Sleep problems, like taking a long time to fall asleep, frequent awakenings, or drowsiness in the morning affect up to one-third of the population.
There are countless different supplements, strategies, and techniques that can improve your sleep quality, but is CBD one of them?
As it turns out, there is no easy answer – some people find that the regular use of CBD gummies greatly improves many issues, but especially their sleep, while a small percentage of people report that it stimulates them and makes it even harder to fall asleep.
That phenomenon is also confirmed by at least one clinical study. As you’ll learn in this article, the effects of CBD on sleep are highly variable across people and depend on your unique brain chemistry, as well as the dosage.
Why Does CBD Affect Everyone Differently?
There are wide genetic variations when it comes to endocannabinoid receptors, also known as CB1 and CB2 receptors.
If you happen to be a person in whom the expression of the CB receptors is sub-optimal, which can be up to 80% of the population, the natural cannabinoids, which are produced in your body may not be enough to bind to those receptors.
As a result, you may have low pain tolerance, difficulty initiating sleep, and problems regulating your mood.
In this case, taking CBD oil may be very helpful, and may greatly improve the quality of your sleep, lower your anxiety levels, and reduce chronic pain. In other people, who have an already optimally-functioning internal cannabinoid system, CBD may not have a huge impact.
Of course, the above explanation is a bit overly simplistic when you consider how complex the biology of the endocannabinoid system actually is, but you get the idea. – your genes mater when it comes to how CBD will affect you and how much it will help with your sleep.
Is CBD Isolate or Full-Spectrum CBD Better For Sleep?
The ‘entourage effect’ of CBD is well known – this effect refers to the increased therapeutic potential of CBD when it’s in combination with the other chemicals found in the cannabis flower, as opposed to in an isolated form.
However, it’s not clear how much this effect applies directly to sleep. But it’s very possible, that full-spectrum CBD may be more helpful in this regard.
Getting The Dosage Right May Be Important
At least one study has shown that lower doses of CBD promote wakefulness, while high doses can be sleep-inducing. This is not as surprising as it may seem at first – nicotine, for example, is already well known for its dose-dependent effect, changing from a stimulant to a depressant with increasing dosage.
However, this finding isn’t universal – many people report that even tiny doses of CBD improve their sleep.
Just keep in mind that it’s worth experimenting with different CBD dosages when it comes to sleep.
CBD + Melatonin
When the goal is to improve the quality of your sleep, CBD is often combined with melatonin. Melatonin is a natural sleep inducer, and the brain automatically starts secreting it when it gets dark at night.
For people who suffer from insomnia, this natural melatonin release may not work optimally, so external melatonin is often taken right before bed.
Products that contain both melatonin and CBD are becoming more and more popular – gummies commonly feature this combination.
CBD May Improve Your Sleep Indirectly, Without Exerting a Sedative Effect
As may very well be the case, most of the anecdotal accounts of CBD greatly improving sleep may not be directly related to any sedative or calming effects it may have.
CBD may simply reduce some of the factors that harm the quality of your sleep – like pain or anxiety. Anxiety wreaks havoc on many of the body’s endocrine or hormonal processes, so it’s not surprising that reducing your anxiety levels may improve the quality of your sleep.
The pain of course can make it harder to fall asleep, especially if its severity increases when you move from side to side as you try to fall asleep, as is the case with back pain.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors and unknown variables involved in how CBD will affect you. In the end, the only way to discover if it improves your sleep is to give it a try.
Remember that CBD oil may not exert most of its beneficial effects from the first dose and may take a while to build up in your system, so don’t expect miracles from the first drop.