CBD oil and sleep

CBD oil and sleep

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the use of marijuana and CBD to treat various ailments and conditions. One of those conditions, insomnia, has been eased through the use of CBD. To understand how CBD is considered beneficial to insomniacs let’s take a look at what CBD is and what it does.

What are Cannabinoids and CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol and probably one of the better known cannabinoids, together with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the cannabinoid that creates the buzz feeling or getting a high when using cannabis. CBD however does not cause any psychoactive effects – in other words, it doesn’t give you a high. As a result, it can help with various conditions including pain relief, reducing the effects of anxiety, and insomnia and further progress is being made to see how effective it is against other illnesses and conditions. These cannabinoids are chemical compounds that join together certain receptors in the central nervous system and act as chemical messengers, hence their positive effect as part of a treatment plan for certain conditions.

So how do CBD and cannabinoids work?

There is still a lot to be discovered and understood about cannabinoids (including CBD) and how they work. What we do know is that CBD and cannabinoids interact with proteins and cells in the brain. This research is ongoing and more answers are yet to be revealed.

The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep

Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain bodily functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system, there is a network of cannabinoid receptors, two of which are CB1 and CB2 found in the brain and central nervous system.

When the cannabinoids attach themselves to these cells, researchers have noticed that with regards to sleep the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep cycle.

It has also been found that CBD can also reduce levels of anxiety and pain, both of which often interfere with a good night’s sleep.

What are the researchers saying about CBD?

Even though a lot more research still needs to be concluded, early indications support the theory that CBD and cannabinoids might improve the quality of sleep. A study published in the journal, “Medicines”, involved 409 people with insomnia were treated using the cannabis flower with varied combustion methods including vape, pipe, and joints. The THC potency averaged 20% but was limited to 30%. The CBD potency was on average 5.7% and was also limited to 30%. After using cannabis, participants rated their symptoms on a scale of 1-10 and an average score showed 2.2, which was a decrease of 4.4 from the initial rating of 6.6. The data was collected between June 2016 and May 2018.

The participants

The results showed that the cannabinoids in reduced the symptoms for insomnia. However, as the study involved using the cannabis flower, which contains several cannabinoids, it is difficult to determine if the relief from insomnia was due to CBD itself or another cannabinoid.

In another study published in the Permanente Journal, 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep were monitored. After completing anxiety and sleep assessments at the start of the study and after the first month, the participants were given 25 mg of CBD in capsule form. Those that predominantly had sleep complaints took the dose in the evening, and those suffering from anxiety took CBD in the morning.

After the first month, levels of anxiety decreased in 79% of the participants while there was an improvement of 66% for those experiencing sleep problems. The results suggest that CBD enhanced the quality of sleep for many of the participants but while the decrease in anxiety symptoms remained steady for the duration of the study, the sleep scores fluctuated over the same period.
Several smaller studies have also supported the use of CBD oil in order to improve sleep. One case study involving a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep was treated with CBD. 25 mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime, and an additional 6 to 12 mg of CBD was given via a sublingual spray during the day for anxiety. The amount of sleep and quality gradually improved over a period of five months.

Although there is plenty of supporting evidence that shows CBD and cannabinoids can improve sleep, the results are not conclusive and more research needs to be done.

The different forms of CBD

CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant but it can be a little complicated. Marijuana and hemp are both strains of the Cannabis sativa plant from which CBD can be extracted although it is harvested differently from each plant. Hemp comes from the seeds and stalks of the plant, which contains less THC than marijuana.

Because the THC content in CBD oil can vary, there can be different restrictions on its sale. For example, in the USA, CBD oil can only be sold legally if all of the THC is removed. If CBD oil still contains THC or other cannabinoids, it can only be sold in states that have legalized the use of marijuana.

Depending on the laws where you live, you may need a doctor’s prescription for CBD oil. But as laws can change quickly, it may be that in the near future, obtaining CBD may be different than it is now.

CBD oil can be placed under the tongue and can also be infused in different products including the following;

Edibles: Various types of edibles infused with CBD oil are available including gummy bears, cakes, and cookies. Edibles usually list the concentration of CBD in milligrams.

Vaporing: CBD extract can be used in a vaporizer or vape pen. As the extract heats up, it creates a vapour that is inhaled.

Tinctures: CBD is also available as a tincture. A few drops of the liquid can be added to drinks.

CBD oil is available in different concentrations. As research is ongoing, the exact dose to treat sleep related issues is not be fully known. A little bit of careful train and error will be required.

With so many different ways to ingest CBD, there are tons of CBD products to choose from. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are the CBD products we recommend to try if you want to improve your sleep.

Overall, there is scientific research that supports the theory that there are health benefits attached to the use of CBD. While more research needs to be done, the use of CBD can potentially reduce the causes of insomnia and help you get more quality sleep. If you struggle with sleep issues, the first step is to consult your doctor and learn more about possible causes and treatments.

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