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CBD for Sleep: A Survey of Current Research

Proper sleep is necessary for a person to maintain optimal health and peak performance. A lack of sleep can potentially lead to neuro-psychological issues and have a negative effect on energy levels, cognitive ability, memory formation, and muscle recovery, amongst other things. Unfortunately, many Europeans deal with sleeping problems. According to one study, the percentage of the population dealing with such issues ranges from 16% in Demark to 31% in Poland. (Straat)

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant. This fascinating cannabinoid has attracted significant interest in recent years, as a natural treatment for a range of conditions and illnesses. This includes using cbd for sleep, which was one of the top 4 reasons for CBD use according to one study. (Moltke) Despite the significant increase in studies, there is still a lack of conclusive research on CBD’s use as a sleeping aid. However, some studies from the past decade have shown promising results.

CBD for Sleep Research

A 2018 study of the effect of cannabinoids on sleep demonstrated an average insomnia symptom severity reduction of -4.5 points on a 10 point scale, with CBD having a more statistically significant effect on symptom relief compared to THC. (Vigil) Another randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design study with 65 healthy adult men and women tested the effects of 15 mg of CBD (or a placebo) per day for 6 weeks as the test subjects followed the normal daily routines. In this study, there were significant within-group changes of perceived sleep quality. (Lopez) However, it should be noted that this study was not specifically focused on sleep.

A 2019 study that consisted of 72 adult subjects dealing with either anxiety (n=47) or sleep (n=25) problems. While sleep scores improved within the first month for 2/3 of the subjects, they fluctuated over time, with some experiencing long term improvement, and others not. In general, more patients experienced improved sleep compared to poorer sleep. (Shannon)

 

CBD, Anxiety, and Sleep

More indirectly, CBD shows promise as a treatment for anxiety caused sleep issues. (read more about CBD and anxiety here). Those suffering from insomnia often fall into a loop of anxiety related to their sleeping problems, which only prevents sleep even more. The research around CBD’s effects as an anti-anxiolytic are more established. Within the ECS, one endocannabinoid called anandamide, also known as the ‘bliss molecule’, works to regulate your emotions and is responsible for coordinating the reward system in your body that stimulates a sense of happiness and mental wellbeing.

So, when you’re using CBD, your body processes more anandamide rather than breaking it down, thus making its effects even stronger. In other words, CBD plays a role in making the endocannabinoid anandamide more effective, thus having a positive impact on mood regulation.

 

CBD may also indirectly help as a sleep aid by reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is often called the stress hormone, and for most people peaks in the morning. However, in many people who suffer from insomnia, it may peak at night, which impacts people’s ability to sleep. (Shannon)

 

Conclusion

Despite the promising signs, it is still too early to say that CBD is a sleep aid. Larger scale and more controlled studies are necessary to make any conclusive claims about CBD’s use as a sleeping aid. The need for more studies is urgent because there is a low rate of satisfaction with the efficacy and side effects of pharmaceutical sleep aids.  

In the mean time, many people do benefit from CBD and say that it helps them sleep. There is only one way for you to learn if you are one them. Check out our shop for a variety CBD oil flavors.

 

Sources

    1.     Lopez HL, Cesareo KR, Raub B, Kedia AW, Sandrock JE, Kerksick CM, Ziegenfuss TN. Effects of Hemp Extract on Markers of Wellness, Stress Resilience, Recovery and Clinical Biomarkers of Safety in Overweight, But Otherwise Healthy Subjects. J Diet Suppl. 2020;17(5):561-586. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1765941. Epub 2020 May 27. PMID: 32456572.
    2.    Moltke, Julie & Hindocha, Chandni. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 
    3.   Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041. PMID: 30624194; PMCID: PMC6326553.
    4.   Straat, Vera & Bracke, Piet. (2015). How well does Europe sleep? A cross-national study of sleep problems in European older adults. International journal of public health. 60. 643-650. 10.1007/s00038-015-0682-y.