Sleep disorders have serious consequences on health: fatigue does not only impact physical capacity but also brain activity (learning, memorizing, reasoning…). Research is being done concerning CBD and its ability to improve sleep and daily life quality for people suffering from sleep disorders.
How does CBD work?
CBD works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body, which produces its own cannabinoids. The ECS regulates processes within our body, such as our mood and appetite as well as our perception of pain. CBD interacts with the ECS and its receptors and results of research suggest that cannabis oil has an important effect on the sleep cycle.
How does CBD affect sleep?
Studies tend to show that CBD affects sleep but they cannot always explain why. Further research is then needed. However, many researchers agree on the fact that its effectiveness is due to its action on the root causes of sleep disorders (anxiety and stress, chronic pain) and on the sleep cycle, which may be interfered for various reasons.
The reaction also depends on the dose taken. In fact, CBD is a biphasic compound, which means it has two system operations at the same time: depending on the dose, it can be a stimulant (lower doses) and as a sedative (higher doses). The threshold is specific to each individual.
In general, lower doses of CBD can be energizing but can also reduce anxiety by stimulating serotonin signaling. If you believe that your sleeping problems are caused by anxiety or stress, finding the right dose of CBD to reduce these feelings can benefit your sleep.
CBD in lower doses increases attentiveness and reduces daytime sleepiness, which is an important factor to strengthen the sleep-wake-cycle.
If you have issues sleeping because you suffer from chronic pain, CBD can have a double effects: it can both alleviate pain, which improves sleep by itself, and help with your sleeping pattern.
Studies have shown that higher doses of CBD have sedative effects. So taking high doses of CBD may also help insomnia. Participants of a study had improved sleeping patterns and reported to have significantly less sleep disruptions and fewer dreams.
CBD dosage for better sleep
The dosage that is right for you depends on how your body processes cannabinoids, on your body weight and other aspects, such as illnesses. And, of course, it depends in which form you are taking CBD: oils can be easily administered but pipes and vaporizer have also been proven efficient in symptoms relief.
In any case, you should always consult a doctor specialised in cannabinoid treatments who will be able to advise you about which form or dosage you should start with. You can then adjust the dose in function on your body’s reaction, until you reach the desired effect.
CBD possible side effects
CBD generally does not evoke any side effects in healthy adults. The known side effects are a dry mouth, low blood pressure, slower movements, lightheadedness and sleepiness (which is what we want, when having issues falling asleep).
It is also possible that CBD interacts with medication, such as sedative medications and those that the liver alters or breaks down. Caution also has to be given during pregnancy and breastfeeding: ask for medical indications!
CBD derived-products should not be used as a substitute of a healthy lifestyle, which includes being aware of and respecting your own sleep needs: establish a regular timetable of sleeping and waking up, do regular physical activity but not before going to bed, do not eat too much at dinner, set a comfortable space for you to sleep, remove noise and light and do not use your phone before sleeping… But if you suffer from sleep disorders anyway, CBD can help you recreate a virtuous sleep-wake cycle.
CDB for Insomnia: Benefits, Side Effects, and Treatment’, Healthline, available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-insomnia#how-to-use
(accessed date: 10/01/2019)
Meilbourne, T. (05/15/2019), ‘The influence of medicinal cannabis on sleep disorders’, Kalapa Clinic, available at: https://www.kalapa-clinic.com/en/influence-medicinal-cannabis-sleep-disorders/
(accessed date: 10/01/2019)