What’s a MINOR Cannabinoid?
THC and CBD as cannabinoids are widely discussed in the cannabis industry and daily in each retail dispensary. However, mature markets typically feature several cannabis products that contain neither of these. So, is it considered a cannabis product if there no THC in it? Besides the two VIP molecules, there are many other cannabinoids present in trace amounts that have surprisingly powerful benefits that are not as widely talked about. The cannabis industry is witnessing a shift in focus from well-known compounds like THC and CBD to the less explored minor cannabinoids. Among these, CBN (Cannabinol) stands out for its unique attributes and potential health benefits. So let’s take an in-depth look at CBN, highlighting its emergence, benefits, and interest in minor cannabinoids.
A Closer Look at Minor Cannabinoids
Minor cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis plants in smaller concentrations compared to the more famous THC and CBD. Despite their lower quantities, they are gaining popularity for their distinctive effects and potential health benefits. These include cannabinoids like CBG (Cannabigerol), CBC (Cannabichromene), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), each offering unique properties such as neuroprotective effects, anti-inflammatory properties, and appetite suppression. CBN is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid known for its relaxing and sedative effects. Unlike THC, it doesn’t produce a euphoric high. CBN is naturally created as a byproduct of THC’s oxidation, typically found in aged cannabis.
Potential Benefits of CBN
- Sleep Aid: CBN’s most notable benefit is its potential as a natural sleep aid, aiding in insomnia relief and sleep quality improvement.
- Pain Relief: Similar to other cannabinoids, CBN might help alleviate pain by affecting pain perception pathways.
- Neuroprotection: Early research points towards CBN’s potential in protecting nerve cells, suggesting its role in neurodegenerative disease management.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBN could offer relief in various inflammatory conditions due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
- Appetite Stimulation: Preliminary findings show CBN’s capability to stimulate appetite, aiding in conditions like cachexia.
Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. CBN’s bioavailability can vary based on the method of consumption. The isolation and synthesis of CBN are complex processes, often starting with the extraction of THC from cannabis, followed by its oxidation to CBN. However, new technologies have explored the biocatalytic process of producing CBN from CBD isolate in high yield and purity. In dried cannabis flower, the naturally occurring amount of CBN is generally low, less than 3%. However, this can increase as the THC in the plant ages and is exposed to oxygen.
Where can I find CBN?
The rising popularity of CBN (Cannabinol) is attributed to its rarity and health benefits. CBN can be infused in various products, including edibles, capsules, tinctures, and topical solutions, most often in the presence of THC or CBD, but isolated products are also possible. Its incorporation into these products allows users to leverage its benefits in a controlled and convenient manner. The legal status of CBN can be complex, as it’s derived from THC. Its legality often mirrors that of THC and cannabis in various jurisdictions. CBN’s intriguing potential makes it a subject of growing interest in the cannabis research community.