In the world of hemp-derived cannabinoids, CBD (cannabidiol) is the jack-of-all-trades. It has many therapeutic benefits, and it’s been researched for a variety of conditions.
Of all the reasons it’s used, though, the most common is sleep – CBD may be very effective at reducing the barriers that make getting rest at night difficult.
But there’s another cannabinoid that’s also beneficial for sleep: CBN (cannabinol). It’s marketed almost exclusively as a sleep-supporting cannabinoid (even though it’s more versatile than this), and some people even say it’s better than CBD for sleep.
Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that both CBD and CBN are vastly beneficial for sleep support. But instead of having to choose between these cannabinoids, what if you took CBD and CBN for sleep?
What are the benefits of this combo, and how should you use it? In this article, we’ll investigate these questions with scientific research and firsthand experience.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in the hemp plant (hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight).
While there are more than 100 cannabinoids in the hemp plant, CBD stands out for two reasons:
- It’s very abundant in hemp – CBD and THC are the most abundant cannabinoids in the hemp plant.
- It has lots of benefits – Preliminary research, as well as some clinical trials, show that CBD has therapeutic potential for inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, addiction, sleep, and more.
What is CBN?
Cannabinol, or CBN, is a cannabinoid that, like CBD, is naturally occurring in the hemp plant.
Although scientists have known about CBN for almost 100 years, its effects and benefits were unknown for the most part until THC users began to notice that flower with high levels of CBN produced a drowsier, mellower high than flower that didn’t have as much CBN.
As a result, many people began to think CBN has sedative properties. The scientific research on this is mixed, but anecdotal evidence suggests there is some truth to these claims, and that CBN may have beneficial effects for sleep.
Anecdotal and scientific evidence also suggests CBN may help with pain and anxiety, showing that this cannabinoid is not one-dimensional, despite it being marketed almost solely for sleep.
Can You Take CBD and CBN Together for Sleep?
From a medical standpoint, yes, it is absolutely safe to take CBD and CBN in combination for sleep.
Ingesting both CBD and CBN at the same time won’t cause any side effects beyond what already might occur when using these cannabinoids in isolation.
A combination of CBD and CBN for sleep may be beneficial, as CBD can render comprehensive therapeutic support, while CBN delivers a relaxing head high that’s strong enough to help you sleep, but not so strong you feel overwhelmed and wake up groggy the next morning.
The Main Differences Between CBD and CBN
Before we discuss the benefits of CBD and CBN for sleep, both separately and in combination, it’s worth understanding the differences between these cannabinoids to get some context for how they work together.
While CBD is widely beneficial, you won’t necessarily “feel” it working: instead, most people report experiencing mild calming and relaxing sensations.
CBD tends to take the edge off of things and make discomfort feel like “important,” rather than rendering any overt sensations.
CBN, by contrast, is very noticeable. It is mildly psychoactive (CBN is roughly ¼ as strong as THC) and will create a head high.
However, the high from CBN is deeper and drowsier than that from delta 9 THC, so most people find it more beneficial for sleep than for daytime use.
Potential side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
Potential side effects of CBN include:
These are potential side effects – if you start with a small dosage of these cannabinoids and work your way up, you’ll decrease the likelihood that you experience any side effects.
Abundance in Hemp
CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the hemp plant (20-25% by dry weight), so it’s considered a major cannabinoid.
By contrast, CBN is only found in small amounts in hemp (0.1-1.6% by dry weight), making it a minor cannabinoid.
Benefits of CBD for Sleep
CBD has been researched for use with sleep, but it’s also been researched as solution to things that make sleeping difficult, like anxiety and pain. This means CBD can promote sleep in multiple ways – we look at each below.
Relaxation & Calming
Although its effects aren’t particularly overt, CBD does render feelings of calming and relaxation – many users report that it can help take the edge off of things, whether mental or physical.
CBD doesn’t typically have sedative properties, though research shows it may have this effect in larger doses. Still, it can put you in a mood that’s more conducive to restful sleep.
Anxiety & Depression
Research suggests CBD may have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) benefits. Given that anxiety is a common cause of sleep troubles, CBD may support sleep by helping you address these feelings.
There is research demonstrating this link, too. One study in adults with anxiety found that just 25mg of CBD per day improved sleep quality.
Pain & Inflammation
As with anxiety, there is research suggesting CBD has analgesic (pain-killing) and anti-inflammatory effects. This means CBD may promote restful sleep if your sleep troubles are caused by physical discomfort.
CBD May Supplement Melatonin and Other Sleep Aids
In addition to having a variety of sleep-supporting benefits, a major upside of using CBD for sleep is that it can supplement, or in some cases replace, melatonin and other sleep aids.
Melatonin is naturally produced by your body, and it works to regulate your internal clock – it tells your body when it’s time to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up. It’s influenced by light levels, but other things can impact it, too.
Since melatonin directly regulates the sleep-wake cycle, melatonin supplementation is effective. However, it’s only beneficial for issues that affect the circadian rhythm (your body clock), not outside problems that happen to also impact sleep, such as anxiety or physical discomfort.
CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t need to change your circadian rhythm: it can directly address the problems that are holding you back from getting the sleep you need. Many people find it beneficial as a replacement to melatonin, while others use it alongside their melatonin supplements.
No research has been done comparing the efficacy of CBD to melatonin and other sleep aids, however, many people find that a natural, hemp-derived alternative like CBD has the same benefits with fewer side effects. CBD is also commonly used as an alternative to the sleep prescription Ambien (Zolpidem).
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Benefits of CBN for Sleep
CBN hasn’t been researched as much as CBD has, and as such, we don’t know the full extent of its sleep-supporting capabilities. However, the studies we do have, as anecdotal evidence from people who use CBN, point to a few main benefits this cannabinoid has for sleep:
Relaxation & Calming
Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBN renders deep relaxation. Like THC, CBN is psychoactive and will get you high. However, CBN is just ¼ as strong as THC, so using it allows you to experience the therapeutic effects of a head and body high without being overwhelmed.
The effects of CBN are notably more sedative than those of either CBD or THC. Suffice to say, this cannabinoid can help you get settled in at night.
Pain & Inflammation
CBN’s ability to promote both mental and physical relaxation without creating too powerful of a high is the reason that many people believe it’s the best cannabinoid for sleep.
CBN May Supplement Melatonin
As with CBD, CBN may provide a supplement or replacement for melatonin. When dosed correctly, CBN won’t cause feelings of drowsiness the next morning: a common pitfall associated with melatonin.
CBN can promote sleep by holistically supporting your bodily systems and addressing problems, rather than altering your circadian rhythm as melatonin does.
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Benefits of Taking CBD and CBN Together for Sleep
As you’ve learned, CBD and CBN both have immense benefits for sleep on their own. But what about when they’re used together?
Taking CBD along with CBN may be beneficial if you’re trying to tackle specific issues that CBD addresses – say, anxiety or pain. CBN provides the deep relaxation necessary for achieving restful sleep, while CBD tackles the specific problems that are preventing you from sleeping.
In this way, CBD and CBN render more benefits for sleep together than by themselves.
However, research shows that in some instances, there is little benefit to combining these cannabinoids. One study found that adding CBD to CBN “did not positively augment CBN treatment effects.” This is likely due to the fact that CBD’s benefits aren’t very noticeable from a head effects standpoint.
So if all you’re looking for is a stronger effect, you’re likely better off going with a stronger cannabinoid, such as delta 8 THC (twice as strong as CBN) and delta 9 THC (four times as strong as CBN).
To summarize, you should use CBD and CBN together if:
- You need to address anxiety, pain, or inflammation (with CBD), but you also want a stronger sedative effect (from CBN)
- You’re happy with the effect (from CBN), but you also need something for anxiety, pain, or inflammation (CBD)
You shouldn’t use this combination if:
- You’re already using CBN and want a stronger effect (in this case, you’d enjoy CBN and THC together)
What Is the Best CBD:CBN Ratio for Sleep?
There is no “best” ratio of CBD to CBN for sleep, as it will vary depending on your needs. However, here are a few common ratios that people use in different situations:
This ratio is ideal if you want an even blend of therapeutic benefits (from CBD) and sedative effects (from CBN). A 1:1 ratio is also the best place to start if you’re not yet sure what ratio you’re looking for. Give it a try, then adjust from there.
This ratio, which features five times as much CBD as CBN, is best if you’re mainly looking for therapeutic support for anxiety, pain, or other conditions, but also need a bit of a sedative effect to help you get into the restful mood at night.
While CBN alone can promote deep relaxation, it may not be as effective as CBD for some therapeutic uses; combining one part CBD with three parts CBN can help you achieve this balance.
What’s the Best Dose of CBD and CBN for Sleep?
Whether you’re taking just CBD, just CBN, or CBD and CBN together for sleep, we recommend starting with a low-strength dose, which you can calculate using the following formula:
(0.1) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your nightly CBD dosage in mg.
Typically, we actually recommend different formulas for calculating CBD and CBN dosage. This is because these cannabinoids differ in strength.
However, when taking CBD and CBN together, the purpose of this formula is really to identify a rough total starting dose of cannabinoids. You can then experiment with different ratios to find the feeling you want.
When Should You Take It?
Different CBD and CBN delivery methods take different amounts of time to begin rendering effects, so you’ll want to time your doses accordingly.
Here’s how long before bed to take CBD and CBN:
- CBD:CBN Oil – 10-15 minutes
- CBD:CBN Gummies – 45 minutes to 1 hour
- CBD:CBN Drinks – 30-60 minutes
- CBD:CBN Capsules – 45 minutes to 1 hour
- CBD:CBN Vapes or Flower – 5-10 minutes
The Best CBD & CBN Products
Our Dream Drops tincture is made with broad-spectrum CBN extract, so you’re not just getting CBN: you’re also getting small amounts of CBD, CBG, CBC, CBDv and a terpene blend that’s been specifically formulated to promote restful sleep.
If you’re ready to get off of melatonin, out of the cycle of sleepless nights, and into deep nighttime relaxation, our CBN oil is what you’re looking for – it comes in 500mg and 1000mg bottles, and each bottle comes with a metered dropper for precise dosing.
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These delicious blackberry-flavored gummies from DriftyZZZs contain delta 9 THC, CBD, and CBN in a 1:10:1.25 ratio: 7.5mg of delta 9 THC, 75mg of CBD, and 10mg of CBN per gummy. That’s right – you’ll get all of that in just one gummy!
This cannabinoid blend is specifically formulated for promoting deep, restful effects from the THC and CBN, while delivering therapeutic benefits from the sizeable dose of CBD.
If you’re looking to address physical and mental discomfort while kicking back and relaxing, these gummies offer the cannabinoid combination you need. Comes in a pack of 20.
Conclusion: Should You Take CBD and CBN for Sleep?
CBN and CBD are two hemp-derived cannabinoids that have immense benefits for sleep on their own. But in many cases, you’re better off combining them instead of choosing between them.
What we tell our customers is that the question is never, “which cannabinoid is better?” Instead, it’s “what’s the best ratio of these two cannabinoids for my situation?” It all comes down to trying different doses and seeing what helps you sleep. You’ve got this.
CBD and CBN for Sleep: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions our customers frequently ask us about using CBD and CBN for sleep.
What is the ideal ratio of CBD and CBN for sleep?
While the best ratio of CBD to CBN for sleep will ultimately depend on your needs, generally, it’s best to start with a 1:1 ratio of CBD to CBN and then adjust from there.
How much CBN should I take for sleep?
Starting out, we recommend taking a low-strength dosage of CBN for sleep, which you can calculate using this formula: (0.05) x (your body weight in lbs.) = your nightly CBN dosage in mg.
How does a combination of CBD and CBN make you feel?
Adding CBD to CBN won’t noticeably alter the effects you receive; using this combination will still render the deep relaxation and mild head-high characteristic of CBN. However, CBD will render additional mental and physical therapeutic support if used with CBN.
How long does it take for CBD:CBN to work?
The time it takes for CBD and CBN to begin working depends on the product. Oils and tinctures take 10-15 minutes to work, gummies, edibles, and capsules 45 minutes to 1 hour, drinks 30 minutes to 1 hour, and inhalable products 5-10 minutes.