The benefits of CBD to relieve insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that undermines people’s physical and emotional health. Several studies support the potential of CBD to relieve it.
Sleeping well is one of the most decisive factors regarding peoples’ physical and emotional health.
Lacking restful sleep can influence the development of diabetes, heart disease, depression, or obesity, as well as other ailments. On the other hand, people with sleeping disorders also tend to suffer from daytime fatigue, problems performing daily tasks that involve memory, logical reasoning, or learning, etc.
This is where the benefits of therapeutic cannabis come into play, where, alongside CBD strains, it can benefit by providing a proper and restful sleep, as well as its natural cycles.
A study states that 14% of Americans use cannabis to fall asleep. This research, carried out by an application that monitors sleep, asked a thousand people about their sleeping habits, in which among the most effective methods, cannabis stood out. In addition, the participants agreed to reject medications and drugs prescribed for occasional insomnia, such as benzodiazepines.
According to the Spanish Society of Neurology, between 20 and 48% of the adult population in Spain have difficulties at some point in their lives falling asleep and staying asleep.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia can be defined as a sleeping disorder frequently occurring among the population. It arises when the ability to sleep is reduced and manifests itself by making it difficult to fall asleep in less than half an hour or generating problems in maintaining sleep (nocturnal or early awakenings).
Symptoms, causes, and types of insomnia
According to the latest International Classification of Sleeping Disorders, seven categories are identified for the diagnosis of sleep disorders:
- Sleep-related movement disorders
- Circadian rhythm disorders of sleep and wakefulness.
- Central hypersomnolence disorders
- Sleep disorders related to breathing
- Insomnia disorders
- Other types of sleep disorders
Antidepressants and antipsychotics are the most common prescription sleep medications. However, these treatments can have substantial side effects and dangerous drug interactions.
There are less dangerous yet less effective medications, such as melatonin, antihistamines, and valerian, which can also lead to undesirable consequences. This makes patients try other alternatives, such as medical cannabis.
Amongst the medical or mental health causes of insomnia, we must highlight physical conditions that can cause it, such as:
- Gastrointestinal problems (reflux)
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic pain
As for the types of insomnia, transient insomnia is the most common. It lasts a few weeks at most and is caused by factors such as environment, lifestyle, or some fleeting illness. A good part of the population suffers from this insomnia at some time in their lives.
Another type of insomnia is chronic insomnia, caused by environmental factors or physical or psychological pathologies and can last for months or years. This can have serious consequences for the patient’s health.
Consequences of bad sleep or insomnia
Excessive and constant sleepiness and tiredness are the main consequences of insomnia, generating a lack of energy in everyday life, and affecting daily routines for those who suffer such conditions. In addition to that, it can also cause other psychological problems such as anxiety, anguish, and stress.
Poor sleep has other consequences, such as decreased reaction time (a dangerous factor when driving), risk of heart disease, blood pressure, or depression.
Can CBD prevent insomnia from keeping you awake?
Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid naturally present in the cannabis plant, but it is not the only one: there are over 100 different cannabinoids, such as the famous THC or Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD, unlike THC, has no psychotropic effects. CBD can somewhat counteract some of the unwanted effects of THC and has properties that are beginning to cause a sensation throughout the world’s scientific community.
Our body’s Endocannabinoid System generates its cannabinoids and, all with receptors throughout the nervous system, regulates a considerably high amount of body functions and processes.
Benefits of CBD for insomnia
Research is underway to investigate whether increasing the concentration of CBD in the body can have beneficial effects such as reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and regulating sleep, among many others. CBD can interact with our Endocannabinoid System in the same way that the endocannabinoids synthesized by our body do.
Therefore, CBD is a cannabinoid that may regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It does not act as a sedative but as a wakefulness enhancer during daylight hours, inducing a deeper and more relaxed sleep.
In 2018, an article published in the journal Medicines studied the effectiveness of medical cannabis flower in treating insomnia. The results showed significant improvements in users’ perceived insomnia levels.
Another benefit of CBD in improving sleep is in subjects suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study by Elsevier. This research revealed that CBD reduces physiological non-REM sleep and anxiety-induced REM sleep.
CBD is effective on its own but is much more efficient when accompanied by melatonin. When consumed in combination, CBD promotes a more structured sleep and reduces the latency period, preventing us from waking up during the night. Long story short, thanks to therapeutical cannabis, symptoms like pain and anxiety, related to sleeping disorders, can be alleviated. In this way, cannabinoids can be a more natural and effective alternative to treat insomnia.
How to take cannabidiol for sleep disorders
One of the most common forms of consumption is administering CBD oil in controlled doses. In this regard, several scientific teams from European and American universities are developing clinical trials to clarify whether cannabidiol can help to solve insomnia problems and thus achieve better rest. At the moment, preclinical studies in rodents indicate this. Moreover, there is no doubt about its safety and lack of addiction.
CBD oil’s safety and calming effect, without being a drug or intended to treat insomnia or chronic anxiety problems, has great potential to be an ally against these situations.
If it is the first time that CBD is used, it is best to start with a minimum dose and gradually increase the amount taken depending on the improvement or the effects experienced.
Note the dose and frequency as well as the sensations, how it relieves symptoms, or if there are adverse effects.
In this context, the most common question is often: how many CBD drops could be taken to combat insomnia? What is the recommended dosage of CBD for each person?
Considering factors such as age, weight, fitness, or the structure of each person’s endocannabinoid system, there is no correct answer. In addition, the concentration of CBD in the oil also has an influence. It is best to consult a specialist, start with low doses, and work your way up slowly. All bodies react differently to cannabis, so there is no universal dose.
CBD has therapeutic effects for insomnia and even for those who drag sleepiness during the day. Also, according to several studies, therapeutic cannabis helps to reduce the REM sleep phase. One of the most common ways people approach the therapeutic use of cannabinoids for the first time is by administering CBD oil in controlled doses.
However, more clinical trials must be completed to continue scientifically demonstrating that CBD can reduce or even eliminate insomnia-related problems. Still, the data from preclinical trials is promising and points to CBD being a good ally against insomnia.