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Cannabis for Insomnia Relief

We’re all aware of how a good night’s sleep is beneficial to both our physical and mental health. In addition to being key to a number of vital functions, it positively affects our memory and learning capabilities. Unfortunately, millions of individuals around the world have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It’s not that simple to get enough quality sleep every night.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders wherein several people struggle to fall and remain asleep. While for some this is a temporary problem, for others insomnia can become a chronic issue that detrimentally affects day-to-day life. Sleep deprivation is an ongoing issue which leads to a lack of energy during the day, stress, inability to stay focused, and can lead to other health issues. Long-term sleep deprivation sometimes triggers problems with blood pressure, immune function, or other health conditions. People battling with insomnia usually try to solve this problem by getting sleeping pills, cutting down on coffee intake, some try meditating, or changing their routines.

One great alternative can be CBD oil!

Interestingly, people have long used the cannabis plant for medicinal and recreational purposes. Its ability to help people, for example, is mentioned in the Atharva Veda, a Hindu text that dates back to around 1500 B.C., and its use for inducing sleep is described in a 1200 A.D. Chinese medical text. 

Cannabinoids (chemical compounds that bind or attach to certain receptors in the central nervous system and act as chemical messengers) in the plant are responsible for the effects on the brain, and the two most abundant, well-known and probably most researched cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and known as CBD oil. It has been found to have potential health benefits for symptoms like insomnia and does not cause psychoactive effects or a “high”while THC is the cannabinoid that leads to the “buzz or high” from cannabis use. Since it does not cause the psychoactive effects and it might help certain conditions, such as pain, anxiety, and insomnia. CBD is gaining traction as a possible treatment for several diseases.From adequate research conducted, CBD and cannabinoids interact with proteins and cells in the brain.

It’s important to first have an understanding on what causes poor sleep:

  • Aging, too much stimulation before bedtime (such as watching television, playing video games, or exercising), consuming too much caffeine, noise disturbances, an uncomfortable bedroom, or a feeling of excitement. 
  • Mental health disorders, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression
  • Sleeping too much during the day, lack of exposure to sunlight, frequent urination, physical pain, jet lag, and some prescription medications may also lead to difficulty sleeping
  • physical conditions, such as chronic pain and restless leg syndrome
  • caffeine, especially when consumed late in the day
  • environmental factors, such as loud noises or an uncomfortable bed
  • For many people, stress, worry, or work schedules may also affect their sleep.

Now that we’ve understood the reasons for poor sleep, if your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness. Here’s a little background on how CBD plays a vital role by improving your sleep and body.

 

The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep:

Many researchers say that CBD improves sleep because it tackles the root causes of insomnia. CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and researchers have discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms.

Essentially, when CBD is consumed , it may improve:-

  • The cause of sleepiness
  • Ease anxiety which improves the sleep quality.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness- 2017 review: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9 (review link)
  • Grogginess
  • Additionally, CBD may also decrease anxiety and pain, which can both interfere with restful sleep.

How does it otherwise provide relief from Somnolence?

CBD has a dual effect depending on the individual and time of day it is administered. This is because it regulates the body’s sleep/wake cycles, helping to promote wakefulness during daytime and relaxation at night. Insomnia, daytime sleepiness, or somnolence, can impact both daytime productivity and the ability to fall asleep at night. Administration of CBD during daylight hours helps promote alertness, leading to more restful sleep at night.

CASE STUDY: Several studies have also supported the use of CBD oil to improve sleep. For example, a case study involving a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and poor sleep was treated with CBD. A trial of 25 mg of a CBD supplement was administered at bedtime. An additional 6 to 12 mg of CBD was given via a sublingual spray during the day for anxiety. Sleep quantity and quality gradually improved over five months.

CASE STUDY LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101100/

Dosage: It is best to get a doctor’s recommendation on the amount of dosage to be consumed. It's better to start small and track the amount you're taking and the effects you're experiencing. 

Side-Effects: CBD is usually well-tolerated, though some users experience dry mouth, reduced appetite, diarrhea, drowsiness, and fatigue. For this reason, new users should start with low doses.