Is CBN Good for Anxiety?

Nov 14, 2023

Sad woman touching her face.

Anxiety disorders are quite common. The American Psychiatric Association contends that roughly 30% of the US adult population has some form of anxiety disorder. Although an occasional state of anxiousness is not bad, it could be detrimental when it becomes frequent.

Being anxious at times is pretty normal and even beneficial. It makes you more alert and primed to cope with uncertainties. However, as is usually the case, too much of anything is poisonous. That's why it's such a relief that anxiety disorders are treatable.

There are several effective treatment options for anxiety. But we are not here for those; we want to focus on an "unconventional" potential therapy for anxiety – cannabinol (CBN). Owing to their growing use, learning more about cannabinoids is vital to utilizing them effectively.

 So let's get straight to it.

Key Takeaways

  • CBN is a rare, mildly psychoactive cannabinoid formed when THC oxidizes.
  • There's little research on CBN's therapeutic benefits, but it may be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and appetite-stimulating.
  • CBN is mainly sold as a sleep aid despite no scientific backing for this claim.
  • There is no evidence that CBN is good for anxiety. However, it may help due to its soothing and sedative effects.

What is CBN?

CBN is a cannabis compound and a member of the cannabinoids family. Other families of cannabis compounds include flavonoids and terpenes, but cannabinoids are, by far, the most studied. 

CBN is a rare cannabinoid, occurring only in trace amounts in aged cannabis. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBN is not directly formed from an acid precursor. Instead, it's created when Delta 9 THC is exposed to air, light, and heat. It's essentially an oxidized version of THC.

As a result, it's weakly psychoactive and exhibits a low affinity for endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors CB1 and CB2. It's through these receptors that CBN exerts its effects on the body. Despite being the first cannabinoid to be discovered, there's little research on CBN. However, it's anecdotally thought to be a strong sleep promoter.

Fortunately, progressive cannabis laws and a growing acceptance of cannabis imply more space for cannabis research. Therefore, we are better positioned to learn more about CBN's therapeutic value. For now, here's what we know.

How Does CBN Work?

CBN works by altering activity at the ECS receptors, predominantly CB1 and CB2. As mentioned earlier, CBN is a partial agonist at both receptors, so it can influence how other molecules bind to these receptors.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors mediate different physiologic processes within the central and peripheral nervous systems. The CB1 receptor is mainly found in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids

On the other hand, the CB2 receptor predominates the peripheral nervous and immune systems. So, it's mainly involved in immunosuppression and anti-inflammatory actions.

However, cannabinoids generally exhibit broad pharmacological profiles owing to their interactions with receptors within and beyond the ECS. As such, it would be erroneous to attribute CBN's pharmacological activity solely to its interaction with CB1 and CB2. 

Does CBN Help with Anxiety?

CBN is acclaimed for its sleep-promoting effect. However, there are scarce studies on its anti-anxiety effect, so we can't be certain that CBN can help with anxiety. 

However, like other cannabinoids, CBN displays a broad spectrum of pharmacological activity. So, it may not directly reduce anxiety, but it could produce effects that mitigate anxious behaviors.

What is the CBN Dosage for Anxiety in Mg?

One of the challenges of using cannabinoids is dosing. We are all uniquely different and therefore respond differentially to cannabinoids. Some people only require a small dose to experience the effects, while others might require larger doses. 

As a result, there's no specific CBN dose for anxiety. Also, different forms of anxiety logically require different doses. For instance, someone with generalized anxiety would need a different dose from another with PTSD. 

That said, CBN products typically have dosing guidelines on the labels. Generally, we recommend starting with the lowest dose and gradually working your way up. This gives you time to assess how your body responds. 

We recommend increasing the dosage weekly and in equivalent ratios. For example, if you are on 5mg of CBN daily this week and need to up the dosage, it's advisable to increase it by 5mg. In other words, you could increase your dosage to 10mg in the coming week.

Ultimately, more is not always better with cannabinoids. If anything, studies show that cannabinoids have effective dose ranges. For example, CBD is shown to be potentially effective against generalized anxiety at doses between 300mg to 600mg. Lower or higher doses appear to have minimal therapeutic benefits on anxiety.

It's also noteworthy that the method of administration plays a huge role in effect potency. Smaller doses are ideal when inhaling than when taking CBN orally. That's due to the first-pass effect, which leads to lower bioavailability. 

So, what's the ideal CBN dose for anxiety? 2-5mg. We strongly advise against taking more than 10mg of CBN in a day.

How to Take CBN for Anxiety

There are several ways of taking CBN for anxiety. Remember that how you take CBN (and other cannabinoids) directly influences the intensity and effects duration in the body. Here are the most common ways of taking CBN.

By Inhaling/Sublingual Administration

If you want fast relief, inhalation or the sublingual methods are the best. With these methods, the active ingredients are absorbed directly into your circulation, leading to shorter effects onset times. 

CBN concentrates, e.g., oils, wax, shatter, etc., are suited for inhalation. There are specialized devices for this function.

If you want a simple vape to loosen you up a little, this Dali’s Dream Blend MK Ultra Disposable 2ml Vape could be right for you, or if you’d rather have a cartridge for your existing battery, this Double Dream Live Resin Blend might be better, as it contains a mixture of THCp, Delta 8 THC, CBN, HHC, and CBD. 

If pre-rolls are more your style, you could always check out these super tasty O’Keeffe’s Tranquility Blend Pre-Rolls, which contain CBN, HHC, CBD, CBG, and H4CBD. 

Orally

Oral CBN products come in many forms – gummies, capsules, pills, soft gels, and even homemade edibles. These are typically taken via the mouth into the stomach, where they are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.

When dosing orally, you need to be patient. The onset time is much longer and can take 30 minutes to an hour. CBN might not be as psychotomimetic as THC, but remember that it's usually combined with other cannabinoids. This may enhance their overall potency thanks to the entourage effect.

Mellow Fellow edibles are some of the best in the world, with this Dream Blend Fruit Punch Pack of Gummies being one of them. They contain HHC, CBD, CBN, and Delta 8 THC! If you need something to help you get a good night’s sleep, these Mellow Fellow Wellness Gummies might be better for you. These gummies, known as The Rest Blend, feature a combination of CBD, CBN, and CBG, all of which should help you get some rest. 

Topically

CBN boasts several properties that are valuable for topical applications. For example, it possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects that could be useful against certain skin conditions.

The skin is porous, and tiny enough substances can penetrate and reach the inner layers. This is how skincare products work. Integrating CBN as an ingredient in skincare products is an excellent way to reap other benefits besides its anti-anxiety effect.

Of course, when using topical CBN for anxiety, target body parts typically affected by anxiety, e.g., the muscles and nerves. These can get taut during stressful periods, compounding your anxiety.

When to Take CBN for Anxiety

Even though you can take CBN anytime, it may induce drowsiness and sedation. After all, it's oxidized THC, so these effects are potentially possible. Therefore, the best time to take CBN for anxiety is at bedtime. 

Of course, this also depends on the dosage taken. Larger doses may induce mild intoxication (which you wouldn't mind when going to bed). But if you're doing small amounts, you could take CBN during the day and carry on with your routine. This is only advisable if you've established that small doses don't affect you. 

A word of caution with CBN, if you do plan on taking it, make sure you don’t have a drug test incoming because CBN can make you fail a drug test

Can CBN Cause Anxiety?

CBN doesn't directly cause anxiety. But if you take large doses and the side effects, e.g., nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, kick in, you may get worried. However, these effects typically don't last long and should wear off in due course.

When combined with other cannabinoids, CBN appears to enhance their collective anti-anxiety effect. For this reason, it's thought to enhance the entourage effect

What Else is CBN Used For?

So, as mentioned earlier, CBN has many potential health benefits. It interacts with numerous receptors within and outside the ECS hence its broad spectrum of effects. CBN may be understudied, but the limited existing research suggests it may help with the following:

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is usually a good sign – it shows your body's defense mechanisms are working. However, too much of it may do more harm than good. So, can you use CBN to mitigate inflammation? Well, research shows it can reduce inflammation due to arthritis in rats. 

Its interaction with the TRP cation channels is another possible explanation for its anti-inflammatory effects. These receptors are involved in diverse physiological processes, including nociception, chemical sensing, and cytokine release. Some cytokines are pro-inflammatory; therefore, regulating their production may help minimize inflammation.

Sleep

CBN is widely marketed as a sleep supplement despite the paucity of research supporting this claim. So, what's the rationale behind this claim?

Well, CBN, like other mildly psychoactive cannabinoids, can help you relax mentally and physically. This puts you in a prime state to fall asleep quickly and longer. Some publications even suggest that CBN could be a stronger sleep aid than CBD.

Recall that CBN is "oxidized THC," which means it can produce THC-like effects, albeit mildly. Sedation is a major effect of THC, so it figures!

Pain Relief

True to fashion, CBN's analgesic property is more pronounced when combined with THC. Studies indicate that when mixed with THC, CBN stimulates the production of a particular protein in the perivascular sensory nerves. This makes these nerves sensitive to capsaicin, a compound that regulates pain processing in the body.

CBN also induces pain relief when tag-teamed with CBD. This is supported by a study showing that a CBN/CBD formulation reduced myofascial pain in rats more effectively than either CBD or CBN alone.

Neuroprotection

Neuroprotection is vital to keeping the brain healthy and functional. One of the leading causes of poor brain health is oxidative stress. It’s caused by free radicals due to normal cell metabolism or external factors like smoking, pollution, medication, etc.

The good news is that research shows CBN could protect nerve cells from oxidative stress and eventual cell death. Specifically, CBN mitigated these effects by keeping the mitochondria active, thus powering the neurons. 

Stimulating Appetite

What's THC popular for besides the famous "high?" Increased appetite, right? That sudden urge to eat anything is a classic effect of THC, and it appears CBN has it too.

Experiments on rats showed CBN increased feeding behavior in the form of the amount of food taken and the frequency. In humans, THC is shown to stimulate the release of ghrelin – a hunger-stimulating hormone. As a weaker version of THC, it's plausible that CBN may also boost appetite by stimulating similar processes as THC.

CBN Cannabinoid Potential Side Effects

Natural supplements or medications are generally considered safer than their conventional counterparts. Even then, they still have side effects you should know about before using them. Of course, these pale in comparison to those of synthetic drugs. 

So, what are the potential side effects of CBN?

Drowsiness and Exhaustion

CBN may induce drowsiness and exhaustion owing to its mildly psychoactive nature. This is why it's advisable to take CBN supplements in the evening. Naturally, the intensity of such effects depends on the dosage, so stay low.

Doesn't Get You High

CBN may be mildly psychoactive, but it doesn't make you high. With approximately 25% the potency of THC, you'd require a large dose of CBN to get high. Also, remember that CBN is quite costly due to its rarity, so taking large amounts to get high may not be practical. 

CBN vs. CBD for Anxiety: How Do They Compare?

CBN is popularly utilized for its purported sleep-promoting effect, while CBD is known for its anti-anxiety effect. However, some attributes overlap between these cannabinoids, e.g., pain relief and anti-inflammation, making them both beneficial for related conditions.

However, if you're dealing with anxiety, CBD is the better option. 

Can You Mix CBD and CBN?

Yes, mixing cannabinoids like CBD and CBN is actually advisable. Many cannabis brands utilize this practice to enhance the potency and efficacy of their products, and for a good reason. On its own, CBN is not particularly therapeutic compared to CBD and THC. 

But when combined with these cannabinoids, that's when the magic starts! Consequently, it has made a name for itself as an enhancer of cannabinoid activity. If you want to get the most out of CBN, mix it with other cannabinoids.

Where to Buy CBN Online

Assorted CBN products from Mellow Fellow.

If you’re looking for some tasty CBN, then check out the huge selection from Mellow Fellow, which includes some great pre-rolls, vape carts, disposables, diamonds, gummies, and more! 

Important to note is that many of the best CBN products from Mellow Fellow feature cannabinoid blends design to enhance the entourage effect and deliver a wholesome experience, such as this Grandaddy Purp Dream Blend 4ml Live Resin Disposable, which contains Delta 8 THC, HHC, CBD, CBN, and THCp. 

Final Thoughts

CBN is a little-known cannabinoid whose full range of potential health benefits remains largely unknown. But with the growing acceptance of cannabis and pro-cannabis laws, we expect cannabis research to flourish and provide further insights on CBN. 

What we know now is promising, but there's no doubt that more research is needed to clarify the grey areas.


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