CBN Oil For Sleep
This rare cannabinoid may be even better than CBD or THC at transporting you to land of dreams. Learn what CBN (cannabinol) is and how to take it.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. It takes up one-third of our lives and affects how we feel, think, learn, work and react the other two-thirds of the time. It’s especially important for people with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems to sleep well. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles and daily stresses make it difficult to get enough sleep. In the United States, 11% of Americans report insufficient sleep every single night. Now, the current pandemic and related economic and social stresses may further aggravate insomnia and sleep problems. So, what are we to do?
Many people are turning to CBD and THC, the two best-known cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants, for relief. These compounds occur naturally and interact with the human endocannabinoid system. Therefore, they likely have far fewer side effects than many over the counter and prescription sleeping pills. Studies show CBD promotes a sense of calm and increases REM sleep. But, there’s also a new, rare cannabinoid on the block: CBN (cannabinol) that may prove to be the most effective of all at helping you get a good night’s sleep.
‘Sagacious sleep powder’
There is a long, long history of cannabis/hemp use for sleep. A Chinese text, Heart Text of Bian Que, dated to 1127-1270 AD, refers to a remedy known as “sagacious sleep powder,” which was made from the cannabis flower “mahua.”
Of course, we don’t know what percent of the 12th century plant was THC – the part that gets you high – versus CBD – a non-psychoactive cannabinoid – or other rare cannabinoids like CBN and terpenes. While THC has been found to help people fall asleep more quickly, CBD is known for reducing anxiety and promoting dreams. The quest for a better night’s sleep is one of the main reasons that people say they take CBD or get a medical marijuana card.
Drowsy, sedative effect
For anyone who has smoked cannabis or remembers seeing their college roommate vegged out in a state of “couch-lock” after getting high, they can attest to the relaxing attributes of some types of cannabis. It turns out that this sleepy quality is most prevalent in cannabis or hemp that has been aged. CBN is the compound created when THC ages – and when heated or exposed to oxygen – and is what is believed to be responsible for the drowsy or sedative effect. While this effect is not something people want all the time, it can be desirable for relaxing and falling asleep.
It used to be very difficult to extract or isolate just the CBN in cannabis or hemp. However, thanks to recent advances in technology, CBN can now be offered as a single extract or in a 1:1 CBN:CBD full spectrum blend. Taking CBN in a full spectrum blend will also assist the “entourage effect.” That is a phenomenon whereby taking multiple cannabinoids together makes them react in a more beneficial way than taking them alone.
CBN compared to Diazepam
After initial studies, reputable cannabis laboratory Steep Hill reported, “The consumption of 2.5mg to 5mg of CBN has the same level of sedation as a mild pharmaceutical sedative, with a relaxed body sensation similar to 5mg to 10mg of diazepam.” Diazepam is a prescription anti-anxiety medication similar to Klonopin and Xanax. When questioned about the comparison by cannabis education web site Leafly, Steep Hill removed the reference to Diazepam and said: “Further study is required.” We have to keep in mind that research has been limited by the prohibition of cannabis and hemp for many years and that the FDA limits what companies can and cannot say regarding health claims linked to CBD and other cannabinoids.
Another study showed that volunteer subjects felt more drowsy when taking CBN. They especially felt more tired when taking CBN in combination with THC.
Meanwhile, research in mice has shown that CBN can prolong sleep time.
While formal, large-scale medical studies are needed to look into CBN’s potential sedative properties, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence and self-reported stories of CBN helping people sleep better. For example, Bustle writer Kara McGrath took a blend of CBN with CBD for a month and said it “definitely helped” her sleep more deeply through the night. She compared it to melatonin and felt that, like melatonin, it worked best if she used it occasionally rather than every day. She said she was really pleased that although she had vivid dreams, that she did not have nightmares or insane dreams like some sleep medications, including melatonin, may produce.
How to take CBN
So, how should you take CBN? CBN exists in small quantities in cannabis flower and also in full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD and THC oils and tinctures and vape cartridges. However, it is usually in such small quantities in those forms that you wouldn’t know how much you are taking. Any product with THC will also have a psychoactive effect and get you high.
Rare Cannabinoid Company tinctures offer precise amounts for accurate dosing. Single Extracts of CBN contain 500mg CBN isolate in certified organic MCT coconut oil. The tincture is flavorless and is intended to be taken along with your current daily full or broad spectrum CBD oil or further amplified with THC oil. You can take it sublingually – which means you spray it under your tongue and hold it in your mouth for 30 seconds. It absorbs more quickly this way than if you swallow it and have to digest it. You should take one to two sprays at a time (each spray contains 6.7mg CBN) and use it one to two times daily. For sleep, we recommend that you take it about 30 minutes before bed.
Our Full Spectrum Blend contains 250mg CBN and 250mg CBD from organic Hawaiian hemp. It is recommended as a daily hemp supplement and does not need to be added to. This is because the CBN amplifies the sleepy effect while the full spectrum CBD provides the entourage effect. This blend of CBN and CBD also contains certified organic MCT coconut oil and certified organic good grade Italian lemon and wild orange oils. We recommend you spray it 1-3 times under your tongue, hold it for 30 seconds, then swallow. It should be taken one to two times daily, ideally 30 minutes before bedtime for sleep. Each spray contains 3.3mg CBN and 3.3mg CBD.
As with all CBD oils and cannabinoids, start with a low dose, take it at the same time each day and let the CBN build up in your system. Here’s another guide on how to take CBD oil. Some people notice a difference immediately but for others it can take a week or more. Then, you can adjust your CBN oil intake to meet your needs. A nurse of physician trained in cannabis can also be helpful if you’re taking CBN to address specific sleep issues or insomnia as they may prescribe a different dose depending on your health and sleep history.
Now that pure CBN oil is available to the public and research is expanding, we will hopefully learn more about CBN’s ability to fight insomnia and help people get to sleep and stay asleep. After all, sleep does a body good! And we could all use more of it. …Sweet dreams…