Don’t sleep on this lesser-known cannabinoid that may help you sleep.
Stories Stephanie Wilson
Sleep is a vital sign of health and well-being, and I’m an insomniac—have been for as long as I’ve been an adult. I’m also a magazine junkie, so every month I read another article about the importance of restful shut-eye and tips to help me achieve it. And I’ve tried them all, to no avail.
I bought blackout curtains, a white noise machine, and an eye mask. Never much of a coffee drinker, I cut out any remaining caffeine (and became less aggro, but that’s a different story for another issue). I avoided electronics for an hour before getting into bed; I did nightly wind-down bedtime rituals; I only got into bed when it was time to sleep; I left my devices in the other room. I even got my dog a heated bed that she preferred over sleeping with me. I tried all these things, but sleep still evaded me.
A brief period of reprieve followed my move to Colorado, as I began experimenting with cannabis as a sleep aid. If I smoked a little before bed, I’d fall asleep only to wake up an hour or so later when the effects had worn off. I tried edibles, which helped me fall asleep and stay asleep for hours. After a few nights in a row of some solid sleep, I remember waking up feeling rested and thinking I had found my miracle cure. But then my tolerance started building, and 5 mg wasn’t doing the trick. Then 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, and next thing I’d be lying in the dark, high and paranoid all night long. Even if I got some decent sleep, I was waking up foggy. For so many people, cannabis works as an invaluable sleep aid with little to no side effects. That wasn’t the case with me.
Enter CBD. A few years ago, CBD was nowhere; now it’s everywhere. Almost literally. Walk into a convenience store, and boom! CBD gummies by the register. CBD water in the refrigerator. Wander into Sephora, and CBD serums, body lotions, and moisturizers await. Drive down I-25 and you’ll see stores dedicated to the cannabinoid. Check my inbox, and you’ll be overwhelmed by a thousand unread emails from PR agencies and agents announcing the launch of a new CBD brand or the release of a first-of-its-kind cannabidiol product. And those are only from the last six months.
It comes in all forms: topical pain creams and tinctures, water, and wine. There’s infused water for pets, infused cereals for breakfast, suppository lubes for sex, and infused Flaming Hot Cheeto knockoffs for afternoon snacks. When it seems we’ve reached the CBD mania apex, someone somewhere thinks there’s another buck to be made off the craze, and CBD toothpicks, hair pomades, candles, workout gear, bedsheets, and pillows hit the already flooded marketplace. Ridiculous, ubiquitous.
Yet somehow, 35 percent of Americans in a Gallup poll last summer said they aren’t familiar with it or its products. That same poll found that one in seven Americans are using CBD products on a regular basis—a statistic that makes much more sense, given the countless articles and testimonials attesting to its power, painting CBD as an all-natural miracle, a wonder-drug cure-all for anxiety, pain, depression, seizure disorders, arthritis, anger, sleeplessness…
Since you’re reading Sensi, I’m going to assume you were not part of the 35 percent before you started this article, and I’m not telling you anything new. So far. But have you heard about CBN?
Cannabinol, or CBN, is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are the two that garner all the attention, and they are the most dominant. A lesser cannabinoid, CBN was actually the first one scientists discovered in the 1940s. It occurs in cannabis in much smaller doses until the plant ages and oxidizes, which causes THC to convert to CBN. And it’s about to get its turn in the spotlight.
Actually, “nightlight” would be a more appropriate place for CBN. Cannabinol appears to have potentially high sedative effects along with a host of other potential benefits, the most promising of which is as a sleep aid.
Since the FDA classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug in the same category as heroin during the 1970s, researchers have been prevented from studying the plant’s medicinal potential. While that’s changing, there’s a lot of catching up to do, so double-blind, controlled studies and clinical trials have yet to be completed. But anecdotal evidence is in, and CBN is being touted as an all-natural cure for insomnia by cannabis experts and outlets. So, when I saw emails with CBN in the subject line hit my inbox, I didn’t leave them unread. Instead I reached out and asked to try the product being pitched so I could offer my own anecdotal accounts of CBN as a cure for insomnia.
Two months and a lot of full nights of sleep later, my anecdotal evidence is in: CBN helps me fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up rested time and again. I’ve incorporated the cannabinoid into my daily routine, and I’m feeling better than I have in basically ever. It’s amazing what a little sleep can do. A whole month with full nights of sleep feels like a miracle.
Don’t just believe me; try it yourself. Like every drug, CBN affects everybody differently. These two both worked for me.
MINERAL Sleep Tincture
How they describe it: For anxiety-induced insomnia. Because you deserve to feel good.
Formulated for those suffering from night time anxiety and inflammation, Sleep is a blend of calming cannabinoids and terpenes associated with sedation to induce a deep, restorative sleep.
High in CBD and naturally occurring CBN, coupled with soft aromatic notes of cedarwood, black pepper, and California pine, the Sleep formula is proven to help calm the mind and encourage deep, restorative sleep.
All Mineral products are organically grown on a small farm in Colorado that averages a limited run of only four harvests a year.
No cannabinoid acting independently will express the benefit experienced when consuming the whole plant, so Mineral utilizes the hemp plant in its entirety—stalks, stems, and buds—maximizing the omega fatty acids and vitamins in their extraction process. To keep the product consistent, the brand’s identified formula-specific seeds from Oregon that produce plants with characteristics incumbent to accomplish the targeted benefits of the products.
After sourcing the seeds from Oregon, Mineral supplies them to Waayb Organics in Longmont, Colorado, and Waayb leads the cultivation of the plants on an outdoor, seasonal, organic grow. After harvest, processing, and CO2 extraction, the products go through testing for cannabinoid sequence, terpenes, pesticides, and quality.
Editor’s note: With that much quality control, it’s no wonder GQ included Mineral on its Best Stuff of 2019 list and that Neiman Marcus picked up the line for its stores.
$160 for 60 servings, mineralhealth.co
Prismatic Plants Good Night Tincture
How they describe it: Formulated with CBN and calming adaptogens, this nighttime formula promotes deep sleep and boosts immunity during the body’s overnight repair mode. Its long-term effects include a return to a natural circadian rhythm, enhanced immunity, improved reproductive health, and more energy during the day.
Made with an adaptogenic blend of CBD, CBN, medicinal mushrooms, and organic herbs. The CBD, for overall health and stress relief, and CBN for insomnia relief, result from gentle full-flower extraction from organically grown Colorado hemp for a complete cannabinoid profile. Other beneficial ingredients include reishi mushrooms, oatstraw, and ashwagandha
for positive mood and support of the nervous and immune systems; skullcap for stress and muscle-tension relief; and valerian root (a.k.a nature’s Valium), California poppy, and lavender for anxiety and insomnia relief. Pure, effective, safe ingredients formulated to provide immediate relief and continually enhance health through long-term use.
$70 for a month’s supply, prismaticplants.com