CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabis has over 100 of these chemical compounds that have been identified so far. These compounds are known as cannabinoids and have unique characteristics that can offer a variety of health benefits. CBD is the second-most commonly occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant following THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in the plant. CBD offers many of the same benefits as THC but without generating the feeling of being “high”.
CBD interacts with the human body in an interesting way. The human body is home to the endocannabinoid system, commonly referred to as ECS. The ECS has receptors situated all over the body. These receptors interact with external cannabinoids like CBD and THC which are derived from cannabis.
How is CBD oil made?
CBD oil is typically made using industrial hemp plants. Industrial hemp is a variety of hemp plants that are bred so that the THC content in the plant is less than 0.3%. This is what makes it legal for CBD oil to be sold in most parts of the world. The CBD is typically extracted from the stalks and stems of the industrial hemp plant. The CBD extract is then diluted using a carrier oil like coconut, hemp or olive oil.
CBD for sleep – How can it help you?
CBD oil can be especially helpful to people who are having trouble falling asleep or who have sleep disorders. There can be many reasons for insomnia. Stress, anxiety and depression are only some of the factors that may contribute to troubled sleeping habits. CBD oil has properties that help manage these symptoms of anxiety and relaxes your body and mind enough so it can rest. The main reason that CBD oil is able to help people sleep better lies in how endocannabinoid signalling is able to regulate sleep stability.
A study published in The Permanente Journal has shown that CBD oil was able to reduce symptoms of anxiety in 57 out of the 72 trial subjects. The level of anxiety remained reduced throughout the course of the trial. There were 48 patients who displayed vast improvement in sleeping patterns. All the patients, save for three, tolerated the CBD oil well. In another study, mice that were treated with CBD showed increased NREM sleep time. The effects of CBD do not need to confine themselves to sleep disorders alone. CBD is also instrumental in treating the problem at its source. This is a better way of improving your sleeping patterns than taking sleep medications that leave you feeling drowsy and intoxicated.
CBD oil has anti-anxiety properties, which in turn allows you to improve sleep. When taken in small doses, CBD oil is able to make you more alert, thereby reducing daytime sleepiness. When you are alert throughout the day, you are tired enough to sleep well at night. Thus, the use of CBD oil can also set your circadian rhythm straight.
What are the short & long term effects of using CBD oil?
If you are only looking to use CBD oil for the short term, it is perfectly safe to use. When compared with other forms of alternative treatment, the side effects and symptoms of using CBD oil are a lot milder. There may be some side effects, like drowsiness, diarrhoea, change in weight, etc. from using CBD oil. But these side effects are still much milder than those of the other sleeping aids.
When it comes to using CBD in the long term, the answer is less definite. There has not been enough research on the long-term uses of CBD. However, it is known that CBD is not a substance that has been discovered recently. It is a naturally occurring chemical compound that has been used for centuries. Therefore, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence, from history and from contemporary times, that CBD oil is more or less safe even for long-term use.
Should you ask a doctor before taking CBD for sleep problems?
The short answer is, yes. There is a chance your doctor may be sceptical about prescribing CBD, given its association with marijuana and THC. However, it is still important as far as possible to have a more experienced expert guide you through the CBD regime.
It is not always easy to bring CBD up with your doctor. They may simply not be open to the idea and may require a lot of convincing. Make sure you do your homework and research all the reasons you may benefit from CBD. It is best to be open about wanting to try CBD and sidestep the stigma associated with cannabis.
Can sleep apnea be cured with CBD oil?
There are speculations that CBD may even be able to cure sleep apnea, although the jury is still out on this one. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common kind of sleep apnea, the most significant symptoms of which are uncontrollable snoring and frequently waking up with a start. It occurs when the soft tissue of the throat collapses and blocks the airways while the person is asleep. People who suffer from extreme cases of sleep apnea often use CPAP machines which help ensure the airways remain clear and the appropriate amount of oxygen is being allowed in.
There are suggestions that CBD may allow to keep the airways as it relaxes the muscles. But as it stands, there needs to be more exploration in this field to be able to say with certainty if CBD oil can help cure sleep apnea.
Best ways to take CBD oil
The following are some of the best ways to take cannabidiol using CBD products.
Vaping or inhaling CBD oil is one of the best and most effective CBD products. It allows the chemical compound to pass directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. The effect of vaping CBD can be seen within a few minutes, as opposed to a few hours when you take it in the form of edibles.
Edibles are available in a variety of flavours and forms. You can take edibles in the form of gummies, cookies, coffee, etc. They are extremely easy to consume and can be administered with less scepticism than a pill or capsule.
Topicals are typically ointments that can be applied to the area that requires chronic pain or stress relief. They offer localised relief and act faster as the effects of the CBD oil is confined to one area and can, therefore, be concentrated there.
Tinctures are different from CBD oil. To make a tincture, the cannabis leaf is soaked in alcohol. Tinctures are typically quite concentrated. You need to pay special attention when using tinctures as the dosage is of utmost importance here.
Is CBD legal?
In the United Kingdom, while cannabis comes under the Misuse of Drugs 1971 and is controlled under the Act, CBD is considered an exception. All other cannabinoids in cannabis are controlled by this Act but CBD is the only exception, given that it does not have a psychoactive element. CBD oil is legal in the UK as long as there is less than 0.2% THC. The THC, again, should not be easy to extract from the oil.
In the United States, CBD is legal, however, since a federal body like the Food and Drug Administration does not recognise it, it is difficult to regulate the CBD and ensure quality control.
CBD for sleep dosage guide
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for CBD. Each person may respond to the chemical compound differently so it is difficult to say a standardised dose will wake for everyone. The dosage is decided based on the symptoms you are looking to cure, your weight, age, tolerance, etc. All of these factors and many more go into deciding what the dosage for CBD should be.
If you are a beginner and do not have the support of a doctor, it is best to start things slow and allow yourself only low doses. This allows you to build up your threshold gradually.
CBD has several health benefits and improving the quality of your sleep is one of the most significant benefits of using CBD oil. Only a person who has been deprived of sleep due to insomnia will understand the great gift that CBD can offer. It creates a feeling of relaxation and stress relief in the body and can reduce anxiety to a large extent. All of these factors allow CBD oil to be one of the best ways to improve sleep behaviour.
(Written By JAMES BONNER)