Accounting for up to 40 percent of the cannabis plant’s extract, Cannabidiol – commonly known as CBD – is one of the 133 chemical compounds identified in the cannabis plant. According to research in 2018, clinical studies on CBD included sleep disorders, anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.
While THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that causes sensations of getting “high or numb,” CDB is a phytocannabinoid often associated with treating sleep disorders, anxiety, cognition, and pain.
CAN CBD TREAT INSOMNIA?
The simple answer is yes – however, to truly understand the science behind how CBD can treat insomnia. First, we need to understand the causes of poor sleep. According to Mayo Clinic, many things can cause poor sleep and wakefulness including,
- Mental health disorders like anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. According to a published article by Harvard Health, Psychiatrists treating mental health patients with insomnia and other sleep orders noticed symptoms of some or all of the above-mentioned mental disorders.
- Extensive use of drugs and medication. According to the National Sleep Foundation, medicines which can disturb your sleep-wake cycle include:
- Antiarrhythmic (ex. for heart rhythm problems),
- Beta-blockers, Clonidine, and Diuretics (ex. for high blood pressure)
- Corticosteroids and Theophylline (ex. for inflammation or asthma)
- Medications containing alcohol for cold, cough, or flu
- Nicotine replacement products
- Sedating antihistamines (ex. for colds and allergies)
- SSRIs (ex. for depression or anxiety)
- Sympathomimetic stimulants (ex. for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Thyroid hormone (ex. for hypothyroidism)
- Muscle relaxants containing caffeine (ex. Headache and pain)
- Pain and restless leg syndrome. Your sleep routine can get messed up if you are facing problems like chronic pain conditions and restlessness due to factors including poor physical health conditions, heart problems, hyperactivity disorders, and chronic pain because of physical injuries.
- Environmental factors. Surroundings play a massive role in the better sleep-wake cycle. If you live in an apartment that’s always too noisy or your bed is not comfortable at all, you could face acute symptoms of insomnia.
If you are suffering from sleeplessness due to any of the external factors mentioned above, CBD can help you by treating the symptoms and causes.
RESEARCH-BACKED PROOF OF CBD HELPING PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM INSOMNIA
Even though the research on CBD is still in its infancy, some research carried out by different health institutions suggests that it can be helpful for people suffering from anxiety and insomnia.
- According to research published in January 2019, it was observed whether CBD could improve anxiety-related disorders or insomnia. 72 subjects opted for the study, 47 patients suffering from anxiety, and 25 subjects experiencing insomnia. These subjects were given twenty-five milligrams (25 mg) of CBD in the form of capsules each day for a month. 2 percent of patients suffering from anxiety reported lower anxiety levels, and 66.7 percent of insomniacs reported better sleep throughout the month.
- As mentioned, pain may be another cause of poor sleep. In 2018, Frontiers in Pharmacology published a review – providing enough evidence to support the claim that CDB has the potential to soothe chronic pain. Raising awareness on the issue of CBD reducing chronic pain conditions, the authors noted that CBD works as a tranquilizing agent and can also improve sleep problems.
- Another research carried out in 2014 first and then in 2017 shows us that CBD has the potential to reduce sleep problems. Patients suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) – a condition in which a person acts on his dreams – were given CBD. It was noticed that CDB helped them sleep better.
Even though many researchers report that CBD can improve sleep disorders, it is still unclear why and how it happens. Once researchers conduct studies, we can fully understand why and how it occurs. But as mentioned above, researchers and physicians say that it can improve sleep because it tackles the root problems of sleep disorders.
HOW TO USE CBD FOR SLEEP?
CBD can be used for better sleep in many ways including,
- Tinctures and Oils
- Edibles (ex. Gummies)
- Capsules and Pills
- Vape concentrates
However, it is recommended to consult your physician or doctor before using it. Your doctor can examine your condition and help you decide which is the best way for you to use CBD and can also prescribe the right amount of dosage for you. If CBD is being overused or in an incorrect manner, it can cause side effects including, fatigue, diarrhea, loss/ gain of appetite, and changes in weight.
You must now be sure of all the potential side effects and treatment. And hopefully, you have understood the benefits of using CBD to improve sleep.