Think about the last time you had a peaceful, restful night of sleep. Has it been some time since you woke up feeling well rested? If you answered yes to that question, then you are not only depriving yourself of mental well-being, but you are also depriving yourself of physical well-being. Lack of sleep is a frequent problem in our overworked and device-addicted worlds.
Our generation has come down with a variety of sleep related ailments. These issues are first combated with solutions like Melatonin, Benadryl, or other medicines that can be picked up from the local pharmacy. Some even see their family doctor for prescription strength remedies. Unfortunately, many of these solutions only perpetuate the problem, they are simply a band-aid for the real underlying issues for our sleep problems. These medications come with concerning side-effects and long-term risks.
If you are suffering from sleep-related issues, you should be asking yourself if CBD oil is a viable and safe option for remedying your sleep problems.
The Research on CBD Oil and Sleep Benefits
Recently, the natural supplement industry has become saturated with CBD products and solutions. A lot of health-conscious customers are turning to CBD for a variety of medical issues and there is an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers. One of the many issues that CBD oil claims to treat is insomnia.
The overwhelming rise of interest in CBD oil has prompted interest in medical studies and trials regarding the benefits of CBD oil on it’s users in regards to various medical complaints. These studies are beneficial in the public’s understanding of how CBD oil can benefit consumers. However, very few medical studies have focused their attention on the supplement’s effects on sleep.
According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, about 10% of participants declared that they had used CBD oil to aid in their sleep quality. Of that 10%, almost all of them claim that CBD oil helped their sleep tremendously. Unfortunately, those claims are not exactly credible sources because they are just stories. Unless the results come from a laboratory grade study, it will be hard to definitely make claims about the quality of CBD oil on aiding in sleep quality.
There is more than one reason that the question of CBD oil’s effectiveness remains.
Myrcene is a terpene that is often found in CBD strains that are highly potent. Myrcene has been found to have sleep inducing qualities and is often used by natural sleep aid creators in sleep aid products for consumers interested in natural sleep supplements. Animal studies on Myrcene suggest that the sedative qualities may also be extremely beneficial for humans.
So, when someone partakes in a high-quality CBD strain and subsequently makes claims that their sleep-quality improves, medical professionals must ask the question as to whether the sleep is improved due to the CBD or the Myrcene levels. Of importance along these same lines is the note that users of CBD oil do not typically smoke or vape the CBD flowers. Rather, consumers typically consume CBD in tablet form and this form of CBD typically does not contain high levels of Myrcene.
Most research studies of quality have not prioritized studying CBD as a sleep aid on its own. Rather, they question the effectiveness of CBD when used simultaneously with other substances like THC. A study titled Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature, makes claims that most natural sleep substances claiming to use cannabinoids in fact cite both CBD and THC as main ingredients in the supplement’s function. However, that does not specifically answer the question.
Different Versions of the Cannabis Strand Complicate Outcomes
According to research, THC is a substance that reduces the amount of time that it takes one to fall asleep. There are some suggestions that combining THC with CBD oil can increase the effects of sleep that come from various strands of cannabis products.
It is important to note that THC does not actually enhance a sleep-like state in people. Rather, it simply has sedative qualities that can help a person reach sleep. The effect of THC on a person’s emotional state also increases the ability to sleep.
Since CBD oil has no effect on a person’s state of mind, you may wonder if CBD oil affects a person’s ability to sleep at all.
Similarities and Differences Between THC and CBD
The founding member of a website named Healer.com, Dr. Sulak claims that CBD has a calming effect. This effect can lessen the impact of anxiety and other mental ailments. When people are suffering from anxiety, they may be less inclined to enjoy sleep. For this reason, CBD oil may help sleep in that matter.
Still, Dr. Sulak more often than not treats patients who come to him with various sleep issues with THC variants rather than CBD. The doctor claims that treating a patient’s sleep problems serves other purposes as well, such as reducing effects of diabetes and aiding in pain management solutions.
So, What’s the Right Dose?
There are some people who claim that CBD is a calming agent. Others say that substance is more stimulating than it is relaxing. This makes it an incredibly complicated agent and makes it even harder for professionals to determine exactly how it affects sleep. It remains true that not much has been done in regards to researching information about CBD. However, it also remains true that what has been done has shown that the larger doses of CBD tend to produce relaxing effects where lower doses are the opposite.
A study conducted through animal testing in 1977 stated that CBD’s effectiveness depended almost entirely on the participants existing sleep habits. Meaning that CBD did not have a major impact on sleep over a wide variety of subjects. This was the first CBD study ever conducted and not many more studies have been completed over time.
2018 brought about a new study where the participants were 27 people who had a clean bill of health. This study found that relatively high doses of CBD did not have a significant effect on the participants cycle of sleeping time vs waking time.
There was another study done recently that noted these same high doses of CBD brought about a calming effect known as sedative. However, in participants who suffer from insomnia, they experienced better quality sleep, longer sleep, and found it easier to fall asleep.
Deep Sleep and CBD
There are certain outlying effects caused by CBD usage that suggest that it may affect REM sleep. REM sleep is a deep cycle of sleep during which Rapid Eye Movement occurs. When there are issues during REM sleep, CBD oil may be able to treat the ailments associated with those issues. The other cycles of sleep (during which no rapid eye movement occurs) take about an hour and a half to progress through. During REM sleep, dreams occur, because the activity found in the brain is significantly more active than at other times during sleep. The last cycle of sleep is also when the brain keeps or throws out information it has gathered during the day.
During REM sleep, our bodies become unable to move throughout the limbs. This is the body’s way of preventing us from carrying out dreams and therefore becoming a danger to ourselves during our sleep. However, people who have Parkinson’s disease do not have this safety luxury. Instead their limbs are able to move as normal and unfortunately, this can be a cause for major injury during REM sleep.
Some studies suggest that doses between 70-300mg can assist in these REM sleep issues. Further, these same doses have been found to be calming for various people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. This could be extremely beneficial for various people suffering with sleep issues due to various diseases.
Further, some doses that are lower in CBD are stimulating in nature. This suggests that it could help some wake during the day when they are struggling with daytime sleep issues. For example, narcolepsy patients may benefit from CBD studies. This could be helped through the improvement of the circadian rhythm which might help people who need to stay awake during the day.
The Final Verdict
At this time, there is not significant evidence either way for whether or not CBD will help you with sleeping issues. Further, every person is different and each of us will respond to different substances in different ways. This means that CBD is going to affect different patient’s sleep patterns in different ways.
Dr. Sulak claims that using CBD oil in his personal practice is not something he is adamantly against. In fact, he says that he may consider using it specifically for patients who do not respond affirmatively to THC. Further, he believes that conducting medical trials for CBD is an important next step in understanding how CBD use can change sleeping habits in different individuals.
A lot of doctors understand that American culture has a specific need for learning about hygiene and sleep needs in general. If our culture has an inherent misunderstanding in how sleep works, then we will only perpetuate the issue. Though there is an underwhelming amount of information regarding the effectiveness of CBD on sleep aid, understanding the long-term effects are important. Without understanding our sleep habits in their most natural state, we cannot fix our sleep problems.
Lucky for many patients who already rely on CBD, there is significant evidence that CBD is extremely safe for use. This means that even though significant studies have not been conducted on the use of CBD, it is still safe to use. If it helps you specifically to sleep, then it is absolutely safe to use for increased use on the chance that you want to continue using it to aid in your sleep.