Insomnia and Sleep
5 Reasons Why CBD and Gaba Can Assist Sleep
CBD research shows how taking cannabidiol can have a positive effect on sleep. In this article, we will examine how GABA and CBD work together to create the perfect combination for tackling sleep-related issues.
This article covers all of the topics below. Click on each bullet point to skip to the relevant section.
- What is GABA?
- How to increase GABA levels?
- What is CBD?
- Will CBD get you high?
- How to take CBD?
- 5 reasons why GABA and CBD will promote better sleep
- Where can I buy GABA supplements for sleep?
What is GABA?
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter, facilitating communication among brain cells. It is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the brain; in fact, over 40% of neurons have a GABA receptor. The primary role of this amino acid is to slow the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system. This process helps our brain shift into a lower gear and bring about more relaxation and calm.
How to Increase GABA Levels
Research shows a link between low levels of GABA and increased anxiety, high blood pressure and insomnia. These findings indicate that a GABA deficit is possible and balancing your GABA levels is vital to good health.
Can you get GABA naturally from food?
GABA isn’t readily available in natural food products. However, some fermented products, including yoghurt and kefir, contain the amino acid. Alternatively, some foods contain a substance called flavonoids, which influence how GABA works in the brain.
These products include:
- Green, black and oolong teas
- Red wine
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a naturally occurring compound and are rich in antioxidant activity. A diet rich in flavonoids will assist your body in fighting off everyday toxins and decrease the risk of some chronic health conditions. The flavonoids in some foods will activate the GABA receptors and help regulate your body.
GABA as a supplement
GABA is also available as a supplement to treat anxiety, high blood pressure, pain-related issues and sleep problems. However, when taken alone, GABA supplements struggle to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, this means that only a small amount of the supplement may make it to your brain and will have little effect. For the most effective results, researchers recommended taking an enhanced GABA supplement that does not inhibit the GABA receptor.
What is CBD?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of over one hundred compounds that come from the cannabis plant. Unlike its cousin, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is non-psychoactive and will not have intoxicating effects.
The cannabis plant goes through an extraction method to release the CBD and make it safe for consumption. It is then combined with a carrier oil, such as MCT or olive oil, to form the CBD oil you see on the market.
Will CBD get you High?
The short answer – no, CBD will not get you high.
One of the most common misconceptions around CBD is its ability to cause a ‘high’. The confusion stems from its association with the cannabis plant. In fact, cannabidiol comes from the hemp variation of the cannabis strain but does not have psychoactive abilities. Therefore, when CBD gets extracted from the plant, the intoxicating component, THC, gets removed. The varying extraction methods will affect the quality of the final product and how much THC is left. Considering this, we recommend looking for a company that is transparent about its CBD extraction process.
The quality and contents of CBD oil will differ from where you buy it, however, here at ULU, we guarantee our products contain less than 0.0005% of THC – virtually zero, hence why we pride ourselves on our premium quality.
The Different Types of Cannabidiol
As with the extraction process, different types of cannabidiol can affect the end product. If your product contains high levels of THC; it could work against the GABA receptors in your body and inhibit it, which will lead to little improvement in your sleep. Consequently, it’s essential to do your research about the type of CBD you’re taking and the extraction methods available.
CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol and an ideal type for first-time buyers. Products with CBD isolate will not contain any of the other beneficial cannabinoids. This type of CBD is also an excellent option for anyone who has to take a drug test, such as professional athletes.
In full-spectrum CBD, the whole plant gets extracted, meaning it contains all of the natural cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant. With full-spectrum, you will be able to taste and smell the hemp. Lastly, this variation is a good option for amino acid and GABA supplements because the flavonoids in the hemp plant are still present and activate the GABA in our brains.
Sitting in between full-spectrum and isolate, broad-spectrum CBD has trace elements of other beneficial cannabinoids (CBDa and CBG) but only a mild taste of the hemp plant.
How to take CBD?
CBD products come in many different forms, and depending on what you need it for, you may need a specific product.
Some CBD forms include:
- Bath bombs
- Topical treatments (such as creams and muscle rubs)
If you’re looking to treat sleep difficulties, our CBD and GABA oil is the best option for you because of its ability to enter the bloodstream and pass through the blood-brain barrier.
To read more about the different types of CBD head to our guide to CBD products.
5 Reasons Why CBD and GABA Can Promote Better Sleep
Now you know what GABA and CBD are, we will explore how these two potent compounds interact with our body to assist sleep.
1. CBD is a Natural Sleep Aid
Cannabidiol is a natural sleep aid because of the way it interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex cell-signalling system within our bodies that helps to regulate sleep, mood, and other bodily functions. Furthermore, our bodies naturally contain cannabidiol, so added CBD would improve the functions of our ECS and help restore balance and harmony in our body, allowing us to sleep easier.
Over the last few years, research has focused on how CBD affects sleep. In a study of 72 adults, 66.7% of patients reported improvements in their sleep within the first month. In addition, 79.2% of patients said their anxiety was reduced within the first month and remained low for the duration of the study. So in conclusion, CBD has been known to relax the mind and body and naturally aids sleep thanks to its ability to assist the ECS and balance our bodies.
2. GABA Helps you Fall Asleep Faster and Wake Up Refreshed
Research shows that higher levels of GABA put people in a non-REM state of rest for longer. This stage of sleep is known to use less energy and promotes calmer sensations such as slowed breathing and heart rate. Due to this change, participants reported a noticeable difference in their sleep. As a matter of fact, the increased time of non-REM sleep meant people would wake up feeling refreshed and energised. Moreover, the same study also demonstrated how quickly GABA gets absorbed into the body, hence it had a significantly strong effect on the early stages of sleep. Therefore, having added GABA supplements make it easier to fall asleep quicker.
3. GABA and its Affect on Blood Pressure
As our bodies prepare for sleep, there is a natural drop in blood pressure which helps us transition into rest. However, if you have a higher blood pressure than average, this can inhibit your ability to fall asleep and cause more sleep problems. Studies show GABA has a positive effect on this and can lower high blood pressure. Consequently, taking a GABA supplement will help in the progression to sleep and improve the quality of rest.
4. The Entourage Effect
There is an argument that when taking GABA supplements alone, they struggle to have a significant effect because it cannot break the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain. Despite that, when enriched with CBD, the abilities of both substances are enhanced, meaning that the added GABA can get to the brain and help promote better quality sleep.
When you’re looking for an enriched GABA supplement, make sure to do your research and choose one combined with pure CBD. If you’re taking a GABA supplement alongside a THC product, this can have the reverse effect and inhibit your GABA receptors. Instead of your supplement increasing your GABA levels, it will shut down your bodies ability to regulate stress and anxiety.
Here at ULU, we pride ourselves on our high-quality ingredients; that’s why we have a 0% THC guarantee and test our products with a third party, to give you complete peace of mind.
5. Reduces Anxiety and Presses the Pause Button on your Brain
When our brain goes into the stress response of ‘fight, flight, or freeze’, our brain produces a stress hormone called cortisol. When this process happens, it can negatively impact our bodies and minds – including our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. After that, GABA and the GABA receptors in our bodies send a signal to your brain to stop the stress response and produce feelings of relaxation. It’s common for people with anxiety to have lower levels of GABA and not be able to regulate the stress response in a healthy way. Accordingly, when we experience higher levels of stress and low levels of GABA, this can lead to enhanced sleep problems.
The amino acid is also useful for calming our mind, especially when overstimulated with thoughts. When you reduce anxiety, it leads to improved sleep quantity and quality.
Where Can I Buy GABA Supplements for Sleep?
When treating conditions like insomnia, there are medications that you can take. However, these can come with substantial side effects such as hallucinations, which can negatively affect GABA levels. With supplements, you can safely increase your GABA levels and sleep better – they are ideal for helping you switch off before bed.
As we discussed earlier, some feedback shows taking GABA supplements alone are relatively ineffective. This ineffectiveness is due to the added GABA not being able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, meaning only a small amount of the supplement will make it to your brain.
Nevertheless, GABA enriched with another component such as CBD, enhances its ability to break through that barrier and make it to the brain, resulting in a more reliable and effective product.
When these two powerful components are combined, you get a stronger boost and better sleep.
Here at ULU, we crafted a premium range of CBD and amino acid supplements, including our CBD and GABA oil. While GABA supplements aren’t new to the market, the combination of CBD and GABA supplements are relativity forthcoming.
Our CBD and GABA oil work to improve sleep thanks to its ability to reduce stress, pain, and enhance mental and physical performance. When combined, it creates an entourage effect . Meaning together the CBD and GABA have more substantial effects compared to being taken alone.
Get Shopping for CBD and Gaba Products
We hope this article has educated you on the beautiful benefits of GABA and CBD for sleep. You can read more about CBD and Sleep.