What Is CBN Isolate?

Published August 31, 2022
What Is CBN Isolate? - Secret Nature

CBN products have already been available on the internet for a few years, but there’s still a lot to learn about this rare cannabinoid. Available in a variety of product forms, CBN is often isolated, which has both benefits and detractors.

In this guide, learn what CBN isolate is and discover how it’s made. Then, learn the benefits CBN isolate offers and find answers to any related questions you may have.

What is CBN?

Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid naturally found in Cannabis sativa. Usually only present in living cannabis flowers in concentrations well under 1%, CBN instead appears over time as the THC in cannabis oxidizes.

It’s also possible to convert CBN from other cannabinoids, and this unique hemp substance is gaining popularity as consumers learn more about its beneficial properties. CBN is commonly used for sleep, for instance, and users like how CBN helps them relax without feeling high.

Is CBN natural or synthetic?

CBN can be natural, synthetic, or somewhere in-between. Any CBN found in cannabis flower, for instance, is entirely natural, but it’s usually only present in concentrations under 1%.

It’s also possible to take THCa and convert it to the acidic precursor of CBN, CBNa, using nothing more than simple oxidation. Only true purists would consider such a basic process “synthesis,” but that’s not the only way you can convert CBN from another cannabinoid.

The most popular method of producing CBN, in fact, involves converting it from CBD, not THC. Under normal circumstances, CBD would never turn into CBN, but by applying special enzymes, it’s possible to change CBDa into CBNa, which then converts into CBN.

It’s hard to tell if this line-blurring practice truly counts as synthesizing CBN. One thing is certain: CBN is never made using dangerous, artificial substances, which is the usual connotation with the word “synthetic.”

What types of CBN extracts are there?

It is only possible to produce CBN in its isolated form. From there, though, this cannabinoid can be reintroduced to less-refined cannabis extracts that still contain their minor cannabinoids and terpenes. As a result, it’s possible to find “CBN extracts” that are listed as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum even though they weren’t extracted from CBN-rich hemp plants.

How is CBN isolate made?

In most cases, CBN isolate is made by enzymatically converting CBDa, which is abundant in hemp, into CBNa, which can then be converted into CBN using heat. This method is the most cost-effective and compliant with regulations, and it’s how 99% of the CBN on the market was made. As a result, the type of CBN you can buy online usually doesn’t have any direct relationship with THC even though CBN is often mistakenly believed to be solely a THC derivative.

What does CBN isolate do?

CBN generally provides a relatively potent relaxing sensation that doesn’t go as far as becoming euphoric or intoxicating. It’s generally believed to have a good safety profile, and users indicate that CBN helps them get to sleep without getting high.

Not much is known about how CBN isolate works in the body. This cannabinoid appears to stimulate your conventional cannabinoid receptors, but in a diminished capacity compared to THC. In this way, CBN is chemically unlike CBD even if the two cannabinoids often produce similar experienced effects.

What is CBN isolate good for?

Users report that CBN isolate is great for sleep, anxiety, and even memory or cognitive performance. Researchers have investigated the potential usefulness of CBN for neurodegenerative conditions, and the overall sentiment among consumers is that CBN is an excellent sleep aid even if this position is only held up by the scantest of scientific evidence.

As far as CBN extracts go, CBN isolate isn’t exactly the most beneficial. Cannabinoids are more useful when they’re ingested alongside terpenes and other cannabinoids, and isolated extracts like CBN don’t feature this cannabis “entourage.” You might be able to experience the full benefits of CBN better in a different product form.

What types of products is CBN isolate used in?

Though limitations are imposed by the fact that usable quantities of CBN can usually only be converted from other cannabinoids, CBN isolate is nonetheless included in the full spectrum of cannabinoid products that might otherwise contain CBD or CBG.

CBN tinctures, capsules, and gummies are all becoming quite common, and it’s also less rare now to see CBN vapes on the market. One area that hasn’t quite reached its full potential yet is CBN flower, which we hope to see thrive if this cannabinoid becomes more available in hemp.

What are the benefits of CBN isolate?

We’ve talked a lot about CBN as a cannabinoid, but what, in particular, about CBN isolate makes this extract type so desirable? Let’s take a look at the benefits of CBN isolate in more detail:


Isolates are the most purified types of cannabinoid extracts possible. No other substances are present (at least not in detectable quantities), offering a state of near-perfect chemical homogeneity. Especially since CBN is so commonly blended with other cannabinoid extracts, the simplicity of CBN isolate is highly useful.


Since CBN isolate contains nearly 100% pure CBN, it is very easy to formulate this extract into even the most complicated product types. CBN isolate has a long storage life and is easy to handle during production.


The CBN sector of the hemp market remains largely unexplored. While it is rapidly surging into popularity, CBN is still considered a rare cannabinoid, making CBN isolate desirable for a variety of purposes.


While there’s still a lot we don’t know about CBN at this point, it’s clear that this cannabinoid offers some undeniable benefits. People who use CBN rant and rave about it, and it’s the continued target of a diverse array of scientific research initiatives.


Whether it’s CBD, CBG, or another substance altogether, CBN isolate is easy to combine with cannabinoids and other ingredient types. Chemically homogenous and usually offered in a powdered state, it’s easy to blend CBN isolate into even complicated products like topicals.

CBN isolate: A useful and versatile cannabinoid extract

It wasn’t so long ago that the entirety of the hemp extract economy revolved around full-spectrum CBD — which usually contained lamentably low cannabinoid concentrations. Then, CBD isolates became economically feasible, and an entire spectrum of extracts erupted between the two extremes.

Nowadays, multiple forms exist of extracts containing CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC. Even more cannabinoids are poised to enter the consumer market over the coming years, some of which are far more synthetic than even converted CBN.

Compared to certain cannabinoids that are emerging, CBN is practically mainstream. It’s a natural metabolite of THC, but it doesn’t have profoundly intoxicating effects. You can make it from CBD, and CBN is beneficial enough to have attracted the attention of researchers around the globe. Keep a close eye on this cannabinoid as it rises to the top.

CBN isolate FAQ

Learn more about CBN isolate in the FAQ section below:

1. Is CBN isolate the same as delta 8?

No, CBN isolate and delta 8 are completely different substances. Since these two cannabinoids are both related to THC, it’s understandable to get them mixed up, though.

Delta 8 has an inherently different chemical structure from THC even though it naturally occurs in cannabis flower. CBN, on the other hand, can be derived from THC, but it doesn’t naturally occur in cannabis. Coincidentally, delta 8 has its own form of CBN just as conventional CBN only degrades from the delta 9 form of THC.

2. Does CBD degrade into CBN?

No, CBD will not degrade into CBN under natural circumstances. The only way to change CBD into CBN is to start before CBD is in its final form. You can use enzymes to convert CBDa into CBNa, which then naturally decarboxylates into CBN. Without using these enzymes upon the precursor form of CBD, however, this cannabinoid will not become CBN.

3. How do you convert THCa to CBN?

THCa naturally becomes CBN over time. It’s possible to hasten this process by applying ultraviolet light or heat, but the natural process involves THCa slowly degrading into CBNa, which is then transformed into CBN upon decarboxylation. THC naturally stays in its acidic form unless cannabis is purposefully decarboxylated, making CBN production using THC exceedingly simple.

4. Does hemp oil contain CBN?

CBD-rich hemp oil generally does not contain usable quantities of CBN. All full-spectrum hemp or cannabis extracts will contain some degree of CBN, but usually only enough to passively contribute to the entourage effect, which makes cannabinoids stronger when they work in concert. If you want to use high concentrations of CBN, you’ll need to choose a product that’s specifically described as containing this cannabinoid.

5. Is CBN legal in all states?

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids other than THC are usually regarded as industrial hemp — even converted cannabinoids like CBN. As a result, CBN products are commonly shipped to all 50 states. Buying CBN online is fast and easy, and there’s a growing pool of excellent products to choose from.

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