published 2019 Feb 12. doi:10.17305/bjbms.2018.3532
  15. Kogan NM, Mechoulam R. Cannabinoids in health and disease. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2007;9(4):413–430.
  16. Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder SA, Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem. 2009;1(7):1333–1349. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
  17. Repka MA, ElSohly MA, Munjal M, Ross SA. Temperature stability and bioadhesive properties of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol incorporated hydroxypropylcellulose polymer matrix systems. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2006;32(1):21–32. doi:10.1080/03639040500387914
  18. Karniol IG, Shirakawa I, Takahashi RN, Knobel E, Musty RE. Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man. Pharmacology. 1975;13(6):502–512. doi:10.1159/000136944
  19. Russo EB. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Front Plant Sci. 2019;9:1969. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.01969
  20. Russo EB. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Front Plant Sci. 2019;9:1969. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.01969
  21. Wong H, Cairns BE. Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. Arch Oral Biol. 2019;104:33–39. doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2019.05.028
  22. Kogan NM, Mechoulam R. Cannabinoids in health and disease. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2007;9(4):413–430.


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