February 09, 2023

Can you take too much CBN?

A common question that comes up in conversations about cannabinoids is whether a person can OD. Much as we’d like to give a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, it’s not that simple.

That’s because, unlike conventional medications, there are so many moving parts when it comes to cannabinoids. People respond differently to them, which is a major reason we cannot provide a straight answer. There are many other reasons, of course.

In principle, it’s possible that you can take too much of anything; as the proverbial saying goes, “too much of anything is dangerous.” Theoretically, a person can take too much CBN, but the question that would likely follow is, “then what?” Moreover, how much CBN is “too much?” 

These are fears people new to cannabis frequently worry about, and we get it. As an area of research where so much work is still needed, such concerns are valid. That’s why in this article, we explore CBN in detail to understand its properties, potential health benefits, and usage.

Once these are clear, we can conclude whether you can take too much CBN.

Key Takeaways

  • CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis widely acclaimed for its ability to promote sleep.
  • The side effects of CBN are mainly anecdotal. But there is evidence it may enhance the psychoactive effects of ∆9-THC.
  • You can take “too much” CBN, in theory. However, it is an unrealistic exercise in practice.
  • Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBN is completely legal.

What is CBN?

CBN, or cannabinol, is a cannabinoid formed when ∆9-THC degrades. This can happen when ∆9-THC is exposed to light. As a result, CBN is mostly found in aged cannabis material. Quality checks sometimes evaluate the age and quality of cannabis by its CBN content.

If we assess cannabis from a time perspective, CBN would probably be its most important cannabinoid. That’s due to its extraordinary stability and direct relationship with the principal psychoactive ingredient ∆9-THC – the singular identifier for narcotic cannabis. 

Compared to other cannabinoids like CBD and THC, CBN pales in popularity. However, experts agree that it possesses unique chemical properties with potential health benefits. Indeed, CBN has been studied for its probable pharmaceutical value, with its sleep-promoting property getting the most attention. 

Interestingly, CBN is referred to in some quarters as the “sleepy cannabinoid in old weed” – an anecdotal testament to its ability to enhance sleep. 

Despite being the first cannabinoid to be isolated and identified from cannabis, research on other major cannabinoids has eclipsed studies on CBN. So we purpose to give this “forgotten” cannabinoid due attention, focusing on its effects and how to use it safely.

CBN Side Effects

If you are worried about taking too much CBN, it’s better to learn more about its side effects. As is usually the case with cannabinoids, side effects are typically experienced at higher doses. ∆9-THC is perhaps an excellent reference point. Its adverse side effects are well-known.

What about CBN? Research on CBN’s potential side effects is limited, making it tricky to speak authoritatively about its safety. It is also worth noting that there is little published information on CBN’s toxicity. But since it is pretty similar to CBD, we mostly tend to draw parallels between the two cannabinoids. 

CBD is widely believed to be safe and well-tolerated by most people. But on the off-chance that there are side effects, they are usually relatively mild. However, a worrying concern about CBD relates to its potential interaction with other drugs. As a result, at-risk cohorts like pregnant women and lactating mothers are advised to avoid cannabinoids.

The following side effects of CBN are based on anecdotal reports:

Next Day Grogginess

Many users report feeling groggy after taking CBN. Since it is generally used as a sleep aid, it is likely that taking CBN during the day could induce grogginess. CBN may produce a calming effect due to its weak affinity for the CB1 receptor. By now, we know that the activation of these receptors can be characterized by analgesic, narcotic (euphoric), and anxiolytic effects.

Luckily, it’s been shown that the effects of cannabinoids are mostly dose-dependent. So, lowering your dose might reduce these effects. Also, these effects will likely wear off, gradually, due to its weak affinity for the CB receptors. 

Increased Tiredness

Fatigue is one of the often-cited side effects of CBD, so users claiming to feel tired after taking CBN may probably have a point. However, CBN is generally favored for its sleep-promoting benefits as it can support healthy sleep-wake cycles. 

For some users, CBN has sedative-like effects, which can easily be interpreted as tiredness. For this reason, CBN is ideal for bedtime routines. However, some users combine CBN with CBD when they need to be alert during the day and address health ailments.

Appetite Changes

The actual effect of CBN on appetite remains unclear. Some users claim it suppresses appetite, while others report better appetite. However, two rat studies showed that CBN might increase the desire to eat 1 2. As a result, it could be beneficial in medical cases such as anorexia nervosa.

In instances where CBN induces loss of appetite, all fingers point to the endocannabinoid system. This complex and poorly-understood neuromodulatory system mediates numerous bodily functions. It is possible sometimes it could induce paradoxical effects to maintain homeostasis. 

But it is pretty easy to tell whether CBN makes you lose or gain an appetite. The good news is that if it affects your appetite negatively, you can simply wait for it to wear off. Surely, losing/gaining an appetite for a day should not cause you sleepless nights!


Dizziness can be symptomatic of just about anything, so it is not surprising it makes it to this list. However, certain symptoms usually co-occur. If you are tired, you may also feel dizzy, which could also affect your appetite. 

If you feel dizzy right after taking CBN, other factors could be at play. One of the many issues facing the hemp industry is substandard products. The industry is unregulated, so quality and safety fall within the purview of manufacturers. In some cases, what is advertised as contained in the products sometimes turns out to be inaccurate.

So, if a negative effect persists, discontinue use and seek medical attention.

Enhance the effects of THC

A lesser-known side effect of CBN relates to its ability to potentiate the psychoactive effects of THC. It’s been shown that when CBN and THC are taken together, there is a substantial increase in psychoactive effects.

On its own, CBN exhibits little psychotomimetic effects due to its weak interaction with the CB1 receptor. It is thought to have one-quarter the potency of THC, so anyone will need to take a significantly large dose of CBN to feel “high.”

How to Use CBN

How you use CBN products depends on their form, which is typically similar to other cannabinoid products. These products are usually available as edibles, topicals, or inhales. Normally, product type determines its potency and effects. 

For example, edibles have longer-lasting effects than inhales, although they take longer to kick in. generally, they are three ways to use CBN products – orally, topically, and by inhaling.


Edibles like gummies, capsules, and pills are taken orally, i.e., through the mouth. There is a lot of innovation in the edibles space as companies continue to churn out novel products. For example, gummies are popular thanks to being discrete and convenient.

You can move with them around, popping in a few when the need arises. What’s more, they come in various flavors to enhance their usability. 


You could also opt to use CBN in topical form. Topical formulations are becoming increasingly popular among various demographics, such as athletes. CBN is noted for its anti-inflammatory properties, hence may help with inflammatory skin conditions, aches and pain. 

One advantage of topicals is that they are fast-acting. However, they don’t penetrate deeply into the skin, so they are not ideal for deep-tissue conditions; however, for localized inflammatory pain, they are a great choice.

Can You Take Too Much CBN?

While incidences of overdosing on natural cannabinoids are extremely rare, you could take too much. This would be accompanied by unpleasant effects such as stomach upsets, drowsiness, lethargy, nausea, and diarrhea. It is unlikely for these effects to be fatal, though.

Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, like CBD, CBN, CBC, and CBG, have a relatively decent safety profile. Therefore, even if taken in substantially large doses, death is highly improbable. Moreover, due to the latency of its effects, CBN is rarely a single ingredient in a product – it is often combined with other cannabinoids. 

Now that we’ve mentioned them, learn more about the differences between CBD and CBC

CBN isolate vs full spectrum CBN

From the cannabis extract, different types of products can be made. These are mainly classified into three – full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. 

So, full-spectrum CBN is essentially a hemp extract in which CBN is the primary ingredient. However, such an extract also contains other cannabinoids, including ∆9-THC. Full-spectrum CBD is the richest cannabis extract, containing terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabis compounds. 

Terpenes play a vital role in cannabinoid activity, and their effects on the body are also well-established.

Broad-spectrum CBN is hemp extract with CBN as the main ingredient. However, unlike full-spectrum CBN, it does not contain ∆9-THC, but other cannabinoids may be present.

CBN isolates are hemp extracts with CBN as the only ingredient. These are regarded as the purest forms of cannabinoid products. 

Generally, due to its richness, full-spectrum CBD is considered more effective than isolates or broad-spectrum extracts. The “entourage effect” is thought to be responsible for this enhanced effectiveness. 

How much CBN is too much?

There are no toxicology studies on CBN to inform on the dose that can be considered “too much.” So, for the most part, we infer such information from CBD’s toxicology reports.

According to a paper in Current Drug Safety, CBD is potentially toxic at doses of 20,000mg taken at once. To put this in context, consider that our Sleep gummies contain 20mg of CBD and 5mg of CBN. 

To overdose on this product, you would have to consume 1,000 gummies at one go, spending nearly $1,700! This is not practical unless you’re gunning for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records! Even then, 20,000mg of CBD is still not considered lethal.

As mentioned earlier, CBN naturally exists in extremely low amounts. But even if synthesized artificially, getting a large enough quantity to overdose is still not easy. Realistically, you simply can’t take too much CBN. 

CBN dosage for sleep

So, as discussed herein, cannabinoids like CBN have properties that may help resolve sleep problems. If you are thinking of giving them a try, knowing the recommended dosage certainly helps. 

Here’s the thing though – cannabinoids don’t produce the same results in everyone. So, dosing is largely a subjective exercise. That said, there are general dosing guidelines that you can follow.

“Start slow and low” is one of these. It recommends starting with low doses and increasing gradually as you monitor how your body responds. The rule of thumb is to begin with 5mg of CBN. This can then be increased weekly by an equivalent dosage until you realize your health goals.

Our Sleep Gummies contain 5mg of CBN mixed with 20mg of CBD. This potent combination quickly calms the mind and body, inducing sedation. Moreover, they may also help reduce pain and inflammation, putting you in a much more relaxed state to fall asleep easily.

CBN dosage for anxiety 

Same trick as before – start with a lower dose and increase gradually. Eventually, the effective CBN dose for anxiety may probably be higher than for sleeplessness. A recommended starter dose is 5mg CBN and 15mg CBD. 

Is CBN Legal?

Hemp-derived CBN is completely legal. That’s due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and its associated products.

As a result, a wide variety of CBN-containing hemp products are readily available in many states. However, if you want clean, safe, and effective products, get them from online manufacturers like Dragon Hemp. But why Dragon Hemp?

Where to buy CBN online 

Dragon Hemp is a modern health and wellness brand specializing in custom-tailored hemp products. All our ingredients are organic, clean-sourced, and of the highest grade. Because we understand the healing power of botanicals and Chinese herbs, we have custom formulae for combining hemp and herbs for higher potency and efficacy.

So, check out our full range of natural products at this link. Whether your issue is weight loss, anxiety, pain and inflammation, insomnia, or poor concentration, we have products that may offer the relief you so dearly desire.

You can also learn more about CBN by clicking on this video.

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