SwissCannaMed scientific research for natural CBN against sleep disorders

The ETH Zurich and the Swiss company CannaPharmaceutical AG have signed a cooperation agreement for a joint research project on Cannabidiol (CBN) in 2019. The beneficial effect of CBN on sleep has recently attracted the interest of the cannabis industry. It is well known that taking conventional sleeping pills is often accompanied by undesirable side effects. Derived from the cannabis plant, natural CBN could be the key to a CBN-based sleep aid without side effects.

CBN comes from aged cannabis plants and the breakdown of THC molecules. Researchers have only recently discovered its usefulness. It was thought that CBN was a waste product of hemp and therefore of no research interest. Then a study by Steep Hill Labs showed that CBN was a sedative of all cannabinoids. This discovery sparked scientific interest in the therapeutic effects of CBN and its role in regulating the endocannabinoid system[1] (the part of the nervous system that includes CB1 and CB2 receptors).

The potential for sleep-enhancing drugs is considerable: in 2013, the global market for sleeping pills was worth a total of $54.9 billion. The annual growth rate of this market is estimated at 5.6%. For the year 2019, a volume of 76.7 billion dollars is expected[2].

The joint research project also aims to reduce the THC content by enriching cannabidiol (CBD) and CBN in raw extracts and plant substances: “Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid extracted from the female hemp plant. It has hardly any psychoactive effect. Medically, it is antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and antiemetic. Other pharmacological effects, such as an anti-psychotic effect, are being investigated”[3].

As a result of the research, a patent has been granted, half of which is owned by ETH Zurich and the other half by Swiss Pharmaceutical SA, a sister company of Swiss CannaMed SA.

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities in science and technology, with an annual budget of 1.9 billion Swiss francs. ETH is home to more than 20 Nobel Prize winners, including Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli.