CBD and Sleep

With all the health benefits related to CBD, Can it really help sleep?

Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants; those cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body, which helps your body reach a state of balance and stability.

Tetra hydro cannabinol also known as THC is also one of the
cannabinoids, yet it is well known for its psychoactive effect which means that
it can get you high.

They have been historically connected together yet in the recent years CBD has been in the news for its health benefits without the psychoactive effect of THC.

CBD is tied to various health benefits including reducing
seizures in people with epilepsy and many recent research have suggested the
ability of CBD to improve night sleep.

With all the health benefits related to CBD, Can it really
help sleep?

Before answering that question we have to go through some
facts about insomnia and what could cause it.

Insomnia could be caused by many reasons:

  • Mental health disorders such as anxiety,
    post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.

  • Medication, which can disturb your sleep-wake

  • Physical conditions, such as chronic pain and restless
    leg syndrome.

  • Caffeine, especially when consumed late in the
    day, its effect can last for up to six hours after consumption.

  • Environmental factors, such as loud noises or an
    uncomfortable bed

If the insomnia is caused by external factors or related
conditions, CBD may be of great help by treating the causes of sleeplessness.

Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and board-certified
sleep specialist, explained in a 2017 HuffPost article that there’s a good
chunk of research to suggest that CBD can be beneficial for rest. Research
shows CBD may increase overall sleep amounts and reduce insomnia. CBD has also
been shown to improve sleep in people who suffer from chronic pain.

Gretchen Lidicker, author of CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets: A
Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness, said that while studying
CBD is extremely difficult because of the legal issues still surrounding
cannabis and marijuana, there has been research that indicates CBD can be a
helpful antidote to anxiety and insomnia.

A research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep
and or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, of those subjects 47
were experiencing anxiety and 25 were experiencing

poor sleep. Those subjects were each given 25 milligrams of
CBD in a capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2% of the patients
reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7% reported better sleep.

Another research published in 2014 looked at four patients
with Parkinson’s disease. It was found that CBD improved the symptoms of REM
sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a disorder in which a person acts out their
dreams. RBD is associated with poor sleep and nightmares, that result was
confirmed in a review in 2017 which showed that CBD may be of great help in
treating RBD as well as having a great potential for treating day time

Another review in 2014 found that CBD might have an effect
over grogginess. It could have the potential to promote wakefulness, based on
both human and animal research. The authors noted they weren’t sure exactly how
or why CBD promoted wakefulness in some instances, which indicates that
research in CBD field is still in the beginning and it has a lot of research to
be done in order to better understand its mechanism of action and how it can
help sleep disorders.

Some researchers suggest that CBD can help insomnia through
tackling its root cause. Some studies mainly point to CBD’s ability to interact
with serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain. Serotonin plays an
important role in mood and anxiety, and GABA is known as the main ‘inhibitory’
neurotransmitter, meaning it calms excess activity in the brain and promotes
relaxation. GABA receptors are the target of benzodiazepines, which is a class
of anti-anxiety drugs.

As we go through the above research we can reach an answer to
our question, CBD can actually help sleep disorders which takes us to another
question related to its use.

How is CBD used?

CBD can be used through a number of ways including pills and
capsules, vape concentrates, tinctures and oils or edibles like gummies.

The dosage of CBD you use and the time you take it will
depend on a number of factors including the body weight, the personal body
chemistry, and the nature of the sleeping troubles; all of those factors will
affect how CBD works. What works for some people might not work for others.

Most clinical trials on CBD and sleep have involved giving
the test subjects a dosage between 25 mg to 1,500 mg of CBD per day. It’s best
to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until the subject finds
something that works for him/her.

Is CBD safe to use?

Research suggests that CBD is a much safer (and more
natural) alternative than using other sleep aids.

A review of different safety trials that was published in
2017 came to the conclusion that CBD is safe to use, yet like any other agent
it has some minor side effects that might affect the person using it for

  • fatigue

  • diarrhea

  • changes in appetite

  • changes in weight

    A study done on mice published in 2019 suggested that CBD
    may have some effect over liver in addition to its potential to interact with
    different medications thus it is advised to consult a physician before taking

    Can CBD be obtained from any source?

    CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, which means that there are some products out there that are weak and with low quality and yet labeled CBD, thus it is advised to obtain CBD from a reliable source after researching the seller company, its history and seek a product that has been tested by a third party. Tips for Buying CBD.

    To conclude, CBD seems like a great option for sleep problems with a good safety profile, yet its mechanism of action is still not quite understood.