Oftentimes, us as humans, forget that sleep can have a huge impact on our day to day lives. Every person is different when it comes to how much sleep, but we all know that having a good night of sleep can make a huge difference on your day tomorrow. There are tons of medications out there that may be able to help you fall and stay fast asleep. Some medications make you feel groggy when you wake up or help you fall asleep but staying asleep is a different story. When it comes to medications in general there seems to be much more negative effects than positive ones. If you’re just starting to learn about holistic medicine, you may have seen cannabidiol (CBD) come up when people talk about sleep. So, can CBD help you sleep? Will it cause negative effects for sleep? Let’s go over all of this together.
First and foremost: what is CBD?
It is important to understand the basics before moving on to the potential benefits that CBD may have to offer. What is CBD? The Cannabis sativa plant has a group of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. With over 113 different cannabinoids, CBD is just one of them. There are a few variations of cannabis that you may have heard of. One of these variations is highly well known, the marijuana plant. This cannabis variation is known for having a high concentration of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This particular component gives users a ‘high’ or a feeling of euphoria when used. This is a huge misconception when it comes to CBD and THC, they are often lumped together.
But just because CBD and THC can be found together doesn’t mean that they’re the same. CBD does not have the ability to get one ‘high’ and that is the reason that CBD derived from another form of the Cannabis sativa plant, hemp is legal in all fifty states (with some restrictions). The 2018 Farm Bill allowed farmers across the country to grow and sell the hemp plant. This is because the hemp plant contains high amounts of CBD and less than 0.3% of THC. This small amount of THC cannot get users to the inebriated feeling commonly associated with cannabis use. The marijuana plant, however, contains higher amounts of THC and therefore has not been deemed legal in all states.
CBD and your sleep
Can CBD help you fall asleep and stay asleep? One study on CBD and sleep focused on patients who were suffering from a few different pain-causing conditions. This was an ongoing study that was testing a new cannabis medication called Sativex. They concluded that throughout the years 40-50% of subjects had good or great quality of sleep. This study suggests that if pain is keeping you awake at night, CBD may be able to help sooth it, making sleep more obtainable.
Another study we can look at is this one. CBD may promote a sense of calm! In this study they tested people who have SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder). The subjects were given either a placebo or CBD. Using neuroimaging to take a look at how CBD changed the function of the brain. To put it simply, those who were given CBD showed significantly lower SAD brain activity. Oftentimes when people struggle with sleep it is because they are unable to “shut their brain off” or calm down. CBD may be able to help the brain calm down enough for people to fall asleep.
CBD products for you
Now that you know some of the reasons that CBD is being used, what products are available?
Snacks (aka edibles): This category includes any food or drink that has been made using CBD extract as one of the ingredients. Edibles and soft gels take a longer time to work but have been described to last longer.
Softgels: Softgels are capsules full of CBD. These are taken like any other pill and may take a little while to start working.
Tablets: Tablets are administered in the mouth and dissolve there. Then from the lining in the mouth are directly absorbed into the bloodstream. This is one of the fastest ways to get CBD into your system.
Tinctures: A tincture is an oil like substance that is infused with CBD. This is generally placed in the mouth and from there is absorbed into the bloodstream. Like with tablets, this is a quick and easy way to get your CBD.
Topicals: This type of CBD product comes in various forms. A topical can be found in a salve, cream or even hand sanitizer. These tend to work better when used liberally. Topical never enter the bloodstream but are absorbed into the pore in the skin to reap potential benefits.
The answer to this question all depends on when you sleep and what type of product you choose. Different products have different wait times before they start working. If you take a CBD edible as you are laying down to sleep, it may not help you fall asleep for quite some time. But, if you use a CBD tincture right before you lay down, it may help you fall asleep a bit quicker. If you’re new to CBD, be sure to start with a low dose and slowly increase it if needs be. CBD may be right for you; it may not be right for you. But it may be worth a try!
A good night’s sleep with CBD
Having a nice night of sleep can mean everything to your day following. If you struggle with sleep, you are not alone, and it seems like most people search for a way to help this. It is always good to talk to your doctor before you start taking CBD for sleep. Asking a healthcare provider before using CBD for anything is important. Again, we suggest starting small and then slowly increasing it to see the desired results. You may have to try a few different products before you find the CBD product that works best for you. Be patient and be curious.
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