How does CBD help improve sleep?
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most well known cannabinoids in cannabis. Cannabinoids such as CBD are compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with our endocannabinoid system and cause the drug’s specific effects throughout our bodies, nervous systems, and immune systems.
Over 100 different cannabinoids have been found and isolated in the cannabis plant, including THC (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic) and more.
CBD is arguably one of the most popular and well known cannabinoids in the US and worldwide. It can be obtained from both the cannabis and hemp plants. CBD has been found to help with anxiety, nausea, inflammation, pain relief, seizures, muscle relaxation, sleep quality, and more. Additionally, CBD does not contain any THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for cannabis’ intoxicating effects.
How does CBD help with sleep?
Studies around sleep and CBD have found that the compound can help encourage faster sleep latency, reduced stress or cortisol levels, increased sleep duration, and more restful sleep.
Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, typically peaks in the morning for most, but can spike in those with insomnia at night. Increased cortisol levels at night have been tied to heightened levels of sleep disturbances and nighttime awakenings, leading to more restless nights and unsatisfying sleep. In one study, CBD was found to significantly help reduce levels of cortisol and help participants achieve better rest.
Cortisol levels affect not only our quality of rest and our sleep-wake circadian rhythms, but also play an essential role helping regulate our bodies’ stress responses, metabolism, inflammation levels, blood pressure, blood sugar, as well as our nervous, immune, cardiovascular, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
Studies observing CBD’s effects on users with chronic pain found that CBD helped users sleep better, however it was unclear whether CBD was responsible for improving sleep quality itself or if CBD was simply to thank for relieving participants’ pain, leading to better and deeper rest.
CBD has also been found to help improve overall mood because of its effects on our serotonin systems. However these effects vary based on a number of factors, including dose, tolerance, product type, and more.
How do CBD’s anxiety-relieving effects improve sleep?
Thanks to CBD’s calming effects on the nervous system, one study reported 80% of users felt relief from anxiety symptoms within a month, and 65% of participants reported immediate improvements to their sleep. While more research is needed on CBD’s impacts on anxiety relief and anxiety associated with insomnia, studies indicate that CBD can help users fall asleep easier, stay asleep, and get back to rest following sleep disturbances.
CBD has been said to help improve sleep thanks to its powerful impacts which target and alleviate the causes, stressors, or triggers which lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders and struggles.
What are the side effects of using CBD for sleep?
CBD has been found by many studies to be well-tolerated with minimal side effects for most users. Fatigue and mental sedation can come with excessive CBD use, but doses of 10-400mg of CBD, and even dosages of 1500 mg per day were well-tolerated by study participants! Other studies found that some CBD supplements could cause some digestive issues or unwanted side effects when mixed with other medications.