Old cannabis seems like a bit of a bummer. Once it’s aged, it loses both potency and color vibrancy, meaning it wouldn’t be the highlight of a smoking sesh with your friends. However, not many people know that old cannabis is useful in other ways — particularly medicinal ways. It contains a higher ratio of a special ingredient called CBN.
Most people know about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the two primary cannabinoids in marijuana. However, the cannabis plant contains over 100 different types of cannabinoids, including cannabinol (CBN).
Put simply, CBN is aged THC, and is therefore abundant in old weed. As a result, it is non-intoxicating — not the best for getting high at a party — but useful for its range of medicinal benefits. What exactly are those benefits, though?
1. CBN contains antibacterial properties
In a study published in the Journal of Natural Products, five major cannabinoids were tested on strains of MRSA bacteria that had developed a resistance to normal antibiotics. All five cannabinoids, including CBN, exhibited antibacterial qualities against the evolved bacteria strain. This finding offers promise for the use of cannabinoids in a wider range of medicinal applications, including future antibiotics.
2. CBN contains neuroprotective qualities
In a study published in a neurological disorders journal, CBN was tested on rats with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The results showed that CBN was able to delay the onset of the disorder’s effects by a significant amount of time. This finding suggests that CBN and other cannabinoids may be useful in neuroprotective applications, meaning that they would help slow the progression of conditions that erode the brain’s functions.
3. CBN helps increase appetite
A study in the journal Psychopharmacology tested the effects of three cannabinoids, including CBN, on appetite change in rats. CBN was the only cannabinoid out of the three to drastically increase appetite, while the other two either reduced food consumption or had no effect. These results show hope for CBN as a key ingredient in medications that could help increase appetite in affected patients.
4. CBN may be useful for those with glaucoma
The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study examining the effect of several cannabinoids on intraocular pressure in healthy rabbits’ eyes. Most of the cannabinoids used, including CBN, were successful in reducing the pressure. This result may lead to future uses of CBN in glaucoma treatments.
5. CBN works for anti-inflammatory purposes
A study in the FASEB Journal found that CBN acts as a reliable anti-inflammatory agent, among other cannabinoids. This offers promise for the use of CBN in treatment for conditions such as arthritis and localized pain relief. While cannabis is already used for these purposes, further research could be conducted on the use of cannabinoids other than THC and CBD in anti-inflammatory medications.
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