If you battle to fall asleep at night, you may have considered using CBD. Pharmaceutical drugs that help you to get to sleep often have unwanted side effects and can cause dependency. Not getting enough sleep can have an impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. CBD appears to offer a safe alternative with few to no side effects. Early studies indicate that CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system and could help to improve sleep. Here are some of the benefits and risks of using CBD for sleep.
How CBD could help you sleep
Hemp plants are grown for the high levels of CBD that can be extracted from them. CBD is a cannabinoid that does not make you ‘high’ but has a relaxing and calming effect on the body. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) system, and one of the functions of this system is to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. CBD appears to encourage the body to produce more of its own cannabinoids and prevents anandamide, an endocannabinoid that improves mood, from breaking down.
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Research into the effects of CBD on sleep
Research into the effects of CBD on sleep is still in the preliminary stages. Some studies suggest positive outcomes. It makes sense that CBD could help you to get to sleep because of its relaxing effect. However, it is often difficult to understand whether patients sleep better because CBD relaxes them, soothes pain and relieves anxiety or whether it has a more direct effect on sleep. Not everyone appears to experience the same sleep benefits, and different doses appear to offer different effects. Discrepancies can be attributed to methods of administration and dosage.
More research is needed to establish what benefits CBD has for sleep and what dosage is optimal. There are some indications that it could help with sleep problems like insomnia, but further studies are necessary.
Some products take longer to act than others
When using CBD for sleep, you need to take into account the type of product and how long it takes to work. For example, if you decide to use gummies, they have to go through your digestive system, so they will take longer to work than if you choose to vape CBD. Edibles or capsules can take up to two hours to take effect, so you need to give them enough time. You can’t just take them when you turn off the light and expect them to work instantly.
Vaping takes effect quickly, but the effects don’t last that long. As the effects of gummies last several hours, they may be a better bet if you tend to wake up constantly.
Potency and dosage
The concentration of a product refers to the total amount of CBD and is measured in milligrams. Dosage refers to the amount of CBD you take in a single serving. If a bottle of CBD oil consists of 1500mg, one serving could be 50mg.
As the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, there is no recommended dosage. Participants in various studies seem to need more CBD to address sleep problems than they do to relieve anxiety which appears to happen when using 25mg. More research needs to be done into the optimal dosage.
The dosage you need can depend on several different factors, such as your age, weight, tolerance level, product potency, and more. Experts always suggest starting with a small amount and gradually adding to it until you get the results you want. One to ten mg is considered a low dose, and anything over 30mg is considered a high dose.
Safety of CBD
CBD has a high safety profile, and in some studies, participants have taken 300mg oral doses of CBD safely on a daily basis for up to six months. If you use it sensibly and start low and slow, you will probably only experience very mild side effects or none at all. Some people do report experiencing side effects like a dry mouth, nausea and fatigue.
If you do experience any adverse effects when using CBD, it could be due to buying products that haven’t been third-party tested and may contain harmful chemicals or undisclosed ingredients.
If higher amounts of THC are found in a product than reported on the label, a product could have an intoxicating effect that may not be desired.
You may experience side effects if you take CBD together with other medications, such as antidepressants. It is important to consult with a healthcare practitioner who is knowledgeable about CBD if you’re taking certain medications.