CBD for Sleep and Insomnia: The Only Guide You Need
For quite some time, scientists have debated whether CBD is good for sleep and insomnia. There is an obvious link between this substance and improved sleep, but we still know very little about the underlying mechanisms. To make things even worse, we don't know how cannabinoids may work in the long run.
Regardless of everything, more and more people are using CBD for sleep and insomnia. The substance has shown a lot of promise, but we recommend that you perform due diligence before starting any kind of therapy.
Here are some of the most important things you need to know about these products and how they might improve your sleep with CBD!
What is CBD, and what are cannabinoids?
CBD is one of the numerous cannabinoids present in hemp and cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are a relatively new substance; we learned about it in the last few decades.
Hemp and cannabis have more than 100 of these compounds, and it seems that each one of them has certain intriguing properties. Besides CBD, you might’ve heard of other cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBC, THC.
Cannabinoids work by stimulating endocannabinoid receptors in the body. In theory, this would regulate numerous metabolic properties. Perhaps the biggest issue with this type of substance is that they have THC – a substance that is notorious for its psychedelic properties.
In fact, THC is the main reason why we get high when using cannabis. Luckily, hemp has a very small percentage of this chemical compound (unlike cannabis), which is why it is often used for CBD items.
So, how do CBD and cannabinoids work?
It is really hard to tell. Further studies are necessary if we want to learn about the small nuances. What makes it even harder is that hemp has so many compounds, and each one of them may play a certain role in our body.
When talking about insomnia, in particular, it seems that cannabinoids interact with cells in our brain. The substance may induce drowsiness, which is one of the main ways of countering insomnia and improving sleep.
How does it work to make you drowsy?
Keep in mind that cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system are relatively new discoveries. We first learned about the endocannabinoid system 25 years ago, and while this might sound like a lot of time, it wasn't enough to make significant findings.
What we've learned is that this system is like a network that spreads throughout our bodies. It can also be found in the central nervous system, which otherwise regulates sleep patterns.
Like with all other systems, endocannabinoid can be inefficient. Some deficiencies may appear, which is why your body may not work in an optimal way. As a result, certain scientists believe that cannabinoids can be used as supplements.
Based on our limited data, it seems there is a link between endocannabinoids and various chemical compounds found in the brain. Another theory is that when cannabinoids start signaling to the endocannabinoid system, hormones and other cells start working in a different way, thus regulating the natural processes of a body.
But, there might be more to hemp than just cannabinoids. Another study indicates that a terpene called myrcene might have an impact on sleep-related conditions. This particular substance has a sedative effect and what’s even more interesting is that you can find it in various sleep-inducing plants.
Another theory says that CBD doesn’t have a direct impact on sleep and insomnia. Instead, it works by reducing anxiety, pain, and other nervous sensations. By helping us relax, the product might also have an impact on our sleep patterns. So, it is more of a secondary effect.
Regardless of a theory, there is definitely a link between CBD and better sleep.
CBD for sleep: the impact on sleep quality
Perhaps the most important thing about CBD is that it can address various sleep issues. Besides the fact it helps you go to sleep, it can also increase the length of sleep, reduce the number of waking, as well as the impact other, sleep-related issues such as sleepwalking.
So, how does CBD for sleep work?
As already mentioned, there are a lot of theories to consider. But, it seems that cannabidiol is able to induce NREM sleep faster much faster. This is the phase of deeper sleep.
Unfortunately, THC can cause certain issues during this step. While the substance might help put you to sleep, it doesn’t necessarily improve sleep quality. So, if there is a lot of THC in a CBD product, you might experience a somewhat adverse effect.
Various studies have shown that CBD might have a positive impact on different sleep disorders. For example, one specific study indicates that cannabidiol might help people who are suffering from sleep issues due to PTSD.
Another study has shown that it might help people who are having trouble sleeping caused by Parkinson’s disease complications.
Studies involving CBD, sleep, and insomnia
Although we don’t have an overwhelming amount of data, several studies have shown promise.
During one study performed from 2016 to 2018, 409 insomnia patients were given cannabis flowers. The flowers were consumed in various ways; they were administered via a pipe, joint, or by vaping.
Cannabis that was provided had approximately 20% THC (which is not ideal given that most CBD products nowadays have up to 0.3% THC). Anyway, the symptoms' intensity was diminished by quite a bit.
The main issue with this study is that the participants were given cannabis flowers that have various chemical compounds. While the results were positive, we cannot say with certainty which cannabinoid (or cannabinoids) caused the improvement.
Another interesting study focused on people who are suffering from both a sleeping disorder and anxiety. During the tests, a total of 72 individuals were treated with 25mg CBD dose.
Cannabidiol was administered in the form of capsules. The scientists decided to give pills in the morning to the patients who were predominantly suffering from anxiety. Those who were suffering more from insomnia than anxiety used CBD in the evening.
All in all, the anxiety scores decreased by 79% while sleep improved by 66%. However, this study has shown us something interesting. It seems that anxiety improvements were constant while improvements to sleep fluctuated during the course of the study.
CBD and snoring
Although snoring isn’t something that people talk about when it comes to sleep disorders, it is another thing that we need to mention. If you’re snoring, there is an increased chance that you’ll suffer from bad sleep. Furthermore, it will also affect your partner’s sleep.
You will be happy to hear that CBD can help people with snoring issues. One specific research has discovered that cannabinoids might protect our brain from symptoms common to obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is characteristic because it causes disturbances in people’s sleep patterns. You can read more on the topic in our article CBD for sleep apnea.
There are also scientific indications (based on animal tests) that a regulated endocannabinoid system may have a positive impact on suppressing serotonin-mediate symptoms common to this ailment. Test subject animals had a lower number of apneic episodes.
Is CBD safe?
One of the biggest issues for potential customers is whether cannabidiol products are safe or not. And again, we don’t have a clear answer to this question.
Generally speaking, hemp-based products are regarded as safe. This is because they have low THC content that otherwise causes psychedelic episodes. But, given that CBD substances are relatively new, we still don't know how they might work over prolonged periods of time. Additionally, we have limited data regarding effectiveness as well as the optimal dose.
We need to put emphasis on the lack of regulation. Although the US government has made major strides in legalizing and regulating the product, there are still a lot of loopholes.
There are a lot of rampant claims regarding these products, and oftentimes, the users don't know what's in the bottle. While it's not legal to grow hemp, there is only a handful of drugs that are approved by the FDA (epilepsy drug called Epidiolex is a good example).
In terms of side effects, CBD products like hemp oil for sleep are not as risky as long as they have low THC quantity. However, there are still a few things you need to consider. Like all other drugs, you need to be aware of possible interactions.
Medical cannabis can cause issues to people who are using blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and antidepressants. Besides that, it can also cause issues like dry mouth, fatigue, diarrhea, drowsiness, and changes to appetite. If you do experience side effects, make sure to contact a medical provider immediately.
Besides the traditional side effects, you also need to consider how the substance would work in the short run and how it would work in the long run. Based on user reviews, it seems that medical marijuana works better when used for brief periods of time and in higher doses.
Prolonged use might lead to dependency, especially if a product is THC-rich. There is also a concern that you'll develop tolerance after a while. If you do decide to use it, you will probably experience the best results within the first month.
How does CBD compare to other sleep products?
If you’ve suffered from insomnia for a while, there is a good chance you’ve tried some other drugs.
So, how does cannabidiol compare to other products used for sleep improvement?
There is a chance that CBD for sleep is safer than some other sleep items on the market. The main reason being is that most CBD companies grow organic hemp.
There is very little processing, which is completely different from traditional drugs. The cannabidiol products may also be more effective (again, it depends on what kind of product you're using).
Aside from treating insomnia and other sleep-related ailments, medical cannabis might also provide relief for some other issues. But, we need more studies to have a better understanding of it.
Various forms of CBD products
Nowadays, we have a lot of different cannabidiol products on the market.
We get medical cannabis by extracting oil from hemp. This oil is placed in various products like capsules, bath bombs, creams, and so on. You can use it as topicals, edibles, or you can smoke them.
Always remember that different products have a different impact on our bodies. For example, when eating medical marijuana products, you will need to sense a change, but, when it comes, it will be much more potent. Vaping the product gets CBD into your bloodstream much faster, but the results are also weaker.
There is an additional categorization of the products based on the substances within. The most general classification splits CBD items into full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates.
Full-spectrum items have the same cannabinoids as the hemp plant. Broad-spectrum has all the same cannabinoids minus THC. Isolates focus on one particular substance.
Where can you buy CBD for sleep and insomnia problems?
If you’re looking for an ideal CBD product for insomnia, you might be forced to look for a while. There aren’t any official guidelines as to how you should use these substances; a lot of our knowledge is based on anecdotal evidence from other users. So, you might want to try different items and in different doses.
Even then, there is no guarantee that a product will help you treat insomnia or related sleep ailments. Lastly, make sure to start with a smaller dose and increase it if you see fit.
We strongly recommend that you check our two products: Sleep Support Isolate (THC-Free) Gel Capsules and Sleep Support Isolate (THC-Free) Hemp Oil + Melatonin and let us know how they helped your sleeping problems.