One of the active components of Cannabis is called Cannabinoids. Cannabis contains various types of cannabinoids. The most abundant cannabinoid is THC or 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol) are also active ingredients of cannabis. THC breaks down into CBN.
People usually confuse the differences between CBD and CBN. They consider it the same component of cannabis with the same action. However, this is not true.
CBD differs a lot from CBN, and this article will discuss the differences between CBD and CBN.
What are Cannabinoids?
These are chemical compounds that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. They are present in trichomes and the sticky glands on the cannabis plant. They are also called as phytoo-cannabinoids and exo-cannabinoids.
Some cannabinoids are known for having a psychoactive action while others have various medicinal uses.
The action of these cannabinoids on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) was discovered by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University, Jerusalem in the 1960s.
The ECS is present in the bodies of mammals in various glands, organs, and even skin.
Since the 1960s, research has been done on the action of these cannabinoids on ECS and scientists are trying to understand the interaction of these two.
What is CBD?
CBD is an important cannabinoid that has important medicinal uses. As compared to THC it has relatively less psychoactive properties. The medical conditions for which it is used include migraines, arthritis, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and spasms.
Studies are being conducted to find the use of CBD in anti-cancer treatment, and in recovery from stroke and heart attack. It has calming and relaxing properties.
What is CBN?
CBN or Cannabinol is released as a metabolite of THC. It has a low potential of causing euphoria as it is not a psychoactive cannabinoid. However, it makes the user sluggish and groggy.
CBN is known to be an anxiolytic; it reduces muscle spams being an anti-spasmodic substance and helps in relieving the symptoms of glaucoma. Research is continued on CBN and its medicinal uses.
What is the Mechanism of Action of CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol)?
CBD and CBN activate the cannabinoid receptors present in the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoid receptors are of two types; C1 and C2. C2 receptors are only present in the peripheral tissues while C1 receptors are present in the brain as well as peripheral tissues.
These receptors further through signal transduction control other systems, alleviating anxiety, pain and reducing muscle spasms.
What are the Key Differences between CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol)?
Mechanism of Production in the Cannabis Plant
In the Cannabis plant, cannabigerolic acid is produced that combines with other products to produce THCA, CBDA, etc. which are the acid forms of THC and CBD respectively. This happens in the live plant.
After harvesting, you need to decarboxylate the cannabinoids to make them effective. Decarboxylation can be achieved by heating the plant. Heating releases CBD from CBDA
CBN can be produced in two different ways, that includes decarboxylation and aging. During decarboxylation THC breaks into CBN too. The aging method requires time as it is a slow process. CBD can’t be produced by aging.
What are the Benefits of CBD And CBN?
As we can see from the table above, CBD produces more effects, and thus these effects can be used for medicinal purposes. Considering this, CBD is more important medicinally.
CBD not only has analgesic action, but it also acts as an anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant.
Therefore, CBD has been used in the treatment regimen of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, epilepsy, and muscle spasms. It also stimulates bone formation thus it can be used by osteoporosis patients.
Is CBD or CBN Get You High?
CBD is not at all psychoactive, so it won’t get you high. Most of the CBD products have very low THC and high CBD content.
It is considered mildly psychoactive. Some studies say that is a potent sedative. However, it doesn’t produce high like THC.
What are the Side-Effects of CBD And CBN?
CBD and CBN have very few side effects. CBD causes dry mouth. It doesn’t cause any stomach disorders. CBD can interact with other drugs, so if you are taking any medications, you need to be careful and need to consult your doctor.
Similarly, CBN has very few side effects. It causes sedation.
To sum up, both CBD and CBN do have a lot of similarities but they differ in many ways.
Most of all, CBD has far more medicinal uses than CBN as it has a lot of effects. CBD is way safer than CBN as it has limited side effects and doesn’t cause sedation.
Also, CBD doesn’t get you high which is another plus point. CBD is produced in a different manner than that of CBN.