Issues with sleep are extremely common with as many as 33% of adults experience insomnia at some point in their lives according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Increasingly these individuals are turning to CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in the oil of hemp plants. High CBD hemp oil has been found to have several unique benefits including reducing anxiety and stress, managing pain and supporting anti-inflammatory effects. Because of these benefits, CBD as well as other cannabinoids including CBN (cannabinol) have risen in popularity as natural sleep aids, especially as many individuals spurn traditional pharmaceutical drugs in search of more natural solutions.
Reader’s Digest: How One Woman Used CBD Oil to Sleep Better and Beat Insomnia
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder that’s characterized by trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep despite having the opportunity to get adequate sleep. This lack of sleep also typically affects the individual’s everyday life. It can be both chronic and short-term and can often be related to and affect other aspects of one’s life. For example, one might experience short-term insomnia during a stressful event in their life. Chronic insomnia, similarly, can be tied to something like chronic pain or another ongoing ailment. If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from insomnia or another condition that might be affecting sleep, consult your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
Lack of sleep can affect brain function, mental health, and physical health. In fact, inadequate sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and diabetes. Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating key bodily processes and even affects hunger and appetite, which in turn affects weight. Do you remember being told to get a good night’s sleep before a test at school? This wasn’t just a baseless recommendation. Lack of sleep can cut learning ability up to 40% due to its effects on the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for creating memories.
Besides putting you at risk for numerous health conditions, sleep deficiency can exacerbate the same conditions that are the root cause like anxiety or depression, creating a cycle of sleeplessness. Overall, quality sleep is essential to both physical and mental health.
What are the causes of insomnia?
According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia can exist on its own but it can also be the result of underlying causes.
Some causes of insomnia include:
- Stress. This one might come as a surprise. Stressful or traumatic life events can result in insomnia or the inability to sleep.
- Disrupting Your Circadian Rhythm. Your body has its own internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. This is also known as your circadian rhythm. Jet lag, working extremely late or early, or an inconsistent schedule can all disrupt your circadian rhythm.
- Chronic Pain or Inflammation. Physical discomfort can make it very difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep.
- Anxiety, PTSD, or Depression. Mental Health conditions and medications used to treat these conditions can often interfere with one’s ability to sleep.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants, both hemp and marijuana, contain phytocannabinoids, which give cannabis its therapeutic properties. Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids. However, CBD doesn’t have the same photoactive effects as THC. In fact, studies have shown that CBD may actually counteract some of the side effects of THC.
How does CBD work?
CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Essentially, the endocannabinoid system (or ECS) keeps various internal functions running effectively and smoothly. It regulates how your body controls metabolism, sleep, cognition, nerve function and more.
The ECS involves three main parts:
- Endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are similar to phytocannabinoids, but they’re made by your body. The main function of endocannabinoids is to restore balance or maintain homeostasis within the body so the body only releases them when it needs them.
- Receptors. Once the body releases endocannabinoids, they bind to cannabinoid receptors to let the ECS know it has work to do. CB1 receptors are mostly located in your central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mostly located in your peripheral nervous system.
- Enzymes. After the endocannabinoids complete their function, enzymes break them down.
Researching surrounding cannabinoids and how exactly they interact with our bodies is really just beginning. We still have a lot more to learn, like how exactly CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors. Researchers have found that THC binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but CBD doesn’t function in the same way. Some scientists believe CBD actually blocks the breakdown of endocannabinoids, and as a result, increases their benefits. Others believe it binds to unoccupied CB1 and CB2 receptors. Another theory is that there is another receptor that scientists have yet to discover.
Regardless of the specific way CBD works with our ECS, researchers and consumers alike have reported numerous positive effects related to this relationship.
Can CBD help with insomnia?
Unlike traditional sleep aids or other cannabinoids like THC or CBN, CBD doesn’t work immediately and it doesn’t necessarily have sedative properties. Rather, it works with your body to target the causes of your sleeplessness like pain and inflammation, anxiety, or stress. It’s better to think of CBD as less of a bandaid drug to mask a symptom and more of the cure to the underlying conditions that cause insomnia in the first place. For this reason those who take CBD consistently often find they sleep better than those who see it as a one-time fix.
Can CBD help with anxiety?
When your body is under stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol. Typically, we naturally have increased cortisol during the day. However, people who suffer from anxiety or insomnia might have increase cortisol at night. That being said, CBD shows promise when it comes to controlling the stress hormone. Researchers have found that CBD can decrease cortisol levels. A study done in 2019 examining CBD’s effects on anxiety and sleep also showed positive results. 79% of patients reported a decrease in anxiety while 66% reported improved sleep in the first month.
Can CBD Help With Pain?
A 2018 review of studies conducted between 1975 and March 2018 concluded that CBD proves promising for pain management with the additional benefit of having little to no side effects. On top of that, researchers have also found that the body has both CB1 and CB2 receptors in its immune cells, which control our inflammatory response. A 2016 study in which researchers applied topical CBD to rats with arthritis showed a reduction in inflammation as well as pain.
While data regarding CBD’s capabilities as a sleep aid isn’t necessarily conclusive, existing research, as well as consumer experience, shows promise. As scientists complete more research, we’ll likely learn far more on top of CBD’s growing list of benefits. For now, if you’re curious about how CBD might help you sleep, it’s worth trying for yourself but always remember to consult your doctor before trying a new supplement.
What is the best CBD product for sleeping?
CBD comes in many types, forms and strains. Even at Blue Forest Farms, many of our products will help you get a better night sleep. To get started, working in daily CBD into your routine will give your endocannabinoid system daily support and get you going on the right path to better sleep. Consider incorporating a product like our CBD soft gels, delicious gummies, or full spectrum oil into your routine to build the strong base for your endocannabinoid system.
But the real heavy hitter in the better sleep game is our specifically formulated CBN Advanced Formula 06 Dream Tincture. This formula is specifically designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. To gain the benefits of both a strong baseline boost to your endocannabinoid system and CBN, consider the Blue Forest Farms Sleep Combo Pack. Read below to learn more about CBN.
What is CBN and can it help me sleep better?
While THC and CBD are the most well known compounds found in hemp plants, CBN or cannabinol is one that should be on your radar if you’re interested in better sleep. CBN is formed when THC breaks down, however, it is non-intoxicating. It is believed that similarly to THC, CBN works by binding to the CB1 receptors. CBN products that are mixed with CBD also highlight the entourage effect, which refers to the idea that cannabinoids and other compounds like terpenes work synergistically. Each cannabinoid has their own set of unique effects, but these effects can be altered when the cannabinoids are combined.