Cannabinol (CBN): Will it Show Up During Testing?

hand testing for cannabinol

Cannabinol is fast becoming a concern as more and more people gain access to legal cannabis through state and federal laws. As with many cannabinoids outside THC and CBD, the effects of cannabinol are not widely known. In fact, many cannabis users aren’t aware of what it is, or that it’s even in their products. As a patchwork set of rules based around laws, regulatory guidelines, and corporate policies leave people who take cannabis uncertain about their protections from screenings, understanding all the cannabinoids you consume and whether or not they will show up during drug testing is increasingly important.

The Mystery Of CBNM

Cannabinol is not a cannabinoid that’s found in large quantities in most cannabis plants. In fact, unlike many other cannabinoids, including the two most well-known, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBN does not come directly from CBG, cannabigerol. Instead, it results from the breakdown of THC. In the cannabis plant itself, this can occur as the plant is exposed to oxidation and ultraviolet light, often due to poor aging or storage. While still psychoactive, cannabinol effects are much milder and the loss of THC content produces a weaker plant for those who pursue these mind-altering effects.

The loss of THC potency, however, does not mean that the cannabinol is lost when the cannabis product is consumed. On the contrary, the body will readily accept it to bond with its cannabinoid receptors. In the body, CBN also occurs due to the breakdown of THC as it’s metabolized. This means that while your levels of THC are dropping, your levels of CBN may be increasing. In addition to this natural process, some manufacturers have begun to sell CBN products due to its reputed ability to promote sleep.

gloved hands holding cannabis plant

Will Cannabinol Cause A False Positive During Screening?

With employment, competition, academic, and court-ordered screenings a possibility, this is the big question. After all, most screenings are checking for evidence of THC usage, and CBN is not THC. While some effects of CBN are psychoactive, they’re different compounds. While CBN is a metabolite of THC in the human body, it is also not the metabolite tests are usually meant to discover.

Recent research, however, has shown that when it comes to cannabinol, the answer is a strong “maybe”. There are many different tests on the market, and some manufacturers’ tests have shown they will give a positive result when just CBN is present. In these tests, it also appears to have a cumulative effect with THC and other metabolites, causing false positives when the assayed cannabinoid’s level is still technically below the threshold of detection. Since you have no way of knowing who produced your screening test, and the list of screenings researched is far from exhaustive, you have to assume that yes, cannabinol could cause a failed screening.

How To Detox Your System

Luckily, your body purges CBN from your system the same way it does other THC metabolites: over time through your normal excretory processes. While the time it takes to eliminate these compounds varies based on frequency and extent of usage, you can support your body’s natural processes to help avoid a false positive from cannabinol.

Green Gone Detox 2-Day, 5-Day, or 10-Day kits encourage rapid elimination of cannabis metabolites from your body. Created and approved by pharmacists based on the latest research into the organic chemistry behind cannabis in the human body, these natural supplements work with your body’s own processes. Use our detox calculator to find the right choice for you and take steps to make sure cannabinol doesn’t cause you to fail a drug screening today.


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