What is CBD?
CBD is just one of the many phytocannabinoids found in the hemp and cannabis plant. Over a hundred different cannabinoids have been discovered so far. CBD, together with Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), are the cannabinoids found most extensively in the plant. These cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids (phyto = plant in Greek. Now you know) as they are really called, bind to and assist the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Unlike THC, which has the characteristic psychoactive effect (thus making you high), CBD binds to completely different receptors in the body. CBD doesn’t make you high and has even been shown to reduce the psychoactive effect of THC.
CBD, a molecule that binds to one of the body’s absolute largest signal systems, like CBG and CBC and doesn’t make you high. Completely natural and without any troublesome side effects (in recommended doses). In short, it can be said that phytocannabinoids “boost” and help the body’s own endocannabinoid system. Sounds pretty good, huh? We agree.
So, you can’t get high from CBD?
No. A short and sweet answer. Let’s finish it with a slightly longer but hopefully easy-to-understand explanation. Although CBD and THC are cousins at the molecular level, they bind with completely different receptors in the body and brain, which in turn are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) In the brain, there is an almost infinite amount of so called CB1 receptors that bind perfectly to THC and thus creates a psychoactive effect. But CBD does not bind to the CB1 receptors at all. Much like you would try to push a square peg into a round hole. Impossible, however hard you try. Furthermore, we have the CB2 receptors. These are basically scattered throughout the entire body. It’s easy to believe that CBD binds with CB2. Nope.
CBD does not signal directly with either CB1 or CB2, despite being a phytocannabinoid. Instead, CBD signals secondarily through CB1 and, above all, CB2. This partly explains why CBD, unlike THC, does not make you high. Before we go any further, we just want to make sure that so far 65 different molecular hit points of CBD have been found, and if we go into each one this page will be so long that the clocks stop and the time runs out. For those of you who really want to dive down the rabbit hole and get a semi-doctorate in CBD knowledge, we recommend that you venture out on “The World Wide Web”. That being said, we only describe the most interesting (in our opinion) bonding that CBD makes in the body.
In order for CBD, a phytocannabinoid that is consumed externally from, for example, a hemp oil, to be able to step into a human cell and “bind” to a nuclear receptor, it first needs to cross the cell membrane by lifting with a fatty acid binding protein called FABP. This creates different lipid molecules whose task it is to carry different molecules to different parts of the cell. Several of the body’s self-produced endocannabinoids (not to be confused with phytocannabinoids that come from plants), such as anandamide and 2AG, go into different parts of the cell with the help of lipid molecules. Got it? Good. Let’s continue. Once inside the part of the cell where anandamide wants to be, it begins to break down by the enzyme FAAH [fatty acid amide hydrolase] as part of its life cycle. But listen and be amazed! Here, CBD comes in and slows down this process by reducing anandamide’s access to FABP’s transport molecules and, simply explained, slows down the process. So, what is this good for? Well. CBD thus acts as an “anandamide reuptake and degradation inhibitor” (arguably the strangest and longest words on this entire web page) and thus increases the body’s own endocannabinoids.
What is CBN?
In short, it is the child of THCA. Just like we mentioned above about CBGA, and how through contact with oxygen and UV light it becomes THCA and CBDA, CBNA is created when THCA comes in contact with, yes you guessed right, oxygen and UV light. Confusing, but hang on. This occurs to a large extent when the hemp is harvested and not during the growing period itself. So, hemp or cannabis that has been lying around being exposed to oxygen and UV-light for a long time, is guaranteed to contain more CBN than there was when the plant was alive/newly harvested, even more CBN than THC. Chemistry is pretty cool, especially when nature does everything by itself.
Quick fun facts: small quantities of cannabis were found in China, in a tomb more than 2,600 years old. After testing the biomaterial, it was possible to identify larger amounts of CBN but almost no THC. Ten points for science and archaeologists!
As described above, THCA is transformed into CBNA when exposed to oxygen and UV light. During the plant’s life, it’s exposed (of course) to both sunlight and oxygen, which results in a small portion of THCA being converted to CBN, even though the plant is alive. When we then make an extract from the hemp, we grow to make all our wonderful products, the CBN is included. Wide spectrum phytocannabinoids for life (calm down, we remove all THC). Read more about it.
More and more research regarding CBN is starting to emerge. But at present, it is a little premature to know for sure the exact benefits of CBN. More clinical studies are needed and who knows, maybe we have a new guy (read woman) on the horizon in a few years in the cannabinoid world. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Why should I use CBN?
Why o’ why is CBN so important to have in hemp oils, hemp capules and hemp skincare then? Three words: The entourage effect. Just as the name says, different phytocannabinoids interact with each other. CBN helps CBD, CBD helps CBG, CBG helps CBN, etc. And together, these phytocannabinoids assist the body’s own endocannabinoid system. So no, no and again no to isolated cannabinoids such as CBD isolates in hemp oils. It will only be cheaper for the manufacturer but significantly more expensive for you. Buy THC-free hemp oils from us instead, they always contain a wide range of phytocannabinoids.