Tech and Science

Can CBD Help You Sleep Better?

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a rise in CBD sales across the US. Social isolation, helplessness, and anxiety prompted millions of Americans to look for energy boosters. However, nestled in the midst of these challenges lies the allure of this exotic strain, offering a potential solution to stress-induced brain fog and sleep disorders like insomnia or hypersomnia. Proponents of CBD claim these products can help, but is this really true?

Case for Optimism

The quantity and quality of sleep are equally important. Substances like wine may help you drift off, but they also decrease two crucial stages of sleep — deep and REM. Both are significant for your overall well-being. According to Alex Dimitriu, M.D., CBD seems to be different. According to recent studies, its positive effects on sleep come without disruption of its architecture. Here are the key things to know in 2022.

Defining CBD (Cannabidiol)

So, what is CBD? It is one of the compounds found in marijuana, also known as hemp or the cannabis plant. Like tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol (referred to as THC and CBN), it is a phytocannabinoid. However, while THC is primarily known for delivering a “high”, CBD is generally non-intoxicating. For more details check — a one-stop-shop for cannabis-related products.

CBD can be perceived as the opposite of THC in terms of psychoactive effects. It essentially counteracts its influence. In her interview for Yahoo Life, Smita Patel, M.D. noted that CBD is believed to produce a spectrum of positive effects. It can alleviate inflammation and anxiety, help with nausea and epileptic seizures, and act as a painkiller. You won’t get high, but you will feel better.

Connection Between CBD And Sleep

The scientific evidence on this is still scarce. However, many studies point to possible favorable effects thanks to the reduction of pain and anxiety. CBD helps you to calm down, and the more comfortable you feel before bedtime, the more likely you are to fall asleep successfully.

The compound interacts with a part of your nervous wiring — the endocannabinoid system. It is designed to react to cannabinoids. As a result, your brain and body mellow out, and sleep becomes more refreshing.

CBD also interacts with other parts of your body, and these biochemical reactions boost the release of particular neurotransmitters in the brain. This produces a calming effect, encouraging relaxation.

CBD vs. Insomnia

People suffering from insomnia have chronic problems with falling and/or staying asleep. This leads to sleep anxiety, which only exacerbates the issue. According to the Sleep Foundation, CBD may help insomniacs conquer their vicious cycle by reducing anxiety.

Research into these effects is underway. One randomized double-blinded trial will involve 20 participants with chronic insomnia aged 35-60.

As regards sleep phases, CBD may have the power to alleviate REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). In this condition, a sleeping individual vocalizes and physically acts out their dreams. This typically involves abrupt and potentially violent movements with arms and legs. On the downside, the 2014 study demonstrating this effect was very limited.

According to Dr. Patel, some of her patients reported feeling more awake but sleeping deeper and longer after an evening dose of CBD. Other patients reported feeling more relaxed and sleeping better after taking CBD in the morning or afternoon. At the same time, CBD seems to disrupt sleep in some people when taken before bed.

Good News

Despite the lack of research on CBD and sleep, one thing is certain. As the compound does not change sleep architecture, it does not disrupt the sleep cycle. This means you will get its restorative benefits. According to a study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology, CBD does not seem to affect the cycle in healthy volunteers.

How Much CBD Do You Need?

The endocannabinoid system of each person is unique. Therefore, your reaction to CBD may differ from those of other people. If you do not notice any effects, you may need to increase the dose. The acceptable range is broad — between 10 mg and 500 mg.

Start slow and go slow. Here is how to determine a dose tailored to your needs:

  •  Try CBD in the morning and afternoon for 3-5 days.
  • Try it before bedtime.
  •  If CBD is energizing in the evening, scale up the dose gradually.

Typically, increasing the intake 2-4 times helps with relaxation. Beginners are advised to keep a CBD sleep journal and note down their trials and errors. Write down how much CBD you took, when, and how you felt the following morning. Then, modify the dosage and time accordingly.

Different Forms for Different Goals

Products containing this compound are very diverse, you can get this compound from gummies, capsules, tinctures, droplets, etc. Before placing an order, get to the route of your sleep struggles. Do you find it difficult to fall asleep or to stay asleep? These problems require different solutions.

CBD for Falling Asleep

In this case, you need something fast-acting, such as:

  • Tincture;
  • Oil;
  • Strips that dissolve under the tongue;
  • Vape pen.

Any of these products will deliver cannabidiol into your system as fast as possible. How soon it kicks in depends on multiple factors: your body, the way CBD was delivered, what you ate before, and more. There is no universal formula, but the average range is between 15 and 90 minutes.

If you inhale CBD, this is typically shorter — up to half an hour. However, the research on this subject is still scant. Note that vape pens have been surrounded by some controversy lately due to new health scares, so proceed with caution.

CBD for Staying Asleep

Finally, what form of CBD do you need to prevent waking up at night? This requires forms that act more slowly, as their effects are also longer. The best options are edibles, including capsules. Take one gummy before bedtime — it takes between one and one and a half hours for this form to kick in. The effects may last up to 6 hours. This way, CBD will start working while you are asleep.


About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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