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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dan Jin

The Potential Medicinal Effects of CBN 

CBN is an oxidation by-product of THC after prolonged storage. Relative to THC, CBN maintains about ¼ the potency at the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. CBN has been shown to be sedative, anticonvulsant in animal and human studies and has significant anti-inflammatory, analgesics, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and antibiotic properties.  


A group of researchers from UK investigated CBN for its ability to inhibit the proliferation of a hyper-proliferating human keratinocyte cell line using a keratinocyte proliferation assay. The results showed that cannabinoids inhibit keratinocyte proliferation and therefore support a potential role for CBN in the treatment of psoriasis. 


Another study showed that local intramuscular injection of CBN, CBD, and their combinations acted as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. CBN and CBD alone and in combination decreased the mechanical sensitivity of masseter muscle afferent fiber and increased the mechanical threshold of masseter muscle mechanoreceptors. These results suggest that peripheral application of these non-psychoactive cannabinoids may provide analgesic relief for chronic muscle pain disorders such as temporomandibular disorders and fibromyalgia without central side effects. 



  1. Rhee, M.-H. et al. Cannabinol Derivatives:  Binding to Cannabinoid Receptors and Inhibition of Adenylylcyclase. J. Med. Chem. 40, 3228–3233 (1997). 

  2. Dawidowicz, A. L., Olszowy-Tomczyk, M. & Typek, R. CBG, CBD, Δ9-THC, CBN, CBGA, CBDA and Δ9-THCA as antioxidant agents and their intervention abilities in antioxidant action. Fitoterapia 152, 104915 (2021). 

  3. Appendino, G. et al. Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. J. Nat. Prod. 71, 1427–1430 (2008). 

  4. Russo, E. B. & Marcu, J. Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads. in Cannabinoid Pharmacology 67–134 (Elsevier, 2017). doi:10.1016/bs.apha.2017.03.004. 

  5. Wilkinson, J. D. & Williamson, E. M. Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. Journal of Dermatological Science 45, 87–92 (2007). 

  6. Wong, H. & Cairns, B. E. Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain. Archives of Oral Biology 104, 33–39 (2019). 

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