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Science of Cannabinoids, Part 3: CBN and CBL

Welcome back to "Science of Cannabinoids"! This blog series continues to break down the recent scientific (peer-reviewed) research regarding the medicinal value of cannabinoids. We know there are a plethora of medical cannabis products on the market. It can be overwhelming and difficult for patients to find the right option. Understanding the role minor cannabinoids play will help you determine which products to purchase with confidence. Let's get started!


What is a cannabinoid? Most define cannabinoids as chemicals produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. These chemicals interact with the endocannabinoid system, specifically receptors CBR1 and CBR2. The endocannabinoid system has a significant role in the regulation of immunity. In turn, cannabinoids play a key role in overall health. While more research is vital, there are a few studies that touch the surface of what these cannabinoids are capable of medicinally.


Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid compound that is found in the cannabis plant. It is derived from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) through a process called oxidation. Unlike THC, CBN is not psychoactive and does not produce the "high" associated with cannabis use.

While research on CBN is still in its early stages, some studies have suggested that it may have potential health benefits, including:

  1. Pain relief: CBN may have analgesic effects, which means it can help reduce pain levels.

  2. Anti-inflammatory effects: CBN may also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

  3. Antibacterial effects: Some research has shown that CBN may have antibacterial effects, which can help fight off infections.

  4. Promoting sleep: CBN may have sedative effects and could be useful for people with insomnia or other sleep disorders.

  5. Appetite stimulation: CBN may also help increase appetite in some people.

Cannabicyclol (CBL) is a minor cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. It is formed when the plant is exposed to light or heat, and it is not typically found in high concentrations in most strains of cannabis.

While research on CBL is limited, some studies have suggested that it may have potential health benefits, including:

  1. Anti-inflammatory effects: CBL has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial in treating conditions such as arthritis.

  2. Pain relief: CBL may also have analgesic effects, which means it could help reduce pain levels.

  3. Antimicrobial effects: Some research has suggested that CBL may have antimicrobial effects, which could help fight off infections.

  4. Neuroprotective effects: CBL may have neuroprotective properties, which could make it useful in treating conditions that affect the nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.

  5. Anti-cancer effects: Some studies have suggested that CBL may have anti-cancer properties, although more research is needed to fully understand this potential benefit.




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