People continue to use the cannabis plant for many medical and recreational purposes. CBD, a substance found in Cannabis Sativa plant is said to provide a variety of health advantages, some of which include reducing anxiety and pain. Others also use it as a sleep aid. But, does CBD work for sleep? Also, what does the research say about its use?
Some studies indicate that CBD may work well in improving sleep. In this article, we’ll look at how CBD works. Also, you will learn more about its benefits and possible side effects.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of the abundant compounds found in cannabis plants. Out of over a hundred compounds in this plant, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most well-researched.
However, unlike THC, CBD does not produce any unwanted psychoactive effects. It does not cause a high or make you feel euphoric. Also, it doesn’t lead to potential substance abuse and dependence.
CBD is an increasingly popular substance in the United States and even across the globe. CBD has many possible health benefits. Research is still in its infancy into some of the effects of CBD. Yet, people are taking matters into their own hands ahead of science.
Asides from research, people also rely on anecdotal evidence of the effects of CBD. CBD may provide pain and inflammatory relief, improved sleep, anxiety relief, and treatment of seizures.
Forms of CBD for Sleep
CBD is available in many forms. Today, we see manufacturers use CBD in producing a wide range of products. We even have CBD infused into drinks and foods.
The several forms of CBD for sleep include:
- CBD oil tinctures
- Oral sprays
- Edibles, like CBD gummies for sleep and cookies
- Pills and capsules
As you can see, there are tons of ways to take in CBD. And brands create different CBD products for users. Choosing the right brand might be tricky. There are top brands in the industry producing CBD gummies, CBD oil tinctures, and more for a good night sleep. Be sure to use reliable brands with third-party tested products.
There are different concentrations of CBD in these products. The exact dose that will help treat sleep problems is yet unknown. So, you may have to experiment or get advice from your doctor and find the ideal dosage that works for you.
Does CBD Work as a Sleep Aid
CBD oil for sleep is quite common. People who use CBD for sleep report improved sleep quality and staying asleep for longer. However, for some, this substance can increase wakefulness during the day.
Reports say CBD might affect the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. In other words, it can increase alertness during the day and have a sedative effect at night. According to Sleep Foundation, there is a need for further research to help determine what doses and forms cause wakefulness and sleepiness.
What the Research Says About CBD for Sleep
In recent years, we have seen a growing interest in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis plants. In particular, CBD caught the attention of the public. And this public interest encouraged researchers to conduct more studies on its effects.
Some of the early CBD studies suggest CBD may aid sleep in high doses. For instance, this case study involves a 10-year-old girl with poor sleep and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She was treated with 25mg of CBD supplement at bedtime. Also, she was given an additional 6 to 12mg during the day, using an oral sleep. This daytime administration was for managing anxiety. Over five months, there was an improvement in both her quality of sleep and anxiety levels.
In another study published in the journal Medicines, 409 people with insomnia were involved. From June 2016 to May 2018, researchers collected the data of these participants. They asked them to rate their insomnia on a scale of 10. 1 being least severe, and 10 being most severe. At the start of the trial, the average symptom rating was 6.6.
These participants received cannabis administration in the course of the study. They also continued to rate the severity of their symptoms following administration. In the end, researchers found that the consumption of cannabis significantly improved insomnia. The average rated symptom was 2.2 by the end of this study, which was a 4.5 decrease.
The study indicates that cannabis, containing CBD and THC, can work as a sleep aid. Also, CBD was associated with greater symptom relief than THC.
Benefits of CBD for Sleep
Alleviates Pain: Muscle ache, joint pain, body ache can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Using CBD oil can work by providing relief to pain spots throughout the body. Several research studies suggest that CBD is a natural analgesic and can help relieve pain and inflammation.
Anxiety Relief: Anxiety is not a sleep disorder. But sleep problems can result from psychological issues like anxiety, PTSD, or depression. CBD can also work by tackling these underlying conditions. A study published in Permanente Journal examined the effects of CBD on sleep and anxiety. Results showed improvement in these conditions within the first month. However, researchers reported fluctuations in sleep scores subsequently. But anxiety levels decreased throughout the study.
Manage REM Sleep Behavior Disorder: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep behavior is more common in older people with neurodegenerative diseases. So, patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are more likely to experience it. This disorder is characterized by aggressive movements during sleep. In a limited study involving four people with Parkinson’s disease, CBD helped manage REM sleep behavior disorder.
Researchers also believe CBD can help treat these conditions:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Opioid addiction
- Chemotherapy effects like nausea and vomiting
- Skin conditions like acne and eczema
Side Effects of CBD for Sleep
A report from the World Health Organization states there is no evidence of public health problems linked to CBD usage. Also, CBD is a well-tolerated substance with no signs of causing substance abuse and addiction.
However, users need to know CBD can interact with medications they are taking, like blood thinners. Additionally, consumers may experience side effects such as dry mouth, fatigue, and diarrhea. It’s advised that you first consult your doctor before using CBD, especially if you are taking prescription drugs.
The Bottom Line
Sleep problems are common and can affect every aspect of your life including health, and work output. Healthcare providers offer solutions such as making lifestyle changes and prescription drugs. However, many people are seeking natural sleep aids, with few side effects, like CBD.
Taking CBD is generally safe. However, there are limited studies on its long-term effects. Some researchers suggest CBD can work as a sleep aid and improve sleep duration. There is no recommended CBD dosage for addressing sleep troubles.
Nonetheless, the general rule with CBD is to start slow and gradually increase your dosage until you get the desired effect. More important, it’s best to consult a doctor to learn about underlying causes before self-medicating.