What is CBN Oil & How to Use it: Effects, Dosage & Legality

What is CBN Oil & How to Use it: Effects, Dosage & Legality

Posted by Christian on 26th Apr 2023

Recently, a new wave of cannabinoid-based products has emerged in the hemp and cannabis markets. Cannabinol CBN oil is just one of them, promising something a little different than the CBD and THC products we have come to love.

CBN oil is a non-psychoactive, hemp-derived product, containing less than 0.3% THC. CBN is a secondary cannabinoid, commonly found in small quantities in hemp strains. Research into CBN’s medicinal value is limited, however it was the first cannabinoid that scientists discovered, back in 1899. CBN appears to have neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and sleep-promoting effects.

This CBN guide serves both hemp enthusiasts and CBN newbies. We’ll look into the existing research on CBN in more depth, explore the type of CBN products currently available, and also go over some frequently asked questions. Now, let’s get started!

What is CBN Oil?

CBN oil is a hemp-based tincture product, containing higher-than-average quantities of CBN. In most CBD oil products, if there is any CBN, it will only be a very small amount, since typical hemp strains have very low levels of CBN. The CBN market is still in its infancy, but most products appear to have CBD as well, either as the dominant cannabinoid, or in a more balanced CBD to CBN ratio.

A genuine CBN oil product should clearly state the amount of CBN in the product, in milligrams or as a percentage of the whole product. Third-party laboratory certification is an absolute must for all CBN products. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate the hemp market, such checks are vital for ensuring products have as much CBN as stated and legal levels of THC, while being free from toxins and impurities.

And since CBN is non-psychoactive, you don’t have to worry about getting high from it, even if you take a lot. However, large doses are associated with relaxation and sleep, perhaps even more so than CBD.

Potential Benefits of CBN Oil

Even though humans have known about CBN for more than 120 years, we haven’t got very far into studying its effects. Blame the incredibly tight restrictions that made studying marijuana so difficult for so long! But while we can’t make definitive claims about CBN’s therapeutic properties, we can speculate on its benefits by looking at the currently available evidence.



CBN is commonly marketed as a sleep aid. But there isn’t much research yet to back this up. A scientific paper from 1975 suggested that CBN had sleep-promoting properties, but it’s possible these were coming solely from THC, which was also used in the experiment.

CBN’s benefits for sleep are more legend than anything else – and based around the narrative that “old weed” makes you sleepier. After a period of time, pre-activated THCa in unused cannabis flower degrades into CBN. It has been proposed that the higher concentration of CBN is behind the sleep-inducing effects. CBN may be acting alone and genuinely producing this effect, or the relaxation may be linked to the interaction between THC and CBN.

Anti-inflammatory effects

A study found that CBN is effective at reducing rheumatoid arthritis in rodents, indicating that the cannabinoid has anti-inflammatory properties. Other cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, also produce these effects. CBN has a high affinity at CB2 receptors, which are linked to the immune system – so it is easy to believe that CBN has anti-inflammatory properties. More research in this area is merited.

Neuroprotectant effects

CBN has also displayed neuroprotectant effects in preliminary research, again on rodents. The study found that CBN could help treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in rats. Albeit only one paper, this research suggests CBN may offer an array of neuroprotectant effects, which could be valuable in treating the likes of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and more.

Antibacterial properties

Researchers are getting desperate for modern antibiotic solution and cannabinoids, including CBN, are showing promise. A study has demonstrated CBN’s antibacterial properties in a laboratory setting, and there are suggestions CBN may even combat the notorious superbug MRSA. Intriguingly, researchers have noted that CBN – and other cannabinoids – work in a unique way, not previously seen in other antibiotics. Exactly how CBN works as an antibiotic is still unknown.

Appetite booster

Another animal study on rodents showed that CBN may boost appetite, by increasing overall food consumption. Cannabis is, of course, strongly associated with appetite stimulation, in the form of the “munchies”! CBN might also provide these benefits, just in a non-intoxicating and less pronounced way. But like all areas of CBN study, more research is needed.

CBN Oil Side Effects

CBN's side effects are unclear unfortunately, due to the lack of research. However, as a non-psychoactive chemical, the risks posed by CBN are likely small, especially if CBD is anything to go by. Perhaps be on guard for some sleepiness if you plan on taking CBN oil during the day. The effects may be comparable to a strong indica strain.

It's possible that CBN oil could interfere with your prescription medications, since cannabinoids are known to interact with liver enzymes. Consult with your doctor if you are on medication right now, and are considering trying a CBN product. The content here is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice.

Legality of CBN Oil

Legality of CBN Oil

You can legally buy CBN oil products in all 50 states, with a couple of caveats. The product must be made from industrial hemp, and contain less than 0.3% THC, in order to meet the federal regulations set by the Farm Bill.

You may be wondering why CBN is legal, since cannabis is still illegal at federal level. The key is in the wording of the Farm Bill, which only set limits on THC levels when legalizing hemp. With no mention of CBN - or CBD for that matter - hemp oil manufacturers were able to start making products with higher concentrations of these beneficial compounds.

How to Use CBN Oil

The great part about buying a hemp oil product is that it comes with a wide range of uses, so you can cash in on all the qualities of CBN.

Sublingual absorption: Most opt to take CBN oil under the tongue – this is the sublingual absorption method. The classic way to take a tincture, this approach ensures the CBN is delivered quickly into your bloodstream and starts providing the necessary relief within minutes. Sublingual absorption is the second-fastest way to take cannabinoids, after inhalation.

Food ingredient: You can easily add CBN to food as a way of getting your CBN dose. Taken in this form, CBN will produce long-lasting, edible-style effects. Just make sure you have other punchy ingredients in the recipe, so it’s not overwhelmed by the strong, earthy hemp flavor. 

On the skin: Yes, you can also use CBN oil topically, perhaps for the arthritis relief produced by its anti-inflammatory effects. Applying CBN oil directly is not very cost-effective, so you may want to mix it in with another cream, such as a regular hemp cream.

CBN Oil Correct Dose

There’s no single answer to the dosage question. Everyone has different needs with hemp and CBN, and cannabinoids don’t impact everybody in the same way. However, it is helpful to get an idea of how much you’re taking, and this is made easy with tinctures.

Information on how much CBN is in each drop and a full dropper should be provided with your product. Use this to keep a written record on how much CBN you’re taking, when you’re taking it, and how it makes you feel. With this data, you’ll quickly be able to settle on the perfect CBN dosing routine for you!


Rather than going into battle, CBN and CBD are set up to complement each other. CBD vape juice products featuring increased levels of CBN are clearly going to be more therapeutic than regular CBD products. CBN has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potential and may also promote sleep. These traits are all shared by CBD, hence the prospective value in combining the two!

Why not make your next tincture oil a CBN-infused tincture oil, and find out for yourself!