Sleeplessness or insomnia is a common modern malaise. According to official data, half of the adults in Canada have trouble sleeping, and one in five doesn’t feel refreshed from a night’s sleep. Many Canadians are hesitant to go take sleeping pills and are trying alternative therapies, including to CBD oil Canada to help them sleep.
The question is, is it safe to take CBD as a sleeping aid, and if so, how much should one take?
Some background on CBD
CBD, short for cannabidoil, is a chemical compound present in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids that scientists have identified so far. CBD appears to provide several health benefits through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is distributed throughout the body and it’s responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. Cannabinoids like CBD bind to ECS receptors to produce certain results, such as relieving pain or anxiety.
How could CBD help you to sleep better?
CBD could act as a sleeping aid by tackling some of the causes of insomnia – the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, insomnia is generally caused by
- an irregular sleep schedule
- poor sleeping habits
- mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety
- physical illnesses and pain
- neurological problems
- specific sleep disorders
CBD oil Canada may assist with difficulties falling asleep through its ability to address some of these issues related to poor sleep.
There are loads of testimonials online of people who say that taking CBD has made them feel less anxious. Research has also shown that CBD can have a calming effect.
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A 2015 review of 49 studies concluded that there’s strong evidence that CBD has potential as a treatment for anxiety disorders. The writers noted that oral doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg reduce experimentally induced anxiety in healthy participants and reduces anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.
A retrospective chart review conducted in 2019 of adult psychiatric patients treated with CBD for anxiety at a large psychiatric outpatient clinic in Fort Collins, CO, found that CBD shows promise as a tool for reducing anxiety. Scientists looked at the medical records of 72 adults who had been diagnosed with anxiety or sleep disorder – 47 were experiencing anxiety and 25 had sleeping problems. The participants each received 25 mg of CBD in capsule form per day. In the first month, 57 patients experienced less anxiety and their anxiety levels didn’t increase again during the duration of the study. During the same time, 48 patients saw their sleep scores improve, but this fluctuated over time.
By reducing anxiety, CBD may help people to relax and fall asleep, but scientists warn that since this was an open-label and nonrandomized study, these results must be interpreted cautiously.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A few studies on the effects of CBD on PTSD symptoms show promise, but researchers are very cautious about these preliminary results. A retrospective, open-label chart review, which didn’t include a placebo or a control group, found that CBD may have a beneficial effect for patients with PTSD, including experiencing fewer nightmares. PTSD patients are known to be troubled by nightmares caused by their traumatic experiences.
Anxiety and sleep disorders are common symptoms of PTSD. A 2016 case study of a young girl, who was sexually abused at the age of three, was treated with CBD at the age of ten. Her anxiety and difficulties with sleeping steadily improved over a period of five months. For the first time in her life, she was able to sleep in her own room and sleep through the night most of the time.
This study, albeit of one person, provided clinical evidence that CBD oil is a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young person with PTSD.
The sleep cycle
A limited number of studies show that CBD can influence a person’s sleep cycle. Part of the sleep cycle is the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, which occurs several times a night. It’s also the time when you dream. Under normal circumstances, we don’t act out what we are dreaming, but those suffering from REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) get nightmares which they physically act out, making loud noises and moving about.
In a 2014 research study of four patients with Parkinson’s disease scientists found that CBD is able to control the symptoms of RBD.
A 2017 review of research literature drew the conclusion that CBD may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia, but noted that longitudinal research is required to confirm study results.
Pain is a major reason why people struggle to sleep. CBD has been shown to relieve pain caused by cancer and inflammation, which may help people to sleep better. A comprehensive review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2018 concluded that there’s substantial evidence to support the use of CBD to soothe pain.
The authors note that vaping CBD is effective in reducing neuropathic pain, and compared to oral cannabinoids, patients feel the pain-relieving the effect of inhaled cannabis faster. While oral CBD may be less effective to reduce neuropathic pain, the data shows promising secondary effects like improving sleep and quality of life.
Is it safe to take CBD as a sleeping aid?
The one aspect that all researchers seem to agree on is the safety of CBD oil Canada. No reports of lethal overdose relating to any of the cannabinoids are known. Scientists say that they have not found any risks with short-term use, but they do caution that more research is needed to determine the possible long-term risks.
While side effects are uncommon, it’s important to know that CBD interacts with certain medications, so it’s important to consult your health care provider if you are taking any medicines and want to try CBD.
CBD seems to show promise as a sleeping aid. The substance is not addictive like sleeping pills, and have no severe side effects. Scientists agree that more research is necessary to understand the working of CBD and what the outcome of long-term use might be.