Is CBN Good for Anxiety?

Is CBN Good for Anxiety?

If you regularly sync up with the goings-on in the health and wellness sector you may have heard of cannabis-based supplements. From CBD to CBC and THCV, an increasing number of health supplements contain cannabis ingredients, and for good reason.

Both new and existing scientific studies implicate cannabis compounds in widespread beneficial pharmacological activities within the human body. From pain relief to decreasing anxiety and even reducing the severity and frequency of seizures, these compounds have been a revelation.

In this article, we’ll explore the effects of cannabinol (CBN) on anxiety. As the most common mental health problem in the US, anxiety comes in different forms. Regardless of the type of anxiety a person has, some symptoms are common and cannabinoids may help alleviate some of these symptoms.

CBN is a minor cannabinoid, existing only in small amounts in aged cannabis plant material. Much like CBD and THC are created from the precursor compound cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), CBN results from the oxidation of THC. 

In some publications, CBN is called the “weaker THC.” So-called because  it is mildly psychoactive but not to the level of THC. Fresh or recently harvested cannabis has little to no CBN. As for hemp, the CBN in it must come from the precursor compound cannabinolic acid (CBDA), considering its typically low THC content.

That said, read on to understand how CBN may help reduce some symptoms of anxiety.

Key takeaways 

  • Cannabinol is a minor cannabinoid that results from the gradual degradation of THC.
  • It is mildly psychoactive but only when taken in large amounts
  • CBN is associated with a host of health benefits, such as pain relief, appetite stimulation, anxiety reduction, and neuroprotection.
  • It has no known side effects, but more research is needed on this front.

How CBN Can Improve Your Sleep, Mood, and Health 

Before diving headfirst into how CBN can improve sleep, mood, and health, let’s first explore how it works.

Like all cannabinoids, CBN exerts its pharmacological effects by activating or blocking receptor activity. In particular, this cannabinoid demonstrates a partial affinity for cannabinoid receptor type 1 and type 2, i.e., CB1 and CB2.

These two cannabinoids are the most prevalent in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the most studied. The ECS mediates various bodily functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, and pain perception. It is thought that the ECS controls not less than 15 functions in the body and, as such, it is a critical system.

CB1 receptors are predominant in the central nervous system (CNS), while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral immune system. As a result, when these receptors are activated, they trigger responses that coincide with their locations. 

For example, because CB1 receptors are mainly in the brain, their activation typically creates cerebral effects like intoxication, mental clarity, altered pain perception, etc. Similarly, the activation of CB2 receptors is linked with bodily effects like better immune responses.

Research further shows that CBN elicits various activities on the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels. It also inhibits the reuptake of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. This increases the concentration of these chemical messengers in the body with widespread implications for neurological functions.

Benefits of CBN 

Because of the interactions between CBN and various receptors in the body, it can trigger sweeping physiological processes that are beneficial to the body.

Here are some of CBN’s benefits with scientific backing. Remember that most of these studies have been conducted on animal models, so more research is needed on human models. 

Anti-inflammatory effects

An animal study suggested that CBN may reduce arthritis-induced inflammation in rats. Moreover, because it is a TRPV1 agonist, it may have a therapeutic value as a topical application in treating burns.

This cannabinoid also demonstrates the potential to inhibit the proliferation of human keratinocytes by interacting with non-cannabinoid receptors. As a result, it has potential utility in managing dermatological conditions like psoriasis.


Even though hard evidence supporting CBN’s sleep-promoting properties is lacking, its effect on sleep may be indirect. In particular, this cannabinoid may reduce sleep distractors like stress, pain, and inflammation, thus making it easier to fall asleep.

Indeed, CBN’s anti-inflammatory qualities have been established in a few studies, indicating that it may help reduce psychological arousal due to pain.

Similarly, a 2016 study suggested that CBN treatment helped rats become less susceptible to mechanical stimulation. If these findings can be replicated in human models, then taking CBN before bed may make it much easier to fall asleep.

So, even though there is no evidence that CBN directly promotes sleep, it’s still worth trying. That’s because different people have different things that help them sleep better. If taking CBN makes you restful and relaxed, then go for it.

Pain relief

Most cannabis research focuses on CBN’s anxiolytic and sleep-promoting qualities. However, there are suggestions that CBN could be a mild analgesic and potentially help with conditions like chronic pain

A 2019 study investigating the combined effect of CBD and CBN on rats with myofascial pain found that these cannabinoids provided analgesic relief for chronic pain disorders. Moreover, it showed that topical CBN/CBD increased the mechanical threshold for sensitivity. In other words, they increased muscle tissue resistance to pain.

The effectiveness of these cannabinoids in reducing pain can be attributed to their ability to activate TRP receptors. Typically, when TRPV-2 receptors are activated, they trigger the release of CGRP proteins. These are neurotransmitters involved in mediating pain perception and relief.


CBN may also be of therapeutic value for aging brains. According to a study published in the Free Radical Biology Medicine journal, the researchers found that CBN “protects neurons from oxidative stress and [eventual] cell death” – the two major causes of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. 

CBN also contributed to better mitochondrial health. Mitochondria are essentially the energy sources for brain cells. One of the effects of oxidative stress in brain cells is oxytosis. This is characterized by the gradual loss of glutathione – an antioxidant that minimizes neural cell damage. 

In the absence of glutathione, the mitochondria curl like donuts. Treating such cells with CBN prevents them from curling, thereby maintaining mitochondrial function. The icing on the cake is that CBN exerts this therapeutic effect without activating CB receptors, meaning it does not induce psychoactive responses.

Stimulating appetite

If you are on a weight loss program, then it may be advisable to keep off CBN for a little while. That’s because CBN, like THC, can activate the CB1 receptors and whet the appetite well. 

A 2012 study that sought to prove this theory found that lab rats treated with CBD did not exhibit hunger. However, those treated with CBN were much hungrier and ate substantially more.

These findings make CBN a possible therapeutic alternative for people struggling with appetite loss, such as cancer patients.

Effects of CBN 

Being a cannabinoid, it is likely that CBN has side effects. However, there are no documented reports of it having adverse effects presently. This does not mean CBN is faultless, it only means more research is needed on CBN to establish its downsides. 

Be that as it may, most people use CBN for its sleep-promoting quality. So, one potential side effect you should watch out for is drowsiness. This may be crucial, especially if you plan to drive or handle heavy machinery.

Additionally, CBN has been associated with failed drug tests even without THC. How is this possible? One study found that it could be due to cross-reactivity. Remember that CBN is essentially oxidized THC, so some of its molecules may be detected as THC molecules.

Indeed, the study found that cross-reactivity generated positive results in two commercial drug tests. Incidentally, CBN was the only cannabinoid present.

Also, cannabinoids have been noted to interact with other medications. This could lead to wide-ranging negative effects, so it is advisable to consult a qualified physician before using cannabinoids while on other medications.

Doesn’t get you high

Although CBN is a THC metabolite, it is nowhere near THC in terms of psychoactivity. Granted, there are indications it could be mildly psychoactive since it binds (albeit weakly) to CB1 receptors.

However, for CBN to induce noticeable psychoactivity, it must be taken in large doses. This might be impractical, considering hemp typically contains ~ 0.3% THC or lower. After oxidation, the concentration of CBN will undoubtedly be even lower!

Can you mix CBD and CBN 

You absolutely  can mix CBN and CBD! Combining cannabinoids have been shown to enhance their overall effect – a phenomenon called the “entourage/ensemble effect.” That is why most cannabis products contain more than one cannabinoid.

If anything, CBN is regarded as a “lazy” cannabinoid. That is because, on its own, it does not do much. However, when paired with its peers like THC or CBD, suddenly, it springs to life! For instance, a 2019 study showed that a combination of CBD/CBN was more effective in reducing pain in rats than either cannabinoid alone.

So, we expect that mixing CBN and CBD will result in even better outcomes. The other advantage of mixing cannabinoids is that you use smaller portions of both. In effect, you can make them last longer.

Is CBN Good for Anxiety

Yes, CBN may have substantial therapeutic benefits for people dealing with anxiety disorders. There are, in fact, indications that CBN may be a better anxiolytic than CBD. When combined with other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, its anxiety-relieving effects multiply many times over.

So, if you have been mulling using CBN to manage anxiety, go right ahead.

Where to buy CBN Online 

The key to having cannabinoids work for you is quality. This is turning out to be a rare commodity in the fledgling cannabis industry due to the influx of cannabis products from unverified sources.

However, at Dragon Hemp, we make products that work. All our products are made with premium hemp compounds amplified by potent botanicals and Chinese herbs. They are organic, clean-sourced, and of the highest quality.

So, if you have been struggling with anxiety or sleeplessness, our Sleep Gummies may just be what you need. These tasty gummies are made with high-quality CBD and CBN to help you fall and stay asleep longer. Vegan, low-sugar, and organically grown, they are ideal for everyone.

What’s more, they come in two flavors – lemon ginger and black lavender – to give you the luxury of choosing the flavor that works best for you.

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