Cannabidiol (aka CBD) oil has recently become the hot new product around the world. Especially as more and more jurisdictions are legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, CBD (the non-intoxicating extract from the marijuana plant) is being touted as the new wonder product to help treat a large list of medical issues. Everything from epileptic seizures, anxiety, inflammation, and sleeplessness. However, even with this claim for its beneficial use, there is a lot of misguided information and misconceptions as to what CBD is. This mainly stems from its relationship to marijuana and the fact that CBD has only relatively recently become prevalent in mainstream culture.
What is CBD and is it the same as THC?
Quite frankly, no. CBD has been getting a bad rap due to its association with marijuana, and this is a very unfair assumption. Although CBD is a product derived from the Cannabis plant, which has been grown and used for its industrial and medicinal qualities dating as far back as ancient times. The Cannabis plant has over 100 different compounds that are known as cannabinoids. The most prevalent of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this cannabinoid is what gives the "high" effect when ingesting or smoking what is commonly referred to as marijuana. However, CBD (another cannabinoid) does not have this intoxicating quality. In fact, certain strains of the Cannabis plants are grown for their higher concentration of CBD over THC. Cannabis that is used for industrial purposes must contain less than 0.3% THC, and it is from this strain that CBD oil is generally extracted. So even though marijuana contains CBD, most CBD comes from plants with low THC content.
What does CBD do to your body?
Across the world, many societies have utilised the Cannabis plant to treat many illnesses and ailments. Medical professionals in ancient China treated menstrual symptoms, malaria, constipation, and gout using the Cannabis plant. In fact, during the middle ages, cannabis was used for treating epilepsy, pain, vomiting, and nausea, and in Western healthcare practice, it was widely used as a painkiller. Doctors in the US prescribed cannabis for many illnesses until restrictions were put in place in the 1930s and then finally stopped using the Cannabis plant as a form of treatment in the 1970s when the federal government outlawed it. However, as more states and nations are once again legalising it, the Cannabis plant and specifically CBD oil are making a comeback in the medical field.
In a nutshell, CBD affects the chemicals in the brain, and though further research is still ongoing, CBD does seem to stop the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that might cause pain, mood, and mental conditions. Stopping the breakdown of this chemical and increasing its percentage in the blood is thought to lower the effects of pain and anxiety.
Getting a good night's rest
Every night, it is estimated that millions of people around the world have some form of difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. For some people, this problem is merely temporary while for others, insomnia can become a constant issue that dramatically affects the everyday life of a person. In fact, it is thought that around 10% of American adults experience insomnia, which happens at least three times every week. According to research conducted in 2018 by the National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America, a mere 46% of people who are identified as having poor sleep patterns felt that they were effective in getting work completed during the day. This was compared with 89% of people who stated that their sleep patterns were excellent.
Relaxing and nourishing sleep is necessary for getting things done and performing at your best throughout the day. It is also needed to support the optimal functioning of improved energy and motivation levels, the immune system, enhanced overall well-being, and mood stability. However, many people trying to gain a decent night's sleep can lead to them becoming addicted to sleeping pills, which may cause a range of possible dangerous side effects such as dizziness, daytime drowsiness, and an even higher risk of mortality. We prefer to look to nature for alternative remedies.
Can CBD help with sleep?
One of the biggest sleep disorders is Chronic insomnia, which is often linked to a person's issues with stress and anxiety. People who experience problems with sleeping, or have trouble remaining asleep, tend to be anxious about factors in their everyday life or alternatively anxious with regards to their poor sleeping patterns.
Research conducted in 2019, tested the efficacy of the use of CBD for treating anxiety and sleep. 72 patients participated, and of those, 25 stated that poor sleep was a primary concern of theirs. During the initial monthly assessment after the start of CBD treatment, around 66% of the participants felt an improvement in their sleep. Two months after the start of the trial, 56% of the patients stated that their sleep had improved compared with the previous month The researchers also stated that the CBD was accepted and tolerated pretty well among the participants, showing little to no side effects. Although the study is not conclusive, it does clearly show that a larger proportion of people found CBD to help them treat their insomnia. Researchers administered a daily dose of 40, 80, or 160 milligrams of cannabidiol to people suffering from insomnia, after which the participants stated that they felt they had a more relaxed night's sleep and diminished dream recall than those who took a placebo. The researchers of the study theorised that this was due to the cannabidiol, which may reduce REM sleep capacity, or reduce the number of periods of wakefulness during the night, which helps with remembering dreams. CBD comes from the goodness of nature, so why not give it a go?
CBD and mental disorders
With the world only just realising the beneficial qualities that CBD has on fixing a bad night's sleep, researchers have also delved into the possibility of CBD helping with some mental conditions. A study conducted in 2014 and published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, stated that several studies on patients with Parkinson's disease and who have a REM (deep sleep) behaviour disorder experienced a marked improvement when using CBD.
Not unlike patients with Parkinson's disease, people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also tend to have issues and disturbances regarding their REM sleep cycle. A study conducted in 2019 and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that CBD helped increase the quality of sleep in up to 38% of people suffering from PTSD, and drastically decreased the occurrence of nightmares.
Resetting your Circadian rhythm
According to the London Post, there is a belief that cannabidiol may be able to help restore sleep, not only in the short term but also long term. The belief is based on the thought that CBD may be able to reset the body's circadian rhythm.
The body's circadian rhythm is the natural patterns of sleep and wakefulness that happen while we are asleep. It includes signals that are sent to your brain, which tell the brain it's time to enter a different sleep cycle and wake up. There are even urges we don't think about, that are thought to be caused by your circadian rhythm, such as the need to go to the bathroom in the morning after waking up.
It is thought that your circadian rhythm operates more efficiently when you are eating healthily, sleeping in the optimal condition, and exercising regularly. However, this can be disturbed by factors such as severe exhaustion, mental health conditions, hormonal issues, bad eating habits, and more. This could explain why sleeplessness is on the rise in modern society, where time is a luxury, and we can't afford much of it, and so leads to stress, junk food, and anxiety.
Experts state that consuming cannabidiol oil could do the trick to repair a deranged sleeping pattern. This is because CBD is thought to interact with your body's endocannabinoid system, which brings about greater hormonal production. It could also aid in controlling hormone regulation and promote healthy sleep patterns.
Sleep apnoea and CBD
Sleep apnoea is a condition where a person has pauses in their breath or very short and shallow bursts of breath. The condition affects over 20 million people in the US alone and is usually treated with the person wearing an expensive and often uncomfortable breathing device while they sleep.
However, recent studies have been conducted that may show signs of CBD oil, helping in treating people with sleep apnoea. Several years ago, clinical studies were conducted on Sativex (a synthetic version of CBD and THC). The research was conducted using participants who suffered from sleep apnoea, and among them, there was a positive result/outcome shown in 40-50% of the participants. It is thought that cannabinoids may have an effect on the central and peripheral nervous systems, and this is believed to help with sleep apnoea. Although researchers couldn't state for certain why CBD aided in sleep apnoea, they hypothesised that CBD may increase the upper airway muscle tone, which may lead to a reduction of the effects of sleep apnoea. If you're one of those who have sleep apnoea, but you might not want to purchase expensive masks, surgeries, or treatments, then using CBD oil to help with your sleep could possibly be a budget-friendly and natural alternative. It definitely can't hurt to try.
Is CBD legal?
Among the many misconceptions that are sounded by CBD, one of the main ones is that it is an illegal substance, and consuming CBD could land you in some serious jail time. The common belief is that since CBD is a product from the cannabis plant, it carries the same penalty as marijuana. Although marijuana is still illegal in many jurisdictions (this is changing fast, however) CBD is not. The main reason for this is that marijuana contains a high amount of THC (as well as CBD), and it is the THC that gives the intoxication effect. Meaning that although marijuana is illegal in some places (including here in the UK) for its THC content and not its CBD content. Don't worry, CBD is very much above board in the UK and most of the world, and it is the reason why you will find CBD products marketed everywhere in mainstream shopping.
Is CBD safe?
CBD is a natural product found in the cannabis plant and is safe to consume responsibly. Dr Sulak, who is an osteopath, stated that he reassures his patients that CBD is very safe, so even if it is not so effective at low to moderate amounts, CBD is safe to consume at higher quantities. In fact, in a study conducted in 2018, single CBD doses of 1,500 mg, 3,000 mg, or 6,000 mg were given to healthy participants daily for a duration of six days. While the research was not intended at looking into the effects CBD has on sleep, it showed that cannabidiol is safe in large quantities. However, it is advised to consult your physician so that they can best advise you on what amount of CBD to take.
The best ways to take CBD
Okay, so now that you have seen how CBD can help you catch some Zs, you are now probably wondering how CBD is used?
According to an article published by Everyday Health, products that are infused with CBD are generally used in 4 different ways.
- The first is using CBD by ingestion, and that is usually done by consuming cannabidiol infused foods. This allows the CBD to make its way through the body and then be metabolised by the liver, which sends CBD compounds throughout the body's system over several hours. CBD, in this form, is found in capsules, or CBD oil is added to foods and drinks, such as gummy sweets and teas.
- The second method is to take cannabidiol oil and put a few drops of the oil under the tongue and hold it there for several seconds. This method causes the active ingredients in CBD to be rapidly spread throughout the body by being absorbed into the mucus membranes found in the mouth.
- The third way of CBD use is by topical application. This means using cannabidiol or cannabidiol-infused products by applying it directly to the skin. It is mainly used to reduce pain and reduce inflammation on the part of the body it is applied to. Products that are applied topically include salves, creams, shampoos, patches, lip balms, and others.
- The fourth most popular way that people use to consume CBD is by Inhaling it. Cannabidiol can be inhaled through a process of vaporising the oil or by adding the oil or powder to e-cigarettes or tobacco and then smoking them. CBD through inhalation enters the body rapidly through the lungs and later the bloodstream, avoiding the digestive system. It is because of this that "vaping" has become a popular method of using CBD.
Where can I get CBD?
It is becoming abundantly clear that CBD possesses a lot of benefits when it comes to helping us sleep, but the real question is, where can you get your hands on some CBD? The answer to that is simple, and it is here at Botanic Lab. The CBD market is awash with different high street stores and online health websites selling CBD products. However, getting the right CBD product for your specific need is vital as otherwise, you might not receive the effects you're looking for. At Botanic Lab, we specialise in products made from botanicals, which are plant-based products that we meticulously research and source for their medicinal qualities and taste. Our CBD products are no different, and we are sure you won't be disappointed, especially when you're cuddled up in your bed, getting that good night's sleep.