With the popularity of CBD on the rise, more and more individuals have started using hemp oil to help deal with insomnia. High CBD hemp oil contains cannabidiol or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, which has been found to have several unique benefits, like reducing anxiety and even potential anti-inflammatory effects. Because of these benefits, CBD as well as other cannabinoids have risen in popularity as natural sleep aids.
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.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 33% of adults experience insomnia at some point in their lives. This 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.
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.
Remember, it is always in your best interest to consult a professional if you have any health concerns. If you are curious about using CBD oil or another hemp product to aid with sleep, remember to speak with your doctor first, especially if you are already using prescription medication.
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.
CBD and 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.
CBD and 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.
CBD and 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.
To get started, consider incorporating a product like CBD soft gels into your routine to give your endocannabinoid system daily support in combination with a product specifically formulated for sleep like our 06 Dream Tincture.