Tag: Health & Medicine

CBN: The Sleepy Cannabinoid in Old Weed

Have you ever wondered why really old weed makes you sleepy? I know from personal experience, my dad is always asking me for my old buds because he says nothing works better to knock him out cold. My dad’s unique preference made me wonder, what is it about old weed that does the trick for insomniacs?

Let’s just say what I found is that old weed is not bad weed! It’s just misunderstood. 😉

The cannabis flower is a sensitive herb; proper drying, curing, and storing play a huge role in the quality of the final buds. If improperly dried, cured, or stored, the chemical composition of the flower will change over time.

When THC is exposed to air, wind, or light over a period of time, those precious and potent cannabinoids slowly begin to change into something else … that’s right, they change into CBN.

CBN (cannabinol) is quite a mysterious cannabinoid, much like all cannabis cannabinoids that haven’t been researched adequately in the United States due to federal prohibition. But thanks to international cannabis researchers as well as some pioneering U.S. scientists, we have learned that CBN is a fascinating compound with extraordinary medicinal qualities similar to our beloved CBD.

So far, the discovered benefits of CBN include:

  • Anti-Insomnia
  • Pain Relief
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Convulsive
  • Appetite Stimulant
  • Bone Cell Growth Stimulant

Similar to CBD, the CBN cannabinoid does not have the psychoactive effects as its cousin compound THC does. However, CBN is difficult to find in high doses as it is often viewed as “degradation.” Let’s just say growers aren’t searching for those high-CBN strains, but 10 years ago CBD was barely present in popular cannabis strains and look at it now!

Currently, most cannabis contains less than 1% CBN, but a little does go a long way. The great thing about CBN is that it develops over time, like a fine wine getting better with age. If you can’t find high-CBN cannabis at your local dispensary, simply throw some weed into a pop-top or bag (non-airtight container) and come back to it in a couple weeks or months for a potent sleep medicine.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime conducted a study in 1999 to test the potency loss of cannabis over time. The study showed that after four years, the THC content in the flower dropped to half of its original potency. This study also showed that as the THC dissipated and oxidized, it was actually converting to CBN; the sample of cannabis started at 0% of CBN and after four years significantly increased. The UNODC also found that THC levels degraded fastest during the first two years of improper storage. The study concluded, “A relationship between the concentration ratio of CBN to THC and the storage time was developed and could serve as a guide in determining the approximate age of a given marijuana sample stored at room temperature.”

What are the Medicinal Benefits of CBN?

Our partners at Steep Hill Labs have shown that only 5 mg of CBN can be just as effective as a 10 mg dose of diazepam, a popular pharmaceutical sedative from the “benzo” family that is used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Medical Jane breaks down the biological process of how CBN is created, “cannabinol (CBN) stems from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) in cannabis. The [cannabis] plant naturally produces enzymes that convert CBGA to one of 3 major cannabinoids: cannabichromene carboxylic acid (CBCA), cannabidiol carboxylic acid (CBDA), and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THCA).” Once that initial conversion occurs, there is a plethora of THCA filling the cannabis flower. As that THCA is exposed to oxygen over time, it loses hydrogen molecules which converts it into CBNA. Just like any other acidic cannabinoids, CBNA converts to CBN when exposed to heat or light.

So we now know the CBN in our buds is responsible for making us sleepy, but CBN has some other incredible qualities as well. A 2008 study conducted in Italy tested the antibacterial properties of cannabis which showed CBN has the ability to actively fight methicillin-resistant staph infections (MRSA) when applied topically as a lotion or salve. On top of fighting bacterial infections, CBN can also treat burns and psoriasis when applied topically.

CBN, when combined with THC, has shown promise in treating asthma as well. On a study conducted with mice in 2005, after given a blend of CBN and THC, there was a significant improvement in lung function, a reduction in immunoglobulin E (IgE), and a decline in the overproduction of mucus in the lungs.

Similar to THC, research has shown that CBN has similar benefits to patients suffering from glaucoma, except CBN doesn’t carry the same psychoactive effects as THC. Both cannabinoids have the ability to reduce intraocular pressure inside the eye, working as an anti-inflammatory and relieving pain from the intense pressure.

While a great amount of cannabis and cancer research remains untapped, there is huge promise from international studies. One study in mice shows the effectiveness of cannabis in treating specific types of tumors. When Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC were combined with CBN, they were found to attack and prevent the growth of a specific cancerous lung tumor by the name Lewis Carcinoma. CBN has also shown to halt cancer cell growth in a variety of other cancerous tumors.

Where Can You Find CBN?

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is difficult to find flower that is high in CBN for sale at your local dispensary. However, if you have an old stash you have forgotten about laying around the house — that’s a gold mine for CBN. And while not the most immediate, you can always purchase high-THC cannabis and let it sit around for awhile until a significant portion of that THC converts to CBN.  

While very low in CBN percentage, there are some strains naturally higher in CBN content that you can look out for: Strawberry Haze, Jorge’s Diamonds, A-Dub, Amsterdam Flame,Death Star, Cataract Kush, Kosher Kush, Pineapple Chunk, Purple Sour Diesel, Red Dragon, and Shark Shock.

If you’re lucky enough to cultivate your own medicine, a quick trick for high-CBN is to harvest about 7-10 days after the harvest sweet spot — essentially over-ripening the flower right on the vine.

Also, making your own sleep meds via CBN capsules is easy and inexpensive; all you have to do is low simmer some old weed into coconut oil until fully infused (about 5-7 hours), then place into a capsule maker than can be purchased on amazon without breaking the bank. Some users have noted, if taking capsules, the sedative effects of CBN are stronger when taken with food.

While CBN products are still a rarity, more and more companies are isolating this precious cannabinoid and developing products to provide it to the masses. Mary’s Medicinals in Colorado, California, and Washington have CBN-specific capsules and topical patches available.

Learn more about the diverse spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes in the articles below:

THCV: Learn About the Cannabinoid Helping Veterans with PTSD

New Study: CBG Cannabinoid Works As Appetite Stimulant

The Powerful Cannabinoid Fighting Prostate and Breast Cancer

Pots’ Stinky Terpenes Give a Heads Up on High


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Medical Marijuana Trials for Children and Teens with Mental Illness

In another bold move to forward medical cannabis to the benefit of humanity, Australia has announced clinical trials to study the effects of cannabis on children and teens suffering from mental illness. This is the latest in a growing history of benchmarks for the country.

As early as 2013, researchers were calling for the legalization of cannabis to reduce binge drinking. One year later, Australia’s first clinical trials for medical marijuana began.

The fall of 2015 proved very newsworthy when the Australian Government announced actions to make medical cannabis a reality for its people. By the summer of 2016, the country was conducting groundbreaking trials for children suffering from epilepsy.

In January of this year, Australian clinical research showed promising results in a study conducted for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Three days ago, the government announced that it was fast-tracking imported medical marijuana treatments for 29 children with severe epilepsy.

So Australia, it’s already March 3rd, what have you done for us lately?

In a first-of-its-kind trial, children as young as 12 who suffer from anxiety-related disorders will be treated with cannabis to study its effects on young people. The study is being lead by the 2010 Australian of the Year, psychiatrist Patrick McGorry.

During the research, participants will receive 2-4 daily powder capsules of CBD for a period of 12 weeks. Participants of the study group range from 12-15 years old and suffer from anxiety-related behavior.

In an interview with the media, Professor McGorry stated that the trial is for patients who have not seen success with traditional therapy. He added that “we need to get innovative and look at alternative therapies to help reduce this burden that is growing among our youth.” The study is scheduled to begin in June.

As another day ends, we can only imagine what the next announcements out of Australia will be. This one-time penal colony is quickly becoming a world leader in finding incredible uses for a formerly illegal medicine.


Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »


Ricky Williams on Eugene Monroe’s Inspiring Cannabis Journey

In the last article I wrote, I explored the efficacy of cannabis as medicine for professional football players.  In this article, I offer an inspiring example of the healing power of cannabis at its best.  Although this is a story about a famous person, it deals with an unavoidable life process that we all have suffered in one way or another.

The process of loss and transition is captured poetically by a Joseph Campbell quote I recently came across: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” In a time where our country is divided and struggling with a transition and the potential loss of a dream, maybe the story of how Eugene Monroe recently transitioned out of the NFL can offer some guidance.

A year ago, not many people would have recognized his name.  But today, Eugene Monroe’s name is sure to be mentioned in any discussion about the cannabis movement and the NFL.  His steady and continuous chant, “Remove cannabis from the NFL’s banned substance list,” seems to be finally crumbling the walls of the NFL’s draconian stance on cannabis.  In the past few weeks, two articles, one about the NFL Players Association pushing for the NFL to take a less punitive stance on marijuana, and another about the Commish being open to the suggestion, hit the national media.


Photo courtesy of EugeneMonroe.com

Eugene’s influence and interest in cannabis quickly extended far beyond the NFL upon his retirement.  Eugene is now a cannabis consumer, connoisseur, advocate, activist, and entrepreneur.  All of this from someone who, not that long ago, was still under the spell cast by anti-marijuana propaganda!   “I had all the bad ideas of what marijuana was.  I believed the commercials and the teachers and all the people who said it was a dangerous drug and would fry your brain. Those are things I thought were the truth, so I wanted nothing to do with it,” Monroe told me in a recent conversation.

So what changed his mind?

Something assured to get people to open their minds: pain, and making it go away. Playing in the NFL is painful. A string of injuries turned into chronic pain found Eugene in need of daily pain medication.

ricky williams marijuana.com

If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, you can get a clue by reading my February 2nd article.

He tells a story similar to so many current and retired players. “I got to the point where I was needing to take opioids and anti-inflammatories to manage pain and push through, and I felt like it was a bad thing.”  A voracious reader, Eugene started looking for “alternative ways of dealing,” which, in turn, led him to “try many things, one of which was studying cannabis.” So initially, not using it.  Just learning about it.  Eugene told me he was “deathly afraid” of failing a test and facing the repercussions of what he saw happen to me during my time in the NFL.

So Eugene’s relationship with cannabis really came about in an organic way. After a great deal of inquiry, plus the ongoing lack of attractive alternatives, Eugene was convinced to give it a go.  You can probably guess whether his experience was a positive or negative one.  Today, he tells me with a tone of gratitude that you can’t but smile when you hear him talk about it, “cannabis has changed my life, man.”

Post-NFL, Eugene’s a regular user of cannabis and feels sharper than ever, only now in business meetings instead of on the football field.  He wants to “understand every aspect” of not just the plant’s medicinal effects, but the industry at large and its ever-evolving network of players.  He said that the experience has been “f—ing incredible,” especially as he finds himself with the good fortune of getting to work with “people who have great values.”

marijuana-football-cannabis-reefer-ganjaPretty cool how a plant can naturally alleviate the pain of a body taking hits on the professional football field — where Eugene says, “you make one mistake, you lose.”  Really f—ing cool how that same plant can sharpen/center/ground a mind, as that football player now runs through the web of cannabis business, real estate, consulting and lobbying worlds — where Eugene also says, “you make one mistake, you lose!” He might have a point.

Something I’ve found so inspiring in Eugene is his passion when he’s advocating for what he believes in: improving the quality of people’s lives.  The cause he’s been championing this past year has been on behalf of NFL football players.  And now it sounds like more people are listening to Eugene’s message.  Maybe because it’s a message whose source is a solid and foundation of research and thoughtful analysis.  Next time I’ll talk more about this, and what I’m hoping to see in the NFLPA’s proposed changes to the NFL’s drug policy — you know, that one that got me into a bit of trouble back in the day…


Start a Marijuana Business Today: CertificationClinics.com™ offers a comprehensive business model for recommending Medical Marijuana Certifications and/or Dispensary Ownership in your area. The CertificationClinics.com™ Business Support staff will educate you in every of the growing medical marijuana industry, providing you a fully operational and profitable enterprise. Learn More »