Many people find high-quality CBD helpful in the treatment of sleep disorders like insomnia, insufficient sleep, and restless leg syndrome. Sleep disorders refer to changes in sleeping patterns or habits that negatively impact health. Sleep disorders are surprisingly common, affecting 50-70 million adults in the United States. Unfortunately, most physicians prescribe pharmaceuticals to combat sleep disorders rather than managing the disorder naturally. Medications like sleeping pills and allergy/cold medicine are habit forming, unhealthy, and induce negative side effects when taken regularly. Your body develops a psychological dependency on sedative-hypnotic drugs like Ambien and Lunesta, and they often leave you with residual feelings of grogginess in the morning, even after a full 8 hours of sleep. The good news is that natural, plant-based remedies like CBD have helped thousands get off pharmaceutical sleeping pills. In addition to making lifestyle changes that facilitate a better night’s sleep, ingesting CBD oil before bed will help provide you with a restful night’s sleep – naturally.
Imagine waking up in the morning feeling rested and awake – no more residual grogginess or impairment. In order to understand how CBD helps modulate sleep, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders. We will address the results below.
The interesting thing about CBD and sleep is that in small to medium doses, CBD is mildly alerting – stimulating the same receptors as caffeine. However, several patients with insomnia report that consuming CBD oil (in tincture or extract form) a few hours before bed leads to a great night’s sleep. So why do the anecdotal results contradict the reported medical studies?
For starters, research on cannabis and sleep is in its infancy and has yielded mixed results. But there is more to it than that. The root cause of many sleep disorders is actual another disease like anxiety, stress, PTSD, or chronic pain – and CBD helps manage all of these conditions. So, while CBD may not be inherently sedative, it combats the underlying condition that is the root cause of many sleep disorders.
A 2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on a 10-year-old girl with pediatric anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of CBD oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep. CBD oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as being an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of CBD oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27768570
A 2017 peer review of the existing studies relating to cannabinoids and sleep concluded that “CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and [combating] excessive daytime sleepiness…”
Recommended CBD Regimen for Sleep Disorders
When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness (like sleep disorders), it’s important to understand that high-quality CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. It’s also helpful to understand whether another condition like anxiety, PTSD or pain is actually the root cause of your sleep disorder. The recommended regimen will also vary slightly based on the type of sleeping disorder you have – i.e. those suffering from insomnia will need to consume their CBD at a different time of day than those suffering from excessive daytime fatigue.
In order to manage sleep disorders, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same, the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. The time at which you should ingest the CBD oil will vary based on your specific sleeping disorder. Meaning those with insomnia should ingest a few hours before bed and those with excessive daytime fatigue should consume when waking in the morning.
We suggest those suffering from anxiety start with 5-10 mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10 mg until the desired effects are achieved. These ingestible products provide sustained relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day – or night as the case may be! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.
For more immediate results, we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat sleeping disorders. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD isolate is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD and provides a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.
A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing
If drug testing is a part of the conditions of your employment, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn’t an unfounded concern — however, there isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.
Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception. There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely.
If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize your risk of a false positive.