Will CBN (Cannabinol) Show Up On A Drug Test?

At Patriot CBD our focus is to provide THC Free CBD oils to our customers. This is because many veterans, military personnel, and other government workers are routinely drug tested, and so they are unable to consume even tiny amounts of THC. But what about CBN; Will CBN show up on a drug test? Well, it kind of depends… So let’s dive a little deeper.

First let’s talk about CBN in general.

What Is CBN?

CBN stands for Cannabinol. It is a cannabinoid that is found in marijuana and Hemp. Cannabinoids are the many active constituents in hemp and marijuana that provide the much sought after effects. The most commonly talked about cannabinoids are CBD and THC, but there are actually over 100+ cannabinoids that have been found in hemp and marijuana plants.

CBN (Cannabinol) is created when THC breaks down over time. If you’re a marijuana smoker, maybe you have tried smoking some old bud that has been laying around for a few months (or a few years). Likely, you were disappointed with its lacklustre high – Perhaps it was less of a high and more of a sedative.. Basically putting you to sleep.

Well, this can be explained through CBN. Basically, when you left your marijuana out, all the THC (the stuff that gets you high) started to break down into CBN. Because CBN will not get you high, and most of the THC in your buds broke down into CBN, that is why you’re bud “went off”. Furthermore, CBN is known for its sleep promoting qualities. So not only did your old marijuana bud not get you high… It made you extra drowsy! (thanks to CBN…).


So what is the difference between CBN, CBD, and THC? Even though they are all 3 letter “words” they are very different.

  • Firstly, as we explained above, THC gets you high. CBN and CBD do not.
  • CBN comes from THC that has begun to “break down” chemically (AKA “old” THC).
  • Although they are all cannabinoids and they are all found in hemp/marijuana, the physiological effects of CBD, CBN and THC all differ.
  • CBD is more commonly found than CBN. (CBN is quite unusual in raw hemp flowers, and generally is added to a CBD oil later as an extra ingredient).

What Are The Benefits Of CBN?

CBN (Cannabinol) is similar in its effects as CBD. Generally speaking, companies will combine CBD and CBN oil for sleep and anxiety formulas. Pretty much when put together, they pack a “one two punch”. CBD is already known to relax and calm the nervous system, which effectively reduces anxieties and can improve sleep quality – along with many other benefits. Whereas CBN specifically targets anxiety and sleep problems. In fact, CBN in large quantities is a sedative. Together, they work as a team having a synergistic impact on anxiety, sleeplessness and overall wellness.

However, you will need to look for specific “CBN” containing products. Usually the ratio is about 1:3 CBN:CBD. Regular CBD oils will have little to no CBN content. If CBN is not on the label, then don’t expect to be getting any of it!

Other Benefits of CBN Include:

  • Powerful Anti-Inflammatory – Similar to THC, CBD and other cannabinoids, cannabinol reduces inflammation (which is likely a key reason for it’s many benefits).
  • Natural Painkiller – Reduces pain via the endocannabinoid system.
  • Glaucoma – Like THC, CBN has been found to reduce eye pressure (and pain) in glaucoma patients.
  • Psoriasis – CBN has been shown in studies to slow the overgrowth of skin cells in those suffering from Psoriasis (psoriasis is a painful disease caused by the overgrowth of skin cells resulting in rashes and sores of the skin).
  • Bone Formation – CBN has been shown to speed bone formation and bone healing, via the recruitment of bone marrow stem cells.
  • Anticonvulsant – CBN has been found to be an effective anticonvulsant, meaning it offers relief from epilepsy-related seizures. In fact, CBN is nearly as effective as an anticonvulsant as THC and CBD.

Is CBN Legal, & Will CBN Show Up On A Drug Test?

So now to the point of this article… Will CBN (cannabinol) show up on a drug test? And Is CBN even legal at all?

Let’s Talk About The Legality of CBN…

Laws surrounding marijuana, hemp and CBD are confusing enough. What about all these other compounds like CBN? Well as we have talked about in the past, CBD is legal although it is highly regulated state-to-state. Marijuana, on the other hand is illegal federally, with only a handful of state-wide legalizations such as in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The reason Marijuana is illegal and hemp is not, is due to the high levels of THC found in marijuana. In fact, CBD oil and hemp plants that have too much THC (anything over 0.3%) are considered “hot” and therefore illegal.

This is because THC is the compound in marijuana that gets people high. CBD of course does not get you high, and neither does CBN. In fact, the only difference between marijuana and hemp is the THC content. If you grew a “marijuana” plant that yielded a product that had less than 0.3% THC, then technically it is not marijuana. It is Hemp.

So all that being said, as long as the CBN-containing oil you are consuming has less than 0.3% THC, then it has the same laws surrounding it as CBD. Which means, if you can purchase CBD oil legally, then you can purchase CBN oil legally as well.

Buyer beware… If the CBN oil (Or CBD Oil) you purchased has more than 0.3% THC, you should treat it the same as possessing marijuana oil.

Will CBN Show Up On A Drug Test?

So now the question everyone has been waiting for. Will CBN show up on a drug test? Yes, it will. CBN can cause a false positive on a drug test, due to its similarity to THC. After all, CBN literally is just THC that has been sitting around for too long time.

CBN can show up in (some) urine tests with as little as 100ng/ml of CBN in the patients urine. Some tests show that number to be higher, at 250ng/ml of CBN in the patients urine. When we say the CBN “shows up” in the urine, we mean that the CBN cross-reacts with THC.

Whether 100ng or 250ng of CBN, both are still small amounts that are needed to trigger a positive result.

Urine tests look for 50ng/ml of THC, so that means all that is needed is 2-5x that in CBN to cause a positive result. Keep in mind, that in some circumstances people consuming full spectrum CBD oil (which contains 0.3% THC) have had false positives. That means with the tiny amount of THC present in their CBD oil, they still triggered a positive test result. If 2-5x that amount of CBN can cause a false positive, then any over the counter CBN products could spell bad news for your urine test! Especially considering many CBN products contain small amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).

As we said above THC is the cannabinoid that gets you high, and thus is the cannabinoid drug tests will look for. Drug tests do not look for CBD, CBN, CBG or other non-psychoactive cannabinoids. That being said, CBN can cross-react with THC, causing a “false positive”. Keep in mind that generally speaking, a “false” positive is still a “positive” test result until proven otherwise.

To Conclude…

We recommend avoiding CBN if you are anticipating a drug test. As we said above, CBN can trigger a false positive on a urine drug test. It is unclear the quantity of CBN needed to trigger a positive result on similar tests of hair, blood or saliva. However, we suggest avoiding CBN all together regardless of the test you are anticipating.

If you decide to take your chances, we highly suggest finding a zero THC CBN product. Consuming a CBN product without THC will significantly reduce your risk for a false positive (however even without THC, a CBN oil still has a relatively high likely hood of a positive test result). Of course, it also depends if you are consuming pure CBN isolate, or if you are consuming a CBD oil with small amounts of CBN added. These are all factors that you will need to take into consideration if you are taking CBN and you are expecting a drug test.

Once again, we recommend avoiding all CBN products if you anticipate a drug test. Rather than CBN, try a zero THC CBD oil or vape.