cbd oil for sleep

Using CBD Oil For Sleep – Does it Actually Work?

CBD oil for sleep might be one of the next medicinal breakthrough for insomnia treatment. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant. Cannabis is famous for improving numerous health conditions, including mental health and sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Cannabis has been found to treat a variety of ailments and conditions ranging from mood to and perception to pain and hunger stimulation. 

However, cannabis’ isolated cannabinoids are used more much frequently due to the impairing effects that THC can cause. CBD, in particular, is of special interest. Cannabidiol’s (CBD) side effects are not as impairing as those caused by (THC), improving its efficacy for use as a pharmaceutical. 

While many anecdotal accounts support using THC-rich strains or products to aid in sleep, can CBD oil for sleep work just as well? 

What is CBD Oil? 

how to use cbd oil for sleep

CBD oil is a type of extract – arguably, the most popular – made from cannabis. There are two varieties of this plant: hemp and cannabis sativa. The former is federally required to have 0.3% THC or less and is usually used to create CBD oil. 

Contrary to hemp oil, CBD oil comes from cannabis leaves and stalks, not the seeds or the buds. The seeds mainly have excellent nutritional qualities, while the remaining plant materials are known for their concentrations of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds that come from this plant. 

Manufacturers use various methods to make CBD oil. They can extract it in a high-pressure environment using carbon dioxide and heat or extract the cannabinoid from the plant through solvents. 

CBD oil can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms. It’s most commonly used in vape pens with cartridges filled with CBD oil. Cannabidiol oil is also available in a concentrated tincture form, allowing users to easily and discreetly dose themselves with the aid of a dropper. 

CBD and Sleep: Does CBD Oil Help with Insomnia? 

When you consume cannabis, the chemicals from the plant – called “cannabinoids” – interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has receptors throughout the body, including the brain and is responsible for a variety of bodily functions ranging from sleep and energy to libido and mood. 

A recent case study showed that CBD could help patients fall asleep more quickly and get better quality rest when appropriately used. The study showed that CBD improved the welfare of 72 adults with anxiety and sleep issues, with more than 66% of patients experiencing improved sleep in only one month. 

Still, the results weren’t perfect. The quality of sleep fluctuated over time. Additionally, others stopped using CBD altogether after a while, presumably due to waning benefits. 

Even without the assistance of phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids that come directly from the cannabis plant), your ECS can help regulate circadian rhythm, also known as your “biological clock.” 

The ECS can accomplish all this thanks to its wide distribution of locations throughout the body and the brain.

Scientists believe that the ECS interacts with nervous system components in the brain that may have direct ties to the circadian rhythm, which forms the basis of its influence on sleep. These “components” are the suprachiasmatic nuclei or SCN. 

The SCN is an amalgamation of neurons (nervous system cells) that Sato Honma of Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine and colleagues called the “master circadian clock of mammals.” These cells communicate with various parts of the brain, including the hypothalamus and brainstem. These interactions are vital to your sleep-wake cycle and the production of related hormones, your body temperature, and movement. 

Since SCN neurons can be found on CB1 receptors, cannabis consumption causes the SCN to change its behaviour, altering your sleep-wake cycles. 

Yet, the ECS still plays an instrumental role in regulating your circadian rhythm, even when you don’t activate CB1. The endocannabinoids, which your body naturally produces, AEA (anandamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl-glycerol), occur after you wake and fall before you sleep, respectively.  With all that said, the ECS is already a crucial part of your sleep health. Using CBD oil just helps to give you direct control over how it works. 

How to Use CBD for Sleep 

CBD oils are available in many forms, each having distinct strengths and weaknesses that set them apart. 

For example, oral CBD products, such as pills, capsules, and edibles, are known for having low bioavailability, which will affect these items’ ability to improve how well you sleep. On the other hand, vape concentrates could be the best option, offering higher CBD content in the blood for longer, providing better quality sleep. 

Here’s how the options stack up against each other: 

Vape Concentrates

Vaped CBD may allow better distribution of the cannabinoids throughout your body, making the compounds more accessible to your organs via your blood and plasma (briefly known as “bioavailability”). CBD vape cartridges are filled with CBD oil distillate and can provide users with an accessible, discreet, and potent way to medicate discreetly. Vaping CBD is the most convenient way to use cannabis for sleep, potentially outdoing standard cannabis bioavailability at 35% (compared to 30-31% normally). 

Oils and Tinctures

These sleep aids have the highest concentrations of CBD, as they’ve been refined after removal from the plant. However, be careful with full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD products versus a CBD isolate. These contain THC that might influence your CBD oil’s benefits. 

Check out our guide if you want to give medicating with CBD tinctures a try. Tinctures are flavourless, odourless and easy to dose with. All you need to do is dispense a drop underneath your tongue to start feeling the effects.

CBD Oil for Sleep – Is it Safe? 

Most modern studies have investigated THC’s influence on sleep. Plus, researchers still know relatively little about how CBD behaves in the body, particularly how it interacts with certain ECS receptors. 

The general consensus so far is that CBD oil is an excellent sleep aid with very few problems with safety and side effects. 

However, it’s not consistent. 

While the cannabinoid increases the amount of sleep that some people get, it can backfire for others, worsening their trouble sleeping during the night. Additionally, studies show mixed results about how combinations of CBD and THC might affect sleep quality. 

For example, past research suggests that l cannabis sprays can either improve or harm sleep. However, whether the spray’s effect is positive or negative depends on which cannabinoid has the higher concentration. 

When the researchers administered a combined treatment of CBD and THC, patients experienced less deep sleep. This problem only got worse with higher CBD doses (up to 15 mg of CBD and THC combined). Additionally, the higher CBD doses made patients sleepier and induced more severe mood changes.

CBD Oil For Sleep – Mixed Results

Using CBD oil for sleep is a mixed bag. Sometimes, CBD oils are great for boosting your sleep quality. Other times, it can backfire, making it harder for you to get a good night’s rest. 

Scientists are still learning about how this cannabinoid influences your body’s biological clock. Though they still have much to discover, current findings suggest that these compounds and the ECS’s role in regulating your sleep and wakefulness are much more complex than many people ever realized. 

Until you discover the best CBD oil for you, talk to your medical provider to plan how you’ll improve your sleep with the help of the cannabis plant. 

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