difference between cbd and cbn

When you think of cannabinoids, you probably know the two main types: THC and CBD. If you’re familiar enough with those terms, you probably know the difference between them. THC is the psychoactive element of the cannabis plant, while CBD is responsible for the medicinal aspects of cannabis.

However, there is a third kind of chemical compound found in these plants that has come to light lately, which is called CBN or cannabinol. You can find this in the subspecies of Cannabis Sativa, Indica, and Afghanica and it is used for therapeutic purposes. Its name and its medical nature make it very hard to differentiate it from CBD (cannabidiol), so I felt it necessary to go in-depth on the difference between these two to clear up any confusion.

What is the Difference Between CBD and CBN?

What is the Difference Between CBD and CBN?

Let’s take a look at the different properties of these two compounds found in cannabis to see how they compare and contrast.

Medical Use

When it comes to its use medicinally, CBD is used to treat medical issues such as headaches, pain, migraines, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and spasms. I provide a comprehensive list of the uses of CBD in this post.

There is also testing being done to determine its medicinal use as an anti-cancer therapy, as well as its use for recovery for heart attack and stroke victims.

Additionally, most commonly you will know of its calming effects for relaxation and to reduce anxiety.

If you're looking for the best CBD products, I provide my rankings here.

medical use of CBD and CBN

As for CBN, it is similar to CBD in that it can be used to treat muscle spasms. On top of that, it may also alleviate symptoms for those who suffer glaucoma, as well as accelerate the pace of bone healing. It may also be used for the treatment of burns on the skin and is popularly used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders as it is an extremely powerful sedative. In regards to disease, it has been shown to be beneficial to those who are afflicted with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

Psychoactive Effects

There are no psychoactive properties in CBD, so it will not make you high no matter the method of consumption (check out Thought Cloud for all the different ways you can get it). The majority of CBD products that you can purchase, regardless of the form, are extremely low in THC content and high in CBD.

On the other hand, CBN is considered to be “mildly” psychoactive. It will not produce a similar high to that of THC, it will have more of a sedative and euphoric effect. When you get high from cannabis, it is the THC acting as the psychoactive element, and not CBD or CBN.

Side Effects

The adverse reactions of either of these compounds are far outweighed by the benefits they provide. The negatives of both of these are very mild. With CBD, you may experience dry mouth. It may also interact with blood pressure medications, making them less effective, so it is best to stay away from this compound if you are on that type of medication. As for CBN, the only real drawback is that it can make you drowsy and lethargic, as most sedatives do.


T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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