CBD and CBN are both cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, that’s true. Because of this, they may share some similarities but there are also some significant differences between them and their effects.

What are cannabinoids?

In case you aren’t familiar, CBD is a cannabinoid  and so is THC, CBG and CBN. But this only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these little compounds. Scientists estimate there are over 150 cannabinoids found in both Hemp and Marijuana. Of all these, some are more abundant than others like CBD and CBN. Some of these compounds can have an intoxicating affect on the body, like that of THC while others may result more subtle changes. The one thing they all have in common is that the interact with our endocannabinoid system and it’s this interaction that affects our our state of being or homeostasis. The ability of some cannabinoids to have marked impacts on our being without causing euphoria, could be why cannabinoids like CBD and CBN are gaining in popularity.

What is CBN?

CBN is a cannabinoid found in cannabis however, it has a slightly different origin story than CBD. It forms as a result of the break down of THC due to heat, light and storage. Because of this oxidation, a few of things become true:

  • CBN is mildly psychoactive
  • The higher the THC, the lower the CBN
  • It is not possible to breed strains of cannabis that will naturally contain high levels of CBN.

What’s the difference between CBD and CBN?

One major difference is with how CBD and CBN interact with the body. Obviously, CBN binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, the CB1 receptor to be exact. It is that bond that gives THC and, to a lesser extent, CBN is psychoactive characteristics. CBD, however does not appear to bind to the receptors directly which is why the senses remain unaltered and there are no feelings of intoxication.

What else is different between the two?

Another thing that sets them apart from one another is their affect on appetite. Since CBN is the direct result of the oxidation of THC, their characteristics are also similar. In the same way that THC can cause the munchies, or an increase in appetite, not surprisingly, so can CBN. CBD, on the other hand, usually acts as a mild appetite suppressant.

How are they similar?

Even though CBD and CBN are different, they are both cannabinoids after all, so there are also some similarities. This includes their anecdotal ability to affect pain signals received by the brain. Another great thing about cannabinoids is, when used in combination, they work in synergy in what is known as the entourage effect. This essentially means that they work better in combination than in isolation and it is no different for CBN and CBD. Combining CBD and CBN with other cannabinoids, like THC, CBG and CBC means the desired effect of one is enhanced by having the others around. This is why many people choose broad-spectrum and full-spectrum cannabis products over isolates.

Final Thoughts

So while both CBD and CBN may have potential uses and may also have some similarities, they ARE different compounds with their own individual effects. We need more research to fully realize what they are capable of.