There is a growing number of cannabis products flooding the market, and most people confuse cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) oils when shopping for the best CBD oil. The two have similar therapeutic properties but lack the overpowering psychoactive effect of THC. 

However, there are other distinct differences between CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol) oils. Understanding their dissimilarities will help you choose the best one for your health.

Similarities Between CBN and CBD Oils

Before we review the differences, it is necessary to understand the therapeutic similarities of the best CBD and CBN, which are listed below:

  • Pain reduction and relief
  • Management of inflammation
  • Antibacterial effects
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Control the growth of cancer cells
  • Muscle relaxation and spasm control

Besides these benefits, both CBD and CBN oils possess a relatively good safety profile. There is a misconception that CBD and CBN do not have any psychoactive effects. For starters, CBD works on the brain to offer relief for a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress. 

According to Pure Analytics, CBN also has a mild psychoactive effect with laboratory tests showing that CBN produces as much as 10% of THC’s potency. But this cannabinoid produces a more sedating effect instead of triggering a high. 

Differences Between CBD and CBN Oils

Even though CBN and CBD are similar in their chemical composition, the two compounds interact in different ways with the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Here are the main differences between CBN and CBD:

CBD Is More Prevalent

CBD is a primary compound in cannabis and is present in the plant in amounts between 1% and 25%, depending on the region of growth and whether the cannabis is classified as marijuana or hemp. In most strains of cannabis, CBD is the second most dominant cannabinoid after THC.

Very little CBN, however, is found in cannabis. On average, the cannabis plant contains 1% or less of CBN. In addition, the quantity of CBN in cannabis depends on the amount of heat and oxygen to which the plant is exposed. 

CBN Starts as THC

CBN is formed after the breakdown of THC. The potency of the CBN is based on the age of the plant, which is why experts recommend that you choose older plants instead of fresh ones. CBD is also a stable compound that’s easy to extract from the plant. 

Psychoactive Properties

Although CBD doesn’t get users high, the compound does affect receptors in the brain. This kind of psychoactive effect allows CBD to be used to treat and manage the symptoms of various illnesses and conditions. 

As a by-product of THC, CBN possesses a higher psychoactive profile than CBD. For this reason, individuals must be careful when ingesting CBN oil. If taken in large doses, CBN produces mild feelings of euphoria. 

Finally, while CBN is not as famous as THC or CBD, this cannabinoid was one of the first compounds to be extracted from cannabis plants. 

Side Effects

For the first time CBN oil users will experience a variety of side effects. They range from drowsiness, grogginess, and dizziness. However, the therapeutic properties outweigh the side effects. The side effects will dissipate after a short while. If the side effects are a little heavy on you, cutting back on the dosage will help. 

CBD, on the other hand, has a slightly different set of side effects that appear when taken in large doses. Some of the common CBN side effects include:

  • Mouth dryness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Light-headedness
  • Diarrhea and change in weight and appetite

For this reason, you must consult a doctor before starting on the regimen. However, starting with a low dosage is recommended and the increase the dosage as desired. The quality of the CBD and CBN will also affect the side effects. 

For example, some manufacturers add THC to CBD and CBN oils. This will add to the psychoactive effects that give you a high and show up in drug tests. It is, therefore, necessary that you take great care in choosing the brands. 

The Entourage Effect

Most cannabinoid users argue that one compound is better than the other. While they each have their unique features, they give a better effect when taken together in the right concentrations. When CBN and CBD oils are combined, they can boost the therapeutic properties resulting in faster action on the conditions.

Moreover, you should also consider the terpenes. These natural compounds are responsible for giving plants their color, flavor, and aroma. When taken in the right combinations, terpenes also provide therapeutic effects. For this reason, you need to consider the entourage effect when choosing between CBN and CBD oil. 

The cannabinoids and terpenes work together to reduce stress, manage depression symptoms, induce sleep and more. You could also use it with your dry herb vaporizers for faster absorption in the blood stream. 


Both CBD and CBN products are available as tinctures, oils, edibles, topical creams, and capsules. You could always vape the oil for faster absorption into the bloodstream.

We hope that you have understood the difference between CBN and CBD. This information will come in handy when purchasing these oils to treat your conditions.