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Does CBN Make You Drowsy?

One of the most commonly used ingredients in CBD gummies for sleep or a hemp tincture formulated specifically for enhancing sleep is CBN (cannabinol), which is a compound derived from hemp which can be extracted and concentrated to offer higher doses than occur in hemp or cannabis flower naturally.  Many people find that CBN + CBD  gummies for sleep are the perfect solution to take at bedtime due to being easy to use and capable of producing the desired effects.  

Because a lot of natural sleep aids are associated with feelings of drowsiness that can extend into the next day, it is also important to discuss whether or not cannabinol is associated with this unwanted effect.

What is Cannabinol (CBN)?

Cannabinol is a minor cannabinoid in the hemp plant, and it’s actually a derivative of delta 9 THC that has changed in its molecular configuration over time due to the natural aging process of hemp.  Keep in mind that the fact that it’s derived from THC does not make it illegal and taking tinctures with CBN in small amounts will not get a person high. 

Although small amounts of CBN will not produce a strong feeling of impairment, it is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid, so if you consume a large enough amount you will definitely notice the effects more acutely.

Because CBN is a minor cannabinoid, taking the raw flower and using a full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp product does not provide a user with a high enough concentration of the compound to noticeably experience its potential sleep-enhancing effects.  This is why companies that offer CBN-based formulas for sleep use isolated extracts of the cannabinoid in higher concentrations, to provide an active amount of the compound that is more capable of creating the desired response in the body.

Why is CBN Commonly Used in Hemp Formulas Made for Sleep?

Again, since CBN is a cannabinoid, and like all other cannabinoids in cannabis, its purpose is to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the systems of the body to enable these receptors, through the function of the endocannabinoid system, to regulate the function of individual bodily processes.  Cannabinoids are used by the endocannabinoid system to achieve homeostasis, and different cannabinoids bind to different receptors, and therefore balance different processes of the body.

Cannabinol is noted for binding to specific receptors in the nervous system, referred to as CB1 receptors, which, among other things, are tasked with regulating sleep and overall nervous system function.  One particular study found that CBN may offer particularly impressive effects on sleep, especially when paired with THC because of the synergistic relationship that these cannabinoids share with one another.

CBN is quickly becoming a preferable alternative to melatonin, for a number of reasons.  One is that while melatonin provides a specific neurotransmitter to the body that it may or may not need, CBN supports overall sleep homeostasis while potentially addressing stress, the most common underlying cause of sleeping issues, which melatonin does not do.  Also, CBN is largely viewed as a gentler compound that’s easier on the body.

Can CBN Make a Person Feel Drowsy After Taking It?

A person might assume that anything capable of enhancing sleep will lead to drowsiness, but this isn’t necessarily the case.  Note that drowsiness is described as a feeling of lethargy and brain fog, which can interfere with a person’s ability to engage in basic tasks.  Examples of products that may cause drowsiness that are often taken for sleep include melatonin and certain antihistamine medications.

Drowsiness is not, in fact, an inevitability when a person consumes a specific ingredient associated with improving sleep.  Also, there is a good chance that cannabinol will not cause feelings of drowsiness when taken in the proper dosage amounts.  Why?  Because it doesn’t cause a sudden, drug-like effect on the nervous system.  This is due to cannabinoids like CBN working by regulating individual processes of the body, so, it is likely that rather than causing drowsiness, CBN will simply make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, by simply creating a homeostatic environment in which a person achieves sleep like they did before the sleeping issue they’re experiencing started to occur.

However, ultimately, each individual is different, and the way in which they experience the properties of cannabinoids is unique.  So, there is always a risk that cannabinol will make certain people feel drowsy, especially if the compound was consumed in a higher dosage amount than suggested on the product’s label.

Can CBN Cause Drowsiness the Next Day?

Again, CBN is not associated with feelings of drowsiness the next day, like some sleeping products and medications.  Cannabinoids like cannabinol are uniquely capable of wearing off relatively quickly rather than causing side effects in the system that can last for several hours.  And again, because cannabinol simply gently regulates processes in the nervous system, its effects aren’t really strong enough to commonly lead to side effects felt the next day.  Still, because each person’s experience with cannabinoids is unique, there is always a small chance that this effect could occur in a small number of individuals.

CBN: A Gentle Cannabinoid That May Help Regulate Sleep

Ultimately, if a person wishes to use a natural compound to achieve better sleep and wants to avoid the feeling of drowsiness, cannabinol (CBN) is likely a great option, as it’s less commonly associated with this side effect than many other sleep aids that are on the market.  CBN is generally considered to be gentle, without causing drawn out effects that can interfere with a person’s functionality the next day.


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