Updated on April 15, 2024

Does CBN get you high?

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, formed through the degradation of THC over time.
  • CBN has mild psychoactive effects, inducing relaxation and sedation, but much weaker compared to THC.
  • Often termed the "sleep cannabinoid," CBN can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
  • Research suggests CBN may have therapeutic benefits, including pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, and appetite stimulation.
  • CBN interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, influencing mood, sleep, appetite, and pain perception.
  • CBN forms as THC oxidizes, especially when cannabis is exposed to light, heat, or air.
  • CBN is available in various forms, including products with naturally occurring CBN or isolated CBN extracts.

There are over 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant with THC and CBD identified as the major cannabinoids. Some minor cannabinoids may include CBN, CBC and CBG. In this article, we would look at the possible roles of CBN and how it affects users.

What is CBN?

CBN, or cannabinol, is a minor cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It is produced when THC  oxidizes over time, usually through exposure to light and air. CBN is often associated with sedative effects and is believed to have potential therapeutic properties, including promoting sleep and relaxation. While research on CBN is still limited compared to other cannabinoids like CBD and THC, it is gaining attention for its potential role in sleep disorders, pain management, and other health conditions.

Research suggests that CBN may possess unique properties that contribute to its reputation as a sleep aid. Some studies have indicated that CBN may have sedative effects, leading to feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. This sedative potential has led to increased interest in CBN as a natural remedy for sleep-related issues, such as insomnia and sleep disturbances.

One of the proposed mechanisms through which CBN may promote sleep is its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including sleep-wake cycles. By binding to cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, CBN may help modulate neurotransmitter activity, leading to the promotion of sleep and improved sleep quality.

Does CBN Get you high?

No, CBN does not make you high. Although CBN is produced from THC, the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, it is not known to produce intoxicating effects to the extent that THC does. While THC is primarily responsible for the psychoactive "high" associated with cannabis use, CBN is considered to have much weaker psychoactive properties.

CBN is typically present in very small amounts in cannabis, and its psychoactive effects are believed to be significantly milder compared to THC. However, CBN may still have some sedative and relaxing properties, particularly when consumed in higher doses or in combination with other cannabinoids.

In general, consuming products containing CBN alone is unlikely to produce a significant intoxicating effect. However, when combined with THC or other cannabinoids, especially in higher concentrations, CBN may contribute to the overall experience of relaxation and sedation associated with cannabis use.

How does CBN makes you feel?

CBN is often associated with feelings of relaxation and sedation. While it is not typically known to produce intoxicating effects to the same extent as THC, some users report experiencing mild psychoactive effects, particularly when consumed in higher doses or in combination with other cannabinoids.

The effects of CBN can vary depending on factors such as dosage, individual tolerance levels, and method of consumption. Some common experiences reported by individuals who have consumed CBN include:

  1. Relaxation: Many users report feeling a sense of calm and relaxation after consuming CBN. This may be particularly beneficial for those looking to unwind and de-stress after a long day.
  2. Sedation: CBN is often cited for its potential to induce sleepiness and promote better sleep quality. Some users may find that consuming CBN before bedtime helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  3. Mild euphoria: While CBN is not typically associated with intense euphoric effects, some users may experience mild feelings of euphoria or happiness after consuming it.
  4. Pain relief: CBN has been studied for its potential analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Some individuals report experiencing relief from various types of pain, including chronic pain and inflammation, after consuming CBN.
  5. Changes in perception: In some cases, consuming CBN may lead to subtle changes in perception or sensory experiences. This can include heightened sensitivity to touch, sound, or visual stimuli.


  1. Psychoactive Effects: THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, responsible for the euphoric "high" typically associated with marijuana use. It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, affecting mood, perception, and cognition while CBN is considered to have much weaker psychoactive properties compared to THC. While it may produce mild sedative effects, it is not known to induce the same level of intoxication as THC.
  2. Origins: THC is produced in cannabis plants through the decarboxylation of THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), the non-psychoactive precursor found in raw cannabis while CBN is formed through the oxidation of THC over time, typically as cannabis ages or is exposed to light and air. It is a degradation product of THC rather than a primary cannabinoid produced by the plant.
  3. Effects: Besides its psychoactive effects, THC is known for its potential therapeutic benefits, including pain relief, appetite stimulation, and nausea reduction. However, it can also induce anxiety, paranoia, and impairment in some individuals. CBN  on the other hand, is often associated with feelings of relaxation and sedation. It may have potential therapeutic applications for promoting sleep, reducing pain, and alleviating inflammation, although research on its effects is still limited.
  4. Legality: THC is classified as a controlled substance in many jurisdictions due to its psychoactive properties. Its legality varies depending on local laws and regulations, with some regions allowing medical or recreational use under specific conditions. CBN is generally legal and not subject to the same regulations as THC, as it is not considered to be as psychoactive or intoxicating. However, its legality may still be subject to local cannabis laws.

Frequently asked questions

How is CBN different from THC and CBD?

Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is psychoactive, and CBD (cannabidiol), which is non-psychoactive, CBN is considered to have weaker psychoactive properties and is primarily associated with sedative effects.

What are the potential therapeutic benefits of CBN?

CBN has been studied for its potential to promote relaxation, induce sleep, reduce pain, alleviate inflammation, and stimulate appetite.

How is CBN produced in cannabis plants?

CBN is formed through the oxidation of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) over time, typically as cannabis ages or is exposed to light and air.


Maioli, C., Mattoteia, D., M. Amin, H. I., Minassi, A., & Caprioglio, D. (2022). Cannabinol: History, Syntheses, and Biological Profile of the Greatest “Minor” Cannabinoid. Plants, 11(21). https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11212896

Atakan, Z. (2012). Cannabis, a complex plant: Different compounds and different effects on individuals. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, 2(6), 241-254. https://doi.org/10.1177/204512531245758

Leinen, Z. J., Mohan, R., Premadasa, L. S., Acharya, A., Mohan, M., & Byrareddy, S. N. (2023). Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis: A Comprehensive Review of Current and Future Applications. Biomedicines, 11(10), 2630. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11102630

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