Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS Registry Number  N
ATC code None
PubChem CID:
ChemSpider  Y
Chemical data
Formula C21H26O2
Molecular mass 310.4319 g/mol
Physical data
Melting point 77 °C (171 °F) [1]
Solubility in water

insoluble in water[2]

soluble in methanol[3] and ethanol[4] mg/mL (20 °C)

Cannabinol (CBN) is a weak psychoactive cannabinoid found only in trace amounts in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica.[5] It is mostly a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).[6] CBN acts as a weak agonist of CB1 receptors, but has a higher affinity to CB2 receptors, with lower affinities in comparison to THC.[7][8] Cannabinol has been shown to have analgesic properties.[9]

As happens with many other cannabinoids, CBN stems from CBGA. Naturally, cannabis plants produce enzymes that convert CBGA to different cannabinoids such as CBCA, CBDA or THCA. If a sample is exposed to air for a prolongued period of time, THCA will convert to CBNA. CBN is then formed by decarboxylation of CBNA.[10]


  • Chemistry 1
  • Legal status 2
    • United States 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


In contrast to THC, CBN has no double bond isomers nor stereoisomers.

Legal status

CBN is not scheduled by the United Nations' Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

United States

CBN is not scheduled at the federal level in the United States,[11] but it could legally be considered an analog of THC and sales or possession could be prosecuted under the Federal Analogue Act.

Cannabinol 10 mg transdermal patches
Cannabinol 10 mg transdermal patches sold at dispensaries in Colorado, USA

See also


  1. ^ Cannabinol in the ChemIDplus database.
  2. ^ David R. Lide (2012). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. CRC Press. pp. 3–90.  
  3. ^ Sigma-Aldrich Co., Cannabinol solution, 1.0 mg/mL in methanol, analytical standard, for drug analysis.
  4. ^ Biotrend: Cannabinol (PDF: 21 kB)
  5. ^ Karniol IG, Shirakawa I, Takahashi RN, Knobel E, Musty RE (1975). "Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man". Pharmacology 13 (6): 502–12.  
  6. ^ McCallum ND, Yagen B, Levy S, Mechoulam R (May 1975). "Cannabinol: a rapidly formed metabolite of delta-1- and delta-6-tetrahydrocannabinol". Experientia 31 (5): 520–1.  
  7. ^ Mahadevan A, Siegel C, Martin BR, Abood ME, Beletskaya I, Razdan RK (October 2000). "Novel cannabinol probes for CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 43 (20): 3778–85.  
  8. ^ Petitet F, Jeantaud B, Reibaud M, Imperato A, Dubroeucq MC (1998). "Complex pharmacology of natural cannabinoids: evidence for partial agonist activity of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and antagonist activity of cannabidiol on rat brain cannabinoid receptors". Life Sciences 63 (1): PL1–6.  
  9. ^
  10. ^ Medical Jane, Cannabinol CBN
  11. ^ §1308.11 Schedule I.

External links

  • Erowid Compounds found in Cannabis sativa