A restless night can mess up your whole day. We’ve all learned that from experience, leaving many of us looking for anything that may help us sleep better at night. But not everyone wants to take sleep medications. Many people are looking for more holistic forms of sleep aids. But what’s out there that isn’t some heavy medication? Recent research would suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) may be a great option to get a better night’s sleep.
What are CBD and melatonin?
When talking about something as crucial as a good night’s sleep, it’s good to know what things are. So, let’s start with CBD.
CBD is a compound that’s found in cannabis plants, like hemp and marijuana. It is part of a large family of chemical compounds that are known as cannabinoids. There are over 113 different cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, CBD being just one of them. There is another cannabinoid that is more famous than CBD and is often conflated with it. That cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Everyone should know exactly how CBD and THC are different. THC produces what is known as a psychoactive effect. That means that it makes the inebriation, more recently thought of as a high associated with marijuana use. This is where a very common confusion comes into play, as people think that CBD and THC have the same effects. However, that is not the case. CBD is not psychoactive. It doesn’t intoxicate or cause any high when used.
Most CBD products are made by extracting the cannabinoid from hemp, rather than marijuana. There are a few reasons for this. A major reason is the hemp has pretty much no THC and a lot of CBD, but marijuana has a very large amount of THC and levels of CBD that are inconsistent. However, it is also because hemp is federally legal, while marijuana is still federally illegal. 2018 the Farm Bill officially legalized farmers to grow and sell hemp (however, there are some restrictions in individual states). Marijuana has been legalized by a handful of states, whether for medical or recreational use.
Now that CBD is defined and covered, we need to move on to talking about THC.
The definition of melatonin is relatively simple. It is a hormone in the body that helps regulate sleep. Your brain learns when the appropriate times to produce it are by learning what your sleep schedule is. However, it is not uncommon for the production and release of melatonin to become disrupted. As a result, scientists have developed ways to make melatonin in labs, and incorporated into supplements. These synthetic melatonin products are a favorite among many people because they are viewed as a more natural way of helping yourself fall asleep and are not likely to be habit-forming.
All of this does raise the question, what sort of benefit could come from CBD and melatonin being mixed?
What can melatonin and CBD do for sleep?
CBD and sleep are a very common area for researchers to study. In particular, there are studies that are focused on how CBD oil may help people calm themselves.
By that, we mean its ability to potentially help people ease anxiety. For example, this study had test subjects with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) participate in public speaking. Some of the subjects had been given a placebo, while random members of the group were given CBD. The researchers concluded that those who were given CBD were able to handle the task much more confidently than those given the placebo. This study suggests that CBD may help calm those who have SAD that affect their sleep.
A different study, one that is a little bit more on the nose for what we’re talking about, was focused on how CBD may affect PTSD and connected insomnia. The researchers gave the test subject a trial run of CBD before she went to bed. The test subject reported a steady increase in the quality of her sleep.
There are many studies like the ones above that would suggest that CBD could be useful in helping ease people to sleep. This, on its own, may be able to help many people fall asleep. However, it may not be enough for everyone. There have been several studies that have looked at melatonin and its connection to sleep. The mix of CBD and melatonin may be able to provide that little boost that you may need to fall asleep.
What other CBD products are there?
However, this doesn’t mean that melatonin is what you should use. Some people would prefer to have the CBD without the addition. As mentioned in the studies above, that could work well, too, as CBD could have enough of a calming effect that CBD on its own may be able to help you fall asleep. If you are interested in a product that may be able to help you sleep, but doesn’t have any melatonin, here is a list of what you may find.
Tinctures & oils
Oils and tinctures are one of the most common kinds of CBD products. Among the simpler of CBD products, they consist of CBD extract and a carrier oil. A lot of their popularity stems from their versatility. You have a few different options when it comes to taking tinctures and oils. You can cook with them to make an edible. This way does take a little bit longer, as the food or drink that you mix it in does need to digest before it can start working. Another way to take this particular kind of CBD product is by placing a few drops directly into your mouth. This tends to be quicker because the skin under the tongue allows for easy absorption.
Tablets & capsules
If you are looking for something a bit more pill-like, then these are what you should be looking out for. CBD when made into a capsule tends to be a soft gel or something similar. That means that they are made with liquid CBD extract. The benefit of this is that they digest faster and start working quicker as a result. Tablets tend to come in sublingual form. These are pills that you place under your tongue and allow to dissolve. Much like with oils and tinctures, the benefit in this is based on the fact that the CBD can absorb through the skin under your tongue easily, entering the system quickly.
Food and other edibles
CBD edibles are arguably the most popular CBD product available. This is likely because of what they are. They are premade food that has CBD extract as one of the ingredients. So, it is not hard to see why people like them a lot. They are easy to take and taste great. This do need the most time to start working because the food and drink need to digest. But they also have the longest-lasting effects, so there is a bit of a trade-off.
CBD topicals are a pretty broad category of products. This term generally refers to anything that is used on the skin. This could include lotions, salves, balms, and hand sanitizers, and those are just a few examples of the options you have within this category. These are going to provide you with a more localized effect than other CBD products. There is no way for the CBD to enter the bloodstream when used like this. Instead, the CBD absorbs through the pores and does its work there. The effect of CBD topicals does not move much beyond where it is initially used.
CBD all by itself may be able to give you plenty of benefits. However, research does suggest that CBD’s calming effects may be able to help people fall asleep. That mixed with the natural effects of melatonin may be an excellent combination for those who struggle with falling asleep.