Sleep. Caffeine. Get up and go. Rest and repeat. These are the mainstays of everyone in 2019.
We are constantly on to the next thing and using anything we can as a means to keep us going. So when many of us start turning to alternatives like CBD, it's worth investigating if it's actually going to help our sleep or hinder it.
Last year, sleep experts discussed how alcohol and THC could potentially hinder our REM cycles from reaching their true potential. Does CBD come with a negative side effect of sleepiness?
Depending on who you ask, CBD has been reported as having either a stimulating or a calming effect, thus adding confusion to the overall hypothesis. While there is very little published evidence regarding dosing, research to date indicates that at higher doses, CBD has a calming effect; yet at lower doses, CBD has a stimulating effect.
It's a matter of proper dosing.
Especially common in new users, cannabidiol has been know to make them feel sleepy and in the cases of treating insomnia quickly, this can be okay.
However, for those who want to put some of this anti-inflammatory agent into their coffee, going back to sleep isn't a desirable effect.
Here's a bit of history on the subject:
In a 1977 animal study, the “hypnotic-like effects” of CBD were first studied. Since then, very few dosing studies have been performed, but the evidence seems to indicate that the effectiveness of CBD depends on whether the person has a normal sleep rhythm or whether the person has a sleep disorder.
CBD As A Solution
Let's discuss the intricacies of dosing.
Issues with insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and excessive daytime sleepiness cause consumers to turn to over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals for relief, yet many of these medications have their own serious side effects and adverse risks.
The CBD Product as an alternative.
As the market has exploded for these new oil products a variety of responses have come out. Now clinical studies looking at CBD’s value in treating a whole host of disorders.
In a recent Consumer Reports survey on CBD, 10% of respondents report using CBD as a sleep aid. The majority of them said it worked, but that evidence is anecdotal. Without controlled studies, it is difficult to tell whether CBD is truly acting alone to induce sleep. There are several complicating factors.
First, high-CBD strains often contain myrcene, a terpene that is said to be sedating. Although controlled studies on humans are lacking, myrcene’s sedative effects are well established in the animal literature, and for centuries, herbalists have been using hops as a human sleep aid. As it turns out, hops have high myrcene levels.
Second, in normal REM sleep, the limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed so that a person cannot act out dreams. In Parkinson’s disease as well as REM behavior disorder, people are able to flail and act out vivid and violent dreams. CBD at doses ranging from 75 to 300 mg was shown in a preliminary study to help these patients, and in an early case study, high-dose CBD helped a pediatric PTSD patient.
Low-dose CBD formulations seem to keep people awake and not alter the sleep cycle. However, this may one day prove beneficial for circadian rhythm disorders like excessive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy because they may help people stay awake during daylight hours.
Multiple Cannabinoids Could Be Ineffective
Going back to our thoughts on REM disturbance, THC has a sedative effect and can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
Some research shows that the entourage effect, or harmonized interaction between cannabis compounds like CBD and THC, seems to carry over to sleep.
THC does not put a person in a sleep state. Neither does CBD. Instead, THC is a sedative and has other properties helpful to sleep. For example, THC makes a person feel comfortable while remaining still, called catalepsy.
For more information on CBD and it's holistic effect when paired with other cannabinoids check out our blog post here.
Every individual’s body is unique, and therefore the effect of CBD will be highly individualized. Some people are extraordinarily sensitive to CBD and have symptoms during the night or still feel drowsy in the morning.
Time will tell for users of CBD as more information is made available, but for now we simply recommend lessing the dosage if you're feeling sleepy throughout the day. Also worth exploring is the time of day that you dose.
Happy Information Friday, please share your experiences in the comments!