How have you been sleeping lately? We’ve been sleeping pretty well, mostly because we’ve incorporated a little bit of CBN into our bedtime routine.
Sleep is essential for your mental and physical health, so it’s important to do what you can to get restful, high-quality sleep. We think CBN is worth a try as a natural sleep aid, and here’s why.
How Do Cannabinoids Work With Your Body?
The endocannabinoid system is the body’s universal regulator. The body is packed with cannabinoid receptors, but two specific receptors named CB1 and CB2 do the bulk of the work. Cannabinoids can also react with other receptors throughout your body, but the effects are slightly different than when they interact directly with cannabinoid receptors.
You’ve probably heard before that cannabinoids can help or influence pretty much anything the human body does. While some people highly exaggerate what cannabinoids are capable of, the truth is closer than you’d think. Cannabinoid receptors really do exist within almost every system of the body, including the systems that regulate and modulate mood.
Each cannabinoid has its own potential set of benefits and effects when interacting with your cannabinoid receptors.
Some cannabinoids can bind to the receptors and change the way your body talks to itself. Other cannabinoids are just stopping in to say hello and put a little pep in your step or a little sunshine in your day. They don’t latch on but instead influence the receptors as they’re passing by and kick them into gear.
It’s like when your boss walks by your desk. Your boss isn’t doing your work for you, but you know when you see them that it’s time for you to get back to work.
Your receptors can begin to focus on doing what they do best. They can communicate throughout many areas of your body, from your brain to the immune cells lurking around in your gut. With consistent use, some cannabinoids have the potential to produce significant benefits.
What Happens to Your Body When You’re Getting Ready for Bed?
Now that you’ve had a little primer on how cannabinoids work, it’s time to tie them into your sleep process.
Your body takes cues from your environment to determine when it’s time for bed. Your circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock, is your body’s most important tool for determining when it’s time to go to sleep.
Your brain receives light cues through your eyes. If your eyes see daylight, or anything similar to daylight, they tell your brain to remain awake. Basically, your brain is waiting for the sun to go down.
Blue light from your TV, laptop, or phone can interfere with your circadian rhythm. Your eyes don’t know where the blue light is coming from (i.e. your eyes don’t quite know that the light you’re getting is in fact not the sun) — they just respond accordingly. Technology has evolved faster than our bodies have, and it’s important to be mindful of that when you expose your eyes to blue light.
After the sun goes down (and you’ve put your electronics away), your brain will begin the process of getting itself ready for bed. Your brain creates and releases special hormones that help to prepare your body for the sleep process.
Naturally-occurring melatonin plays a very important part in that process. Natural melatonin can help your body gently wind down, which can eventually help you fall asleep.
Your body will also release hormones and fire off neurotransmitters that make it easy for you to relax. However, these hormones and neurotransmitter messages can’t change something like a busy mind or stressed-out thoughts. They can only encourage your muscles to let go of tension and soothe feelings of stress.
You do your whole bedtime routine, tuck yourself in, close your eyes, and clear your mind — the rest happens naturally.
What Is CBN?
Cannabinoids morph, grow, and change within the hemp plant. All cannabinoids begin as CBG, or cannabigerol. The hemp plant creates a massive amount of cannabigerol and converts it into other cannabinoids at will. CBG can become CBD (cannabidiol), CBC (cannabichromene), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and about a hundred more minor cannabinoids.
Some cannabinoids can change with time after the flowers have been harvested from the hemp plant. This change usually results in a loss of potency. In a few cases, cannabinoids will transform into completely different cannabinoids as they begin to degrade.
When THC breaks down, it becomes cannabinol. Cannabinol, also known as CBN, is a distinct cannabinoid that offers its own unique set of benefits and effects.
How Does CBN Work?
CBN binds to your cannabinoid receptors. It can bind to both the CB1 receptors and the CB2 receptors, but it tends to like the CB2 receptors more.
The bond it creates is very weak and won’t lock on in the way that psychoactive cannabinoids do. Its ability to change the signaling in your brain and body is limited, but that may be a good thing. You’re not using CBN to reach an altered state of consciousness, after all — you’re using it to enhance your wellness.
Since CBN is the result of THC breaking down, you’re probably wondering how much they have in common.
THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant, and people generally use it when they want to feel elevated. THC becomes CBN after most of its psychoactive benefits have worn away. The elevating effects of CBN are much weaker, and typically aren’t noticeable. Essentially, CBN won’t get you high — it’ll just help you feel relaxed and elevated.
Can CBN Support Sleep?
CBN can interact with the cannabinoid receptors in your brain, some of which play a big role in the sleep preparedness process. They’re the same receptors that tell you it’s time to crawl under the covers.
Now it’s time to answer the big question: can the benefits of CBN help with sleep problems? For many people, it can!
Anecdotal reports suggest that there is a possibility that CBN may be an effective sleep resource for people. Its calming effects can be comparable to natural sleep aids like chamomile tea or herbal passion flower tea. I mean this doesn’t make me think it will work very well …
If you view CBN through the same lens as other herbal bedtime preparations, the effects are very similar. CBN can complement good bedtime practices, and it might even be used in conjunction with supplements like bedtime teas.
CBN seems to work best when used in conjunction with other cannabinoids from the hemp plant. Specifically, full-spectrum hemp products containing CBD seem to be more effective than using CBN on its own.
CBD can encourage sleep by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system and calming racing thoughts. It can also help support nervous system regulation, which can help you feel sleepy when you’re supposed to be in bed.
CBD and CBN can work in synergy to produce something called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a theory in cannabinoid science that suggests that cannabinoids need each other to function in the most efficient ways. This means that to make the most of CBN, you may need to choose a CBN bedtime product that incorporates cannabinoids like CBD.
How Much CBN Is Needed for Sleep?
There is no official recommended amount of CBN to use at bedtime. Most people who find that CBN works for them use small amounts.
It’s generally safe to start with a low dose of about five mg. However, this may change depending on whether you’re taking a CBN tincture, CBN oil, or CBN edible gummy.
If you’re using CBN in conjunction with CBD, the entourage effect may come into play. The CBD and CBN may work in synergy, supporting and balancing each other’s effects.
If you are thinking of using CBN sleep products, make sure to consult with your primary healthcare provider. While uncommon, cannabis products can sometimes have side effects and may interact with medications and supplements.
How To Use CBN for Sleep
Although CBN might help you get a good night’s sleep, it’s not a replacement for good bedtime practices. Don’t make CBN your entire bedtime routine — make it a part of a well-rounded bedtime routine that’s designed to help you get better quality sleep.
Most people sleep best in loose-fitting pajamas with weather-appropriate bedding in a room that’s a little bit chilly. You also need a mattress that provides the right support for your body and a pillow that provides neck support for your favorite sleep position.
It’s generally best to block out any lights or noise that might disrupt your body’s ability to fall asleep. If you live in the city, however, you don’t really have much control over what’s going on outside of your window.
People who sleep in a noisier environment sometimes find that white noise helps. Turn on the fan or use a white noise app to muffle out any unavoidable sounds around you.
Use CBN with CBD
Hemp-derived CBN used in conjunction with hemp-derived CBD is the dream team. After all, CBD on its own has effects and properties that can help you achieve a good night’s rest.
Why use one sleep aid when you can combine two? They’re designed to work together.
Time It Right
Oil-based cannabinoid products that come in a glass jar with a dropper are generally easier for your body to absorb and utilize. The cannabinoid particles are very small, and they can easily pass through the soft tissues of the body. This means you don’t have to fully metabolize them like you would with cannabinoid-infused food or soft gel capsules.
It only takes about half an hour for cannabinoids to reach your system when you take them in tincture form. If you take your CBN at the beginning of your bedtime routine, you should be feeling the effects by the time you’re ready to turn in for the night.
There is no herbal supplement you can take that will make all of your stress go away. Supplements and cannabinoids can’t change your life circumstances. You need to be able to set your stressors down for the night — they’ll still be there tomorrow, and for right now, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get some good quality sleep.
Try a bedtime activity that doesn’t involve circadian-disrupting blue screens. Some people like to read books with a dim yellow book light, but if you’re not the type to read a book, you can try other hobbies like knitting, crafting, or even meditation.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as it won’t stimulate your sympathetic nervous system and it isn’t so mentally occupying that it will overstimulate you. Anything that makes you feel relaxed is a good pre-bedtime activity — just don’t try to run a marathon and then hop into bed.
Cannabinoids can provide benefits in two ways. The first round of benefits generally becomes apparent within about half an hour of using cannabinoids. The second round of sustainable benefits comes from consistent use.
Experts generally recommend starting with about 25mg of CBD a day and working up to a level that you’re comfortable with. Doses as high as 1,500mg are generally seen as safe, so it’s hard to do too much CBD.
With that said, listen to your body — it’ll let you know when you’ve hit upon the perfect combination. Try our Sleep Combo Pack for ultimate bedtime benefits!
Using CBD and CBN before bedtime for one night might not make that much of a difference in your sleep habits. If you commit to it and use it nightly for about a month, you’re more likely to notice a meaningful difference. Stick to your well-balanced bedtime routine, and be sure not to forget your tincture.
Final Thoughts on CBN for Sleep
CBN might be an effective bedtime tool, but the only way to know if it will work for you is to try it. Everything works differently for everyone, and your bedtime ritual might look a lot different from your best friend’s. Just make sure you stick with it for at least a few weeks before you reach a verdict.
Good things come with time. Be patient, and make sure to choose high-quality CBD products like the kind we provide here at Blue Forest Farms. We’re here to help you on your way to wellness, one step at a time.
The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator | Journal of Young Investigators
Circadian Rhythms | National Institutes of Health
Is Cannabidiol a Safe and Effective Sleep Aid? | Sleep Foundation
Melatonin: What It Is & Function | Cleveland Clinic
Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series | PMC