cbd for insomnia
CBD may help you sleep
Cannabidiol, AKA CBD, is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids have been proven to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, which helps your body maintain a state of stability and balance, or homeostasis.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you “high” or cause hallucinogenic effects. Instead, it has a range of potential health benefits, such as reducing seizures in people with epilepsy and offering pain relief from various conditions, ranging from back pain to cancer.
Some research and anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can also help you sleep.
Research into CBD and sleep
To understand how CBD can help with insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep, it is important to understand the main causes behind insomnia. Many things can cause you to sleep badly. According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia can be caused by:
• Mental health disorders, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression
• Medication, which can disturb your sleep-wake cycle
• Physical conditions, such as chronic pain and restless leg syndrome
• Caffeine, especially when consumed later in the day
• Environmental factors, such as loud noises, bright lights or an uncomfortable bed
If your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness.
While research on CBD is still in its infancy, some studies suggest that CBD can help to treat anxiety.
Research published in 2019 looked into whether CBD could improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25mg of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, and incredible 79.2% of patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7% reported better sleep.
Pain, which can also cause sleep problems, can also be relieved with CBD. In 2018, a review in Frontiers in Pharmacology noted that there is a substantial amount of evidence to support the theory that CBD soothes pain. The authors note that by reducing chronic pain, CBD can in turn improve sleep.
Other research shows that CBD can affect the sleep cycle. Research from 2014 studied four patients with Parkinson’s disease. It was found that CBD helped to relieve the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a disorder in which a person acts out their dreams. RBD is associated with insomnia and nightmares.
A 2017 review noted that CBD may be helpful in treating RBD and that it even shows potential for treating excessive daytime sleepiness. Another 2014 review found that CBD 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, however experienced positive results nonetheless.
How CBD works to improve sleep
As seen above, some studies that conclude that CBD can improve sleep aren’t always able to say why this is the case. Most of the above-mentioned studies emphasise that we need more research on CBD before we fully understand how it affects our sleep.
However, many researchers believe CBD improves sleep because it tackles the root causes of insomnia.
As more research is done on CBD, we’ll learn more about why and how it can help us sleep.
How to use CBD for sleep
There are a number of ways to take CBD. It comes in a few different forms, including:
• Vape concentrates
• Oils and tinctures
• Pills and capsules
• Edibles like gummies
Generally, vaping CBD gets it into your system faster than other forms. However, there isn't much research on vaping CBD or vaping in general for that matter, and it's possible it may pose respiratory risks.
The dosage of CBD you use, and the time you take it, will depend on a number of factors. Your weight, personal body chemistry, and the nature of your sleeping troubles will affect how the CBD works. What works for some people might not work for others.
We recommend oil as one of the best methods to ingest CBD. As we know exactly how much CBD is in each drop (usually 4.4mg), we are able to accurately measure each dose. By holding the liquid under the tongue, ideally for 5 minutes but for a minimum of 1 minute, the body can absorb far more of the CBD than if it is swallowed immediately. It is believed by swallowing the oil immediately, as much as 85% of the CBD content can be destroyed by the acids in the stomach before even reaching the blood stream.
Most clinical trials on CBD and sleep have involved giving the subjects anywhere between 25mg to the incredibly high dose of 1,500mg of CBD per day! It’s best to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until you find something that works for you, however it is believed that it is not possible to overdose on CBD, no matter how much is consumed.
A 2019 study mentioned above noted that it took about a month for the subjects to notice a difference. It's important to be patient and remember that you may not notice immediate results and not everybody will have the same experience.