Cannabis and thus Hemp plants are very complex plants. With over 700 known active ingredients and over 100 known cannabinoids (active molecules in a cannabis plant), it is no wonder that each cannabinoid possesses different effects.
When you ingest Hemp or Marijuana, these molecules will bind to various receptors throughout your body and produce effects. The effects you feel are due to the location of these receptors and how they are activated or deactivated.
CBD and THC are the two most well-known cannabinoids and are also the two most produced by percentage, by the plant. Hemp produces higher concentrations of CBD vs THC and Marijuana produces higher concentrations of THC. But what about all the other active cannabinoids? Each of them plays an important role in the effects we feel when we use Hemp or Marijuana products.
CBN, Cannabinol, is one of the more interesting cannabinoids, as it is NOT naturally produced by the plant. It is a byproduct of the degradation of THC when THC is exposed to light, heat, and oxygen. The THC molecule will turn into CBN. CBN has been shown to be about 25% as active as THC, without the psychological side effects.
CBN has been found to bind to the CB1 receptor, mostly located in the brain, about 10 times weaker than THC. This gives the sedative effects, with less of psychological side effects. CBN has also been found to bind to the CB2 receptors, located primarily on immune cells, with 3x the affinity as compared to the CB1 receptors. This could explain why CBN has been found to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.