CBD and other members of the cannabinoid system have shown an excellent level of activity on the several systems of the body. Although these activities may have been tested on laboratory animals and few participants, the role of CBD in eliciting a vast array of therapeutic benefits cannot be overemphasized. In this article, we shall discuss the role of CBD in sleep-related disorders and how it can assist these people in enjoying a good night’s sleep.
Overview of sleep related Disorders
Sleep plays a critical role in brain health and the general well being of the body. It serves as one of the natural ways the body regroups and takes care of its needs. When we sleep, the body secretes enzymes and hormones that coordinate growth and take care of free radicals. A night of good sleep is important in building the immune system, improving memory, lowering blood pressure, enhancing mood, reducing stress, and keeping the heart-healthy. This is why we feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a good sleep.
We now live in a world where sleep-related disorders are on the rise, thus creating a large market for sleep aids and pills. It will interest you to note that about 70 million Americans find it difficult to sleep without using any sleep aids. The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep has been linked with chronic pains, anxiety and depression, reduced alertness, impaired memory, and many more.
Can CBD affect sleep?
Sleep, just like every other function of the body, is controlled by hormones and neurotransmitters which, are released when needed. Neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin, together with melatonin (the sleep hormone), have been identified to play critical roles in the way we sleep. The role of CBD in interacting with the sleep hormones to stimulate the brain’s rest center and the production of hormones has been documented by several researchers.
CBD plays an active role in controlling cognitive responses such as hunger, pain, and anxiety by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a part of the nervous system responsible for memory, stress management, and appetite control. The ECS contains receptors where CBD can bind to improve the activities mentioned above in the following ways.
1. Reduces chronic pain
Pain is the leading cause of discomfort in humans and other animals. The persistent nature of chronic pain has been linked with certain sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea leads to an increase in blood pressure, causes fatigue, and also narrows the airways, hence resulting in chronic pain in the muscle and joints. CBD can serve as a muscle relaxant to help reduce chronic aches and known symptoms of sleep disorder.
Research published by Babson (2017) investigated the role of CBD and other synthetic cannabinoids like dronabinol and nabilone in promoting sleep. The researchers discovered that CBD might hold a promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.
2. Reduces the rate of anxiety
One of the leading causes of sleep disorders identified is depression. It alters the whole cognitive response of the body hence changing the sleep cycle. The CBD interaction with the receptors on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) improves the body’s cognitive response, enhances the body’s immunity, and, most notably, improves the sleep cycle. CBD can help fight anxiety by interacting with GABA and serotonin receptors to promote relaxation and focus. It can also play modulatory roles in melatonin.
A research study published by Blessing et al. (2015) reported on the anxiolytic activities of CBD. In their research, they discovered that CBD could serve as a pharmacologically broad-spectrum drug with a potential application in neuropsychiatric disorders. They discovered preclinical evidence showing how CBD may support the treatment of anxiety-related disorders, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder after acute administration.
3. Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
The cannabinoid system is made up of two important receptors; CB1 and CB2, which play a critical role in how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. The presence of CB2 receptors in the immune system plays an active role in modulating the activities of the immune system.
Emotional trauma and fear triggered in the brain are identified to be the cause of PTSD and other sleep disorders. The emotional stress applied to the brain can unfavorably affect the sleep cycle. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of CBD have the potential to keep a watch on the radical pressure applied to the brain hence promoting sleep.
Researchers like Nagarkatti et al. (2009) have reported on the role of CBD in eliciting anti-inflammatory properties both in vivo and ex vivo. In their report, they explained how CBD could regulate the activities of the immune system, thus reducing the possible establishment of inflammation-induced disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. This could reduce the quality of sleep.
How can I choose a good CBD product for sleep?
Before opting in for any CBD product, it is important that you take note of the following factors;
a. Cannabinoid profile:
This is the combination of chemicals found in the cannabis plant. This determines the level of activity you record from your CBD products. Please note that full-spectrum CBD products are great for sleep. In case you cannot handle some THC concentration in your CBD products, then we suggest you go for broad-spectrum products.
b. Identify the cause of your sleep related disorder
Knowing the reason you are awake goes a long way in providing the right treatment or management plan. Remember that sleep-related disorders could be caused by anxiety, chronic pain, and even inflammations. Identifying the cause of your sleep-related challenge will give you insight into how you can determine your dosage or the type of CBD products to use.
c. Know your CBD dose
Most CBD products come with a dosage requirement. This dosage offers a general idea of the starter dose to utilize for your products. Please refer to the product label for more information on this.
Will CBD for sleep make me high?
Using CBD for sleep or any other related condition will not make you high since it has little to no concentration of THC (usually less than 0.3%). Since CBD does not interact directly with the cannabinoid receptors, it does not produce psychoactive effects or tampers with brain activities.