CBD, an abbreviation of cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis and hemp plants, is going viral across the globe. Hailed for its natural anecdotal anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, CBD is being added to everything from skincare to food. However, CBD is just one of the hundreds of compounds inherent to the cannabis plant. Even though THC and CBD are garnering all the buzz, there are myriad other cannabis compounds which can help alleviate a plethora of symptoms –including CBN. What is CBD?: Innumerable outlets report that CBD is non-psychoactive. Whoever is parroting this term is incorrect. CBD is psychoactive to a much lesser degree than THC; however, it is non-intoxicating, for the most part. People in 12-step or other substance abuse recovery programs report feeling "something" on high doses of CBD, because not all CBD products are equal. Therefore consumers who do not wish to get high must be careful to choose a reputable brand with a proven below 0.3% THC content. CBD is the same molecule regardless of the source. Resin that is extracted from "marijuana" might have higher levels of THC than that derived from "hemp," but only because the legal distinction between the two refers to the THC level. What is CBN? "We found that CBN slightly prolongs the sleep time in barbiturate-induced sleep in mice. There is no current information that I am aware of that proves CBN is a sedative, even though it is already being marketed as such," says Zoe Sigman one of the principal researchers at Project CBD, a leading think tank and non-profit CBD information site. CBN –an abbreviation of Cannabinol – comes from the oxidation and decomposition of THC from a hemp plant, meaning that when THC is heated and exposed to Co2 (oxygen), it converts to CBN. The compound has a mild psychoactive response, slightly more so than CBD but much less than THC. "The pharmacokinetics of CBN seems to be in between 1/6 and 1/10 of the potency of the CB1 receptor (cannabinoid receptor type-1) that THC is," Sigman elaborates. Naptime and the munchies. CBN and CBD, either individually or combined, potentially help alleviate insomnia by causing an overall sense of mind and body tranquility and relaxation. According to Mary magazine's blog, while CBN purportedly has a sedating effect on most users, CBD purportedly tends to cause a feeling of alertness rather than sluggishness, the morning after bedtime consumption. CBN and CBD are acutely different when it comes to their effect on most consumers' appetites. While CBD can act as a mild appetite suppressant, CBN tends to stimulate one's appetite. Be Careful: Both CBN and CBD are known anecdotally to relieve symptoms of pain and inflammation, by potentially altering pain signals that the brain receives. One way to take advantage of these compounds' pain-relieving properties is to apply a product topically to the affected area directly. By topically applying rather than consuming these compounds, and bypassing the digestive system and liver, consumers lower the potential risk of interactions with prescription drugs. CBD may have contra-indications with a vast array of pharmaceuticals, including Warfarin or other blood thinners. Whatever the intended usage of either compound, a patient should always consult a qualified doctor, before consuming any natural remedy or supplement that potentially has unforeseen contraindications. With the recent explosion in CBD products, less scrupulous vendors that are looking to cash in on the latest fad, may not produce a high-quality product that is lab tested for purity. Even worse, the CBD may contain useless amounts or dangerous additives. One such vendor was called out by Consumer Reports when "Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that the products, all from Diamond CBD, a publicly-traded company, contained a compound called 5F-ADB. That compound, often found in illegal synthetic marijuana products such as "K2" and "Spice," can trigger paranoia and panic attacks, increase heart rate and blood pressure, and cause convulsions, organ damage, and even death, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.” Additionally, exercise caution when consuming product hybrids, such as CBD + Melatonin. As CBD is unregulated by the FDA and has not undergone any US clinical trials, it is unwise to take a mixture of supplements, before bedtime. Try one or the other, before trying a combination.