Welcome to the second post in our series on just how CBD can truly help with all the things you hear about. Our first post covered how CBD works in the body and how it helps with epilepsy. Most people, however, are looking to CBD for more common conditions and wellness concerns, one of those being sleep.
Many, many people make anecdotal claims that CBD helps them fall asleep easier and stay asleep through the night when they don’t normally. But what’s the scientific evidence behind that? What’s going on behind the scenes (or shall we say, ‘behind the eyelids’) to make that happen?
The nuts and bolts
If you’ll remember from our earlier post, our body’s endocannabinoid system helps with functions of homeostasis. As part of that, it has specific receptors that directly affect and help monitor our sleep/wake cycles. Recent research has found that endocannabinoids react with those receptors and improve regulation of the cycles. For people who struggle to fall or stay asleep, something is clearly up with their system’s normal regulation—their body is not readily taking in or recognizing enough endocannabinoids through the sleep/wake receptors—which means that when they should naturally feel sleepy at night and awake in the morning, they don’t. So, introducing CBD helps bolster the endocannabinoid system’s balancing influence, causing the body to recognize more cannabinoids through those receptors and get it back to its natural patterns.
The other big thing to consider here is that when we have issues sleeping, it often stems from other symptoms and conditions. Ahem, anxiety and pain, we’re looking at you. Well, as we’ll explain in the next two posts in this series, CBD has been found to both significantly decrease symptoms of occasional anxiety and provide temporary relief of minor aches and pains associated with exercise and aging.
And naturally, if something reduces your pain and anxiety, it’ll likely help you sleep better, too. But don’t just take our word for it— Consumer Reports talked with docs and scientists alike who corroborated the positive correlation, along with CBD’s influence on our circadian rhythms. Current findings report that CBD predominantly helps with short-term sleep issues as opposed to ongoing or chronic problems. However, because the research is still relatively limited, much of these findings could be dependent on dosage or timing.
In fact, nascent research shows the potential for CBD to help with more serious sleep issues, like insomnia, citing its effect promoting wakefulness during the day as something to help cause natural sleepiness in the evening. But insomnia, too, is often caused by a range of unrelated issues (read: stress and anxiety and pain and inflammation), so CBD’s likelihood of helping with insomnia could be linked primarily to its ability to help with the other issues.
While there is still the need for more research to determine dosage, timing and best conditions for CBD to be helpful with sleep and insomnia, all current indications are positive. With CBD, you can rest easy, and with better rest comes better wellness overall. Needless to say, we’re pretty big fans.