Humans have been using the cannabis plant for medical and recreational purposes for a very long period of time. Compounds called cannabinoids in the plant are responsible for the effects on the brain, and the two most abundant of these are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC and CBD are both intoxicating, yet they have quite different effects on the brain. Unlike THC, CBD is nonimpairing.
Some research has indicated that CBD may potentially be effective as a sleep aid. In this post, we’ll look at whether or not it works, as well as any possible dangers.
Is Cannabidiol (CBD) legal? CBD products derived from hemp that contain less than 0.3 percent THC are allowed under federal law, but they are still banned under several state regulations. CBD-derived products manufactured from cannabis, on the other hand, are prohibited under federal law but allowed under some state regulations. When travelling, especially in foreign countries, always sure to check local legislation. It’s also important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be labelled incorrectly.
Growing public interest in the health benefits of marijuana, and in particular CBD, has prompted academics to investigate the substance’s effects during the past decade.
Early research indicates that high doses of CBD may be beneficial for sleep.
Researchers discovered that taking 160 milligrams (mg) of CBD before bed increased sleep duration compared to taking a placebo before bed. The researchers also came to the conclusion that the placebo, 5 mg of the insomnia medicine nitrazepam, and 40, 80, and 160 mg of CBD all assisted the participants in falling asleep faster.
Cortisol levels, the stress hormone, normally reach their highest levels in the morning, but persons who suffer from insomnia may have elevated cortisol levels in the evening. Having high cortisol levels during the night is not connected with insomnia, but it is associated with an increased number of overnight awakenings.
In one study on the benefits of CBD, researchers discovered that participants’ cortisol levels reduced more considerably when they consumed 300 or 600 mg of CBD oil, respectively. These findings imply that CBD has an effect on the release of cortisol, and that it may have a sedative effect.
An even more recent study on CBD and sleep enrolled 103 people who were suffering from anxiety or poor sleep. The researchers looked into the effects of CBD when it was combined with the effects of other prescribed drugs.
The CBD dosages ranged from 25–175 mg. When it came to anxiety, the researchers discovered that 25 mg was the most beneficial dosage, and that higher dosages were required when it came to sleep problems.
Throughout the three-month trial, the investigators checked in with the individuals on a monthly basis. 66.7 percent of participants reported an improvement in sleep at the first follow-up, whereas 25 percent reported a worsening of sleep at the second follow-up. When asked about their sleep during the second session, 56.1 percent of individuals reported improved sleep, while 26.8 percent reported decreased sleep.
The researchers come to the conclusion that, while CBD may help people sleep in the short term, the effects may not be long-term in nature.
Side effects and other risks of CBD
In general, the existing research indicates that CBD is well tolerated by the body.
The usage of CBD has been associated with feelings of exhaustion and mental drowsiness in some individuals, although experts believe that this is linked to the dosage.
A big retrospective investigation found that taking 10–400 mg of CBD per day for a long length of time and through various ways did not have a harmful effect on the subjects. Other researchers have reported that even high doses of up to 1,500 mg per day were well tolerated.
Further research, however, will be required to determine whether CBD consumption is associated with any long-term hazards.
So far, there have been no instances of CBD overdoses resulting in death. Some researchers may be concerned about CBD usage, however there is little information available about devastating risks.
According to one study, CBD dosages ranging from 400 to 700 mg, which are considered high, can exacerbate cognitive deficiencies in persons suffering from schizophrenia, according to the researchers. Combining CBD and THC, on the other hand, may enhance cognition.
Researchers have discovered that CBD may have additional negative consequences. include the following:
- alterations of cell viability, in studies conducted in cell cultures
- decreased fertilization capacity
- inhibition of drug metabolism in the liver
- decreased activity of P-glycoprotein and other drug transporters
These effects on drug metabolism and transportation, if they are validated, would suggest that CBD interferes with the absorption of other drugs. In general, more examination is needed.
Anyone considering using CBD should consult with a healthcare professional first, regardless of their reason for doing so.
Other uses of CBD
CBD possesses a number of beneficial qualities that may make it a promising medicinal agent.
Researchers are particularly interested in the influence it has on:
- other psychiatric disorders
- nausea and vomiting
Sativex is a combination drug including CBD and THC that is intended to relieve spasticity in patients who have multiple sclerosis. However, this has not been approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Researchers suggest that CBD may also be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of:
- chronic pain
- opioid addiction
- some types of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions
- high blood pressure
- nausea as a result of chemotherapy
While the ability of CBD to address these conditions remains unknown, further research is required to determine its effectiveness.
Other sleep aids
- relaxation techniques
- stimulus control therapy
- sleep restriction therapy
- sleep hygiene practices
- paradoxical intention therapy
- cognitive restructuring
Some people may still require medicine, depending on their circumstances. Adults may benefit from taking controlled-release melatonin or receiving doxepin prescriptions from their doctors.
Alternatively, they may prescribe a Z-drug, which is a class of drugs that aid in the maintenance of sleep. They include zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and zaleplon (Sonata).
Even though benzodiazepines can be used to help individuals sleep, doctors do not advocate them as a sleep aid due to the high risk of misuse associated with them.
The following are examples of sedative medications that people may use to help them sleep:
- atypical antipsychotics
In most cases, however, doctors do not recommend them as sleep aids unless the patient requires them for another reason.
When should you visit a doctor?
For many people, insomnia is a common problem, particularly for older adults and persons who have other medical or psychological conditions.
Anyone who is having difficulty sleeping should consult with a doctor and refrain from self-medicating. A person may be feeling one or more of the following:
- trouble falling asleep
- trouble staying asleep
- poor sleep quality
The most effective strategy to treatment will depend on the type of sleeping difficulty, but a doctor may offer behavioral therapy, medication, or a mix of the two.
Anyone who believes they may be using too many sleep aids or who believes they are experiencing negative side effects from a sedative should consult with a physician.
As insomnia is a widespread problem, doctors often recommend behavioral adjustments, which may be used alone or in conjunction with prescription medications.
A small number of people have attempted to self-medicate their sleeping issues with CBD. The use of CBD appears to be generally harmless, while research into its effects, particularly in the long term, is still in its early stages.
Whether CBD aids in sleep is still up in the air, however some evidence suggests that it may help people sleep for longer periods of time.
More research will be required to determine the most efficient way to ingest CBD as well as the optimal dosage to promote restful sleep.