CBD for sleep is becoming more and more popular, with good reason! Quality sleep is the key to the universe – or, at least to a healthy, well-balanced life. Proper sleep hygiene contributes to everything from a strong immune system to a positive mindset.
But sleep issues are all too common. Maybe nothing else has worked for you, or maybe you’re just curious about trying a different approach. Whether you’re a total CBD newbie or just new to trying it for sleep, we’re talking to you today. Keep reading to find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about CBD sleep aids!
1. CBD is all-natural, just like melatonin.
For many people, doctor-prescribed sleep medication is helpful. But like any prescribed medication, there are often unwanted side effects, such as morning grogginess. This is one reason why people turn to natural solutions, such as CBD. CBD is a compound that is found naturally in the cannabis plant, which truly puts the natural in all-natural. There are a few types of cannabis plants, but hemp is the one that CBD is usually derived from, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle, is the most commonly used all-natural, OTC sleep aid. You can find a bottle of melatonin capsules at any pharmacy (or online, of course). Melatonin helps your body adjust the circadian rhythm, promoting natural wakefulness and signalling a tired feeling at the end of the day. Melatonin is an easily accessible over-the-counter sleep remedy, available at most major pharmacies, grocery stores, and online, of course.
Melatonin and CBD as a sleep aid, combined, makes for double the all-natural remedy. This is why we’ve paired the two in our CBD Night Gummies and our CBD Night Oil. (Keep in mind that it’s always wise to consult your doctor or a health professional before introducing new supplements or nutritional products to your routine.)
2. CBD is legal.
Back to hemp! The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the use of non-THC cannabinoids from the hemp plant grown according to the specifications laid out by the legislation, meaning that hemp-derived CBD (the only kind we use at Highline) is perfectly legal! It’s also legal to travel with CBD oils, gummies, and creams – read our blog about flying with CBD for the specifics.
Hemp is a type of cannabis sativa plant; another type is its arguably more famous cousin is marijuana. Hemp is the form used to harvest CBD precisely because hemp naturally has high concentrations of CBD, which is not psychoactive and doesn’t get you high. Marijuana, on the other hand, contains higher levels of THC and is well-known for its psychoactive, psychedelic effects.
3. CBD is well-tolerated.
CBD is not habit-forming and does not produce effects that would lead to potential dependency. One study discovered that individuals easily tolerated up to 1,500 mg daily, with another review confirming that no negative effects were found among individuals using that same dosage for four weeks. This 2020 study is specifically on chronic pain rather than sleep, but their conclusion that CBD is a well-tolerated and safe natural compound likely holds for CBD as a sleep aid, too.
Our blog post on how to choose the right CBD sleep aid for you has more information on dosage, too!
4. Research on CBD as a sleep aid is preliminary, but points to beneficial outcomes.
Research is ongoing, but CBD’s burst of popularity has led to an increase in scientific studies as well. These initial studies point to CBD’s potential to help with a variety of sleep issues and disorders, including insomnia and REM sleep behavior disorder.
Let’s start with insomnia, that dreaded state of inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Currently underway, there’s a new study of CBD and THC used by folks who have insomnia as diagnosed by a doctor. This study aims to evaluate the effects of a single dose of cannabis-based medicine on sleep in those with chronic insomnia, shedding more light on CBD as a sleep aid.
A major reason why CBD for insomnia may be effective is that it targets a root cause of insomnia, namely anxiety. Anxiety is closely tied to insomnia because many people who struggle with sleep have anxiety about said struggles. CBD may be able to calm and provide balance to the nervous system, thus supporting its use to combat anxiety. One study found that about 80% of participants reported decreased anxiety within the first month of CBD use, alongside 67% of participants whose sleep improved, too. These results are exceptionally promising!
A quick note to point out that another root cause of insomnia and/or poor sleep is physical pain; studies have found that CBD can help users with pain and soreness, especially if other treatments are insufficient or not possible.
REM sleep disorder is a more specific issue that CBD may be able to help, too. Typically seen in older individuals with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, this disorder leads folks to utter sounds and make gestures during the REM stage of sleep. (REM stands for rapid eye movement and is one of the two stages of sleep. We cycle through both as we sleep.) One study found that patients who were experiencing symptoms 2-7 times a week showed a decrease of once a week after they began taking CBD – just as promising!
Smaller studies have shown positive outcomes from CBD oil to improve sleep too. One example involves a young girl who was treated with CBD to combat post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep. Over the course of five months, both the quality and quantity of her sleep improved.
Ultimately, more research is needed to provide even more conclusive results, but the current studies point to a bright future for CBD as a sleep aid.
5. The endocannabinoid system is involved with the sleep/wake cycle.
All of these effects are most likely possible thanks to the endocannabinoid system, a biological system that interacts with cannabinoids like CBD and promotes homeostasis, or stability, within the body. The ECS is crucial in the maintenance of a variety of functions, including mood and appetite, but the one we’re concerned with is sleep.
Sleep is just one of many functions that contributes to internal stability within the body. Because the ECS has receptors that specifically interact with cannabinoids, CBD has the potential to tip the scales toward balance when it comes to a number of the system’s functions, including sleep. When something occurs to bring the body out of balance, the ECS is triggered to help bring it back to its ideal state.
Poor sleep naturally brings the body out of balance. If you’re consistently having trouble falling asleep, it’s possible that CBD is able to further encourage or promote the ECS to bring your body into the balanced state that it ultimately desires.
The future of CBD sleep aids is looking ever more bright. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for all the latest research, so stay up to date on how CBD can improve sleep, health, and wellness by reading our blog. To learn even more about CBD in general, our CBD 101 guide has everything you need to know about our favorite compound. Ready to try CBD in your life? Take our CBD product quiz to find the right fit for you.