Some Facts on CBN
Cannabis is widely praised for its medicinal properties, including its ability to treat ailments ranging from nausea to glaucoma. Some of its constituent components – termed cannabinoids – have been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic effects, while others have been shown to be powerful sleep aids.
Some of these cannabinoids work in concert with each other, while others work best in isolation. Some of the cannabinoids – most notably tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – are mind-altering, while others have no such effect. Accordingly, patients have become increasingly interested in the varied properties of the different cannabinoids.
For example, it is clearly desirable to create medications for young children suffering from epilepsy and similar conditions that lack mind-altering cannabinoids entirely, while containing high amounts of medicinally valuable cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN).
CBN is one of the most important cannabinoids for medical use, as it provides a number of benefits while being only weakly psychoactive (some authorities classify it as completely non-psychoactive). CBN is thought to be a potent sleep aid, and it kills many harmful bacteria, including MRSA.
However, CBN exhibits two other, very important properties. It is one of the cannabinoids responsible for the pain-killing properties of cannabis and it also helps to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with auto-immune diseases. This combination of traits makes the compound extraordinarily helpful for the treatment of one particular ailment.
A Debilitating Disease
The colloquial term “arthritis” actually applies to two different conditions. Both are characterized by painful, swollen joints, but they have different causes. Osteoarthritis results from the normal wear-and-tear that joints go through during a person’s life. As the cartilage and connective tissue in a given joint degrade, the bones begin to come into contact with each other, leading to pain, stiffness and impaired mobility.
By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease. Although the end result – degraded cartilage in the joints – is the same as it is with osteoarthritis, but in this case the loss of cartilage is not caused by wear-and-tear; it occurs when the immune system attacks the cartilage.
Neither condition is curable, although both can be treated partially with pain medications.
The Magic Bullet
Because CBN is only weakly psychoactive and treats both pain and autoimmune conditions very well, it is quite effective for those with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
The pain-relieving properties of CBN have not been explicitly studied, as most research has focused on THC. However, scientists have found that by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors in the spinal column (the same type or receptors that interact with cannabinoids in other parts of the body), they could provide the rats with pain relief. Additionally, the rats demonstrated less inflammation after the receptors were stimulated, as well.
Additionally, scientists with Michigan State University conducted studies on the effects of CBD (and other cannabinoids) on the immune response of mice. They found that CBD had a profound effect, and reduced the amount of mucus produced as an immune reflex. While human trials are still necessary, there is little reason to doubt the findings would be similar.