Everyone wants to get a good night’s sleep, but many of us are constantly chasing the elusive “perfect night’s rest.” But what if there was a natural supplement that could help you achieve these dreams? What if there was a way to naturally support your body in getting the rest it deserves? There is. It’s called CBN, and it’s an essential component of melatonin.
1. What is CBN?
CBN, or cannabidiol, is a chemical found in the cannabis plant. It’s part of what makes up the plant’s extract, commonly referred to as CBN tincture. When you smoke or ingest cannabis, the effects are caused by THC, another component in the plant’s extract. But when taken as a supplement, THC is metabolized away. Because CBN is not metabolized, it acts as a natural hormone for the body. What’s more, it mimics a natural effect of melatonin, meaning it goes right to the source — the pineal gland—the result: better sleep.
It’s gaining more traction in the U.S. Researchers are looking into what role CBD plays in promoting natural sleep. “The dual-action of CBN and melatonin is sedative because it is able to mimic the effects of the sleep hormone, but without side effects and with less toxicity than synthetic hormones found in supplements,” explains Dr. Rafael Khalil, who specializes in sleep medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. What’s more, it acts quickly, he adds. “Our body expects to see its end product within two hours. This can lower our stress and promote better sleep.” There’s even a scientific name for it: delta-9-THC, the unique form of THC that’s isolated in the hemp plant. But CBD and CBN are the pure forms made by removing the non-psychoactive CBD cannabidiol. “Unlike THC, the delta-9-THC metabolite does not have psychotropic effects. It has similar calming and anxiolytic properties to melatonin,” says Dr. Khalil. Dr. Jewett notes that natural sources of melatonin (e.g., the naturally occurring hormone in your saliva) can counter the reality of eating too close to bedtime. Most of us worry about drowsing after eating late at night or having a pot-a-bottom Tuesday, but if you eat before bed, it could affect your melatonin levels.
2. How can CBN help you sleep better?
CBN has been shown to help people who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who suffered from chronic insomnia could get better sleep by taking a supplement that contained L-Theanine and CBN.
What are the benefits of taking a melatonin supplement? A 2017 study in Nutrients found a supplement of melatonin could improve performance and athletic health. While it’s difficult to measure the performance-enhancing value of melatonin, studies show it can help improve sleep quality for some people, and circadian rhythms are believed to play a role in mood, decreasing stress and improving performance.
According to a study in 2018, it was found that a supplement of melatonin had significant effects on establishing and maintaining circadian rhythms, or the internal time set by our body to adjust day and night. At midnight, only one in 10 adults gets enough sleep to meet recommended national recommendations. Athletes and people in training need that quality shuteye. When you are sleep-deprived, it is challenging to perform at your peak.
3. What are the benefits of CBN to your body and your mind?
Melatonin naturally releases four hormones. These are serotonin, dopamine, histamine, and the body’s own blend of endorphins. All four of these are influenced by the sun, the type of lights that are on, our diet, and other environmental factors. But that’s not all: Each of these hormones is released at a particular stage of sleep, which is important to understand. CBN sends a signal to our brains that our sleep is at a critical stage.
Most of us don’t wake up excited about our day. We wake up buzzing and anxious about something. But, if we asked 10 different people to look at an iceberg, only one would notice its sharp tip. Insufficient sleep is the root of this problem. So, to adapt to a world of nocturnal selfies, aim to get seven–9 hours of quality shuteye every night. Take a look at your sleep habits and see where you’re getting short shifts. And where you are getting long ones. Then, give it a try yourself using a natural supplement like melatonin.
4. Should you take a natural supplement with CBN to help you sleep better?
CBN is a cannabis compound that is non-psychoactive, unlike THC, which is the compound in cannabis that gets you high. That’s why it’s legal to take CBN supplements, even if you live in a state where cannabis is not legal. Many people are using CBN to help them sleep. CBN supplements are a great natural alternative to taking melatonin. There are many, many varieties, but one of the most popular is Charlotte’s Web, which comes in a tincture, pill, and eyedropper form.
The tincture is used topically to treat a range of symptoms from inflammation to insomnia, anxiety, pain, and nausea. Some people take it as indicated — for faster onset of sleep — and others take it to help with sleep issues that otherwise require pharmacotherapy.
CBN can also help relieve sleep apnea and slow down heart rate during deep sleep, as evidenced in studies. The best part? You can take CBD at any dosage, and it’s FDA.
CBN is available in tinctures, capsules, and sprays. But the plant has really taken off, and now you can also buy CBN candles.
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