Why Take CBD for Insomnia?
Sometimes, it’s a challenge to achieve a good night’s sleep, whether it’s the occasional case of poor sleep, or full-fledged insomnia. If you identify as someone who struggles to fall asleep or obtain quality rest, cannabidiol (CBD) may be worth considering.
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Will You Sleep Better with CBD?
In this piece on CBD for sleeplessness broadcast by KSAT, investigative reporter Lisa Gill is interviewed on the sleep benefits of the chemical compound and how it may help improve sleep by reducing anxiety.
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Want to know the best CBD products for a good night’s sleep? Don’t know where to start? Our Brand of the Month will tell you everything you need to know about our best takes on CBD oil for insomnia, featuring only the safest, most effective brands.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD and Anxiety
The following are some of the most frequently-asked questions regarding the use of CBD for anxiety.
If you experience insomnia or sleeplessness, CBD may be worth trying as a remedy, but if you know that you suffer from chronic sleeplessness, consult a physician beforehand, as there may be a better treatment for you with more clinical proof, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. If you’re seeking relief from occasional symptoms of sleeplessness, a small dose of CBD is probably safe.
In some cases, individuals might react differently to CBD. While many anecdotally report positive results, some describe side effects, which include CBD encouraging wakefulness rather than sleep.
The method of ingestion ultimately depends on the individual, but generally, vaping is not recommended, as it can lead to respiratory problems. And while it may deliver its effects more quickly, it might be best to take CBD for insomnia in the form of gummies, softgels or drops, as these forms of CBD will have a more gradual release in your endocannabinoid system.
The best approach to take with CBD involves talking to your doctor first, but if a recommendation can’t be obtained, always start with a low dose, 5-10 mg, and gradually build up until you feel optimal relief. There is no FDA approved dose yet for the treatment of insomnia but the agency is currently working on guidelines for CBD treatment.
There are many products available online and in stores, but the lack of regulation in the CBD market can make it difficult to find brands that are safe, suitable and effective. Keep an eye out for brands that are endorsed from reputable sources (see our brand of the month for guidance), and always look for products that offer a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab.
Despite the relative newness of CBD as a sleep aid, cannabis has been used as an herbal remedy for insomnia as early as 1500, BC.
According to Consumer Reports, 80% of Americans admit to having trouble sleeping at least once a week. In the same vein, 10% of Americans who reported to try CBD said that they were using it to treat their insomnia, and the majority of them reported later that they had reduced their insomnia symptoms.
Humans have evolved to have a unique system of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is something that we’ve yet to fully understand, but we do know that it plays a major role in maintaining homeostasis within the body, and helps regulate mood, appetite, and circadian rhythm.
When CBD is introduced to this system, it performs several interactions that appear to improve sleep, like potentiating receptors in the brain that promote sleep, decrease anxiety, and alleviate pain.
There are said to be more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but CBD and THC are the cannabinoids we tend to pay the most attention to.
While many believe that CBD might be tackling the root cause of sleeplessness, there is inconclusive evidence as to how. This is due in part due to the way in which insomnia and poor sleep occurs differently amongst individuals. Some suffer from a lack of sleep due to chronic pain, while others are losing shut-eye because they experience anxiety or depression. Nonetheless, a variety of ailments appear to respond to CBD in peer-reviwed studies.
While there is a massive amount of evidence surrounding the relationship between CBD and insomnia, the vast majority of it is merely anecdotal. There remains a great need for further clinical research on the benefits of CBD for sleep patterns, but studies on the subject are gradually reaching the medical journals at an increasing rate.
One 2019 series of clinical tests was designed to test the effectiveness of CBD for treating insomnia. Clinical trials included 103 patients who reported to experience anxiety and depression.
According to the study, “Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time.” The study concluded that while further testing was needed, CBD may be a viable option for insomnia and/or anxiety relief.
Some individuals may experience side effects from CBD, including dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness. Signs of liver injury have also been reported in some patients, but this is less common.
That being said, some may be at risk when using CBD products for insomnia if they have other health conditions that won’t react well to it. Moreover, CBD may interact with liver medications and blood thinners, so always talk to your doctor before trying CBD oil yourself.
How you take your CBD involves a lot of factors, such as the type of product, brand and dosage. Everyone’s dosage is determined by factors such as body weight, the type of ailment they want to treat, medications they’re currently taking, and their body chemistry. A medical professional is recommended, not only to help you calculate the correct dose, but also to rule out other remedies for insomnia that may be better suited for you. As a rule of thumb, start with a small amount, from 5-10 mg of CBD.
When selecting a brand, make sure to stick with companies that don’t make wild claims about their product, and offer a certificate of analysis from a third-party vendor or the endorsement of a reputable source.
Keep in mind that it may take time to treat insomnia; there may not be a noticeable difference right away. Furthermore, timing, dosage, and ingestion can make or break the effectiveness of CBD when it comes to insomnia, so determining how to maximize the benefits of CBD may require patience and experimentation depending on the individual.
It’s recommended to treat CBD oil more as a short-term solution to insomnia, as a tolerance may begin to form after the first few months.