Nobody likes it when they have issues falling asleep at night. A poor night’s sleep can completely ruin your day. It can leave you feeling off all day and give you some physical side effects like headaches. For some, having issues relaxing enough to actually fall asleep is an ongoing issue. It leaves many looking for some kind of solution. Some medications can help you sleep, but many people don’t want to be dependent on medication. So, they turn to more holistic options. One that has come up in recent years is cannabidiol (CBD).
What are CBD gummies?
If you are going to talk about the potential benefits of CBD, you need to have at least a basic understanding of what it is. So, let’s give a quick definition.
Cannabis plants are filled with a specific kind of chemical compound. They are called cannabinoids. While most of the 113 different cannabinoids you have probably never heard of, there are two that are pretty famous. CBD is one of those. The other is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The acronym THC is likely more familiar to you than CBD. THC has a strong effect on people, an effect general called a psychoactive one. This means it is responsible for creating an inebriated state normally thought of as a high. Because it is also a cannabinoid, those who are unfamiliar with CBD often think that it is psychoactive as well. But CBD is in no way psychoactive. It does not create any sort of high or inebriation.
You can find CBD in both variations of the cannabis plant, whether it is hemp or marijuana. But hemp is the preferred cannabis plant of CBD manufacturers. They have some pretty good reasons for this preference. One is that it is easier to get large amounts of CBD from hemp than it is with marijuana. Hemp is filled with CBD. Plus, its THC content is only 0.3%, which is such a small amount, it is unlike to cause anyone to get high. Marijuana, on the other hand has varying levels of CBD. Some marijuana plants have a lot of CBD, others only have a tiny bit. On top of that, marijuana has very high THC levels.
Another reason for the preference of hemp is the fact that it is federally legal in the United States. This means that it is legal in most of the country, though it is still illegal in most states. Marijuana is still federally illegal. Which makes selling products made from marijuana that much more complicated.
CBD gummies are more-or-less exactly what they sound like. They are gummy candies that have CBD in them. They are one of the most popular kinds of CBD products. This is because they are easy to take and taste great. The one downside is that they take the longest out of all CBD products to start working. This is because the gummies can’t release the CBD until they have digested a bit. This can take anywhere from half and hour to four hours, so be patient.
Now that we have covered the basics of CBD, it is time to move on to the big question: could CBD help people get to sleep?
Could CBD gummies be helpful for sleep?
If there is anything CBD is known for, it’s giving people a feeling of calmness. However, could those potential soothing properties actually help people calm enough to get them to sleep? Possibly.
There is one piece of basic information about CBD that we haven’t quite covered yet that you need to know. Most animals (including humans) have a series of receptors known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The receptors of this system respond to stimulation from compounds in the body called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are very similar, with a few differences. The main difference is that they are found in plants (and as a result, are often called phytocannabinoids) rather than synthesized in the body. Their similarities are enough that cannabinoids can actually interact with and cause reactions from the ECS. A study published in 2016 suggests that the ECS has a major impact on people’s sleep cycle. This means that cannabinoids may be able to have an effect on sleep. So, with this in mind, let’s look at some other studies on CBD gummies and sleep.
Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats
One study conducted in 2013, looked specifically on how CBD effects the sleep cycle of rats. The rats were broken up into groups based on how much CBD they were given. The researchers then recorded the rats’ sleep cycles before giving them the CBD to get an idea of what the regular cycle was like. Researchers noted the rats that were given 10mg/kg CBD had a significant increase in the amount of sleep, whereas the other groups either saw a decrease or no change. This conclusion suggests that with the right amount of CBD, a person’s sleep schedule could be improved upon.
Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Another study that was published in 2016 focused on the way CBD may be able to help a small child, who was struggling with insomnia caused by post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This child had had a traumatic early childhood. This led to the child struggling to fall and stay asleep. The researchers gave her a trial of CBD oil. The researchers report that it not only created an increasing improvement in the amount of sleep that she was getting, but it also created a drop in her anxiety symptoms.
One thing that you should remember is that CBD research is still very new and most of the research has been done on rats. There have not been many yet that have been done on humans. However, the results are still encouraging because the ECS is still present in rats and humans, which suggest that the results could be similar if not the same. We need more research on people before we can say that it can or can’t help people.
So, could you take CBD gummies to help with sleep? Potentially, but it is important to talk about it with your healthcare provider first.