The Best CBN Oils — Reviews and Research-Backed Guide

Article by: , last updated September 13, 2020

Overview

Cannabinol (CBN) is a natural compound found in cannabis. Unlike CBD and THC, the two best-known cannabinoids, CBN is considered a minor cannabinoid because it’s present in much smaller concentrations. 

CBN is non-intoxicating and comes with its own set of health effects and benefits. Interest in CBN oil and similar products is growing, largely because of the belief that CBN can help with sleep problems.

However, it’s still very new, and finding CBN oil is difficult. Here are our top picks for the best CBN oils and a buying guide for this exciting new cannabinoid.

CBD Terminology

  • Hemp: a legal variety of cannabis with low THC levels (0.3% or less).
  • Full-spectrum: A whole-plant extract containing CBD, THC, and all other beneficial hemp cannabinoids and terpenes. This is considered the most effective form of CBD.
  • Broad-spectrum: A whole-plant hemp extract similar to full-spectrum, but with THC removed.
  • CBD isolate: Pure CBD with all other hemp compounds removed.

The Best CBN Oils Reviewed

Best Overall — CBD American Shaman CBNight Water Soluble CBN Oil

CBD American Shaman is a reputable Kentucky-based brand known for its wide product variety. Its CBNight tincture is one of the only true CBN oils currently available.

Third-party tests confirm that it contains pure CBN dissolved in coconut MCT oil, which is used to improve the absorption of cannabinoids. Each 30 bottle provides 125 mg of CBN, giving this tincture a potency of 4.2 mg per ml.

Another key feature of this tincture is that the CBN oil is broken down into tiny particles by nanotechnology to improve its absorption.

CBD American Shaman’s CBN tincture is sourced from organic hemp cultivated in Kentucky and Colorado and certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, which is awarded to companies that maintain high manufacturing standards. 

It costs $0.8 per mg of CBN, which is somewhat expensive. However, CBN products are still incredibly rare and pricey to make.

In that sense, a higher price tag than CBD is to be expected. Besides, CBD American Shaman is one of the only well-known CBD brands offering CBN products.

Pros:

  • Pure CBN formula
  • Uses nanotechnology
  • High-quality hemp 
  • Third-party tested
  • U.S. Hemp Authority certification
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • Pricey ($0.8 per mg)
  • Low CBN potency
  • Lacks third-party contaminant tests

Best Full-Spectrum Tincture — Thoughtcloud High CBN Full Spectrum Pain and Sleep Formula

If you’re looking for a full-spectrum CBD oil rich in CBN, we recommend Thoughtcloud. This company’s high CBN tincture is one of the only proper full-spectrum CBN products out there, providing the full range of beneficial hemp cannabinoids and terpenes.

This tincture has a CBN potency of 10 mg/ml alongside a CBD potency of 26.7 mg/ml. It’s available in three sizes: 15 ml with 150 mg CBN/400 mg CBD; 30 ml with 300 mg CBN/800 mg CBD; and 60 ml with 600 mg CBN/1600 mg CBD.

Thoughtcloud’s tincture is derived from organic, Colorado-grown hemp. It’s ideal for people who want all the benefits of a regular full-spectrum CBD tincture but with much higher CBN levels.

Although Thoughtcloud’s third-party lab reports are not available on the company’s website, they emailed them to us upon request.

Thoughtcloud CBN Tincture third-party lab report results.

The test results were quite impressive, confirming accurate CBD and CBN levels, the presence of other cannabinoids, and the absence of any contaminants. 

Thoughtcloud’s High CBN Full Spectrum Pain and Sleep Formula oil costs $0.11–0.12 per mg of CBN/CBD. That’s a great price for such a unique, full-spectrum hemp product.

Pros:

  • Full-spectrum, high-CBN formula
  • Three bottle size options
  • American-grown hemp
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Reasonable price ($0.11–0.12 per mg)

Cons:

  • Third-party lab test reports only available upon request

Best Potency — Potluck Expo Cannabinol Tincture

Potluck expo was one of the first CBD companies to offer CBN oil online and remains a popular option today. Its cannabinol tincture is backed by third-party tests showing it contains pure CBN dissolved in coconut MCT oil and enriched with beneficial hemp terpenes.

This 30 ml oil comes in four strengths: 125 mg, 330 mg, 700 mg, and 1200 mg of CBN, giving it a potency range of 4–40 mg per ml. This offers you plenty of choices, especially if you’re looking for a high-potency product. 

Better yet, it’s available in three flavors: natural (unflavored), orange dream, and sleepy time cinnamon. This third-party tested tincture is sourced from organic, American-grown hemp. 

Potluck Expo’s CBN tincture costs $0.10–0.32 per mg of CBD, depending on which size you buy. That’s an excellent price point for a CBN product since it’s more costly to formulate than regular CBD oil.

Pros:

  • Pure CBN formula
  • Four potency options
  • American-grown hemp
  • Third-party tested
  • Excellent price ($0.10–0.32 per mg)

Cons:

  • Not a well-known, transparent brand
  • Lacks third-party tests for pesticides and heavy metals

Best Mixed Tincture — 3Chi CBN: CBD Oil

Combining cannabinoids and terpenes is always a great idea since they tend to work in synergy (the “entourage effect.”) If you want to combine the benefits of CBN with tried-and-true CBD oil, 3Chi’s CBN: CBD tincture is the product for you. 

This 30 ml oil contains whole-plant hemp extract providing a 1:1 ratio of CBD and CBN. It’s completely free of THC and also comes with smaller amounts of other minor cannabinoids and a blend of hemp terpenes.

3Chi’s tincture comes in three strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg of CBD and CBN. That means there’s a potency for people with low, medium, or high dosage requirements. 

This third-party tested oil costs $0.05–0.08 per mg of CBD/CBN. If we only count the CBN, that’s a price of $0.10–0.16 per mg. This price is already below-average for CBD-only products, but since it contains 50% CBN it’s an even better deal.

Pros:

  • Whole-plant, broad-spectrum formula
  • Three potency options
  • Third-party tested
  • Excellent price ($0.05–0.08 per mg of CBN+CBD)

Cons:

  • Not a well-known brand
  • Lack of info about the hemp source
  • Lacks third-party lab reports for contaminants

CBN Oil and Sleep: a Common Misconception

Many people believe that CBN is particularly helpful for insomnia and other sleep issues. That’s because of the observation that aged cannabis, which is high in CBN due to the breakdown of THCa, seems to work especially well as a sedating sleep aid (1).

However, as noted by esteemed cannabis researcher Dr. Ethan Russo, “Pure CBN is not particularly sedating.” Instead, it seems that the combination of CBN with THC and cannabis terpenes is what makes old cannabis such a potent sleep inducer.

This was demonstrated by a 1975 study that compared the effects of CBN and THC. 

The researchers found that pure CBN did not make people more sleepy on its own (2). However, when it was combined with THC, it enhanced its drowsiness and psychoactive effects, such as feeling drunk.

The bottom line: There isn’t any evidence to suggest that CBN improves sleep on its own. However, it may improve the sleep-inducing effects of THC or other cannabinoids, such as CBD. If you’re taking CBN for sleep, look for a product with multiple cannabinoids.

CBN Oil Buying Guide

What exactly is CBN? What are its benefits? How do you choose the ideal CBN oil for your needs? In this quick guide, we’ll answer these and other questions to help you make an educated choice when shopping for CBN products.

What is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is a naturally occurring, non-intoxicating cannabinoid present in cannabis. It’s considered a “minor” cannabinoid because its levels in regular cannabis plants are quite low.

That’s because unlike other cannabinoids, which are made directly from the “mother of cannabinoids” cannabigerol (CBG) and CBGa, CBN is a metabolite of THC.

More specifically, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) breaks down into CBN when exposed to oxygen. That’s why old cannabis plants have higher CBN levels.

Like CBD and other cannabinoids, CBN has a range of potential health benefits. In particular, it’s gaining popularity as a sleep aid.

What is CBN Oil?

CBN oil is essentially a cannabinol-rich version of CBD oil. As such, it can contain either pure CBN or a CBN-rich extract that may have other cannabinoids and terpenes. 

It will also contain a carrier oil such as MCT oil, which helps the body absorb this fat-soluble cannabinoid.

Similar to CBD, CBN can also be formulated into capsules, edibles, and many other product types. For now, however, it’s mostly sold in oil form because it’s still a novel product.

How Does CBN Differ from CBD?

Both CBN and CBD are non-intoxicating, which means they won’t get you high. They’re present in both regular cannabis and in hemp, the THC-low variety of the plant.

But while they do share some similar health effects, CBN is a distinct cannabinoid, and researchers are hard at work to figure out its exact benefits and uses.

For example, whereas CBD is known to be a potent anxiolytic (anxiety reliever), CBN doesn’t seem to affect anxiety.

Health Benefits

Its sleep effects aside, research suggests that CBN has numerous beneficial properties. Here’s a quick summary of the findings:

  • A 2005 study in mice found that CBN delayed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), suggesting it may protect neurons from damage (3)
  • A 2008 study reported that CBN has antibacterial properties (4)
  • A 2012 study found that CBN encouraged rats to eat more, which means it may have potential as an appetite stimulant (5)
  • A 2016 study noted that CBN has anti-inflammatory effects (6)
  • A 2019 study in rats reported that CBN reduced muscle pain (7)
  • A 1984 study in cats reported that CBN reduces ocular (eye) pressure, suggesting it may help with glaucoma  (8)

As we can see, cannabinol has a wide range of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, neuroprotective, and appetite-stimulating effects. This gives it a wide range of applications.

However, research is still in its early stages so we can expect to see more interesting findings in the coming years.

Legality

Much like CBD, CBN is completely legal. In fact, all minor cannabinoids are 100% legal, provided that they meet two requirements:

  • They must come from hemp, a variety of cannabis with 0.3% or less of THC
  • The final product cannot contain more than 0.3% THC

Side Effects

There’s no evidence that cannabinol causes any side effects. 

Important Considerations for Buying CBN Oil

Much like the case with CBD, it’s important to be aware of several factors when shopping for CBN oil. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying a high-quality product that actually contains as much CBN as advertised on the label. 

We’ve compiled some of the key tips below to help you make an educated choice.

Where to Buy Cannabinol Products

Although you can certainly find CBN products in a store, the best way to buy it is online. This way, you can check third-party tests to confirm that the product is safe and actually contains CBN.

Types of CBN Oil

Similar to CBD, cannabinol tinctures can come in several varieties:

  • Pure CBN oil, which contains only >98% pure CBN and no other active ingredients
  • Full-spectrum CBN oil, which contains a certain amount of CBN alongside CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and various hemp compounds
  • A mixed product that contains pure CBN alongside pure CBD and/or terpenes

Generally speaking, full-spectrum cannabinoid products are more effective than those containing pure isolates because of the entourage effect synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes. 

However, full-spectrum products with high CBN levels are difficult to find, so products made with pure CBN are the best option for now.

How Much Should CBD Oil Cost?

CBN oil costs more than regular CBD oil for a very simple reason: it’s far more expensive to make. Regular cannabis plants have low CBN levels and even strains higher in CBN are still more costly to use than regular, CBD-rich hemp.

A low price for CBN oil is anywhere from $0.10 to $0.20 per mg. However, if you want to buy from a leading brand, you may need to pay upwards of $1.00 per mg.

What CBN Dosage Should You Use?

There’s no consensus on the best dosage for CBN due to a lack of research.

On top of that, there are many factors that determine the ideal dosage of cannabinoids, such as body weight, tolerance, the benefit you’re hoping to achieve, and the type of formula you’re using.

The best approach is to start as low as possible and assess how you feel. Then, you can gradually increase the dosage over the span over several days and weeks until you start experiencing the desired effects.

Look for Third-Party Tested Brands

We always recommend buying from CBD brands whose products are tested by an independent laboratory to confirm their cannabinoid levels.

Although the CBD industry has vastly improved from its Wild West days, there still isn’t much stopping companies from selling misleading, low-quality products that contain little to no active ingredients, so you have to protect yourself by choosing third-party tested brands.

Ideally, you should also look at the third-party test documents yourself to verify that the product in question contains CBN.

Check The Concentration

Just because a product is labeled as “CBN oil” doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the main active ingredient. 

It could be a regular CBD oil with more CBN than usual, which would still be a tiny amount. That’s why it’s important to figure out the exact amount and concentration of CBN in your product. 

Check the product description, product label, or third-party test documents to verify that CBN is indeed the main active compound in your tincture and that there’s enough of it. We don’t recommend buying anything weaker than 4 mg of CBN per ml.

Check the Hemp Source

High-quality cannabinoid products are made from organic, non-GMO hemp grown in Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, or in European countries. Look for transparent companies that clearly list this information on their website.

Bonus points if hemp is certified by USDA (which is still difficult to find due to regulations).

Note: the extraction process used to isolate CBN from hemp matters as well.

However, these days 99% of companies use the two safest, most efficient methods: ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2). As such, you don’t really need to worry about the extraction process unless you’re buying from an unknown, shady brand.

Summing Up

Just like CBD, CBN is a beneficial, non-intoxicating cannabinoid that seems to have numerous beneficial effects. CBN oil and similar products are starting to appear on the market due to a growing interest in minor cannabinoids and their potential benefits.

We’re sure you’ll find a CBN oil product to match your needs on our list. However, if you want to search for yourself, be sure to keep our tips in mind. 

As a final word of advice, it’s always best to consult your doctor before using any cannabinoid product.

Referenced Studies:

  1. Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacology 163.7 (2011): 1344-1364.
  2. Karniol, Isac G., et al. “Effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man.” Pharmacology 13.6 (1975): 502-512.
  3. Weydt, Patrick, et al. “Cannabinol delays symptom onset in SOD1 (G93A) transgenic mice without affecting survival.” Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 6.3 (2005): 182-184.
  4. Appendino, Giovanni, et al. “Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure− activity study.” Journal of natural products 71.8 (2008): 1427-1430.
  5. Farrimond, Jonathan A., Benjamin J. Whalley, and Claire M. Williams. “Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns.” Psychopharmacology 223.1 (2012): 117-129.
  6. Zurier, Robert B., and Sumner H. Burstein. “Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis.” The FASEB Journal 30.11 (2016): 3682-3689.
  7. Wong, Hayes, and Brian E. Cairns. “Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain.” Archives of oral biology 104 (2019): 33-39.
  8. Colasanti, Brenda K., Charles R. Craig, and R. David Allara. “Intraocular pressure, ocular toxicity and neurotoxicity after administration of cannabinol or cannabigerol.” Experimental eye research 39.3 (1984): 251-259.

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