Can CBD Help You Sleep? Here’s What Experts Say
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CBD, aka cannabidiol, has skyrocketed to the forefront of alternative medicine in the past few years and is being used for a slew of ailments. In fact, according to a 2019 Gallup poll, 1 in every 7 Americans, or about 14%, use CBD. Of all its purported uses, CBD is especially popular as a sleep aid, but there’s lots of information out there surrounding this subject.
To understand more about using CBD for sleep and CBD itself, we tapped Jessie Gill, RN, who is a cannabis nurse, aka a registered nurse with a special focus on cannabis therapeutics. She is also a director at large for the American Cannabis Nurses Association and is on the speakers’ bureau for the Cannabis Nurses Network. Additionally, she runs an online patient resource to help demystify cannabis for all.
What Is CBD?
First up, what actually is CBD? According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is also known as marijuana or hemp. Gill adds, “When people discuss marijuana, they’re generally referring to products containing THC, the famous cannabinoid that has many health effects but can also trigger euphoria and can cause people to feel intoxicated . CBD is another beneficial cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. CBD can offer health benefits, but it is not intoxicating so CBD cannot get you high.”
Health Benefits of CBD
“Research and anecdotal evidence shows CBD may impact a wide variety of diseases and symptoms of disease,” explains Gill via email. “This is because CBD directly affects the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is widespread; there are cannabinoid receptors all over the body and in every organ system. The three most common reasons people seem to choose CBD are for sleep, pain and anxiety.”
Brent A. Bauer, M.D., writing about the topic for the Mayo Clinic online, says, “A prescription cannabidiol (CBD) oil is considered an effective anti-seizure medication. However, further research is needed to determine CBD’s other benefits and safety. . Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It’s approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug’s benefits is still limited.”
CBD for Sleep
Using CBD to enhance sleep is very common, according to Gill. She says, “Many patients report that CBD helps them fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep longer and feel [more] rested in the morning. However, for some people, CBD can actually be stimulating instead of sedating. This may be related to the specific CBD product they’re using; sometimes it’s dose-dependent; other times, it’s just how the individual reacts to CBD.”
In terms of dosing, the ideal amount really depends on the individual. Gill explains: “Some patients need 10 milligrams while others need 100 mg. The thing is, CBD is most effective at the individual’s ideal dose. Too much or too little does not produce ideal results. Patients should start with a lower dose and increase it slowly if needed. Most patients choose to start with 10 to 25 mg, which is effective for many people. Others need more and occasionally some patients need less.”
How to Pick the Best CBD for Sleep
One of the challenging things about using CBD is that there are many CBD products available. Gill says that patients need to choose the method of consumption that works best for them, which can generally be determined with experimentation. She says, “When patients are using CBD daily, I generally encourage them to reach for products that do not contain extra sugar, colors or other additives. CBD oil, CBD capsules or using dried CBD flower can be great choices.” Just make sure to evaluate the source of your CBD product before purchasing.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, CBD is primarily classified as a supplement rather than a medicine. The site explains, “Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements.”
Gill adds, “Purchasing a high-quality CBD product is absolutely essential . as CBD is not regulated, which means there are many contaminated products on the market and some can be potentially harmful. There are also many products that don’t even contain the CBD levels listed on the label. Many companies only test for potency but I encourage patients to choose companies that are doing full-panel testing which checks for all possible contaminants.”
Not sure where to start? Gill personally loves NurseGrown Organics from Vermont since they are certified clean green, which is more stringent than an organic certification. Gill says, “NurseGrown does full-panel testing on their products. They test for all impurities, heavy metals and potentially harmful chemicals that can be picked up by the plant during its growth cycles.”
CBD Oil for Sleep –
Is it Effective? Is it Safe? Is it Legal?
Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read More Here .
Are you considering using CBD oil for sleep? Do you have questions about safety, effectiveness, and especially, legality?
To start with, we’re assuming it’s legal where you’re from. If you need to double-check, feel free to consult our chart that gives a state-by-state run down or contact your local state or county to find out if it is legal in your area.
There’s been a lot of buzz recently about CBD and cannabis thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp-based CBD with less than 0.3% THC at the federal level.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 14% of Americans say they personally use CBD-based products with 11% of them citing usage for sleep (40% for pain and 20% for anxiety).
As a nurse and health coach, I’ve been very intrigued by the growing research on this plant-based substance and recently decided to try it out myself. The results were very noticeable, and I was surprised by how quickly it took effect. Keep reading to get the full scoop on how to use CBD oil for sleep.
We’ve worked hard to give you the best information you can find. But if you still have questions, we have a growing community waiting to lend an ear.
What Do People Use It For?
How Does It Work To Make You Drowsy?
Can It Impact Sleep Quality?
Can It Treat Insomnia?
Will It Stop Snoring?
CBD vs. Other Sleep Aids
Ask Your Doctor
The Bottom Line
What Is It?
Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) is one of 80 known cannabinoids that is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike THC, this cannabinoid doesn’t produce the same psychoactive “high” that is acquainted with marijuana plants. In the United States, CBD as “hemp oil” is legal as long as it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
Cannabidiol is available as a crystalline isolate, meaning it has been purified to contain only CBD, or as a full-spectrum oil containing a variety of compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils.
It was previously thought that the isolate form was the best choice, but now researchers are investigating something called the “entourage effect” where it is believed that properties found within the whole plant work synergistically to create a compounding effect.
Walking into your local gas station or pet store, you’ll likely notice the wide range of hemp oil products available as pure oils, tinctures, gummies, vapors, and more. Quality and concentration can vary from product to product, so be sure to do your research before buying and check the label for the recommended dosage.
Looking to learn more? Check out our top rated cbd oil guide here.
What Do People Use It For?
CBD has a long history of use dating as far back as 1200 A.D. where an ancient Chinese medical text refers to its benefits for inducing sleep. Many other cultures have been using hemp and cannabis products for years to treat conditions like epilepsy, pain, anxiety, constipation, and more. More recently, a purified form of plant-based CBD called Epidiolex was approved by the FDA for the treatment of epilepsy.
Let’s take a look at some of the other conditions people are using this oil for:
Chronic pain can be debilitating, impacting the quality of life, the ability to work, social interactions, and sleep. Many over-the-counter and prescription pain medications have a long list of potential side effects and run the risk of developing tolerance and dependency.
Certain types of pain including cancer-associated pain, neuropathic pain, and central pain states (associated with multiple sclerosis) are often difficult to treat with traditional opiates, anticonvulsant drugs, and antidepressants. Medical marijuana is available in some states with a prescription and is commonly used for treating chronic pain and several other conditions.
Recent research has supported the use of cannabis for treating pain from a variety of conditions, and one study of 177 cancer patients found that patients who used a combination of CBD/THC had a 30% greater reduction in pain compared to placebo, whereas those who used THC alone saw no effect.
Learn More: How to Cope With Pain and Sleep
Anxiety rates have been rising rapidly, and many people suffering from various forms of anxiety have turned to cannabis for relief. Unfortunately, anxiety may be a risk factor for dependency in some and the use of this psychoactive drug could also make users more likely to develop anxiety. Conversely, cannabidiol has been shown some promise in the treatment of anxiety.
Preclinical evidence has found that cannabidiol may be a safe and effective way to manage anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. A study conducted at a psychiatric clinic looking at the use of CBD for anxiety and sleep found a reduction in anxiety scores in 79.2% of patients and an improvement in sleep scores in 66.7% of patients within the first month of treatment.
Want to know more? Read our full guide for sleeping through anxiety.
Mental illness impacts people of every age, race, gender, and socioeconomic class. Treatment may involve the use of medications or non-pharmacological options. Some of these treatments may produce unwanted side effects, impact sleep, cause weight gain, or interact with other medications, and scientists are always looking for safer treatment alternatives.
A systematic review looking at a total of 1,629 patients with conditions including Alzheimer’s disorder/dementia, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, ADHD, Tourette’s disorder, substance use disorder, and others found that treatment with cannabis was associated with improvements in several symptoms of mental disorders, but not complete remission.
Some animal studies have found that CBD may interact with serotonin receptors in the brain with similar effects to antidepressants. More research is needed in humans, but preliminary evidence is promising. Sleep disorders are much more common in individuals suffering from mental health conditions, so it is possible that effectively treating one could improve the other.