If you ask anyone, most will agree - there’s nothing better than a good night’s rest. In fact, even experts say not getting enough sleep can ‘hurt your quality of life’. But, unfortunately, that’s the case for nearly 100 million Americans young and old, who suffer from inadequate amounts of sleep.
Luckily, with the legalization of hemp and CBD, there’s an increasing number of consumers exploring the plant’s notoriously sleepy and sedating effects. And, chances are - if you ask current consumers they’ll also agree that CBD as a sleep aid is the real deal. How do we know? Because large studies show the majority of adult consumers (42%) use CBD specifically, to help sleep and insomnia.
So, does CBD live up to the hype factually when it comes to CBD sleep study results? We’ll answer those questions and more with our ultimate guide to CBD and sleep.
The Secret Behind CBD & Sleep
Before we get into the latest CBD sleep research - let’s first better understand how CBD works internally, upon consumption. The key to CBD’s unique effects is the body’s endocannabinoid system, AKA the ECS. The ECS is a lesser-known physiological system as it was only discovered in the early 1990s when researchers finally started studying cannabis’ effects.
From then until now, the medical community has continued learning about the ECS. Through research, we now know that the system’s main function is to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis being, the technical word for balance. The ECS does so by managing a system of receptors that communicate to other systems found throughout the body.
When you consume CBD through a CBD oil or CBD gummy, the cannabinoids and compounds interact with those receptors. Therefore, influencing and affecting the feel-good system.
But what does the ECS have to do with sleep specifically? Part functioning optimally is sleeping well. This means that the ECS is also responsible for regulating and modulating the sleep-wake cycle as a part of its functions.
Of course, other physiological factors can hinder a person’s ability to fall asleep too. So being aware that the ECS plays a pivotal role in regulating the functions of the following body processes is also helpful for improving overall health and wellness routines -
- Immune system response
- Memory and learning
- Motor control
- Cardiovascular system functions
- Skin and nerve functions
- Reproductive system functions
- Liver functions
Now that we have a better understanding of just how CBD has the capabilities to help sleep, and help the body run optimally - let’s dive deep into research that’s helping to prove specific CBD sleep effects.
Research on CBD Sleep Aids
CBD is still catching up on decades of research from years lost to hemp and cannabis criminalization. Luckily, finding the answer to the question - is CBD good for sleep? Has been a high priority for the medical community. So far, here’s what the experts have found.
CBD REM Sleep
REM and NREM are terms that often come up in conversations about sleep. The two acronyms stand for rapid eye movement, and non-rapid eye movement sleep. REM refers to stages of sleep when your eyes move rapidly without sending visual information to the brain. NREM refers to the sleep stages when this doesn’t occur.
Because REM and NREM sleep are equally important to sleeping soundly, researchers were interested in CBD’s effect on REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). A condition that causes those who suffer from it to ‘act out’ during sleep and experience nightmares frequently.
By conducting an initial study, the group concluded that CBD may be successful at improving the specific condition’s symptoms. During the trial, CBD successfully improved the symptoms of participants with RBD by promoting NREM sleep, naturally and internally. Later, these findings were further proven with another CBD sleep study conducted on mice. In that trial, the animal subjects’ NREM sleep time increased when CBD was administered.
CBD and Insomnia
You can’t talk about problems with sleeping without mentioning insomnia, the notorious condition that keeps people up at night. Which is another common sleep issue that CBD is proving to aid.
A recent trial conducted by Medicines Journal explored CBD’s effects on insomnia in 408 patients that suffer from the condition. Before the trial, participants rated their symptoms from 1-10 with 10 being the most severe. The average rating for symptom severity was 6.6.
The trial lasted for several weeks in which patients consumed cannabis flower that contained 5.7 - 30% CBD. After weeks of consistent dosing, the participants again rated their symptom severity. The post-trial results showed that with the use of CBD and THC, the average rating amongst the group decreased to an astounding 2.2.
CBD and Problems Sleeping
As we mentioned earlier, insomnia or unique sleeping disorders aren’t the only reason people find themselves tossing and turning. For many, it’s good ol’ fashioned stress, anxiety, and chronic pain that keep them from falling asleep and staying asleep. So, as you can expect - researchers are exploring the connection and discovering CBD may help.
In 2018, a group conducted a study review of a wide range of CBD research. The researchers concluded that CBD’s natural ability to reduce anxiety and relieve pain could be helpful in improving insomnia-like symptoms and overall could help to promote a night of more sound sleep.
This idea was further proven by a small study of 72 adults published by The Permanente Journal. After conducting initial sleep and anxiety analyses, the participants were administered 25 mg of CBD in capsule form. The final results showed anxiety scores decreased in 79% of the group after just one month. While sleep scores improved in 66% of the group indicating the majority had less trouble sleeping overall when consuming CBD.
With all the latest research on CBD sleep aids under your belt, there’s only one question left to explore - will CBD oil help me sleep? To finish, let’s cover the ‘how to’ portion of finding out if CBD sleep products are fit for you, and tips to keep in mind for optimal use.
Will CBD Oil Help Me Sleep?
One important thing to note is CBD affects everyone differently depending on their personal body chemistry, metabolism, weight tolerance, and other individual factors. So, when asking - will CBD oil help me sleep, you can only take your own word for it. To help, here are a few best practices in mind when beginning to explore CBD as a sleep aid.
- Journal your journey and results - Journaling your CBD dosage, time, and effects felt will help you dial in what dose is right for you and your unique needs.
- Seek out full-spectrum products - Full-spectrum CBD is a whole-plant extract and contain the full profile of plant cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and phytonutrients. When consumed together, an ‘entourage effect’ occurs where each compound amplifies one another for stronger or more profound effects. Full-spectrum products not only contain THC (less than .3%) which is a proven natural sleep inducer but CBN, a minor cannabinoid with major sleep benefits, too. In addition to containing terpenes which serve as the aromatic compounds of the plant but also have their own unique therapeutic effects. Including, terpenes like linalool (also found in lavender), terpinolene, caryophyllene, and myrcene that are showing promise in promoting sleep.
- Combine melatonin + CBD - Melatonin has officially gone mainstream and is now a natural sleep aid that’s trending amongst the masses. Hence, the reason why CBD and melatonin products are rising in popularity, too. Many consumers report that by combining the two sleep-inducing compounds they are able to double down on all-natural methods to catch zzz’s more soundly.
When considering what CBD dosage is right for sleep, there is one last study you can reference as a guide. The information comes from a group of researchers that recently set out to determine what CBD oil sleep dosage was best for sleep-inducing effects.
Through the clinical trial, it was determined that higher doses of CBD were more sedative in comparison to low doses that actually enhanced alertness and kept the mind sharp. The study results not only provided a benchmark dose for new consumers but also proved CBD’s unique effects for both the sleep and wake cycle.
A Holistic Answer to Sleep Problems
In the end, as the world collectively cultivates more sustainable, and organic lifestyles it’s only natural that CBD is a part of that journey. For years, ancient civilizations turned to hemp and cannabis for healing, and just now we are able to uncover the science behind old-world ways of relief.
In today’s modern world, CBD is quickly becoming the holistic answer to common sleep problems. So, uncover the truth behind the power of hemp for yourself to help relieve everyday aches, pains, and stresses for yourself.
Join the Luce Farm Wellness mission, and incorporate herbal-based wellness products into your daily routine.