It is estimated that close to 70 million people in the United States suffer from insufficient sleep, insomnia, or other sleep disorders. Mistakenly, CBD has been described as a sedative drug. When taken in modest doses, it can be mildly sedating. Just like caffeine, which is a stimulant, cannabidiol activates the same adenosine receptors. Nevertheless, several patients with sleep problems have reported that ingesting CBD-rich extract or tincture a few hours before going to bed produces a balancing effect that helps them to sleep better at night.
According to Gretchen Lidicker, author of “CBD OIL: Everyday Secrets: a Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness,” studying CBD is quite difficult because there are many legal issues that surround cannabis and marijuana. However, there are studies indicating that CBD can be a helpful antidote for people with anxiety and insomnia.
There are different techniques used to separate the components of cannabis and remove them from the plant matrix. They include:
- Alcohol extraction
- Carbon dioxide extraction
- Butane or propane extraction
- Solvent-free extraction
How Does CBD Work?
Gretchen says that most of the studies point to CBD’s ability to interact with serotonin receptors in the brain. According to her, serotonin plays an important role in anxiety and mood. She adds that GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and calms excess activity in the brain.
Gretchen noted that one study on humans showed that CBD had the ability to help people with public-speaking-induced anxiety. The report was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Clinical trials have also shown that administering 10 mg of CBD three times a day for a month may help to deal with anxiety.
How CBD compares to other sleep supplements
Gretchen says that although she thinks other sleep supplements like melatonin are great, they can have different impacts on the body and brain. She adds that CBD appears to help with sleep because it has anti-anxiety properties and ability to promote relaxation. She added that melatonin directly signals to the body that it’s bedtime by naturally increasing melatonin levels that are already in the brain.
Although melatonin can make one sleepy and help with jetlag, it may not address the underlying anxiety that causes insomnia.
Varied Reactions to CBD
Gretchen notes that everyone’s body is different, and CBD can make some people become energized. If this happens, it can keep someone awake at night. She points that there is an interpersonal variation which is a common theme with therapies that involve CBD. This is mainly because the reaction to cannabis is highly individualized, she notes.
These response variations depend on how one personally processes the product and the way CBD receptors are distributed in the body. Gretchen points out that this is what has made it difficult to standardize dosing recommendations for cannabidiol.
Can CBD be used regularly?
Gretchen points that there is still not enough published research available on CBD but there’s a reason to believe that one may become resistant to CBD over time. She doesn’t recommend its regular use. In addition, some people have reported negative side effects. These include nausea, vomiting, irritability, and diarrhea.
Experts also note that caution should be taken when using CBD. More definitive studies should be carried out to find if CBD is an option for insomnia.
There are people who have found CBD to be helpful in fighting sleep disorders like insomnia, leg syndrome, and insufficient sleep. However, people react differently when taking CBD. It can make you energized or trigger negative side effects. Unless comprehensive studies are undertaken, CBD may not be the appropriate solution for insomnia. Several factors can lead to sleep issues and should be addressed before resorting to sleep-inducing drugs or supplements.