Sleep problems are common and can adversely impact your life. Many people take medication to help them sleep better. Medication can help you fall asleep, but you don’t always wake up feeling great as you may not have had the right kind of sleep.
A great night’s rest is vitally important to our health. Sleep affects our physiology in some ways, from hormone levels and mood to weight. Recently, people have discovered the benefits of CBD to help them get a good nights’ rest.
Among sleep problems, insomnia is one of the most often reported. The prevalence of insomnia in the U.S., for example, has increased from 17.5% in 2002 to 19.2% in 2016, affecting 46.2 million people.
A variety of conditions can cause insomnia such as psychological stress, chronic pain, heart failure, hyperthyroidism or even menopause. Even people who have never had problems falling asleep can eventually develop insomnia.
Individuals experiencing insomnia feel tired, depressed, have low energy levels and feel sleepy the following day. For chronic insomnia, medical intervention is necessary, and medication is usually prescribed to help these people restore their natural sleep patterns.
Cannabis and Cannabidiol
Cannabis is a plant. It is also known by its derivatives: Marijuana, hashish or hash (dried leaves, dried resin, or extracted oil, respectively). Archeological and other evidence suggests that man has been using cannabis for medicinal purposes for more than 5,000 years.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the cannabis compounds that has been extensively studied because it is not psychoactive, while having enormous medical benefits. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, that is the main compound associated with the “high” effect of cannabis, CBD is associated with anti-epileptic, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.
The oldest reported use of this drug seems to be associated with pain. Ancient written records record the use of cannabis extracts to relieve pain before 2900 B.C.
Cannabidiol and its use as a sleep aid
Science has recently determined that CBD has potential to treat insomnia. Researchers have published several studies regarding the positive effects of CBD in treating various kinds of sleep disorders.
The dosage seems to relate directly to the sort of effect CBD has on an individual. While a low dose appears to be associated with a stimulating effect, high doses have a more sedative effect.
The effect of CBD in animal models has found that CBD, in high doses, can lead to an increase in restful sleep. Another study has also shown that CBD can block anxiety-induced REM sleep suppression.
Human Clinical Trials and User Reports
Although most of the studies thus far have been performed on animals, there are already some clinical trials in progress to measure the therapeutic effect of CBD in treating insomnia in humans.
In a study among individuals with insomnia, an administration of 160mg/day of CBD led to an increase of the total sleep time and a decrease of the wakening episodes.
The administration of CBD oil in test subjects has not only reduced the after effects of insomnia but also minimized PTSD-related sleep disturbances in subjects suffering from this disorder.
There has been a surge during the last several years in the use of CBD by military veterans suffering from the debilitating effects of PTSD. Unsubstantiated, although numerous, reports suggest that there is a marked decrease in PTSD symptoms among CBD users.
Apart from insomnia, clinical trials have reported positive results of treating other sleep problems with CBD.
For instance, REM behavior disorder, which is parasomnia in which individuals lose muscle rigidity during sleep, has also been described to improve when treated with CBD.
Dosage and Forms of CBD
The dosage of CBD is critical when deciding treatment. While low doses generally lead to wakefulness, medium-to-high doses are associated with sedative effects and better sleep quality. Although it isn’t clear yet the right amount of CBD that can improve sleep, 15mg/day is generally considered a low dose, while most experts consider 100mg/day a high dose.
There are already several forms of CBD. For instance, CBD can be taken by smoking, as capsules, as sublingual CBD hemp oil and pure CBD crystals.
There are several reasons why CBD is an excellent choice as a sleep aid. Users report waking up refreshed and without the typical foggy mental effects noticeable when someone does not get a good night’s sleep.
CBD advocates claim they are more focused, calm and ready to address the day’s challenges without the debilitating effects of insomnia.