In just a short period of time, the use of cannabidiol (CBD) has risen significantly, thanks to the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which removed hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and made it an ordinary agricultural commodity.
CBD is one of many cannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce within the larger endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is modulated by diet, exercise, and stress. So, what is CBD, and can it help with sleep.
Researchers discovered that the ECS plays a role in maintaining various body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and our circadian system. The science is still new as to exactly how CBD affects sleep, but some postulate that they interact with specific CB1 and CB2 receptors, thus affecting the sleep/wake cycle. Another idea is that since CBD decreases anxiety and pain, alleviating these complaints will naturally lead to more restful sleep.
The research is new, but promising. The University of New Mexico tracked 409 participants with poor sleep and collected data on their experience with cannabis (not CBD). They found that sleep disturbance decreased, on average, by 4.5 points out of a 0 to 10 scale, with 10 being complete and total lack of sleep. The results indicated that cannabis holds potential in alleviating sleep, but what about CBD specifically?
Another study aimed to look at the benefits of CBD specifically and found that out of 72 participants, 48 of them (66.7%) had improved sleep scores and 57 (79.2%) had reduced anxiety scores, both after just one month. The results fluctuated over time, and the benefits diminished once supplementation was stopped.
Overall, the data behind the use of CBD and sleep is new and in the beginning stages of its natural progression of research and discovery. CBD does show a potential to decrease symptoms of poor sleep and can allow one to get more quality sleep. Because there are so many different ways to ingest CBD and the overall market has exploded with products over a short period of time, we recommend you choose a brand that is reputable and transparent.
If you struggle with sleep issues, the best first step is to consult your doctor and learn more about its causes and treatments.