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What is CBN and why is it used in beauty products?

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Hemp extracts have become widely used among the beauty industry and have gained recognition among consumers. However, many are still unaware of the hemp derivative CBN as it has taken a back seat to its fellow compounds. Although less utilized, CBN has potential health benefits that make it very useful in cosmetics.

What is CBN?

CBN, or cannabinol, is found in hemp but can also be created synthetically. CBN is abundantly present in aged, dried hemp and doesn’t produce intoxicating effects as some of its counterparts. Cannabinol binds with the body’s CB2 receptors which directly impacts the central nervous system. This in return, helps the body regulate the immune system and its reaction to stimuli.

Why is CBN used in beauty products?

Studies have shown that CBN has anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as the ability to fight bacteria. This is why CBN can be found in beauty products, such as skin care. These properties may help reduce the severity of inflamed, irritated skin.

More specifically, CBN helps reduce the rapid reproduction of keratinocyte, a type of skin cell that produces keratin. When there is an abundance of keratinocyte, one may experience skin lesions or ailments, such as psoriasis.

CBN also has antibiotic properties that can aid in rebalancing the skin’s natural biome of bacteria. Acne is often associated with an overgrowth of bad bacteria found on the skin, resulting in painful lesions, rashes, and bumps.

Between its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, CBN can help aid the symptoms and cause of skin ailments when applied directly to the site. Therefore, more and more beauty products are incorporating the hemp isolate into their formulations. However, this compound is still relatively unused making it a unique selling point to consumers.

Beyond Cosmetics

Studies have uncovered other benefits that make CBN useful well beyond beauty products. While scientists are still in the early research phase, here are some of the health benefits that they have already discovered and how it can be used in ingestibles or topicals:

  • Sleep Aid - Researchers have found that CBN has sedative properties. (1) This is especially true when it is combined with other hemp isolates, making CBN a powerful component in sleep aids, like gummies or tinctures.

  • Muscle Discomfort and Pain Relief - While many hemp derivatives aid in pain relief, CBN is unique in that it does so outside of the endocannabinoid system. Instead, CBN releases amino acids from the sensory nerves that are sensitive to the nerves responsible for the body’s pain perception. Therefore, there is a potential space for CBN in pain relief in topicals, such as creams and balms.(2)

  • Appetite Stimulant - Many people experience a loss in appetite due to psychological impairments, medications, and other medical conditions. CBN, unlike some other hemp compounds, has exhibited appetite stimulation in recent studies.(3)

  • Anti-inflammatory - While we already discussed how this property is useful in skincare, it also has the potential to alleviate general inflammation in the body.(4) This makes CBN a valuable ingredient in all product types, ranging from ingestibles to topicals.

Want to include CBN-based products in your beauty line?

From white label to private label creations, e2e offers customized formulations through a collaborative product development process to craft your products specific to your vision and brand. Learn more about our services or contact us today to get started.

*e2e Pharma does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


1. Livingston, M. (2022) CBN Explained: How This Cannabinoid Can Lead to Better Sleep. CNET.

2. Fraticelli, M. (2020). CBN (Cannabinol)- One of the “New Kids” on the Block. Fremont Botanicals.

3. Breus, M. (2019). Research Shows 9 Potential Health Benefits of CBN. Psychology Today.

4. Healthline. (2021). CBD vs. CBN: Benefits and Differences. Healthline.



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