Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is one of the 120 compounds found in the Cannabis plant. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body and helps it to maintain stability and balance.
CBD is not psychoactive and will not get you high. It has a wide range of health benefits like reducing pain, depression, anxiety and many more. It also helps treat insomnia and enables you to sleep.
Research On The Use of CBD Oil For Sleep
To understand how CBD oil can help you sleep, you first need to know what can cause insomnia. A lot of factors affect the quality of sleep. Some of these are given below:-
- Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder
- Physical conditions
- Environmental conditions such as an uncomfortable bed or bright lights.
If your sleep disorder is due to external factors, they can be corrected, and CBD oil will immediately help. CBD oil can also help treat depression and anxiety.
- According to research, conducted on 72 subjects, with 47 subjects facing anxiety and 25 suffering from a sleep disorder, it was observed that 87.9 % of the subjects reported a decrease in anxiety levels and 66% of the subjects were able to sleep better. The subjects were given 25 mg of CBD in the form of a capsule every day.
- A study was conducted in 2018 to look at the effect of CBD on pain. The researchers found substantial evidence to support the claim of CBD users that using CBD regularly decreases pain. It was also observed that relief from chronic pain helped improve sleep.
- A research conducted in 2014 on 4 patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease observed that using CBD enhanced REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). This is a disorder variant the individual acts out the dreams. The disorder is associated with bad quality of sleep and nightmares.
- Another review in 2017 notes that CBD oil can benefit the treatment of RBD and excessive sleepiness during daytime.
- Grogginess, which is another sign of insomnia, can also be improved with the use of CBD. A 2014 study noted that using CBD can help promote alertness. It is not exactly known how the use of CBD helps treat insomnia in some cases, while in other cases, there is no effect at all.
Research on the effect of CBD oil in the treatment of sleep disorders is still being conducted.
How Does Use of CBD Oil Help Improve Sleep
Even though there is sufficient evidence to prove that CBD oil usage can help improve sleep, the reason why it is so is inconclusive. Most of the research emphasizes the fact that more research on CBD is needed before it can be completely understood. A number of researchers believe that CBD treats insomnia from the root and, hence, is effective.
How Is CBD To Be Used?
There are various ways to use CBD, as given below:-
- Tinctures and oils
- Vaping concentrates
Vaping works quite fast since it is inhaled. It acts more quickly than oils, gummies and pills. However, not much research has been done on vaping and therefore, in the absence of adequate information, it is possible that vaping may cause respiratory problems.
The quantity, method, and the right time to take CBD depends on various factors such as your sleeping problems, your weight and your body’s chemistry. While one way and dosage may work for you, it may not work for another person. So, it is best to consult your physician regarding this or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most of the clinical trials and their results are based on a dosage that varies between 25 to 1500mg of cannabidiol per day. All the medical experts recommend starting with a low dosage and take it twice a day. It is best to start low and slow and gradually increase it under supervision.
It has been observed that the effect of CBD on sleep disorders is not immediate. It takes time for CBD to start taking effect. Some patients have reported that it has taken nearly one month of regular use for the cannabidiol to begin taking effect.
Benefits of CBD
There is a lot of research going on to evaluate the effect of CBD on various illnesses. Given below are the health benefits of CBD: –
CBD For Sleep – CBD helps in reducing anxiety, which in turn helps in the reduction of sleep disorders and improving the quality of sleep. It may, however, increase sleep time, though it is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia. It has been observed that using CBD in regulated doses helps reduce sleeplessness in people suffering from chronic pain.
When taken in small doses, cannabidiol promotes alertness and reduces sleepiness in the daytime. This is essential for good performance in day-to-day life. Reduction in sleepiness during the day also helps improve sleep during the night.
People suffering from Parkinson’s disease also suffer from a disorder of REM behaviour. This disorder causes the individual to act out the nightmares physically during their dreams. During REM, the body is in a state of REM atonia, which is a kind of paralysis – loss of muscle tone. The body is immobilized, and the individual cannot react physically to the dreams. But people suffering from Parkinson’s disease are not immobilized. They can move during REM and can even injure themselves or their partners. CBD helps improve the quality of sleep and reduce pain in people who have Parkinson’s disease.
It may also help improve sleep disorders in people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD For Anxiety And Depression – Cannabis has been used since ancient times for the treatment of anxiety. It can help elevate moods and reduce anxiety and depression since it is known to interact with the serotonin receptors that are located in the brain. There has been a lot of research to observe and evaluate the effect of CBD on anxiety. It has been observed that CBD significantly reduces both physical and mental indications of anxiety. People who took CBD just before a public performance could perform better because of a significant reduction in stress levels. It also helps with social anxiety.
CBD And Bipolar Disorder – CBD is an anti-psychotic and therefore, helps reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
CBD And Pain – When CBD products were given to individuals suffering from different forms of pain such as migraines, headaches, chronic pain and others, it was found that it works synergistically with the body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce and manage pain.
CBD for Epilepsy – One of the best benefits of CBD is in its use in the treatment of epilepsy. It has anti-seizure properties that help in the treatment of epileptic people who do not respond to other treatments.
CBD and Addiction – Research on the effect of CBD in the treatment of substance use and misuse, including addiction to nicotine, cocaine and others has shown that it is beneficial in helping such addicts quit. A study conducted on smokers observed that CBD helped smokers who were trying to quit.
CBD is relatively safe to use, and any side effects are general in nature, which go away within a short time.
Given below are the side effects that have been reported by some users: –
- Appetite changes
- Weight changes (can be gain or loss)
A study conducted in 2019 raised concerns on the effect of CBD when taken with other medications. If you are taking treatment and medications, then it is best to consult your doctor before you start using CBD.
Always use only good quality CBD products. Since the FDA does not regulate CBD, there is a possibility of there being an excessive quantity of THC in the product. The present recommended/permitted amount of THC in all CBD products available for public use is less than or equal to 0.3%.
It is not exactly clear as to what is the exact dosage that should be given to treat various illnesses. There is evidence to prove that CBD can be used as a treatment for different diseases and help reduce some of the symptoms. While the research is still in the initial stage, there is some idea of the amount of dosage that can be used. Given below are the dosages that can be given to two people for treating pain depression, anxiety and stress, to name a few.
Dosage ranging from 10 milligrams to 600 milligrams and above helps in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and others.
While CBD is safe to use people with the conditions given below should not use CBD products without consulting their doctor: –
- Pregnant and lactating women should not use CBD without medical supervision.
- People who have Parkinson’s disease should consult their doctor first since a high dose of cannabidiol may increase muscle tremors.
Interaction of CBD With Medications
CBD has been known to interact with different medications which can be fatal in any circumstances. Given below are the medications with which CBD can interact:-
- Medications that are broken down by the liver. A lot of medications are changed by the liver before being utilised by the body. If you are taking any medication, then you should consult your doctor before you start using CBD.
Interaction of CBD With Supplements
When CBD is used with other supplements or herbs which increase sleepiness, then there is a likely chance that you may be sleepier than ever. So, if you are using any supplements for the same, then please consult your doctor before you add on a CBD product.
Is It Possible To Use Too Much CBD?
Every person is different, and the way their body reacts to CBD products will be different. While it may promote drowsiness and excessive sleepiness in some people, CBD may energize other individuals. In such people, the use of CBD products may keep them awake all night. Gretchen Lidicker, who has written “CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp Derived Health and Wellness”, says that “ the way you react to CBD is highly individualized”.
Her book touches on the ability of CBD to interact with GABA and serotonin receptors, which are located in the brain. Serotonin is responsible for mood enhancement and reduction in anxiety. GABA helps calm down the brain and slow down its activity.
Lidicker says that most of the results of clinical studies are based on the individual responses of people using it. This is the reason why it is not possible to standardise CBD dosage. If you have been using 0.5 ml of CBD oil sublingually at night time, the same dose may not be right for another person, and the effects may also vary.
And what would happen if you used CBD regularly? Well, there is not enough information available to know whether CBD would be effective or whether you would become resistant to it over time.
All said and done, CBD is not perfect. People have reported side effects, light nausea, irritability, diarrhea and vomiting. And then some people have reported fantastic improvements. So the key here is to exercise caution when using CBD until there is definitive evidence to prove its benefits.
The final question would be – Is CBD really a good sleep supplement? While not much data is available to say if CBD would help in treating sleep disorders, it also is equally true that the effect of CBD differs and varies from one person to another.