The cannabinoid CBN might be hemp industry’s surprise hit
While delta-8 THC is certainly stealing the spotlight, CBN might just be the sleeper cannabinoid of the summer – pun intended.
Over the past year, cannabis companies have been leveraging the compound’s reputation as a sleep aid with growing success.
help find the answers.
Also known as cannabinol, CBN was first discovered nearly a century ago.
Over that period, companies have done little with CBN, given the time-consuming process of producing the cannabinoid.
But that is now changing, thanks to the development of new production methods.
And demand is climbing.
Sales of products containing CBN – almost entirely edibles, at this point – totaled more than $65 million in the past four quarters for adult-use retailers in California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon, according to data provided by Seattle-based data-analytics firm Headset and FloraWorks, an Oregon supplier of hemp-derived cannabinoids such as CBN.
It should be no surprise California had the largest revenue of the four markets.
CBN products provided $16.1 million in sales for the second quarter of this year in the state, up 6.6% from the previous quarter and 120% from the third quarter of 2020.
And more brands are entering those markets weekly.
There were only seven CBN products in those combined states a year ago, but that number grew to 55 in the second quarter of 2021, up 20% from the first three months of the year.
Also, CBN edibles are taking a larger share of that market.
Edibles containing the cannabinoid accounted for 11% of California edible sales in June, up 6.5 percentage points from 2020.
That trend has carried through in other states.
Sales of CBN edibles in Oregon, Nevada and Colorado were almost nonexistent in June and July 2020, but they ended June 2021 at 9.7%, 6.5% and 3.8%, respectively, as a percentage of each state’s edibles market.
California-based edibles company Kiva Brands, an early CBN adopter, is riding the wave of early growth.
Introduced in January 2020, Kiva Brands’ Camino Midnight Blueberry gummies, which contain 1 part CBN to 5 parts THC, have been the top-selling edible in California for the past two quarters.
Some believe CBN’s sedative effects can be amplified when paired with THC.
Many of the regulated CBN products contain this hybrid or ratio model, providing a small portion of CBN paired with some amount of THC – such as Camino’s 5-to-1 proportion.
Kristi Palmer, Kiva’s co-founder and head of business development, said the company came upon this formulation after lots of research and testing, which showed the beneficial effect involving this particular ratio.
“We’re doing as much research as we can on the back end to make sure it’s the right path to go down,” she said.
“You use a lot of data to make those decisions, but there’s nothing quite like seeing the sales and seeing the traction take place.”
And with the success of the gummies, Kiva has added CBN to its other THC lines, including cookies, mints and chocolate bars.
Palmer also attributes the company’s success to purposeful marketing and educational outreach to retailers.
The company created an in-store display of its various CBN products to not only help consumers associate the products with sleep but also to help retailers sell them.
Sampling was big, too.
For the launch of its Terra Milk and Cookies THC/CBN product, Palmer said Kiva put the product in a tiny tea mug and wrapped that up with a little sleeping eye mask.
“Budtenders and buyers need to see it and understand it,” she said.
A long history
With all the sudden growth, it’s hard to believe that CBN has been around for more than 90 years.
CBN was discovered in the 1930s and then, in the 1940s, became the first cannabinoid to be isolated.
And while it provides a mild psychotropic effect, up until recently not much has been done with it.
Unlike CBD, CBN is hard to make.
Little to no CBN is created or contained in new or fresh cannabis plants.
The cannabinoid is produced when marijuana or hemp plants are exposed over long periods of time to air and sunlight.
As the cannabis dries and ages, an oxidation process turns the THC molecules found in marijuana and hemp into CBN.
Published August 31, 2021, | By MJBizDaily
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