We all have restless nights from time to time. But when it gets to the point where it‚Äôs happening on a regular basis, you might need some supplementary help to catch those precious ZZZs. Melatonin, valerian root, and even sleeping pills can all provide some short-term relief for insomnia, but one of the most recently hyped ‚Äì and controversial ‚Äì sleep remedies available today is CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a compound known by its chemical formula as C‚ÇÇ‚ÇÅH‚ÇÉ‚ÇÄO‚ÇÇ and is found in marijuana and hemp. It‚Äôs produced in a variety of forms including oils, pills, sprays and inhalers. CBD has been praised as a natural remedy for a wide range of medical issues such as anxiety, pain and cancer-related symptoms. But the most widely known and researched use for CBD is to treat two rare and severe forms of childhood epilepsy ‚Äì Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Recently,Epidiolex became the first and only CBD oral solution approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of seizures associated with these two kinds of epilepsy.Although CBD is linked with cannabis, it‚Äôs important to note this compound is non-psychoactive, which means it won‚Äôt get you high after taking it. CBD, though, remains highly controversial due to its association with marijuana and hemp. Therefore, its legality remains a gray area in many states. CBD extracted from hemp with a low level of THC ‚Äì the psychoactive compound in marijuana ‚Äì is legal nationwide thanks to theAgriculture Improvement Act of 2018. On the other hand, CBD extracted from cannabis is illegal on the federal level but can be legal under state legislation.
CBD and Sleep
CBD may help alleviate anxiety, which is one of the main causes of insomnia.Some studies have¬†suggested that CBD‚Äôs calming effects might occur because it interacts with serotonin and GABA receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that manages mood and anxiety, whereas GABA receptors (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) role is to inhibit or reduce the activity of the neurons (or nerve cells) to help mitigate activity in the central nervous system. These interactions in the body may produce a state of mind that is conducive to sleep, butsome researchers question if CBD‚Äôs anxiety-relieving benefits are due to the placebo effect.CBD‚Äôsanti-inflammatory properties may be another reason the compound is useful for better sleep. Inflammation is known to be a cause for sleeplessness, and reducing that pain with an anti-inflammatory remedy such as CBD could lead to more restful nights.There have been a handful of studies that suggest CBD could treat arthritis and ease the inflammation that comes along with it. However, these studies were tested on animals, so there‚Äôs a lack of evidence to prove that CBD is a suitable treatment for humans.According to researchers at theUniversity of Sao Paulo, CBD may help ease REM sleep behavior in patients with Parkinson‚Äôs disease. People with this condition physically act out their dreams by moving their limbs, getting out of bed and even having a conversation while sleeping. Treating these patients with CBD was shown to lower the frequency of these symptoms without any major side effects, leaving the possibility open for CBD as an effective remedy.If you‚Äôre wondering if CBD makes you feel sleepier or more awake, the answer might in the dosage.One study suggested low doses stimulate alertness and lessens daytime sleepiness, which can be a good thing if you suffer from daytime fatigue. Conversely,another study associated larger doses with more time sleeping. However, there hasn‚Äôt been too much research on CBD dosages to verify these potential claims.
The Bottom Line
All in all, more research needs to be conducted regarding CBD‚Äôs effects on sleep before there‚Äôs a conclusive answer as to whether this compound can help you get a good night‚Äôs slumber. If you‚Äôre considering trying this remedy, do your own research. First, check your state‚Äôs laws to ensure CBD is legal. Then, talk with your doctor and find out if CBD might interact with any other medications you‚Äôre currently taking. Also, be aware that CBD is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, so it can be tough to know what exactly you‚Äôre purchasing. ¬†
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