Can CBD help with Sleep Disorders?

by Lily White
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A growing number of people in today’s population suffer from sleep problems. Several factors contribute to this problem, from the use of technology to poor time management and stressful lives, the list goes on. In some cases, sleep disorders even arise as a side effect of some medicines.

What qualifies as a sleep disorder

A sleep disorder is generally defined as any situation whereby one has difficulties falling asleep or experiences restless sleep for prolonged periods. This can be caused by stress, overthinking and pain, among other factors.

Traditional solutions

For severe sleep problems, counting sheep doesn’t make the cut. There is a need for a more serious, dedicated solution. Traditionally, sleeping pills and sedatives have often been prescribed to sufferers, but this solution also makes the patient pay a heavy price as it comes with many unpleasant side effects such as headaches and a higher risk of potential accidental overdose.

Is CBD the future?

As those suffering from sleep disorders seek out safer solutions to this problem, the use of CBD products to help deal with sleep problems has become a popular opinion both by public sentiment as well as by researchers. A growing amount of research is now going into the usage of CBD to promote sleep. Studies such as the Sao Paulo CBD sleep studies in Brazil and the research carried out by clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Joseph Maroon, MD, amongst others, have yielded significant results showing that CBD has properties that indeed make it potentially helpful in promoting sleep.

During the clinical trials for the CBD-approved epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, sleepiness was even reported as a side effect, although it was not the purpose of the studies. A much recent nationally representative Consumer Reports survey revealed that about 10% of Americans who reported trying CBD infused products said they used them to help them sleep, and a majority of those people said it worked.

What’s this CBD all about?

Cannabidiol, popularly known by the term CBD, is one of the 113 discovered cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Its popularity is owed to the fact that it’s the most potent, and yet it’s non-intoxicating, unlike its infamous counterpart, THC.

CBD’s Effects on the Human Body

The human body is known to be kept in balance by a neurological system known as the endocannabinoid system. CBD acts upon the endocannabinoid receptors, and apparently, they are stimulated by both naturally produced human CBD and the one from plants. This explains how CBD extracted from cannabis plants has such tremendous effects on the human body.

Recent research has shown that CBD also has an effect on mood, memory, inflammation and sleep. CBD has been found to interact with Gaba and serotonin receptors partly associated with the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are critical in regulating the sleep cycle.

How CBD for Sleep Works

Human studies carried out by Brazilian researchers revealed that CBD significantly enhanced the quality of sleep in most participants. The majority reported more than 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Therapeutic Properties

CBD is popular for its numerous health benefits, some are already proven by science, but others are still under investigation. Most notably, CBD reduces the symptoms of anxiety and stress, allowing the user to feel more at ease and quickly fall asleep.

Relaxation

CBD’s relaxation effects are reported among most CBD users. This eases the tension one may feel when they go to bed, helping them get more comfortable and quickly fall asleep.

Mood Uplifting

After taking CBD, users often report having an uplifted mood than before. This is probably owed to CBD’s effect on the endocannabinoid system. When it comes to sleep, a bad mood and overthinking are often the culprits. Thus if CBD can alleviate these two, sleep is bound to be peaceful and quick to come.

Relief and Recovery

Those recovering from injuries and experiencing physical discomforts may find it hard to fall asleep. CBD can be useful in managing physical pains in muscles and joints. The relief CBD provides soothes the patient allowing them to get a good night’s sleep.

Improved sleep quality

Medical research conducted on numerous human subjects taking CBD revealed that the participants had longer hours of uninterrupted sleep starting from 7 hours and longer. This suggests that the use of CBD could potentially improve the quality of sleep. This is also an added advantage for those who have PTSD because recalling dreams is harder when one sleeps for long uninterrupted hours. Dreams take place during REM and users remain asleep during this part of the sleep cycle.

Better Sleep Habits

Researchers from the University of Mississippi highlighted that cannabinoids are able to modify both the central and peripheral circadian clocks, which can restore circadian rhythms.

Are CBD Products Legal?

The legality of CBD products differs according to where you are. At present, there are no global established regulations for the use of CBD products. In the UK, CBD products are deemed legal so long as the CBD compound has been extracted from a hemp plant with 0.2% or less THC. In the US, each state has a different take on the legality of CBD products.

Important information to note

Impact of CBD on children

CBD products have not been concluded to be completely free of side effects for children; therefore, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as a precaution: do not take CBD. CBD products are not well regulated and thus, finding a trustworthy vendor to avoid mislabeled products is essential.

Seeking Medical Opinion

Do not take the risk of taking CBD without consulting with your physician first. CBD may interfere with medicines you may be taking or planning to take. It can increase or decrease the potency of some pharmaceutical drugs in the liver, thereby disrupting your treatment.

CBD Dosage for Sleep

Your doctor can also help you determine the right dosage for you to take. CBD doses are not uniform as different individuals react differently to CBD. For some, a lower dosage might help them sleep better, while others need a higher dosage. Factors that contribute to this include metabolism, sensitivity to the compound as well as the method of intake. The best approach to finding your optimal dosage is to start out by taking smaller amounts of CBD. Although no specific dosage has been established for CBD to promote sleep, it is advisable not to take more than 300mg of CBD in a day.

Understanding the CBD Market

Once the CBD has been extracted, it can be processed into CBD oil gummies, pills, oils, tinctures and creams. You can find it in a wide range of products, and there is an abundance of cannabidiol products you can try out to help with sleep.

CBD oil is the most versatile. You can take it with food and beverages or infuse it in edibles. Besides ingesting CBD, there are several other ways to administer your CBD dosage, such as smoking and vaping. The aforementioned methods are a good way to deliver CBD quickly; however, the effects of the compound are short-lived. Slow-release methods such as pills and creams will enable you to feel the effects of the CBD for longer thus sleep for longer.

CBD products for sleep

CBD oil

CBD oil can be consumed in a variety of ways. It can be taken sublingually or added to other ingredients like foods and drinks. Popping up a few drops before sleep will get the job done. The upside to CBD oil is that you can take your dosage creatively so you can avoid monotony. Some CBD oils even come in different flavours like chocolate and vanilla.

Tinctures

Such products are an easy and effective way to take CBD for your sleep regimen. They are administered in a way similar to CBD oil. The difference is that tinctures are alcohol-based, whereas CBD oil is oil-based; therefore, it won’t mix well with other liquids when combined.

CBD massage cream

CBD creams are a fast-absorbing method of administering your dosage and getting relief. You simply need to apply the needed portion to the problem area and massage it in.

Edibles

CBD edibles are gaining popularity. They range from gummy bears to drinks to foods such as hummus, chocolate spread and cakes. CBD taken with food takes longer to act in the body, but this allows one to feel the effects for longer, typically when you are sleeping.

Capsules/Gelcaps

Capsules are the easiest way to manage your CBD dosage. CBD pills come in predetermined dosage strength, and all you have to do is calculate the number of pills to match up the dose.

A combination of CBD and Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that promotes well-being when included in the diet. Magnesium is known to have sleep-inducing effects. Thus a combination of CBD and magnesium is a great way to tackle sleep problems.

Over to you

Cannabidiol holds a lot of potential as a solution to sleep problems. Nonetheless, you should only take CBD products as supplements to support your healthy lifestyle and good sleep regimen. Do not take CBD to replace any prescribed medication. It cannot be used to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any condition. Thus, make sure to always consult with your doctor first.

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