As more people are incorporating CBD into their daily lives, they are noticing that it has more than just a few benefits. Many people are raving about how they use CBD for sleep and are quick to recommend the remedy to everyone. Despite the huge volume of good reviews, claims that CBD cures insomnia still lack the research needed to back them up. That’s not to say that researchers don’t agree that cannabidiol shows a lot of potential as a sleep aid. Many studies exist that explain CBD and some of the ways it may affect sleep disorders like insomnia. Before we break down the science behind CBD for sleep, though, let’s talk about what CBD is and how it differs from cannabis, which has been known for its therapeutic effects for quite some time.
CBD vs THC for Sleep
CBD is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and may be at least partially responsible for the association many people make between cannabis and better sleep. However, research reveals that another cannabinoid, THC, is much of the reason that cannabis may have sedative-like effects. Newer evidence even suggests that the effect cannabis has on sleep is reliant on its entire genetic breakdown and that some terpenes are better for sleep than others. Of course, THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects, which affect cognition and make cannabis a bad option for some people.
Unlike cannabis, CBD has no effect on cognition, so it may be more suitable for many people, especially those who are sensitive to THC. Many elderly patients who cannot use cannabis often turn to CBD instead, and in some cases, professionals have even suggested the benefit of CBD for children suffering from insomnia. There’s plenty of reasons that doctors may be suggesting CBD as a solution for poor sleep or sleep disorders. The existing research has even influenced many CBD manufacturers to release products specifically designed for managing insomnia and increasing sleep quality. Here’s what researchers do know about cannabidiol and how it might affect your quality of sleep:
Cannabidiol is a Wake-Promoting Agent
First and foremost, cannabidiol has been identified as a wake-promoting agent. That may sound counter-intuitive to those who already aren’t getting much sleep, but according to some researchers, this is one way that cannabidiol may help you get more rest.
When taken regularly, CBD might promote mental focus and reduce daytime fatigue. Some people even take CBD in the morning alongside their coffee to enhance the mental boosting effects. By reducing fatigue and helping you stay on your feet and boost daytime productivity, you might naturally sleep better at night. These wake-promoting effects might also play a role similar to popular sleep aids when taken before bed. Studies show that cannabidiol actually reduces the amount of REM sleep and instead product lighter sleep, which is how many popular sleep-aids works to increase the total amount of sleep you get each night.
CBD may even be a useful tool for creating healthier sleep patterns, which is especially useful for those who find themselves sleepy during the day and wide awake at night. In fact, cannabidiol may do a bit more to help you create healthy sleep-wake patterns and regulate your biological clock. Some studies show that CB-1 receptors are necessary for regulating NREM sleep stability. The study also suggests that CBD may be useful for managing some of the symptoms and side effects of sleep disorders, like somnolence, or the desire to sleep constantly as a result of consistently poor sleep patterns.
CBD May Help Insomnia in People with Chronic Pain
Although we don’t know a ton about exactly how CBD affects sleep disorders, researchers often agree that it may be useful for treating anxiety caused by other impeding disorders. CBD may be particularly useful for managing insomnia related to pain, including in patients who suffer from chronic pain disorders. Because insomnia is one major side effect for those who suffer from chronic pain, researchers have looked into the potential ways CBD could help.
CBD may help reduce pain by acting at the source. Studies show that CBD molecules are able to bind with certain neuro-receptors to block signals of pain and inflammation. This makes cannabidiol useful for managing pain as a symptom of multiple health disorders, post-operative recovery, injury, and more. This may also help reduce insomnia caused by pain, inflammation, or discomfort. Medical professionals have suggested that CBD for sleep may be effective for people suffering from painful, inflammatory conditions, like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or arthritis.
CBD May Help Control Anxiety Related Insomnia
The same may be true for people who suffer from insomnia as a result of anxiety, stress, or worry. This could be true both for those diagnosed with anxiety-related disorders or for people who notice they simply don’t sleep well when there’s a lot on their mind. Studies have identified cannabidiol’s anxiolytic properties, and doctors are even recommended CBD as a potential treatment for certain anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorders and social anxiety disorder. If you’re interested in how CBD might help you manage anxiety, check out this guide.
By treating anxiety at its source, cannabidiol may also be useful for managing sleep disorders related to anxiety disorders as well. Many people have found that cannabidiol helps promote relaxation and decrease stress to help them sleep at night. Studies back up this claim, too. One study found that cannabidiol could inhibit the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, to lower stress levels which may help you fall asleep faster and experience better sleep.
Side Effects of CBD vs Other Sleep Aids
Many people who have used common sleep aids, whether prescription or over the counter, are familiar with the long list of potential side effects. The list of potential risks for most sleep-inducing medications includes constipation, diarrhea, changes in appetite, changes in weight, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, and more. Other sources also include tingling in the hands or feet, affected cognition, stomach ulcers, headaches, and other potentially severe side effects due to allergy, like severe nausea and vomiting or numbness or the tongue. Like many other medications, adverse effects on the liver and kidney are suspected as well.Alternatively, cannabidiol seems to have much milder potential side effects that are often rarer as well. In fact, many people don’t experience any side effects at all. One popular study concerning the safety profile of CBD suggests that the most common adverse effects are changes to appetite or weight, diarrhea, or tiredness. Some people complain of headaches, but usually after taking too much CBD. Most studies have verified cannabidiol’s safety profile and the potential effects are rare and mild in comparison to many pharmaceuticals used to treat sleep disorders.
Should You Use CBD for Insomnia?
Because of the lack of research and the unique differences in every person, it’s hard to say CBD is a sleep disorder cure-all. However, plenty of evidence exists that suggests that it may be worth giving cannabidiol a shot for many people. This is especially true if you suspect that your sleep troubles are related to another underlying condition that may benefit from CBD, like pain or anxiety. If you are curious about CBD for sleep and how it might benefit you, talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to help you decide if cannabidiol is right for you and may be able to help you choose a product and dosing regimen. After you get the okay from your doctor, you can buy CBD oil online to get access to the best CBD products for sleep.