Derived From Cannabis, Pt. 2 Cannabinol (CBN)

January 25, 2013


Yesterday, I told you about cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis with unbelievable therapeutic properties that our government bans us from using, even though it’s properties don’t cause you to get high.  The simple fact that it is derived from cannabis put it on the illegal drug list.  Sadly, cannabidiol (CBD) isn’t the only one.

Cannabinol (CBN) is largely a product of THC degradation. It is typically available in cannabis in minute quantities and it binds relatively weakly with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid receptors. Scientists have an exceptionally long history with CBN, having first isolated the compound in 1896. Yet, a keyword search on PubMed reveals fewer than 500 published papers in the scientific literature specific to cannabinol. Of these, several document the compound’s therapeutic potential – including its ability to induce sleep, ease pain and spasticity, delay ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) symptoms, increase appetite, and halt the spread of certain drug resistant pathogens, like MRSA (aka ‘the Superbug’). In a 2008 study, CBN was one of a handful of cannabinoids found to be “exceptional” in its ability to reduce the spread MRSA, a skin bacteria that is resistant to standard antibiotic treatment and is responsible for nearly 20,000 hospital-stay related deaths annually in the United States.

In the eyes of the US government, cannabinol, cannabidiol and the others I will tell you about are as dangerous to consume as heroin and they possess absolutely no therapeutic utility. In the eyes of many scientists, however, these cannabinoids may offer a safe and effective way to combat some of the world’s most severe and hard-to-treat medical conditions.  What do you think?