In 1960, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard climbed into the deep-sea submersible, Trieste, and became the first humans to visit the Marianas Trench. Less than a decade later, Neil Armstrong stepped off the Apollo 11 and became the first man to walk on the moon. But, do you know when the first cannabinoid was successfully isolated from Cannabis and which cannabinoid it was? Many people may jump to the answer, THC. However, it was cannabinol, otherwise known as CBN, that was first isolated from cannabis oil in the late 1800s. For many years, it was assumed that CBN was the compound inspiring the psychoactive properties during cannabis consumption.
In the 1930s, RS Cahn identified CBN’s chemical structure and scientific interest in cannabinoids quickly expanded. In 1940, a synthetic version of CBN was successfully created in the USA, a full two years before THC was even extracted for the first time. Once those feats were accomplished, researchers started testing the compounds in experiments to further understand their properties.
In 1946, Loewe discovered that CBN could be administered at a high enough level that it both induced catalepsy in mice and, ultimately, death. This, among other observations of other cannabinoids, were some of the initial reports that led scientists to link the structure of cannabinoids to their psychoactive properties.
That’s why today, we’re discussing five potential positives and benefits of CBN that have been elucidated throughout the decades!
1. CBN blends well with other cannabinoids.
To this day, the multivarious combinations of cannabinoids that are possible overwhelm the research that’s been done on the subject. However, in 1975, researchers were looking at how the combination of THC and CBN impacted humans. Published in Pharmacology in 1975, the research showed that CBN plays many important roles when combined with THC.
For instance, they noted that alone, “delta9-THC produced an increase in heart rate while CBN did not,” but that when combined, “no changes occurred on the electrocardiogram, blood pressure, or body temperature.” This means that CBN may play a significant role in modulating the physiological impact of cannabis.
Furthermore, their research suggested that the properties of CBN are not limited to the physiological. The data demonstrated that, when combined with THC, CBN application introduced difficulty judging the proper length of one minute. It also showed that the combination left subjects with enhanced feelings of:
- Being “drugged” or “drunk”
This led the researchers to conclude that to some degree, “CBN increases the effect of delta9-THC on some aspects of physiological and psychological processes.” Although CBN is commonly thought of as a product that’s the result of THC degradation, it seems it may be useful either through design or a natural accident, as it blends very well with other cannabinoids.
2. CBN may help people with allergy-induced asthma.
In 2009, Nagarkatti et al. published a paper in Future Medicinal Chemistry that outlined some of the potential benefits of cannabis consumption for people who have allergic asthma. Since this disease is “complex inflammatory disorder characterized by airway hyper-responsiveness, elevated serum IgE, recruitment of eosinophils into the lung and mucus hypersecretion by goblet cells,” the researchers noted CBN’s ability to attenuate the expression of these serums. This causes the system to create less allergen-induced mucus. As a result, the researchers postulated that CBN might be “a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of allergic airway diseases.”
So, CBN may prove useful for asthmatics who live in environments where they are likely to encounter allergens. This may include seasonal changes, the work environment, and even living conditions at home. Perhaps the best way for asthmatics to consume CBN is through sublingual application. Since asthmatics may be inclined to avoid smoking cannabis flower, using a product such as Revita Oil’s 1:1 CBN:CBD tincture is likely the best route.
3. CBN may play a role in both inflammation and vasodilation.
A few years later, researchers wanted to explore an array of cannabinoids and their properties. Publishing their paper in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers noted that cannabinoids may play an extensive role in regulating TRP channels in the content of primary afferent nerve fibers by impacting both inflammatory response and vasodilation. In simpler terms: when blood vessels and injury responses aren’t working well, cannabis may help. In fact, the researchers noted that CBN appears to be “relatively potent at TRPA1” and that, in terms of potency at impacting this channel, it’s only behind CBC and CBD.
Given CBD’s popularity, it’s a wonder why CBN doesn’t get as much attention. Inflammation plays a role in the majority of diseases and injuries that humans face. Given the broad number of people that inflammation does or will affect, perhaps CBN will start to get more recognition and research will delve even further into anti-inflammatory properties.
4. CBN may help you sleep better.
Splaying legs and rolling around may make it difficult to sleep at night. Sadly, many people suffer from some form of a sleep-related disorder. According to the Cleveland Clinic, roughly 70 million Americans suffer from common sleep disorders. Thus, we have another good reason to discuss and promote the use of CBN.
In 1975, researchers found that those 70 million Americans may find some relief in the consumption of CBN. Their data indicated that CBN impacted catatonia, analgesia, and sleep time in lab mice. They also saw that combining CBN with THC created a synergistic effect on many of their pharmacological properties. In today’s terms, we often call this the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect may help boost the sleep-inducing properties of many cannabinoids, and at this point, we should not discount the importance of CBN in that regard.
5. CBN may impact psoriasis.
Research from 2007 showed that CBN application may help with transformed human keratinocytes. The antiproliferative actions observed led researchers to believe that cannabinoids, like CBN, may have therapeutic value in treating psoriasis. The researchers concluded by saying that “our results show that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, and therefore support a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis.”
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CBN was the first phytocannabinoid to be isolated, yet it’s still one of the less-discussed cannabinoids out there. This vital cannabinoid obviously needs more attention. If this article has helped you better understand what CBN has to offer, please share it with your friends!