There’s nothing worse than being unable to fall asleep. Tossing and turning all night doesn’t only make us feel rotten the next day; it’s detrimental to our wellbeing too. With far-reaching effects on nearly every aspect of our physical and mental health, getting sufficient hours of quality sleep is crucial for a healthy, balanced life. But there’s good news for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from insomnia. Increasing numbers of recent studies on the benefits of CBD oil have shown that it can be a powerful tool in the pursuit of good sleep.
What is CBD oil?
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is one of over 113 active substances found in the cannabis plant. Of these 113 cannabinoids, CBD and THC are the most widely known and used. Unlike THC, CBD can induce a state of relaxation, but it does not contain the psychoactive properties that cause a “high.” CBD oil, a nutritional supplement, is the most commonly found form of CBD products. It is simply the extracted plant substance diluted in an oil (often hemp seed oil) for easier ingestion. CBD oil can be taken sublingually (via drops under the tongue), consumed in a beverage, applied to the skin, or in any number of other ways. (For more information and different methods of how to take CBD, visit our About page.)
CBD oil and sleep
Insomnia plagues an estimated average of 30% of the population worldwide, for reasons that vary from stress to diet. We all know the groggy feeling that follows a night of poor sleep, but the deeper effects on our body are even worse, as sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and more. Fortunately, growing evidence reveals that CBD oil can help you sleep. A study published in 2019 yielded promising results on the efficacy of CBD in treating sleep and anxiety disorders. In this study, a month of CBD treatment in sleep-disordered patients led to improved sleep in nearly 70% of cases, an improvement which was largely sustained over the course of the three-month study.
As a natural, plant-based treatment, CBD was overwhelmingly well-tolerated by the study participants. CBD oil works by interacting with the natural receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is part of our central nervous system. Biologically, these receptors exist to interact with our endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids naturally produced by the body. External cannabinoids, such as CBD, can also interact with these receptors. The ECS is very important in regulating body functions, such as emotions, appetite, pain, sleep, and more. CBD is thought to help support these biological processes.
There is no evidence that CBD leads to dependence, unlike conventional sleep medications, which can cause patients to develop dependence after just a few weeks of use. In 2010, the German Centre for Addiction Issues estimated that about 1.5 million people in Germany, largely women, were dependent on benzodiazepines, one of the most commonly prescribed sleep medications. CBD is a safe and natural alternative to conventional prescription medications for inducing good sleep, a crucial aspect of our wellbeing.
How to dose CBD oil for sleep
If you’re looking to try sublingual CBD oil drops, the first thing you’ll want to do is check the potency and serving size of the given bottle. Because the appropriate CBD oil dosage is different for everyone, how many drops of CBD oil you should take will vary. If you are new to CBD, it’s best to start low and see how your body responds. Look for CBD oils with 10 mg of CBD per serving, with servings typically being measured in drops. Start with just one drop per day, then gradually increase the dosage as you see fit. The good news here is that experimentation with dosage is quite safe when it comes to CBD, as it is generally well-tolerated and has a good safety profile, as confirmed by the WHO. In clinical studies, it is rare that even those who take very high doses experience any unpleasant side effects from CBD oil. A handful of patients from the 2019 study referenced above experienced fatigue, but the vast majority experienced no unwanted effects at all.
When to take CBD oil for sleep
Take CBD oil about an hour before sleep to get the most out of its soporific effects. Hold the drop under your tongue for about 60 seconds to allow for quick absorption into your bloodstream before swallowing. You should soon begin to feel calmer and ready for sleep. In addition to its findings on sleep, the 2019 study showed CBD to be extremely effective as a natural supplement for anxiety, undoubtedly another contributing factor toward a better night’s sleep.Scientific studies are only just beginning to uncover the full spectrum of the benefits of CBD oil. That better sleep is one of them will be welcome news to the many people seeking natural paths to more restful nights.