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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dan Jin

Does CBN Have Sleep-Promoting Effects? A Mini-Review of Clinical Studies 

CBN is a degradative product of ∆9-THC when ∆9-THC is exposed to light, oxygen, and heat overtime. CBN is a partial agonist of CB1 with a lesser affinity than ∆9-THC, where CB1 is the receptor being responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, including sleep-related effects such as sedation. With a plausible mechanism and anecdote using reports, increasing marketing materials and product labels of CBN containing products available in the US claimed that CBN has unique sleep-promoting effects.  

Is there sufficient clinical evidence to support this claim? To answer this question, one systematic literature review was performed recently to evaluate the published evidence. In total 8 out of 99 human studies met inclusion criteria for a detailed review. The conclusion was that preclinical and clinical research investigating the effects of CBN is dated and limited, with most of the human studies occurring in the 1970–1980s with small sample sizes. There were very few studies specifically assessing subjective effects associated with sleep. There were no published clinical trials investigating associations between CBN and sleep using validated questionnaires and/or formal polysomnography. In conclusion, there is insufficient published evidence to support sleep-related claims of CBN.  

The author suggested that randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm or deny claims on the labels or marketing materials for CBN cannabis products. These studies should specifically evaluate its effects on sleep through validated sleep questionnaires and/or polysomnography and investigate the dose-effect relationships.  

Reference :

  1. Corroon, J. Cannabinol and Sleep: Separating Fact from Fiction. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res6, 366–371 (2021). 

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