CBD, the Latest Wellness Craze, Won’t Cause Users to Fail a Drug Test — But Its Lesser-known Cousin CBN Will

Cannabinoid or CBD is a popular wellness craze. Those who take advantage of it to relieve pain, inflammation, sleep issues and a host of other problems appreciate its benefits. Many people also love that CBD is non-psychoactive so you will not fail a drug test if you take it.

CBN is a cousin of cannabinoid, also from the cannabis plant, and provides similar benefits but with a caveat — you will fail a drug test on it. This is a key piece of information that anyone should know before deciding to take CBN for overall wellness.

CBD Is Not Psychoactive

The reason that CBD will not cause you to fail a drug test is that it is not psychoactive. THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis while cannabidiol does not produce those effects. This is great news for those who are in pain but work for companies with drug testing. Taking CBD should not cause you to fail those drug tests.

Just keep in mind that if the CBD product you take also includes THC, this will not always be the case. Hemp-based CBD cannot have more than 0.3 percent THC. This is not usually enough to create those psychoactive effects, but it may be enough to show up on a drug test. As such, if you need to pass drug tests, you should stay clear of CBD that also contains THC, at least until you can test your reaction.

CBD and CBN Are Cannabinoids

Since CBD is non-psychoactive and both CBD and CBN are cannabinoids, it is easy to assume that CBN is not psychoactive either. However, this would be a significant mistake. There are 113 different cannabinoids, including CBD, CBN, and THC.

Other Basic Similarities and Differences

When you consume CBD or CBN, the cannabinoids will enter your bloodstream, which then circulates them into your brain. In the brain, the cannabinoids activate specific neurons that produce the effects that you expect. Both of these cannabinoids work this way, although they can activate different neurons, leading to varying effects.

A key difference in the contents and effects of CBD and CBN comes from their biological differences. Both come from the cannabis plant, but they are produced differently. Cannabis produces cannabigerol acid (CBGA), which combines with various chemicals compounds and produces THCA, CBCA, and CBDA, the acid variations of THC, CBD, and CBD, respectively. When you heat cannabis, you can decarboxylate it, leaving the compounds behind.

Cannabis can also produce CBN via decarboxylation when THC breaks down. Alternatively, it can also be produced via aging. In this case, the THC would break down but do so more slowly.

CBN Is Somewhat Psychoactive

Because of the differences in the structure of CBD and CBN, CBD is non-psychoactive, but CBN is slightly psychoactive. The reaction is mild enough that until recently, experts considered it non-psychotropic, meaning it does not affect the mental state. However, experts recently realized that it can serve as a powerful sedative.

In most cases, you still will not feel a high from taking CBN. The exception would be if you opt for a specialized product that has higher cannabinoid concentrations. It is also important to note that CBN is much less psychoactive than the THC that it forms from. This comes down to the way that THC and CBN interact with CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. Older research does indicate that combining CBN with THC may increase the psychoactive effects of THC. Of course, if you choose to take THC, you should already expect psychoactive effects.

Overlapping Benefits

Taking CBD is associated with a long list of benefits, as it is antibacterial, analgesic, antiemetic, a bone stimulant, neuroprotective, immunosuppressive, and fights pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, cancer symptoms, spasms, and more.

CBN offers a similar range of benefits, although the list is a bit shorter. CBN is an analgesic, anti-convulsive, antibacterial, anti-insomniac, and anti-inflammatory. This means that either CBD or CBN can fight pain, insomnia, inflammation, and seizures. CBD can also help with anxiety, nausea, osteoporosis, PTSD, OCD, and others, helping it earn a reputation as a wellness craze.

Research on CBN Shows Promise

As with CBD, there is already a reasonable amount of research on CBN, although scientists would like to see more. Researchers at Steep Hill Labs, a cannabis testing facility, found that of all the cannabinoids, CBN is the most effective sedative. That company claims that consuming 2.5 to 5 mg of CBN is equivalent in sedative effects to using double the quantities of diazepam. That same research also indicates that when combined, CBN and CBD are even more effective.

Unfortunately, CBD gets more attention in research than CBN, so you have to look further back. In 1984, researchers found that regular use of CBN in lab cats reduced intraocular tension for those with glaucoma. In 2006, a paper claimed CBN has a synergistic relationship with other cannabinoids to control the growth of one type of lung cancer. A study in 2012 showed CBN’s promise as an appetite stimulant while CBD suppressed appetite.

Be Aware of Potential Side Effects

Before taking CBN, you should definitely be aware that it can show up on a drug test. While the psychoactive effects are mild, they are strong enough for the average drug test to spot.

There are also other potential side effects of taking CBN, including loss of appetite, dizziness, and drowsiness. The good news is that, as with CBD, most people who consume CBN will not experience any negative effects.

The Takeaway

CBN may join the wellness craze involving CBD, but it likely will not become quite as popular. While you will still be able to pass a drug test when taking most CBD products, this is not the case with CBN. CBD also has a wider range of use cases, at least so far, and there is more research to back it up. Of course, this can change in the future as there is very minimal research on CBN to date.