You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed it: CBD has become wildly popular of late. According to a survey from August 2019, 1 in 7 Americans have tried CBD, and that number is likely rising. This has occurred as more and more people say they have experienced benefits from CBD, and evidence has amassed that shows CBD may have some physical and emotional benefits. More research is needed, but it does seem very possible that CBD has the ability to help people who are suffering.
CBD has been alledged to help with many problems, and one such example is sleep. Indeed, there are some studies that show CBD can help people sleep better. So, does CBD really help with sleep? And if so, how? Let’s take a look.
In order to understand just how CBD affects sleep, it’s important to understand how CBD itself works.
Everyone has an Endocannabinoid System. Your Endocannabinoid System consists of a few different components:
CBD itself does not bind with your cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it alters the reaction between your body’s cannabinoids and your cannabinoid receptors, causing the bond to be stronger and last longer. As a result, the functionality of your Endocannabinoid System is altered, resulting in a variety of impacts on your body. This can impact a slew of physical and emotional sensations, including your appetite, sleep, stress, pain levels, mood and more.
Studies thus far indicate that CBD’s impact on sleep is complex. On one hand, CBD may help people sleep better, but how that works is more complex than a simple statement like, “It just makes you more tired.”
The specifics of how CBD may directly affect sleep are still not widely understood, although a 2017 study did find that CBD appears to impact the receptors in your brain that are involved in governing your sleep/wake cycle.
CBD does more than make you sleepy and sleep better. It may also address some of the root causes of sleeplessness. Remember, if you have trouble sleeping, it may not just be because you aren’t tired enough. A variety of causes go into a lack of sleep, including pain and anxiety. Evidence in this regard seems to be building: CBD can help reduce pain and also seems to have a calming effect, reducing anxiety and the negative effect that anxiety can have on your body. If you can reduce your pain and stress levels, odds are good that CBD will help you get a better night’s sleep.
A growing body of evidence indicates that CBD appears to have positive impacts on sleep.
Most recently, a 2018 study tested 72 patients to see if they would sleep better after being administered CBD. The study found that 48 patients reported sleeping better within the first month of the study, while another 57 patients found that they had reduced anxiety levels. To be sure, there was no control group, raising the possibility that a placebo effect was responsible for these changes. However, the results were still considered positive for the effect CBD can have on sleep.
Additional studies have yielded similar results. A 2014 review examined the available literature and found that CBD may not only help with sleep disorders but assist in reducing grogginess during the day. Another review, this one from 2017, noted that CBD did appear to have the ability to help people sleep better.
It also appears that CBD may help with the treatment of other sleep disorders. People with Parkinson’s Disease often suffer from REM Behavioral Disorder (RBD), a sleep disorder that causes individuals to thrash violently, acting out their dreams. A 2014 case study involving CBD found that CBD lessened the impact of RBD in individuals with Parkinson’s.
If you’re now interested in trying CBD to get a good night’s sleep, great. There are two things that you should absolutely do.
First, CBD should be treated like any other supplemental, and you should talk with a medical professional about trying CBD. CBD is non-addictive, impossible to overdose on, and cannot get you high. However, that doesn’t mean that it is completely without danger. For example, there are some concerns about drug interactions and CBD, as CBD appears to repress the production of a liver enzyme that ensures your body doesn’t absorb too much of a medication when you take it. Additionally, a recent study came out that raises red flags about CBD’s impact on liver function. Does this mean that CBD is unsafe? No. But it does mean that you should consult with a medical professional before trying CBD, as they will know if you are on any drugs that may have a negative interaction with the compound.
Second, any CBD you purchase must have a Certificate of Analysis. Unfortunately, as a 2017 University of Pennsylvania study demonstrated, there are far too many vendors out there who are interested in just making a quick buck and don’t actually care about what is in their CBD or labeling it properly. As such, it is vitally important that you only purchase CBD that has a Certificate of Analysis. This Certificate is produced by a third party vendor and confirms the ingredients of the CBD. Viewing this Certificate can guarantee that what a company says is in its CBD is, in fact, present in the product you are about to consume.
CBD seems to have incredible potential to do good for users. As we’ve made abundantly clear, more research is needed, and consumers should use caution when trying CBD. However, it is possible that CBD can help people with a variety of problems, including getting a better night’s sleep.