CBD for Insomnia: Benefits, Side Effects, and Treatment
CBD may help you sleep
CBD for Insomnia: Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main constituents present in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system to help your body maintain balance, stability or homeostasis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD won’t make you “high.” Instead, it has a range of health applications, such as reducing seizures in people with epilepsy and relieving pain in various conditions.
Some studies and case evidence suggest that CBD can also help you get a good night’s sleep.
Research on how CBD can improve sleep
To understand whether CBD can improve sleep, we must first understand what causes sleep deprivation. Many things can cause you to fall asleep. Insomnia can be caused by:
- Mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression
- Medications that may interfere with your sleep-wake cycle
- medical conditions, such as chronic pain and restless legs syndrome
- caffeine, especially when consumed one night
- Environmental factors, such as loud noises or uncomfortable beds
- If your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, then CBD may help by treating the cause of insomnia.
While research on CBD is still in its infancy, some studies suggest that CBD can treat anxiety disorders.
Research Trusted Source A paper published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, of whom 47 were anxious and 25 were sleep-deprived. The patients were given 25 milligrams of CBD daily. During the first month, 79.2% of patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7% reported better sleep.
CBD can also help relieve pain, which can also lead to sleep problems. A 2018 Review Trusted Source in Frontiers in Pharmacology noted that there is substantial evidence to support the claims of CBD for pain relief.
Other research tells us that CBD affects sleep cycles. A 2014 study by trusted Source looked at four people with Parkinson’s disease. Research has found that CBD improves symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a disorder that prevents a person from realizing their dreams. RBD is associated with sleep deprivation and nightmares.
A 2017 review also noted that CBD may help treat RBD and has been shown to treat excessive daytime sleepiness. Another symptom of insomnia is burnout, which can also be affected by CBD. A 2014 review trusted Source suggests that CBD may have the potential to promote wakefulness based on human and animal studies. The authors noted that in some cases, they were unsure how or why CBD promoted arousal.
How CBD Improves Sleep
Even studies that suggest CBD can improve sleep can’t always tell why this is the case. Most of the above studies emphasize that we need to do more research on CBD before we fully understand how it affects our sleep.
However, as mentioned above, many researchers say CBD can improve sleep because it addresses the underlying cause of insomnia. As more research is done on CBD, we’ll learn more about why and how it helps us fall asleep.
How to Use CBD for Sleep Aid
There are many ways to ingest CBD, and it comes in several different forms, including:
- vape concentrate
- oils and tinctures
- Tablets and Capsules
- edible, such as fudge
Generally, vaping CBD makes it into the system faster than other forms. However, little research has been done on vaping CBD, and vaping can often cause respiratory problems.
The dose of CBD you use and when you take it will depend on many factors. Your weight, body chemistry, and the nature of your sleep disturbance can all affect how CBD works. What works for some people may not work for others. Most clinical trials on CBD and sleep involve giving subjects 25 mg to 1,500 mg of CBD per day. It’s best to start with a low dose and gradually increase the dose until you find something that works for you.
Many studies on CBD, anxiety and sleep have noted that many patients do not immediately notice a difference. The 2019 study mentioned above noted that it took the subjects about a month to notice the difference. Be patient and remember that you are unlikely to get immediate results.
CBD Side Effects and Safety Concerns
A 2017 review trusted Source looked at multiple studies on the safety of CBD and concluded that it is a relatively safe treatment. Side effects are relatively rare. However, you may experience some minor side effects. CBD may also interact with other medications you are taking, so check with your doctor before using it.
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not guarantee the safety, efficacy, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. However, to protect public health, they can take action against CBD companies that make unfounded health claims. trusted source. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products in the same way as regulated drugs or dietary supplements, companies sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products. This means it is especially important to do your own research and find a high-quality product.
Before buying CBD from a company, research its history. Avoid long-established, CBD-labeled companies and opt for third-party-tested CBD. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors rarely recommend sleep medication for more than a few weeks. While CBD and other medications may help, it’s important to get to the root cause of sleep problems. You may need a physical exam to change your sleep habits or change your medication.
Talk to your doctor before trying CBD
Before taking any supplements or medications, including CBD, you must consult your doctor. Depending on your situation, the best doctor will tell you how to use CBD to improve sleep.