According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults isn’t getting at least seven hours of sleep per day. As stated in the report, not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. Lack of sleep can increase accidents on the road and the job. While THC has properties to help adults sleep, research is discovering CBD can aid in sedating, as well as energizing, depending on the dose taken.
New research from Kaiser Permanente demonstrates CBD as an effective treatment for sleep disorders and anxiety. Adults in the study used CBD to alleviate anxiety and help with sleep during the first month of the study. The use of CBD can calm the central nervous system, which controls sleep. It needs to be noted that the Kaiser Permanente study also suggested that CBD’s effectiveness as a sleep aid could drop off after about a month of regular use. While not a conclusion, the advice given at present is to use CBD for sleep only when needed.
In a paper published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 72 adults suffering from anxiety or poor sleep patterns participated in the study using CBD. Anxiety decreased within the first month in 57 patients and remained reduced during the study. Sleep improved within the first month in 48 patients but fluctuated over time. CBD was well tolerated by 69 of the participants.
The study stated that an essential benefit of treating anxiety or sleep disorders with cannabis is its safety. Lethal overdoses have not been reported using cannabinoids. Concerns over abuse or major complications are minimal. Current research indicates that cannabis has a low overall risk with short-term use. The study did state that more research is needed to identify possible long-term risks.
Using CBD may help improve sleep directly, even for those who don’t suffer from anxiety, stress, or chronic pain. CBD is shown to interact with receptors in the body, including receptors that govern the body’s sleep and wake cycle.
Cannabis affects the endocannabinoid system, a vast neurotransmitter network in humans and animals. This system contains cell receptors (cannabinoid receptors) and enzyme proteins that degrade endocannabinoid molecules. Cannabinoid receptors are throughout the nervous system, organs, and immune system. Together, these components help direct communications between the brain and the body.
The receptors affect a wide variety of daily functions, including sleep, appetite, learning, and memory. Many researchers believe this is why CBD can treat anxiety and poor sleeping patterns.
In a different paper written in 2017 by The British Pharmacological Society, “Studies show that cannabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid found in cannabis sativa, reduces anxiety via 5-HT1A and (indirect) cannabinoid receptor activation in paradigms assessing innate responses to threat. … The cannabidiol does so by reducing fear expression acutely and by disrupting fear memory reconsolidation and enhancing fear extinction, both of which can result in a lasting reduction of learned fear.”
Another study was conducted to determine the effects of CBD on healthy, drug-free adults when presented negative stimulus. Participants orally consumed CBD or a placebo before being exposed. The findings indicated that CBD has minimal effects in healthy adults presented with emotional stimuli, whether positive or negative.