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Difference between CBN and CBD

Before jumping into the series of differences, let’s start with their similarities.

CBN and CBD are two major cannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD is an abbreviated form of cannbidoil. CBN stands for the word cannabinol.

Both get into your bloodstream when you consume marijuana in any form. The blood transports these cannabinoids across the body and your brain as well. Then, they release specific neurons that lead to a wide range of effects.

So these are the points how CBD and CBD function similarly.

Let’s move to the key differences between them:

Difference in Formation:

How CBD is formed?

CBD is a derivative of THC. It is found when the THC is broken down. When the plant is decarboxylate, the heat breaks down the bonds being responsible for holding the acid molecules together. As a result, you end up with CBD

How CBN is formed?

CBN doesn’t exist naturally like most of the chemicals present in cannabinoids. It occurs from THC, which is the most psychoactive compound getting your high. THC is broken down due to the UV light exposure and oxygenation. One more thing—CBN is present in the buds and flowers of the plants. Therefore, it’s not found in very young cannabis plants that haven’t blossomed yet.

Difference in Being Psychoactive:

CBN is psychoactive but very lower than the THC is. Or you can say that it is mildly psychoactive. However, CBD is a non-psychoactive. Therefore, it won’t get you high.

Difference in their Benefits:


Given that CBD is non-psychoactive, it won’t be beneficial for the people with sleep problems at low doses. Therefore, one needs high doses to get better sleep. According to one study, 160 mg of CBD can improve sleep time.

CBN, on the other hand, is creates sedative effect even with a small dose. One study has found that CBN generates the most potent sedative effect among all cannabinoids even with a low dose of 2.5 mg.


CBD is an appetite stimulant. However, CBN can be used to suppress appetite in order to minimize obesity.


The low doses of CBD have been found ineffective to reduce the pressure caused Glaucoma, an eye disease. However, doses of 40 mg can be effective. CBN can be effective even with lower doses.

Getting high:

CBD won’t get you high. However, CBN can make you high, though it is not as potent as THC.