What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) is a cannabinoid (sometimes referred to as phytocannabinoid) and therefore an active ingredient of the hemp plant.
CBD is fast becoming a world-wide sensation due to the benefits that have been reported for both significant conditions and general wellness.
There are two main types of cannabis plant strains, Indica and Sativa. Indica has a naturally higher CBD content and lower THC content. While Sativa has a higher THC and a lower CBD content.
But don't worry, CBD products will not make you "high" like the cannabinoid THC. The THC amounts are always either low, trace or zero. On the contrary CBD is said to have a calming and anti-inflammatory effect on the body, among other benefits.
For this reason CBD could help the body to relax and thus also be used against sleep disorders.
The best thing is that CBD is a safe natural product. In June 2018, the World Health Organisation confirmed in a report that CBD has no harmful effects on the body.
There are three types of CBD extract available:
- CBD full spectrum
- CBD broad spectrum
- CBD isolate
CBD products often contain other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. This is because these others substances work together and enhance the effect of the CBD. This is called the entourage effect. CBD oils with the additional substances are called full spectrum CBD.
Full spectrum oils can contain up to 0.3% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol - the substance in marijuana that gets you 'high'). The levels are so low that it is unlikely you will feel an effect, but it does mean that it may show up in a drugs test. Research shows that there are benefits - again, due to the entourage effect.
Broad Spectrum CBD contains zero THC. This ensures legality but does mean one may not benefit from the entourage effect. Information on broad spectrum oils can be confusing, because while they claim to have 0% THC, products actually may contrain traces amounts.
If it is important to you that your product to be completely THC-free, CBD isolates may be the best option for you.
High quality oils have gone through a CO2 extraction process which remove undesirable contaminants, such as pesticides and heavy metals, that can be toxic to us.
It is worth noting that this process can create by-products in the form of solvents. Producers hemp oil take great care to solvents using what's known as purging. When companies include this process the risk posed by solvents is significantly reduced. This is another reason why it's important to use reputable componies that offer a third party lab report.
CBD oils often come in oil tinctures, with a dropper for dosage, and are available in different strengths. Many companies demonstrate a passion for high-quality products and eco-friendly processes. Many contain only natural ingredients and use only non-gmo, organic hemp. It is said that the benefits of organically grown hemp include superior flavour, less impact of the environment, and less risk of contamination with dangerous toxins.
Many brands are keen to be as inclusive as possible and subsequently offer options for vegetarians, vegan and those who require gluten-free products, for example.
Depending on the brand, some oils can have a fairly intense taste. However, many are flavoured, for example with peppermint, which can only not add a pleasant taste, but sometimes add further benefits.
Does CBD help with sleep disorders?
CBD has not yet been fully reasearched, however more and more studies indicate that cannabidiol can affect our sleep in a positive way, due to its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system, which is distributed throughout the body and the brain.
This could be a real advantage especially for people with sleep disorders. In contrast to other aids, cannabidiol gives you a natural active ingredient that does not lead to physical addiction.
One of the most common reasons for sleep disorders is anxiety and stress. Both can make it harder to fall asleep or not to sleep through properly.
It would be an understatement to say that this can have a bad effect on your state of mind, but it's also detrimental to your body. The body often repairs itself during the deepest phases of sleep, such as REM. During this sleep phase our bodies regenerate and strengthen the immune system and repairs muscle tissues.
But what does that have to do with CBD?
Well, several studies show that the endocannabinoid system has access to and regulates the sleep-wake rhythm (and thus also our sleep phases).
And as a cannabinoid, CBD can work wonderfully with our endocannabinoid system. As recent studies show, CBD has a calming effect on the body, relieves anxiety and can lower stress levels. This could already combat mild sleep disorders.
The fact that the endocannabinoid system also regulates anxiety and stress, and that CBD should also have a calming, stress-relieving and anxiolytic effect, suggests that CBD can counteract sleep problems that occur due to anxiety and stress.
And because CBD is classified as safe, non-toxic and in no way leading to intoxication or addiction, CBD products could be a serious consideration for people with sleep disorders.
It is not yet completely clear whether CBD affects sleep directly. Although there are studies that assume that CBD can also play a role in the sleep cycle and in the Non-REM as well as in the REM sleep phase via the endocannabinoid system, the exact functioning is not yet known.
However, the researchers are relatively certain about the anxiolytic and stress-relieving effects of CBD. And of course this can be very valuable for people with sleep disorders.
Trouble sleeping during covid-19 pandemic?
Don't worry - you are not alone. Everyone is facing pressures they'd never even have imagined a year ago, whether they are related to relationships, work, social lives or the health of loved ones (to name a few potential sources of worry). This could lead to problems sleeping, which should be taken seriously. Sleep, as is well documented, is essential for our health but so often is neglected.
Studies on CBD and sleep
More and more studies are being conducted on the influence of CBD on our sleep.
In the coming months and years, you will probably be able to count on far more studies on this and other topics related to cannabinoids such as CBD.
As recent studies have shown, it has at least been proven that CBD has no negative effects on sleep.
As researchers at the University of A Coruna suspect, the endocannabinoid system also plays a role in our sleep-wake cycle, and the interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system is known, if not fully understood.
Also interesting is a study that was carried out on rats, which examined how the sleep quality of the rats developed when cannabidiol was administered.
It was found that CBD can modulate the sleep of rats and that the sleep quality and the deep sleep phase increased.
For balance, though, it's worth noting that there are still scientists whose studies have found no significant influence of CBD on sleep.
Due to the fact that sleep research in connection with CBD is still in its infancy, we must wait until further sleep studies are published. However, we cannot ignore the positive reports that do arise, such as the case of a 10-year-old girl who was finally able to sleep better after taking CBD. So there are people who have had very good experiences with CBD in the case of sleep problems. In addition to clinical trials, user reports of success with CBD are also valuable, we have some of these to share with you further on.
We'll keep up to date on the science as it progresses!
What CBD products could help you sleep better?
There are many different CBD products on the market, including sleep aids. The selection is huge and the manufacturers are always coming up with new and innovative ideas.
Each company claims to be producing the best cbd, so it pays to exercise caution when choosing your product. Always buy from reputable company that openly offers third party lab testing reports.
The most common and popular products are CBD oils. But there are many products to choose from, such as CBD topical creams, CBD crystals, massage oils, capsules and CBD gummies. It is always best, again, to check that that gummies do not contain any additional or unwanted additives that may adversely affect sleep.
You can also vape CBD, many choose this method as an alternative to smoking marijuana. People can often smoke Marijuana in order to self-medicate. CBD could offer a legal alternative to this.
Is there a sleep tea with CBD?
In the case of sleep disorders, various sleep teas with ingredients such as valerian, lemon balm or chamomile are often recommended. To test the effect of CBD on your sleep, you could also try hemp tea. Depending on the product, these will contains varying ingredients. One example of an addition is melatonin, which is natural hormone that helps control your sleep cycle
In any case, you should make sure that there is no illegal amount of THC in the respective hemp tea. Reputable manufacturers state the exact ingredients both in their online shop and on the tea pack.
This is a really important point, because many companies can be misleading with their labeling of ingredients. Whilst the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) do appear to be on the case with companies misrepresenting their products, CBD isn't regulated like other drugs or food supplements. So do exercise caution when buying your CBD products.
Dropping off to sleep with CBD oils
Another way to try out the effects of CBD on sleep are CBD oils. They are available in different versions and with different CBD levels. To begin with, it is recommended you start with a lower concentration.
The principle that the more CBD you use, the more effective it is, does NOT apply. Every organism reacts differently to the amount of CBD. Some people need a concentrate with 20% CBD, while others need only a 5% CBD oil.
Something similar also applies to the dosage of CBD oil. There is no generally applicable dosage so 2-3 drops day could be a good starting place.
Depending on how you react, the dosage can of course be increased slowly. Most manufacturers give a recommendation for their oils.
If you are taking medications such as omeparzol or diazepam, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist before consuming CBD products.
This is because the breakdown of these medications in the liver could be inhibited by CBD. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are not recommended to take CBD, although no specific human studies with negative effects exist.
CBD sleep disorders success stories
Our success stories come from social media, other CBD websites or through people we know personally. Some people are comfortable sharing their names and products, others prefer to remain anonymous. We feel hearing other people's positive experiences are a vital part of learning about how CBD can help, although it is important to remember that not all CBD products work the same for everyone. Don't be disheartened if one product/dosage doesn't work for you... keep trying!
We'd love to hear your success stories! If you would like to share yours, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org