CBD and Sleep
Many people have trouble sleeping, and breaking the cycle of insomnia can be frustrating. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. The amount of sleep necessary varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night.
Getting enough sleep is something people need to maintain optimal health. Not getting an adequate amount is linked to many chronic diseases and conditions. Insomnia can not only negatively affect your health, but your energy level, work performance, and quality of life. Individuals focused on overall health and wellness should therefore prioritize getting a good night’s sleep.
Cannabidiol (CBD) shows promise for many individuals searching for a more natural alternative to pharmaceuticals to promote sleep and achieve optimal health. Preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that CBD may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia. CBD acts as a modulator in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), an animal’s extensive endogenous signaling system which regulates the homeostasis of other systems within the body. A plethora of anecdotal evidence supports positive outcomes, although the data behind the use of CBD and sleep is relatively new and in the beginning stages of development.
Forms of CBD/Delivery Methods
CBD is available in several different forms as well as concentrations. CBD isolate, the purest form is concentrated and refined to ensure that no other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are included. These products work well for individuals who may be drug tested by their employer and cannot even risk trace amounts in their systems. Full-Spectrum CBD contains all the naturally occurring compounds from the hemp flower, including terpenes and flavonoids. All these compounds work together to create an effect more therapeutic than the compounds do singularly; the "entourage effect."
Capsules, edibles, tinctures, and vape oils are general categories of CBD products for sleep. Each delivery method for these products has unique advantages. The details regarding the root cause of insomnia and the nuances of an individual’s sleep disturbance are essential to consider. It is a personal choice as to what works best and is most convenient for the individual to make a part of their wellness routine.
Inhalation is known to have high bioavailability, and the raw flower or vape oil may be vaporized or smoked. Though the effects may not last as long as with other delivery methods, there is a quicker onset time due to the lungs' interior's permeability. Inhalation is a popular choice for inducing restfulness because it only takes up to 15 minutes to feel the effects. Many vape pens and cartridges are also extremely simple to use and easy to transport.
The ingestion method includes eating edibles, swallowing oils, or taking capsules and tablets by mouth. This method is convenient for many. Individuals also feel the effects for a more extended period as compared with inhalation. If the consumer is trying to avoid waking up during the course of the night, this is essential. However, edible items like candy and baked goods are sometimes tricky to determine the exact dosage consumed. It also takes longer to feel the effects as it passes through the digestive system, which can take up to two hours. Instant release tablets such as Prolifera’s CBD and CBN, add Cannabinol (CBN) another well-known cannabinoid for sleep wellness, and terpenes in a faster acting product. Capsules and tablets are highly convenient, and easy to figure out exactly how much CBD you are taking. This type of individual regimen may be more consistent due to the ease of use.
Consumers may wish to consider a CBD product like Hemp Farmacy Sleep Capsules which include other cannabinoids, terpenes such as linalool, supplements like melatonin, and essential minerals such as magnesium. Although linalool does not get stored in your body for prolonged periods, this study considered it a potential calming agent similar to diazepam, which is widely used to induce relaxation. The intake of the mineral magnesium aids the sleep process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for calming and relaxation. Supplementation with melatonin, a natural hormone that declines with a person’s age and commonly used to promote sleep, delivers amplified results as well. When combining other compounds with CBD, the "entourage effect" often provides better therapeutic results than the isolate alone.
Hemp oil tinctures are usually taken sublingually (under the tongue), and the effects are longer lasting than inhalation once it gets into your system. The tiny capillaries under the tongue absorb the tincture more effectively than simply ingesting the oil orally. It is suggested to hold it under your tongue for about 30 seconds as it absorbs into your bloodstream and then swallow.
Direct versus Indirect
Several underlying causes for an individual’s sleep disturbances make finding a universal solution somewhat complex. Conditions linked with insomnia include chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma, to name a few. Many prescription drugs used to treat those diseases may also interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. It is essential to be aware that many over-the-counter medications, such as pain, allergy, and cold medicines, contain caffeine and other stimulants that can also disrupt sleep.
CBD has an advantage in that respect because it may indirectly influence sleep by mitigating an existing condition that interferes with sleep in addition to having a direct positive effect on its own. The direct influence of the ECS on physiologic processes, such as the sleep/wake cycle in the human body and almost all other animals, cannot be ignored. This study showed an intertwined link between the ECS’s network of receptors throughout the central nervous system and circadian regulators. The CB1 and CB2 receptors affect many critical physiological processes that exhibit a circadian rhythm. These include such processes as sleep/wakefulness, body temperature, learning and memory, and locomotor activity.
CBD Sleep Studies
Studies show that CBD products containing whole-plant cannabis and CBD isolate effectively promote sleepiness. These preliminary clinical trials compared CBD to a placebo. They suggest that high-dose oral CBD (over 150 mg per day) may exert a therapeutic effect for social anxiety disorder, insomnia, and epilepsy. In this long-term case study, patients using CBD in hemp-based products reported improved sleep. Another preliminary research study showed CBD might hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness. It is essential to note the synergistic effect in this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. It appears that many “full-spectrum” hemp-based CBD products may still contain enough THC to have clinical significance.
If external factors or related conditions cause insomnia, CBD may help treat the causes of sleeplessness. For example, if anxiety is creating their sleeping problem, a CBD product may benefit them. Cortisone is widely known as the body’s stress hormone, which usually peaks in the mornings or when a person is in a stressful situation and needs a burst of energy to fuel a “fight or flight” response. High cortisol levels and anxiety in the evenings are associated with an increased number of times a person awakes during the night and an inability to get to sleep. These results suggest that 300 mg of CBD taken daily over three months affects the release of cortisol, possibly acting as a sedative.
One retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involved a clinical application with 103 patients. The patients were given CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety and sleep quality, and the dosage varied from 25mg to 175 mg per day. In this evaluation, CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications. The authors concluded that CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations.
CBD can also improve sleep by reducing chronic pain, which consequently promotes sleep wellness. This animal study indicated a potential for the medicinal use of cannabidiol for chronic pain. A human review further supports cannabinoids' safety and that CBD provides a reasonable therapeutic option in managing chronic non-cancer pain. Pain caused by inflammation is another area that has seen proven results in recent studies. This study indicates that several models of human diseases support the idea that CBD reduces the severity of inflammation by targeting inflammation-related signaling within the cells.
Final Tips for CBD and Sleep
Since research is ongoing and products vary so much in concentration, the exact dose to treat sleep issues is not cut and dry. The analyses above will give you an indication of how varied the dosing may be. It might take some trial and error to determine what works best, but the rule of thumb is to start on a low dose and gradually increase until you find what works best for your body system. Be patient as the "sweet spot" may take a while to find, and keep in mind that it may even take several weeks of daily use to feel the effects in total.
Overall, the data behind the use of CBD for sleep are new and in the beginning stages of development, but studies indicate there may be a benefit for patients with insomnia. While more research needs to be done, the use of CBD has been helpful to many by decreasing the symptoms of insomnia and helping individuals get a satisfying quality sleep with minimal side effects. A wise consumer will check with their physician, as CBD may interact with other prescribed medications. CBD as a health and dietary supplement does not have FDA oversight and warrants purchasing a product from a reputable brand with certified, easily accessible lab reports along with superior customer service.
Written by Judy Ghanem, Hemp Farmacy Content Writer