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A Complete Guide on the Difference Between CBD and CBN

Today, 14% of American adults use CBD products. CBD is a cannabinoid that’s found in cannabis, and it’s extremely popular because it can do everything THC can do, except without psychoactive effects!

However, CBD and THC aren’t the only cannabinoids that people stand to benefit from. In fact, there are over 110 of them, although only a handful have been studied. For example, there’s CBN, or cannabinol.

What is the difference between CBD and CBN anyway? Read on to find out!

What Is CBD?

Besides THC, CBD (or cannabidiol) is the most well-known cannabinoid right now. It comes from hemp plants and is the second-most abundant cannabinoid, with THC being the first.

Today, many people use CBD in favor of regular cannabis because they won’t get “high.” This means they can reap the benefits of this cannabinoid without feeling intoxicated.

Also, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, the production of CBD products ramped up. This was because the bill made marijuana plants that had 0.3% THC legal as industrial hemp.

Benefits of CBD

As we’ve already discussed above, one of the biggest benefits of CBD is the fact that you can get all the same results you would from THC, except without the high.

What does this mean for you? It means you can get help with things like stimulating your appetite, improving sleep quality, reducing pain, and decreasing inflammation.

How to Use CBD

CBD can be used in a number of forms. This includes:

  • Smoking
  • Vaping
  • Edibles
  • Topicals
  • Tinctures

What Is CBN?

CBN (or cannabinol) is also a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, there is very little CBN found in cannabis, especially when compared to THC and CBD.

Why? Because you have to oxidize THC in order to get CBN. So even though it naturally occurs in cannabis plants, CBN is only found after the plant is exposed to heat or light, and then the THC breaks down.

In theory, you can get some marijuana and leave it for a little bit. When you come back to it, some of the THC in it will have broken down and created some CBN.

Benefits of CBN

CBN actually has a lot of the same benefits as CBD. For example, it can help with pain and inflammation, as well as sleep quality. However, CBN can also have a sedative effect, which is great if you need to relax or alleviate anxiety.

How to Use CBN

Just like with CBD, you can use CBN in a variety of forms from smoking to tinctures. For example, trying CBN gummies for sleep can produce some noticeable results.

Like with all other cannabis products, you’ll have to experiment to find out what works best for you.


Now that you know a little more about CBD and CBN, let’s compare and contrast the two. While yes, both are cannabinoids, there are some differences between them.

Read on to find out the differences (and similarities!).

Difference: Quantity Found in Cannabis Plants

For one, CBD can be freely found in large abundance in cannabis and hemp plants. However, CBN needs to be broken down from THC, and even then, there are very little amounts. This means you’ll only find trace amounts in hemp plants, as those are bred to have high CBD and low THC content.

Difference: How They Interact With Your Endocannabinoid System

Also, these two cannabinoids interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system differently. But before we get into that, let’s discuss briefly what this system is and what it does.

Your endocannabinoid system is responsible for a number of processes in your body to create homeostasis. This includes your moods, immune system, appetite, memory, and more.

Your body makes 2 endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). And you have 2 endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 (central nervous system) and CB2 (peripheral nervous system).

What’s interesting is that because CBN is derived from THC, it acts in a similar way to that cannabinoid. This means it binds to CB1 receptors, but at a much lower strength.

On the other hand, CBD doesn’t bind to any receptors, at least not directly.

Similarity: They Help With Negative Effects From THC

One similarity they do have is the ability to suppress the negative effects you get from THC, such as paranoia and anxiety. If you like to partake in products that do have THC in them, but get bad side effects, then try to go for ones that also have other cannabinoids; more specifically, CBD and CBN.

Similarity: The Entourage Effect

The most important thing about CBD and CBN is that both of their benefits can be boosted through what’s called the entourage effect. This is where both cannabinoids work together to boost each other’s properties.

What’s great about the entourage effect is it doesn’t just work between cannabinoids. It also involves other compounds of cannabis or hemp plants, such as terpenes and flavonoids.

This is why it’s important that you don’t just use isolate products. Instead, go for full-spectrum or broad-spectrum. These two options give you a whole mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Do note that full-spectrum products do contain up to 0.3% of THC, which means it might be possible to fail drug tests. So if you’re worried about that, go for broad-spectrum, which includes everything but THC.

Now You Know the Difference Between CBD and CBN

By knowing the difference between CBD and CBN, you can make better choices when it comes to your health.

While both certainly have their strengths, the best thing you can do is take them together. This allows you to experience the entourage effect, which is only beneficial to you.

To find out more about health and wellness, make sure sure you read our other blog articles now!`

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