A good night's sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Experts recommend that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Proper sleep ensures that you feel rested and have energy for the next day. A good night's sleep also helps build memory, supports muscle and tissue growth and repair, and prevents disease.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for certain sleepers to fall asleep or stay asleep. No less than 70% of Americans say they don't get the recommended hours of sleep, and nearly a third of American workers sleep less than six hours a night. There are several solutions that can help you sleep better and avoid a lack of sleep. Possible approaches include improved sleep hygiene, prescription sleep aids, and natural sleep aids.
An increasingly popular strategy for better sleep is taking cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis derivative. CBD is commonly used to improve sleep and reduce anxiety. However, the approval of CBD in the United States is limited and much more research needs to be done to determine the exact effects of CBD on sleep and other physical and mental health problems.
About cannabis and cannabinoids
Although there are many different slang terms for the green, narrow-leaved plant that you may be familiar with, the plant is scientifically called Cannabis sativa. The word “cannabis” can be used to describe any product made from the plant. Cannabis plants contain many chemical compounds, including a group called "cannabinoids". Of the more than 100 cannabinoids, researchers have examined two in particular that appear to have the greatest effect on humans: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.
What is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
Most of the well-known effects of cannabis, such as: B. Getting high is caused by the cannabinoid THC. The term “marijuana” specifically refers to parts of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain THC.
Cannabis plants and derivatives that contain less than 0,2% THC are classified as “hemp”. As of 2018, the US federal government no longer defined hemp as a controlled substance. As a result, there is an influx of hemp-related products in the American market. These products are commonly marketed as CBD products.
What is cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD, the other well-known cannabinoid, can be legally sold in the US when extracted from hemp and marketed according to local regulations. CBD has no psychoactive properties and does not produce the same effects as THC. In addition, CBD has no effects that could lead to potential addiction or the risk of abuse.
CBD is enjoying increasing popularity in the United States. Although many health benefits are ascribed to CBD, the scientific validity of its effectiveness in most cases is still unclear.
Is CBD Approved by the FDA?
Few cannabis-derived or cannabis-related drugs are FDA approved in the United States:
This oral CBD solution was the first drug containing a purified, cannabis-derived substance to be approved by the FDA. The drug is approved for the treatment of seizures in rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex for patients aged two and over. Although Epidiolex has been shown to reduce other types of seizures, it has not yet been approved by the FDA for the treatment of these seizures.
Marinol and Syndros
These two drugs contain dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. They are available as capsules or oral solutions. Dronabinol acts on the part of the brain that controls appetite, nausea, and vomiting, so the drugs have multiple therapeutic uses. These include treating nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and treating weight loss in HIV patients.
Cesamet contains nabilone, a synthetic compound with a chemical structure similar to THC. Like dronabinol, this capsule acts on the part of the brain that controls vomiting and nausea. The drug is prescribed to patients who have received chemotherapy and have not responded to other treatments for nausea and vomiting.
The FDA has not approved any other CBD drugs. The agency has not established the safety and effectiveness of cannabis or CBD in treating certain conditions or diseases.
Different types of sleep problems:
- Man has difficulty waking up
- Indolence in sleep
- Women sleep a lot during the day
- Polyphasic sleep rhythm
- Man wakes up early in the morning in an urban setting
What forms does CBD come in?
- Oral solutions, such as the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex
- Oral sprays that are sprayed under the tongue Oils and tinctures, sometimes called drops or droplets
- Vapes and vape juices for use in a vaping pen
- Edible products like gummy bears, chocolate or cookies and drinks like coffee and tea
- Pills and capsules
- Topical solutions, including lotions, creams, patches, gels, and ointments
What are Common CBD Doses?
Aside from Epidiolex, the FDA doesn't regulate the dosage of CBD products that are not administered as medication. Therefore, the amount of CBD in the products varies greatly depending on the form.
Research shows that 300 mg of CBD in oral form is safe to take daily for up to six months. A scientific review found that taking up to 1.500 mg daily was well tolerated by the participants. Later research confirmed that taking 1.500 mg daily for four weeks had no negative effects.
Unfortunately, the amount of CBD listed on a product label does not necessarily match the amount it actually contains, which can result in people consuming more or less CBD than intended. An analysis of 84 CBD products sold online found that 26% of the products contained less CBD than stated on the label. The same analysis found that almost 43% of the products were underdosed, meaning they contained significantly more CBD than stated on the label.
While higher doses of CBD do not appear to have any serious negative effects, these products can also contain higher THC levels than stated on the label. Other CBD products may contain THC that isn't even stated on the label. The THC in these products can have intoxicating effects that may or may not be desired.
What are the effects of taking CBD?
Research shows that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. CBD can also alter mood as it affects the serotonin system. The results will vary from person to person and will depend on the type of product and dose.
Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a "high" feeling. Even high doses of CBD won't produce THC-like effects. In addition, some have Studies shown that CBD attenuates the psychoactive effects of THC.
Studies on Short Term CBD Use show that patients are not experiencing withdrawal.
What health conditions can CBD help with?
So far, research has shown that CBD is effective in treating epilepsy. Other early research suggests that CBD may also help treat schizophrenia and drug use disorders.
There is currently insufficient research to determine the effectiveness of CBD in treating other conditions. However, preliminary research suggests that CBD may help with a number of sleep disorders, including insomnia, REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
What are the Risks of CBD?
Most of the negative effects of CBD drugs and products are minor. For example, people taking Epidiolex may experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. In some people, taking CBD can cause drowsiness. Other negative effects of CBD may be due to an interaction between CBD and other medications the patient is taking.
How can CBD help with insomnia?
Research into the effects of CBD on sleep disorders is ongoing. Some people who take CBD for chronic pain report that they sleep better. It is currently unclear whether these patients sleep better because of the pain relief or because CBD directly affects their sleep.
Others first Studies on CBD and Sleep Disorders indicate positive results. However, the effects of CBD on sleep are not the same in all people, and different dosages can produce different effects. Research suggests that low doses of CBD are stimulatory, while high doses of CBD are sedative. Differences in experience can also be attributed to the type of CBD administration and dose. More research is needed to deepen our understanding of CBD as a remedy for sleep disorders.
Fears and CBD
Even if it's not a sleep disorder in and of itself, anxiety can contribute to poor quality sleep, inadequate sleep, and insomnia. Because CBD calms the nervous system, initial research suggests that CBD can be used to treat anxiety-related disorders. One Study showed that almost 80% of participants who took CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower levels of anxiety within a month. Sleep initially improved in more than 65% of the participants, after which the results were fluctuating.
Insomnia and CBD
People who suffer from insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This disorder affects daytime alertness, concentration, and mood. Having slept poorly in the past, people with insomnia often suffer from a fear of not getting enough sleep, which can make nighttime insomnia worse.
Given the potentially beneficial effects of CBD on treating anxiety, it has been speculated that CBD could also help reduce the anxiety associated with insomnia. In addition, a new pilot study is currently being conducted on the use of CBD and THC in people with medically diagnosed insomnia. The results of the study will provide further insight into the effects of CBD on insomnia.
REM sleep behavior disorder and CBD
In REM sleep behavior disorder, patients verbalize and make aggressive movements during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep. This disorder is most common in elderly patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
In a limited Study with four Parkinson's patients, CBD helped manage symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder. Before taking CBD, symptoms of the disorder appeared 2-7 times a week. After taking CBD, symptoms only occurred 0-1 times a week. More studies are needed, but these initial results suggest that CBD could be a potential treatment for REM sleep behavior disorders.
Excessive daytime sleepiness and CBD
People with excessive daytime sleepiness have difficulty staying awake during the usual times of the day. One solution to waking up on time and staying awake could be CBD. Initial studies on animals show that CBD acts as a stimulant. However, other studies suggest that CBD works as a sedative. More research is needed to determine what doses and methods of CBD use will affect wakefulness and drowsiness.
Does CBD interact with other drugs?
CBD can interact with other drugs that a person is taking. In particular, CBD can affect the liver's ability to break down certain drugs. In addition, taking CBD with herbs or supplements can make patients too drowsy.
Before using any CBD product, you should consult your doctor. Let your doctor know about any medications, herbs, or supplements you're taking so they can assess whether CBD might be causing an adverse interaction. Your doctor will be able to advise you on whether CBD is a viable option to help you meet your health goals.