by Katherine Golden, RN – Founder and CEO of Leaf411

As sleep research advances, so does the understanding of how various cannabinoids like CBD and THC may support improved rest. Below, we’re sharing a quick primer on sleep. Then we will take a look at CBN, a cannabinoid that’s being widely talked about as beneficial for sleep.

Understanding sleep cycles is important

Sleep should be simple, right? Lay down, close your eyes and naturally drift into restful, rejuvenating sleep. 

Unfortunately, sleep is a battle for many of us. From tossing and turning to experiencing physical discomfort as we settle down for the night. Even once asleep, some people struggle to stay asleep long enough to get the benefits of a good night’s rest.

A basic understanding of major sleep cycles can help when it comes to choosing the best hemp or cannabis products for your needs. 

  • Non-REM sleep: This takes up the first three phases of sleep. Non-REM sleep occurs when you drift into a light sleep then move into deeper rest. 
  • REM sleep: This follows non-REM sleep. Most dreaming occurs at this stage of sleep. However, REM sleep’s importance goes well beyond good dreams. REM sleep is also connected to overall brain health and is believed to boost the immune system.

For treatment, clinicians often start by identifying where a patient is encountering difficulty. Is there difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep for the desired length of time? That information can provide valuable clues into the hemp or cannabis product -formulation that may work best. It can also help identify the specific cannabinoids to focus on.

Woman with dark hair lying on her side, sleeping in the clouds with white pillows and a white blanket in a blue sky

So what exactly is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is created from THC that has been exposed to UV light and oxygen. This exposure leads to a chemical breakdown that transforms the THC into CBN. As cannabis flower ages, its THC will slowly and naturally convert to CBN. Cannabis extractors have also created processes for speeding up the conversion of THC into CBN oil.

Recently, consumers have reported CBN is a useful nighttime remedy. This has fuelled its use in more and more products. Now, cannabis and hemp manufacturers are creating new products that feature CBN because of CBN’s potential natural sedative effects. 

But does CBN actually work for sleep?

At Leaf411, we believe the anecdotal research supports many manufacturers’ claims about CBN.

For example, one of our members, Myriam’s Hope Hemp, shared anecdotal data with us based on their customer feedback. Their customers found higher doses of CBN (between 15-40mg) to be helpful for falling and staying asleep. This is just one of many reports Leaf411 has found around CBN’s value.

Composite image of scientists with a microscope, tweezers and blue liquid being poured into a beaker

Tips for finding the right CBN, CBD, or other cannabis product for falling asleep and staying asleep

Falling asleep is one challenge. Staying asleep is another.

Difficulty falling asleep?

Consider using a fast-acting product. You’ll want to use the product about 30 minutes before you want to fall asleep. Examples of fast-acting products from our members include Wana Optimals Fast Asleep Gummies with THC, CBD, CBN, CBG and melatonin. Also, Impact Naturals Rest capsules with CBD, CBN and melatonin.

Difficulty staying asleep?

Consider taking a longer-acting product that is not labeled as fast-acting. Elixinol’s Sleep Good Night capsules containing CBD and melatonin are a great example. These hemp capsules are longer lasting with a slower onset. While these products take longer for effects to kick in, those effects also last longer through the night.

Find the combination that works for you

You may find it helpful to layer CBD or CBN with different natural over-the-counter sleep products. In fact, many products like those listed above already stack several different beneficial compounds. 

Always ask your doctor about prescriptions

If you’re already taking prescription medications that make you drowsy as a side effect, talk to your doctor. We strongly recommend you check in with your prescribing clinician before adding CBD or THC products to the mix, to avoid any unwanted effects. This also includes sleep medications like Lunesta (eszopiclone), Sonata (zaleplon), or Ambien (zolpidem).

CBN is only one of several cannabinoids that may help with sleep. Both CBD and THC as well as plant terpenes can also play an important role in your sleep routine. Check out our past blog on THC, CBD and sleep to learn more, as well as our blog on finding the best cannabis product to support sleep goals.

Brown converse shoes on colorful mosaic tile floor

Finding sleep-focused hemp and cannabis products you can trust

Our Leaf411 business members have all been through our vetting process, which includes ensuring their products are fully tested and reliable. We’ve included a list of our members below. Most of them offer products geared toward a good night’s rest, including some who offer products which contain CBN.

Keep in mind that effects may vary due to individual differences in people’s endocannabinoid systems. If you don’t get the result you’re seeking, please reach out to our Leaf411 nurses. Our nurses are knowledgeable about how different cannabinoids may impact sleep onset and duration. You can schedule a guidance call at this link.

Cannabis tincture dropper being filled by a patient with cannabis oil for consumption

Leaf411 can help with your questions about using hemp and cannabis

Our Leaf nurses can guide you to new approaches for improving restfulness and achieving your sleep goals. Whether you’re brand new to hemp or cannabis or an experienced user, we are here to help

Get started by scheduling a low-cost guidance call with one of our Leaf411 nurses at this link. We understand cost may be a barrier for some. That’s why we’ve collaborated with our business supporting members to offer a special code to offset the cost. Just click on any of our Vetted Members’ logos to go to their website and call their customer service number. Then, their agents will provide a special Leaf411 code for you.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline, chat and scheduled nurse guidance call services provide education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.