Even if you’re brand-new to the world of cannabis, you’re likely familiar with two of the plant’s most popular cannabinoids, CBD and THC. These cannabinoids can help with a wide array of issues, including pain, anxiety, inflammation, and more. Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids, though, including one called CBN. Studies are showing that this particular cannabinoid can be helpful for those with insomnia. Here’s what you need to know about CBN for sleep.

What is CBN?

CBN is another cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike THC and CBD, it doesn’t occur in abundance in a fresh plant. It’s actually a product of THC degradation. When exposed to heat and light, THC molecules break down, forming CBN.

cannabis tea for sleep


CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid known for its many healing properties. As a by-product of THC, CBN may have mild psychoactive effects. Like THC, it has an affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It’s much weaker, though, and binds at only approximately one-tenth of the strength. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have an affinity for any CB receptors. Instead, the cannabinoid helps to increase your natural production on endocannabinoids to promote balance within the body.

How CBN May Help with Sleep

Research regarding CBN for sleep is still in the early stages. The results, however, are promising and indicate that the cannabinoid may be a powerful sedative. Some research points to CBN being more effective when combined with other cannabinoids, particularly THC. The greater effectiveness is often attributed to the entourage effect, a phenomenon that occurs when cannabinoids work synergistically with one another to yield stronger effects.

Other Benefits of CBN

Studies show that CBN may have other potential benefits as well, including:

  • Pain relief: research shows that CBN may have analgesic properties, enabling it to help reduce pain. Less pain makes it easier for some to sleep.
  • Anti-inflammatory: CBN may have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential cannabinoid to help treat inflammatory conditions.
  • Antibiotic: CBN may be able to help fight bacterial infections, including those that are antibiotic-resistant.
  • Appetite stimulation: CBN appears to stimulate the appetite, which can make it beneficial for those who struggle to eat due to illnesses such as cancer and their treatment.
  • Bone healing and growth: CBN may help to activate stem cells, promoting new bone growth. It may also help to heal fractures and reverse bone loss. As such, it’s become a topic of interest for those researching therapy for osteoporosis.
  • Cancer-fighting properties: Some research is showing that CBN may be beneficial in fighting cancer, particularly slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. One study found that it was one of the cannabinoids that reduced the size of a tumor in one form of lung cancer.

While there is currently little research regarding CBN, the available studies are showing that it can be effective for helping those with insomnia to get sleep. It’s not abundant in fresh cannabis plants since it occurs as a result of THC degradation, but you can find CBN isolates in the form of tinctures or edibles. If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, check with your local dispensary to see what they have available.