For many centuries, medical science has studied plants in search of effective remedies to cure diseases. This process has led him to investigate even the plants that society has stigmatized, such as cannabis.
Among the discoveries that have been discovered is CBN or cannabinol, a cannabinoid with great medicinal power. Its composition makes it an effective ally to combat problems such as insomnia, loss of appetite and inflammatory conditions.
The effect that this compound can have on more serious diseases such as epilepsy and cancer is still being studied. It is necessary to know more about its functions, properties and benefits, as indeed is done in this article.
What is cannabinol? Properties
CBN is defined as a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as it is a substance that is obtained from the degradation of THC, since the content of this cannabinoid in cannabis flowers, even in cured ones, is lower than 1%.
To obtain cannabinol, THC is exposed to oxygen so that it loses its hydrogen molecules and oxidizes. In this way it becomes CBNA, and when subjected to heat or ultraviolet light, it transforms into CBN.
It serves as an antibacterial agent.
It has anti-inflammatory properties.
It has analgesic properties.
It is used as a sedative.
It has anticonvulsant action.
It is considered an appetite stimulant.
How is cannabinol obtained?
The most common method of obtaining cannabinol is through oxidation or aging of the cannabis plant. As cannabis is cut and stored, the THC present in the leaves is converted to CBN over time. So, the presence of CBN in the cannabis plant is associated with its aging.
CBN, therefore, does not come directly from cannabis, but rather from the outdoor oxidation of THC. In its degradation process with the help of heat and sunlight, THC makes this molecule have a lower psychoactive incidence.
So we can find the acid form of CBN (CBNA) and the synthesized one, CBN.
What effect does cannabinol have on the body?
The action of cannabinol is achieved thanks to its ability to chemically bind with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system, a sort of neuronal messaging network.
Cannabinol tends to adhere more easily to the CB2 receptor of the endocannabinoid system, which has a modulatory function in the nervous system. At the same time, it works as a TRPV2 receptor agonist by increasing its activity. This receptor plays an important role in neuronal development, cardiac function, and the body's immunity.
On the other hand, because it does not have as much affinity with the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, it does not produce strong psychotropic effects.
The complexity of the process to obtain CBN prevents more in-depth studies of its effects on the body from being carried out, so it is a matter of time before more scientific evidence of its action is revealed.
Although the therapeutic benefits of cannabinol are still being studied, some promising results have already been obtained.
Many of the clinical trials with cannabinol have been carried out on animals and not on humans, so their conclusions are biased. However, this has encouraged the scientific community to further explore the medicinal properties of this substance. Now we will look at some of the discoveries that have been made regarding the benefits of cannabinol.
May reduce intraocular pressure
Glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy that affects the optic nerve, causing a loss of visual field. Its main risk factor is intraocular hypertension.
Some research has revealed that CBN in combination with THC significantly lowers intraocular pressure. This is possible because it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the eye, which are key to regulating intraocular pressure, neurotransmission in the retina, and optic nerve conduction.
May decrease inflammatory processes
A 2016 laboratory study revealed the potential of CBN to combat rheumatoid arthritis.
On the other hand, its ability to reduce the production of keratinocytes, which cause skin and cardiac lesions in patients with psoriasis, has been analyzed.
When the body receives a pain stimulus, cells in the affected area release substances that bind to pain receptors. When the signal reaches the analgesia system of the brain, it begins to control the perception of pain.
In this case, the CBN acts to disrupt the way cells transmit those pain signals. It can block CB1 and activate the endocannabinoid system of the cell, thereby delaying the transfer of substances that generate pain and reducing the perception of pain.
How to use cannabinol?
In the market you can get CBN extracts in presentations such as oils, tinctures, edibles, creams and capsules. However, the use of these products must be supervised and authorized by health professionals.
When used as drops, supplements, or capsules, cannabinol can promote natural, restful sleep.
side effects of cannabinol
Although the psychotropic effect of cannabinol is less than that of other cannabinoids, it can cause side effects, especially if consumed in large amounts.
Among the reactions that the use of cannabinol can cause, are these:
loss of appetite
Cannabinol has great therapeutic potential that is just beginning to be known. Its sedative properties are already used to help millions of people with insomnia problems. Undoubtedly, over time, medical science, hand in hand with the pharmaceutical industry, will continue to investigate this substance and put its benefits at the service of human health.