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CBD vs. CBN: What You Need to Know About The Benefits and Differences

By Jeffrey M.

Dec 14, 2022

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is the most well-known cannabinoid due to its many therapeutic benefits, while CBN is lesser known but has many of its own unique benefits. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between CBD and CBN.

CBD vs. CBN: Legality?

The current legal status of CBN is based on a 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation allowed hemp to be grown in the state of Texas and in other parts of the U.S. CBN should not cause any legal conflict if produced from hemp. The federal government considers hemp-derived products to be legal when Delta-9-thc levels remain below 0.3%. Legalizing marijuana would help to reduce confusion about CBN marijuana vs. CBN hemp products. The legalization of marijuana in the United States still differs widely from state-to-state in many respects. State interpretation, or unique state-specific cannabis laws are still set in place as mandated by each individual state.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major cannabis cannabinoid. The most potent cannabinoid in humans is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Contrary to THC, CBD has no effect on emotions as it is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that causes no highs or significant euphoria on its own. That being said, its resulting ability to reduce discomfort, stress, etc can in turn, have an effect on ones emotional state. Cannabis Sativa plants contain CBD in low concentrations compared with the 15 to 25% concentration of THC. Hemp growers began a process to grow cannabis plants at high CBD levels. Some strains of flower contain up to 30% CBD and are now sold in many different forms with different concentrations. CBD-derived topicals and ingestible products have been proven to have little or no adverse effects on the skin, with some noticeable positive effects, making them a popular category in the CBD marketplace.

What is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is understood as a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with many therapeutic benefits. CBN is a degraded form of THC that occurs when the cannabis plants age and dry out. CBN is also produced as a result of heat and other factors during extraction of hemp or cannabis oil. The THC from the plant is oxidized and converts into CBN. Although CBN is found naturally in small quantities and trace amounts, it can be increased by exposure to light and heat.

CBN vs. CBD: Which One Is Better?

CBN and CBD are both cannabis compounds with their own unique benefits, so there is no clear answer as to which one is “better”. With that said, CBD tends to be the more well-known of the two due to its many therapeutic health benefits. CBD is generally considered safe and effective for individuals experiencing pain and inflammation, as well as a number of other conditions. On the other hand, CBN is still being studied more extensively, but early research indicates that it may have similar effects similar to those of CBD, with added benefits for sedation. Ultimately, both cannabinoids can be incredibly beneficial when used correctly.​

The potential benefits of CBD and CBN have made these two cannabinoids popular among medical patients and recreational users alike. While there are some differences between the two compounds, both CBD and CBN are thought to be effective for a variety of conditions, including pain, inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia. Which one is better ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences, and there aren’t guaranteed results for either one. However, with continued research into the potential benefits of these cannabinoids, we may soon have a better understanding of which one is truly “better” for specific health conditions.

The Differences Between CBD and CBN

The main difference between CBD and CBN is that CBD is a non-intoxicating compound, while CBN is considered mildly intoxicating. Both have therapeutic benefits, but they work differently and may be more or less effective for certain conditions. Additionally, the legal status of these cannabinoids can vary depending on where you live, as CBD is legal in many states while CBN is more controversial (primarily due to lack of knowledge by the common folk).

CBN is considered mildly psychoactive, while CBD is not. CBN may also have some sedative effects, while there is no evidence that CBD has this property, aside from in its “full spectrum” oil form (with which it contains CBN). Additionally, the two cannabinoids are derived from different sources and may be better suited for some conditions over others. For example, CBD oil has many potential health benefits but can also be used as an anti-inflammatory. On the other hand, CBN oil has been shown to have analgesic and sedative effects. As such, it may be more effective for chronic pain or insomnia conditions. Ultimately, the choice between CBD and CBN will depend on your individual needs and any potential side effects you experience when using either compound.


CBD and CBN are two cannabinoids that have gained popularity in recent years due to their therapeutic benefits. While there are some differences between the two compounds, both CBD and CBN boast a variety of potential health benefits, and more research is needed to fully understand the effects and benefits of these cannabinoids. Whether you choose to use CBD or CBN, it is important to do your research and work with a trusted healthcare provider to find the right dosage and method of dosing for your specific needs. Looking for high-quality CBD products to get started with? Primary Jane offers a wide selection of CBD oils, tinctures, edibles, and more. Since all of our products are full spectrum, they all contain some CBN. Our LUNAR night gummies do contain a measurable amount of CBN (at least 2mg per gummy). Visit us online to learn more and start shopping today!​

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