CBD vs CBN: Which One Should You Choose?


It’s a typical scene: you’re searching online for something to help with your sleep and you come across hemp derived cannabinoids.

Remember the days when ‘cannabis’ was just one thing? Well, those days are long gone. Now, we’ve got CBN, CBD, CBG and a whole alphabet soup of compounds to consider.

They have a wealth of benefits, but which one is right for you? CBD oil or CBN oil for sleep?

Confused? Let’s clear up the fog and compare these two to see which might give you those dreamy nights.

Key Takeaways
  • CBN is derived from aged THC and may have mild psychoactive effects.
  • CBD is non-psychoactive and may provide a range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.
  • CBN is often associated with potential sleep aid and pain relief properties.
  • CBD has a broader application, reducing anxiousness, easing pain, and managing stress.
  • Both CBN and CBD are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant with distinct properties and uses.
  • CBD is more readily available in various forms, such as oils, edibles, and topicals.
  • CBN is gaining interest for its potential therapeutic applications, despite being less prevalent.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are natural chemicals that can attach to receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This system regulates sleep, pain, stress, and overall health and well-being.

They act as messengers between cells and bind to cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells.

There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune system and peripheral tissues.

The two most abundant endocannabinoids in the body are anandamide and 2-AG. Endocannabinoids help maintain a state of balance or homeostasis in the body, by regulating mood, memory, pain, inflammation, appetite, sleep, stress, immune response, and more.

There are two types of cannabinoids:

  • Endocannabinoids: Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are produced by the body itself. They act as messengers between cells and bind to cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells.
  • Phytocannabinoids: Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are produced by plants, especially the cannabis plant. The most well-known phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD, which have different effects and benefits.

What is CBN?

What is CBN

CBN (cannabinol) is a sleep promoting cannabinoid found in the cannabis plants. It is called a minor cannabinoid like CBG, CBN and CBC. Minor cannabinoids are those cannabinoids which are found in smaller quantities in the hemp and cannabis plants.

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are called major cannabinoids as they’re found in more abundant quantities.

CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp plants, and THC is the most abundant cannabinoid when it comes to marijuana.

CBN is also lesser-known than CBD and THC because the research is still in its initial phases. This can be attributed to the fact that CBN is present in lower concentrations.

When THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid, degrades due to prolonged exposure to heat, light, and/or air, it converts into CBN from being exposed to light and oxygen.

CBN is not psychoactive in the same way, but it is often called mildly psychoactive. A better term however, would be a mild sedative, as that’s the property which earned it the label of mildly psychoactive.

Many people report positive effects after using CBN for better sleep and pain management.

What Is CBD?

What is CBD

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over hundreds of cannabinoids found in the hemp and cannabis plants. It is a primary cannabinoid just like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but without the intoxicating psychoactive effects.

CBD is known for beneficial effects in promoting wellness and bringing our bodies into balance if the endocannabinoid system gets imbalanced.

What Are The Differences Between CBD and CBN?

CBN (cannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are natural compounds derived from the cannabis plant. They belong to a group of chemicals called cannabinoids, which can affect the body and mind in various ways.

CBN and CBD are similar in some aspects.

For example, they both have potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. They both can modulate the activity of certain receptors and enzymes in the endocannabinoid system.

However, CBN and CBD also have some significant differences.

CBN is a byproduct of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. CBN is formed when THC is exposed to heat, light, or oxygen over time.

CBD, on the other hand, is not derived from THC, but from another cannabinoid called CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). CBD is not intoxicating at all, while CBN is mildly intoxicating, even that is rare. CBN is mildly sedating and it primes your body for restful sleep.

CBN’s sedative effects are better described as calming rather than intoxicating, according to some studies.

A general consensus is that CBN is calming and sometimes mildly sedating, with no mind-altering effects as THC.

Another difference between CBN and CBD is their availability and legality. CBN is much rarer than CBD, as it only occurs in small amounts in aged or oxidized cannabis plants.

CBD is more abundant and widely available in the market.

CBN is also more expensive than CBD, as it requires more processing and extraction methods.

What’s the endocannabinoid system, and what does it do?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors, enzymes, and molecules that regulate various physiological and psychological processes in your body.

The ECS is involved in functions such as mood, memory, pain, appetite, sleep, and more.

The ECS consists of three main components: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The body makes endocannabinoids as messengers between cells. They bind to cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells to trigger certain responses. 

Cannabinoid receptors are proteins that can recognize and interact with certain substances called endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids.

These substances include CBN or CBD. There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune system and peripheral tissues.

Metabolic enzymes break down endocannabinoids or external cannabinoids once they’ve done their job.

The ECS works by maintaining a state of balance or homeostasis in the body. If something disturbs this balance, like stress or injury, the ECS makes more endocannabinoids to fix it. 

Sometimes the ECS doesn’t work well because of things like genetics or lifestyle choices.

Which is where phytocannabinoids come in, they have similar chemical structure to endocannabinoids and can support your ECS when your body isn’t making enough endocannabinoids by itself.

This is where external cannabinoids (such as CBN or CBD) can help. By interacting with the ECS, they can enhance or inhibit its activity depending on the situation.

Is CBD or CBN Better For Sleep?

CBD vs CBN for sleep

CBD and CBN are both popular in wellness circles for promoting better sleep. However, CBN is preferred over CBD for a good night’s sleep as it is shown to have stronger sleep inducing properties than CBD.

CBD for sleep works by reducing anxiousness, promoting physical calmness and better pain management. This can indirectly help you sleep well.

CBN on the other hand is specifically geared towards making you ready to sleep because of its mildly sedative effects.

A lot of brands are selling CBN Isolate products for sleep. However, sources suggest that a combination of both works better than any of them alone. 

This is because of the entourage effect, which theorizes that plant molecules like cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work together to enhance each other’s effects.

Which is to say CBD and CBN oil can have better effects on sleep than CBN Isolate.

How Much CBN and CBD for Sleep?

We recommend starting with just a half to three-quarters of a milliliter—it’s a small amount, but it might be just right for you. 

And remember, GOODNIGHT isn’t just CBD or CBN; it’s a special blend of both, designed to work together to help you drift off into dreamland.

What makes it special?

GOODNIGHT CBD + CBN Oil, just like our Delta-9 THC Gummies, is made from Whole-Spectrum™ and Nano-ionized™ cannabinoids.

Whole-Spectrum can enhance the entourage effect more effectively than isolated compounds. 

The nano-ionization process increases bioavailability and ensures that the cannabinoids are absorbed quickly, leading to faster onset and longer-lasting benefits.

But here’s the thing: everyone’s different. So if that initial dose isn’t quite doing the trick, feel free to adjust. Take it slow, and pay attention to how you feel.

And hey, if you’re new to all this, take it extra easy. Those new GOODNIGHT formulations are potent, so ease into it.

Lastly, always chat with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you’re already on other meds.


Does CBD Bud Have CBN?

CBD buds, which are the flower parts of hemp plants bred to contain high levels of CBD and low levels of THC, may also contain trace amounts of CBN, especially if the plant material is older or has been exposed to air and light. 

However, the concentration of CBN in CBD buds is typically much lower than CBD, unless the buds have been specifically aged or processed to increase CBN levels.

Does CBD Convert to CBN?

CBD does not convert to CBN directly. CBN is primarily formed through the degradation of THC, not CBD. When THC is exposed to air, light, or heat, it oxidizes and turns into CBN. CBD and CBN are separate cannabinoids with different properties and origins within the cannabis plant.

Share This Article:

What’s your CBD type?

Take the quiz to find CBD products that are just right for you.

Popular Posts