CBD oil for sleep

Can CBD Help With Sleep Problems?

So, does CBD help with sleep problems? It all depends on why you can’t sleep in the first place. That said, CBD oil is known to help with a wide variety of sleep issues from anxiety to jet lag. The odds are good that it can help you too! Read on to find out how CBD oil might be able to help you get a good night’s sleep.

CBD Oil Promotes Deep NREM sleep

CBD oil can help you fall asleep quickly and it can help you sleep more deeply as well. The action of CBD in the body affects many different functions and the reason people seem to fall asleep quickly is unknown, but perhaps due to its calming effect.

The reason people report a longer, deeper sleep is likely due to CBD’s multi-pronged effect in the body as well. Some of it may have to do with its anti-anxiety effect, and some may have to do with its effect on REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep is when we dream and make sense of our experiences. CBD seems to shift the sleep cycle to spending less time in REM sleep and more in NREM (No Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The deeper stages of NREM sleep is when the body repairs itself, builds bone, tissue and muscle and strengthens the immune system.

While both these stages are absolutely necessary for well-being and health, some people have trouble arising from REM sleep. For people suffering from REM sleep disorder (RBD), characterized by restlessness and nightmares, CBD’s ability to regulate the REM/NREM sleep cycle can help reduce these unpleasant and sometimes debilitating symptoms.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep

CBD Oil Regulates the Circadian Rhythm

CBD oil works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system . The endocannabinoid system regulates and maintains balance in certain body systems including our circadian rhythm. The endocannabinoid is a network of receptors in our brain and nervous system, and researchers believe that CBD interacts with specific receptors to affect the sleep/wake cycle.

The circadian rhythm can get out of whack for a number of reasons: age and decreasing melatonin production, not enough bright sunlight, shift work, jet lag, and an irregular schedule to name a few.

Because CBD oil helps regulate the circadian rhythm, it can also help dispel feelings of grogginess in the daytime too, making you more alert — all of which naturally leads to better sleep at night.

Reduces Cortisol and Regulates Serotonin Response

CBD oil is known to reduce anxiety, which is characterized by high cortisol levels, and if that is what’s keeping you awake, CBD oil is certainly worth a try. This 2019 clinical study found that CBD decreased anxiety in 79.2 % of the participants and improved sleep scores in 66.7% within the first month.

CBD reduces cortisol as well, and can help the body attain a more efficient and positive response to its supply of serotonin. Not only is serotonin directly implicated in the circadian rhythm and therefore sleep, it is also a factor in depression. A healthy response to serotonin packs a double punch for mental health, directly through assisting with a healthy serotonin response and indirectly since healthy sleep can only make everything better.

CBD is Anti-inflammatory and Pain-relieving

If chronic or acute pain is keeping you awake, CBD can help through its anti inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. This is due to CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors that help your cells respond to stimuli and can dampen inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

Natural Muscle Relaxer

Muscle Relaxer

CBD is a natural muscle relaxer. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors within the muscles, influencing smooth muscle contraction. As a result it can calm spasms and tremors. It is also a vascular relaxant, increasing blood flow to the area which helps to reduce pain.

For patients with muscle spasms or tremors such as those dealing with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease, a muscle relaxer can make all the different in the quest for a decent night’s sleep.

Sedative Effect

Myrcene is a terpene found in high amounts in CBD that has been found to have a sedative effect. It is also found in hops, which is one of the reasons beer also can induce sleep.

A Few Considerations Before Using CBD Oil for Sleep

As mentioned throughout this article, CBD works on many fronts, and it may be a combined action rather than any one effect that helps people sleep. It all depends on why you aren’t sleeping in the first place.

Researchers have noticed that dosage is important, finding that lower dosages may have a stimulating effect whereas higher doses act as a sedative. CBD oil may also take a little while to positively affect sleep — sometimes up to a month. While research into CBD is picking up, there is still much we don’t know. Reports so far do suggest that CBD oil can have a positive effect on many sleep disorders. And for those suffering from a lack of sleep, that is certainly welcome news!

lab equipment and a cannabis leaf

The Effects of CBD Oil on the Endocannabinoid System | Pi CBD

Our clinical understanding of all the possible therapeutic applications of hemp sourced cannabidiol is limited because of its close relationship to cannabis and its prohibition for close to a hundred years. The government’s persecution of all those who were involved in the illegal production and trade has been a limiting factor on the amount of research that is currently available.

Medical societies and governments world-wide have come to accept the fact that the Schedule 1, highly dangerous rating of cannabis during prohibition was wrong and there are, in fact, hundreds of medicinal benefits to cannabis use.

The Cannabis Act in Canada and the Farm Bill in the US have greatly increased the availability of funding to further study cannabinoids. In actual fact, we have known about the medical benefits for almost 5,000 years and modern science is only now catching up. For instance, science has recently discovered that cannabis promotes well being and homeostasis through its effect on something called the endocannabinoid system in the human body.

What is The Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System was first identified by researchers at the University of Jerusalem in 1992. All animals including vertebrates and invertebrates have an Endocannabinoid System, also known by the abbreviation ECS. The ECS is responsible for communication signals between the body’s cells, organs, central nervous system and even the brain. Its main function, according to recent research, is to help preserve homeostasis between the different systems of the body.

The body produces endocannabinoids, which are similar in structure to cannabinoids. The body produces them as needed to maintain balance in the face of destabilizing forces, whether from the exterior or interior.

The endocannabinoid molecules bind to endocannabinoid receptors in the body to activate the processes of creating balance in the body. There are two types of receptors, one which is mostly located in the central nervous system and the other mostly in immune cells. Once the endocannabinoids are finished their function, enzymes break them down for elimination.

The Endocannabinoid System Has Far-Reaching Effects

The ECS is complex and much more research needs to be done. So far, researchers have discovered that the effects of the ECS are far-reaching, playing a role in:

  • chronic pain
  • metabolism
  • inflammation
  • immune system
  • motor control
  • sleep
  • mood
  • learning and memory
  • cardiovascular health
  • building muscle
  • bone health
  • liver function
  • reproduction
  • stress
  • skin and nerve health

How Cannabis Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD interact with the ECS differently. THC can bind directly with either of the two types of receptors, while CBD appears to inhibit the break-down of naturally produced endocannabinoids. More research needs to be done however; it is also possible that there are, as yet, undiscovered receptors that CBD binds to.

Bright Future for Research

This is an exciting time for research into the health effects of cannabis. With many of the taboos and restrictions regarding cannabis being lifted, and more funding available, we can expect to see more and more discoveries rolling out over the next few years.