How to Use CBD for Better Quality Sleep
Lack of sleep, as well as poor sleeping habits, can have a severe negative impact on overall health. It is estimated at least one in three people suffer from either mild or severe insomnia. Those affected by insomnia have a higher risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.
Lack of sleep also can negatively affect your memory, cause weight gain and encourage premature aging. Furthermore, doctors have found that prolonged use of sleeping pills tends to lessen their effectiveness.
Other negative side effects of lack of sleep include:
- Trouble thinking or concentrating
- Increased risk for accidents
- Mood swings and irritability
- Weakened immune system
- Reduced sex drive
- Poor balance and coordination
Thankfully, many natural approaches can help your sleep cycle get back on track. One of the most effective alternative therapies for combating insomnia and poor sleep quality is cannabidiol (CBD).
What is CBD?
CBD is one of two main cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both CBD and THC work with one of the body’s most widespread regulatory systems, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is comprised of numerous receptors located all throughout the body.
CBD primarily interacts with two receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors primarily are found in the brain, nervous system and immune system. Both the CB1 and CB2 receptors can be activated by a cannabinoid such as CBD or THC, or by the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids.
However, the main difference between CBD and THC is CBD does not produce any psychological effects. This is because it does not directly bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Rather, CBD encourages the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids to activate the receptors and do more of what they normally do.
Because of this incredible interaction, CBD has produced promising evidence as an effective alternative therapy for a number of conditions beyond insomnia and poor sleep. Initial studies have found CBD offers a multitude of medicinal benefits, including:
- Antiemetic (reduces nausea and vomiting)
- Anticonvulsant (suppresses seizure activity)
- Anxiolytic (combats anxiety)
- Analgesic (relieves pain)
Why does CBD Help with Sleep?
Though the evidence remains largely inconclusive, numerous studies have shown CBD to be effective at both improving sleep quality and combating insomnia. Not only does CBD interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, it also interacts with receptors in the serotonin system. Because of these interactions, CBD appears to influence a number of sleep-related bodily functions, including sleep-wake cycles and emotional regulation.
In smaller doses, CBD also has been shown to enhance alertness and reduce daytime sleepiness. This can be effective in increasing the consistency and strength of the sleep-wake cycle.
In addition, because CBD has powerful anxiolytic and antidepressant effects, sleep quality often is improved for individuals suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. CBD’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce pain and, in turn, improve sleep quality for those suffering from chronic pain and inflammatory diseases.
How to Source Quality CBD
An important aspect of CBD usage is acknowledging that not all products are created equally. Several factors must be considered before buying a CBD product to ensure you receive the maximum benefits.
First, you should ensure the CBD product you choose is a whole-plant extract, sourced from organically grown hemp and extracted by carbon dioxide. Whole-plant extracts are preferable to isolates due to CBD’s synergistic nature and the way it interacts with the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp plants.
It’s crucial the hemp from which the CBD is sourced is organically grown. This is because hemp is an incredibly efficient bioaccumulator, meaning it will absorb nutrients and chemicals in the surrounding soil, good or bad. So, if pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals are used in the growing process, it’s likely they will end up in the final product as well. Similarly, extracting CBD products using unsafe methods, such as heat and solvents, will cause the final product’s quality to be compromised. Using heat will kill many of CBD’s essential nutrients, as well as reducing its medicinal benefits. Like harmful chemicals, solvents also tend to end up in the final product when that extraction method is used.
→ For more information on how to source a quality CBD product, click here.
How to Dose Your CBD
The most important thing to remember when determining your proper CBD dosage is that CBD affects each individual differently. This means there is no one-size-fits-all. This being said, there are a few guidelines to help you find the best dosage for you.
The first step in dosing CBD is starting small. This means you should start with the lowest recommended dosage. This will allow your body to become acclimated and reduce the risk of side effects.
*It’s important to note there have been no serious reported side effects from CBD, though some individuals have experienced dry mouth and mild stomachaches.*
The next step is maintaining the initial dosage for at least a few days before increasing it. This is important because CBD often takes several days to kick in. In fact, in some cases it may take up to 30 days the full effects are realized.
Once you have maintained the initial dose for between three and seven days, you can increase it gradually. Typically, you only will increase it by about five milligrams at a time, depending on the product’s concentration.
Simply repeat these steps until you feel the desired effect.
→ For more information on how to dose your CBD, click here.
CBD has shown promising evidence as an extremely effective alternative therapy for a number of health conditions, including poor sleep quality and insomnia. Because it interacts with a variety of receptors and systems within the body, CBD is able to directly influence many aspects that make up healthy sleep patterns.