Insomnia and Sleep
Can CBD Help You Sleep?
Can CBD Help You Sleep?
This article examines how CBD can help you sleep as well as explaining how it does it. Sleep deprivation is briefly discussed before examining how CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in the human body.
Both the cannabis and hemp plant have been used for a variety of ailments throughout the world for several centuries (Gill, 2020). Since the discovery of the first cannabinoid in 1960 (Breus, 10.08.2017), at least one hundred different cannabinoids have been discovered (Babson et al, 2017; Shannon et al, 2019; Suraev et al, 2020).
Within this realm of discovery, two cannabinoids came to the fore; tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC), and cannabidiol, (CBD). Whereas THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis that induces the feeling of being “high” (Shannon et al, 2019; Babson et al, 2017), CBD, which can be found in both the cannabis and hemp plant, was found to counteract this and even help improve many health related issues, including different types of sleep deprivation (Babson et al, 2017).
This article examines how CBD can help you sleep and how does CBD help you sleep. Sleep deprivation is discussed before examining how CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in the human body.
How well Do You Sleep?
Sleep is essential in maintaining nervous system homeostasis, yet many of us have experienced, or are experiencing, difficulties sleeping. This can occur for a variety of reasons. Some causes can be dealt with, such as making changes to our lifestyle or habits. Yet many health conditions, like chronic pain, stress and anxiety, can make it harder for adults to achieve the 7 – 9 hours’ sleep per night the NHS recommends (NHS, 2018).
What is Insomnia?
A common sleep disorder that is thought to affect one in three people in the UK. With symptoms varying between mild and chronic, insomnia is when an individual experiences extreme difficulty either trying to fall asleep or being unable to sleep long enough to avoid feeling lethargic the next morning (The Sleep Council, nd). According to the NHS (2018), you may have insomnia if you regularly
- experience difficulties try to fall asleep and/or lie awake at night
- wake up several times during the night
- wake up too early in the morning and cannot get back to sleep
- feel tired after waking up
- experience difficulties trying to nap in the day, despite feeling tired
- feel tired and irritable through the day
- have trouble trying to concentrate due to being tired
Complications of insomnia
Continued sleep deprivation can contribute to many health issues, such as an increased risk of depression, stress and anxiety. It can even increase the development of some neurodegenerative diseases and plays an important role, according to Kesner and Lovinger (2020), in “almost all psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse disorders”.
There are several options available to overcome sleep deprivation, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This encourages you to change thought processes and behaviours preventing you from sleeping, as well as medication. However, it is recognised that sleep medication has several undesirable side effects. These include being highly addictive, causing prolonged drowsiness and difficulty when completing tasks. (NHS, 2018; Suraev et al, 2020). With growing awareness of these side effects, an increasing number of people are veering towards natural solutions. This resulted in CBD becoming a popular choice as a sleep aid (Babson et al, 2017; Gill, 2020; Shannon et al, 2019).
How does CBD Help You Sleep?
CBD and the Human Body
As explained at the start of this article, CBD is known as a cannabinoid. This is because it interacts with cannabinoid receptors which are situated in the human body’s endocannabinoid system (Gill, 2020). The endocannabinoid system is integral in how the human body controls mood, appetite, pain, sleep and circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are 24 hour cycles concerning our daily physical and mental processes, including the light-related circadian rhythm, which involves the sleep-wake cycle, and thus has the potential to affect our sleep patterns (NIH, 2020).
The Endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system is home to a network of cannabinoid receptors in both the human brain and central nervous system. Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) are two main receptors within the endocannabinoid system (Babson et al, 2017).
CBD is an indirect CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist. An agonist is a chemical that binds itself to a receptor, activating it to produce a biological response. (Suraev et al, 2020).
Therefore, as an agonist, CBD binds itself to anandamide, the main endogenous cannabinoid receptor. Thus inhibiting its degradative enzyme, fatty acid amid hydrolase (FAAH). By doing this, levels of anandamide increase as FAAH can no longer restrict it, thereby inducing sleep (Suraev et al, 2020). This is what makes CBD an effective sleep aid.
Furthermore, as CBD has analgesic properties, it reduces pain and inflammation, both of which can impede sleep quality, providing more reason for it to be used as a natural sleep aid for many people throughout the world. Fall asleep using any of our ULU products to relax and calm your mind and body.
Where’s the Proof?
Despite commenting that previous research undertaken concerning cannabinoids and sleep prior to 2012 was unreliable due to the small samples used, Gates et al (2014) acknowledged that this research recognised THC had a sedative effect in contrast to the stimulating effect of CBD. This was echoed by the literature review completed by Babson et al(2017) concerning the use of cannabis, cannabinoids and sleep. But whereas Gates et al (2014) noted that varying the ratio of THC to CBD would affect sleep outcomes, Babson et al (2017:23) went one step further, determining ‘low-dose CBD has a stimulating effect while high-dose CBD has a sedating effect’. In addition, they found that literature indicated THC alone would have short-term sleeping benefits and that medium, as well as high, doses of CBD would have a sedating effect in respect of sleeping disorders.
A detailed study
In a study of 72 adults by Shannon et al (2019), 25 individuals were primarily experiencing poor sleep and were monitored for three months using CBD to determine whether it would help them. It was found that ‘sleep improved for most patients, and these improvements were sustained over time’ (Shannon et al, 2019:np).
It is worth noting that the remaining 47 participants of this study were suffering from anxiety and were taking the same doses of CBD as their sleep deprived counterparts. Although both sets of participants benefited from using CBD, those suffering from anxiety appeared to benefit more (Shannon et al, 2019).
Furthermore, CBD presented participants with minimal side-effects, although Shannon et al (2019) conceded this could have been due to the low levels of CBD doses given to participants. Their reasoning for using doses lower than used in similar research was to elicit ‘an adequate clinical response’ and to keep costs low (Shannen et al, 2019:np).
CBD as a sleep aid
A year later, in an online consumer report called ‘Can CBD Help You Sleep?’ (Gill, 2020), Joseph Maroon, a clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, who researched the effects of cannabis on the human brain, stated CBD contains properties that could act as a sleep aid and is an “alternative natural method to help calm anxious thoughts that often delay or interrupt natural sleep.” Fiorenzi (2020) appears to agree, further commenting that not only do CBD users tend to fall asleep more quickly, they awaken feeling more refreshed the next day.
More research is needed
Most sources used in this article recognise the need for more research to be done concerning CBD and its benefits. Indeed, researching for this article highlighted the need for it, particularly in the UK. However, it could be argued that consideration should be given to the growing knowledge and awareness amongst society about CBD. You may have heard about CBD from someone you know. May have researched its benefits or be part of a group that discusses CBD. Even though scientific research goes some way into providing proof about the benefits of CBD, personal knowledge and/or experience may be useful too.
How can I take CBD to help me sleep?
All ULU products are THC free, meaning you will not suffer any psychoactive reactions using them, such as hallucinations. Furthermore, our organic CBD products, which are sourced from hemp farms in the EU, not only contain the correct amount of cannabidiol, they are also free from pesticides and herbicides. To find out more, you can read our lab reports.
Available are full-spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolates in our products, which vary in health benefits. Knowing what each is will help you determine what will best suit your needs.
Here are some ULU products that will help you regularly achieve that much needed good night’s sleep.
As a powerful antioxidant with natural anti-inflammatory properties, our CBD oil can reduce inflammatory pain and alter your brain’s reaction to it. This causes an analgesic effect, enabling you to have a pain free sleep. Furthermore, it can reduce anxiety by altering how your brain responds to stress. Helping you to relax into a peaceful slumber.
ULU CBD oil is extracted from cannabidiol found in the hemp plant; it therefore contains no THC. Our CBD oil will consist of full-spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolates.
How do I use ULU CBD oil?
There are several ways to use CBD oil; under your tongue (sublingually) or adding it to your food and/or drink. Before using it, we would recommend shaking the bottle to activate the CBD before filling the dropper to your required amount.
Sublingual Benefits of CBD
CBD taken this way directly enters your blood stream via the tiny capillaries under your tongue to provide rapid absorption.You will feel it working within 15-25 minutes and, as it doesn’t pass through your liver, as much as 35% of CBD can reach your bloodstream. For best results, hold our CBD oil under your tongue for around 60 seconds before swallowing. Have a drink to swallow any residual oil to minimise any wastage.
You can browse our CBD oil products and find out more about them here.
Using cannabidiol in its purest form, ULU premium vape e-liquids are nicotine free and THC free. They are available in a variety of flavours and made from pharmaceutical-quality CBD crystals.
How do I use ULU CBD Vape e-liquids?
ULU vape e-liquids are packaged in bottles and can be smoked in a compatible vaporiser. This heats up the e-liquid, transforming it into vapour for inhaling.
Benefits of Vaping
Vaping CBD e-liquids provides a faster absorption rate than using other methods of taking CBD. This is because it reaches your bloodstream via your lungs.
Vaping tends to provide a calming effect, improving your mood after a few puffs. Studies show that it can also lower pain and inflammation, providing long-lasting relief to help you have a better night’s sleep.
For our CBD e-liquids and more information about vaping, look here.
We take pride knowing that there is 10mg of the highest CBD concentrations in every one of our capsules. Which is among the highest in the UK CBD market, to help support your health and wellbeing. Containing full spectrum CBD, our capsules contain other beneficial ingredients from the hemp plant, whilst also certified as being THC free.
How do I use ULU CBD Capsules?
After eating, swallow 1 capsule with a small amount of water. Take 2-3 times a day, spreading doses evenly throughout the day. If, after 3 weeks, you haven’t noticed many benefits, gradually increase your dose.
Benefits of CBD Tablets
Tasteless, quick and convenient, capsules can be used when it’s not convenient to use other methods. Such as vaping or using oil, to provide relief from inflammatory conditions, pain and anxiety. Capsules are a slower and more regulated way of absorbing CBD, which is done via your stomach lining.
The capsule is broken down by digestive acids and enzymes in your stomach.This is before your liver metabolises the CBD, prior to it entering your blood stream. Thus providing a slower release of CBD into your body. Our capsules are ideal for individuals requiring long term assistance with conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain and inflammation, to help them relax and sleep well. ULU CBD capsules provide slow release effects of CBD. Our ULU capsules and more available information are found here.
Our 10% CBD supplement oils are high-quality full spectrum CBD with amino acids and contain 3.2mg of cannabidiol in every drop to replenish essential amino acids in your body. Produced from CBD crystal isolate, it has a purity of more than 99%, making it one of the purest and most concentrated in the UK market.
What is Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid aka GABA?
It’s an amino acid that is produced naturally in your body. It reduces neuron activity in the brain, providing ‘increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a boost of sleep’, (Breus, 2018). However, these can symptoms worsen if your body is lacking GABA, but using GABA supplements can counteract this, as several studies have shown (Breus, 2018).
How do I use ULU Amino CBD Supplements?
As with CBD oil, you can take our amino CBD supplements under your tongue (sublingually) or adding it to your food and/or drink. Before using it, we would recommend shaking the bottle to activate the ingredients before filling the dropper to your required amount.
Sublingual Benefits of Amino CBD Supplements
Taking supplements this way enables them to enter your blood stream quickly and directly via the tiny capillaries under your tongue. This provides rapid absorption, without the need of any equipment. Its effects will occur within 15-25 minutes and, as it doesn’t pass through your liver, as much as 35% of CBD can reach your bloodstream. For best results, hold our CBD oil under your tongue for around 60 seconds before swallowing. Any residual oil can be swallowed or washed into your body with a drink to minimise any wastage. ULU Amino CBD Supplements are great for inducing sleep
Benefits of Amino CBD Supplements
In addition to the properties already described, our supplements are full of natural protein from the hemp plant. This helps boost your protein intake to recover more quickly from exercise and injury. Which is the primary use of protein in the human body. This, in turn, can aid in a good night’s sleep.
You can find out more about our products that contain amino acids here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I store my CBD products?
It is considered that CBD products should last for approximately a year. Providing they are stored in a cool, dark place. Also avoiding exposure to heat, oxygen and light. CBD oil can break down when exposed to the latter. Which is why most CBD products are placed in coloured containers.
What dose of CBD should I take?
A daily dose of 15-25mg of CBD is recommended if you just want to use it as a daily supplement. This is enough for most people to get a healthy daily serving. Some studies even suggest that 25mg of CBD can help with certain issues. However, you can always experiment with your dosage and take as much as you feel you need.
Will I experience any side-effects taking CBD?
In general, research has shown users of CBD to have little to no side-effects (Breus, 2017; Fiorenzi, 2020; Babson et al, 2027). Shannon et al (2019:np) commented that ‘CBD was well tolerated with few patients reporting side-effects’.
Those that have experienced side-effects have stated that they were mild and consisted of one or more of the following: dry mouth, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, reduced appetite and diarrhoea. Therefore, it is recommended for new users to go low and slow in respect of doses.
This will vary from person to person and how long they’ve been using CBD. One dose of any CBD product will stay within your system for approximately 8 hours. With the benefits roughly lasting for the same length of time.
It takes CBD a few weeks to start working with your endocannabinoid system. So it will take a while for benefits to remain consistent in your body. So the longer you take CBD the longer you will experience its benefits.
Will CBD indicate illegal drug taking on a drug test?
ULU products contain 0.0005% THC, making THC virtually undetectable, meaning you would not fail a drug test, nor experience the known side-effects that come with THC, like being high, or affected memory, mood or concentration.