Getting quality sleep is vital for good health and well-being. Many people struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If you deal with insomnia or have trouble sleeping, you may have heard about using cannabinol (CBN) as a natural sleep aid. But how exactly does CBN work to promote better sleep? Keep reading to learn more about this cannabinoid and how it can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
The CB1 receptors also interact with anandamide, an endocannabinoid sometimes called the “bliss molecule.” Higher anandamide levels are linked to better mood and relaxation. Research indicates CBN may delay the reuptake and breakdown of anandamide, allowing it to remain higher in the body. Maintaining elevated anandamide may promote tranquility and ease stress, enabling faster sleep onset.
Chronic inflammation may interfere with sleep and is associated with conditions like insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. Early research reports CBN’s potential as an anti-inflammatory compound through its ability to suppress cytokine production. Cytokines are proteins involved in inflammatory responses. CBN’s anti-inflammatory properties may help improve sleep indirectly by lowering inflammation.
CBN has been found to exhibit sedative effects in animal studies by enhancing pentobarbital-induced sleep. Pentobarbital is a barbiturate that works as a sedative-hypnotic medication. When CBN was combined with pentobarbital, it amplified the compound’s sleep-inducing effects. These findings reveal CBN’s sedative properties and ability to promote deeper sleep. While CBN will not knock you out like a sleeping pill, it facilitates more restful sleep through its mild sedative mechanism. It causes a relaxing effect but without significant impairment the following day.
Offers neuroprotective effects
Research also indicates that CBN may protect nerves and brain cells through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cell and animal studies have found that CBN may guard neurons from damage caused by oxidative stress and toxicity. By reducing inflammation and oxidative damage, CBN may support brain health and function. Protecting nerve cells involved in regulating sleep may also contribute to CBN’s sleep-enhancing qualities.
CBN’s benefits for sleep
All of the mechanisms above explain how CBN can promote faster sleep onset and more restorative sleep. Here are some of the key sleep benefits offered by CBN.
- Falls asleep faster – Feel less tossing and turning when trying to fall asleep. CBN’s mild sedative effect makes it easier to fall asleep fast.
- Sleep longer – CBN extends total sleep time so you stay asleep longer throughout the night.
- Increased REM sleep – CBN appears to increase time spent in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the deep restorative sleep stage when dreaming occurs.
- Less mid-night awakenings – Wake up less frequently in the middle of the night after initially falling asleep.
- Less daytime drowsiness – CBN allows you to reach more of the deeper stages of sleep, so you feel well-rested and alert the next day.
- Improved sleep quality – With extended sleep and more time in REM, overall cbn for sleep quality is better.
CBN oil drops or capsules are the most popular formats, with tinctures dropped under the tongue being the quickest way to feel the effects. CBN is also available in isolates and vapes for faster administration. Topical CBN improves sleep when applied to the skin.