Is CBD Oil the Magic Sleep Aid We've Been Waiting For?
CBD Oil and Sleep
I'm not entirely sure when CBD oil became the next big "thing" in health and wellness, but now everywhere I go someone mentions it. I remember having a CBD oil cocktail in Los Angeles in late 2017 and feeling so very hesitant about it, but as it turns out, CBD oil has far greater uses than as an accent for quirky cocktails.
The proliferation of CBD products on the market tout this magic compound can be used for pain relief, treating the side effects of menstruation, easing the side effects of cancer treatments and as a natural "medication" for anxiety and as a potent sleep aid.
Let's discuss how CBD oil impacts sleep...
First, what is CBD oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, an oil-type extract that comes from the cannabis plant. Even though CBD comes from marijuana plants, it can be separated from its chemical compound cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the compound that gets people "high" when smoking or eating marijuana, and why CBD is slightly controversial for those who don't understand what it is.
CBD works because it increases the endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. (P.S. Everyone produces endocannabinoids. Completely natural and healthy.) Since it works with chemicals already produced in the body, CBD is natural, but it can have different effects depending on the individual.
Is it the same as getting high?
No. CBD only contains trace amounts of THC and does not impact your mental state. THC directly affects brain receptors, which causes the psychoactive state known as "getting high." CBD on the other hand, indirectly influences your brain's receptors, which is why you can't get high from using it.
CBD has many of the same side effects of THC; they're cousins after all. This is why CBD causes many of the same responses as THC such as relaxation, anti-anxiety and anti-nausea but without the psychoactive effects.
Can you use CBD oil for sleep?
Truthfully, there isn't much actual science on why CBD makes for an excellent sleep aid, but recent studies do support using CBD oil for insomnia. The FDA recently approved the first cannabis-based medicine, Epidiolex, which is approved for the treatment of epilepsy. With the CBD industry set to top $22 billion by 2022, more science and research on the efficacy of CBD is bound to be on the horizon.
For now, scientists are only beginning to dive into and understand the scientific link between CBD and sleep. Certainly, the calming, anti-inflammatory properties work to naturally promote a deeper sleep without the "hangover" type symptoms of medicinal sleep aids like Lunesta, Ambien, or even over-the-counter Benadryl.
What else should I know about CBD products?
Currently, there's little regulation on the CBD industry, so be sure to do your research before buying any products.
Many studies that prove CBD is a harmless supplement, but like any medication, it can react with certain drugs. This is why it is best to check with your physician if you are on any other daily medications before testing out CBD for sleep.
Also in some cases, CBD is shown to increase brain stimulation and prevent daytime drowsiness, which is why it's best to test how your body will react to the product, especially if you're looking to use CBD for better sleep.
By most accounts, CBD is an incredibly subtle compound and many wonder after taking it if it is even working at all. Since sleep is so precious, with few natural alternatives out there, one can see why CBD is the one product everyone is talking about in 2019.