How to Choose CBD for Sleep

Lars
September 17, 2020

Cannabidiol, also commonly referred to as CBD, is widely covered in different media forms. From social media to news coverage to medical research, CBD is quickly becoming a popular and holistic option for individuals across the world. Some use it in their coffee, others take it with their smoothie post-workout, while others use it to keep up their overall health and wellness. 

Initially, there was a lot of media coverage surrounding CBD’s use in treating and managing epileptic syndromes and episodes, especially in children and those who do not respond to medications developed for seizures. However, its benefits have extended to various other health issues and concerns alike. Today, CBD is commonly used to address anxiety and sleep, especially in patients who have or experience insomnia.

Relationship Between Sleep and CBD


Researches have evidenced CBD as being very useful as a therapeutic treatment for insomnia and improving the overall sleep cycle and sleep quality. Studies also indicate that CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness.  

A recent 2020 review article discusses the relationship between sleep, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoids. Researchers commented on the potential benefits of acute cannabinoids for sleep improvements.

Endocannabinoid system and sleep


The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system responsible for regulating and balancing body functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility. The ECS consists of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. It plays a vital role in balancing the body’s circadian rhythm and regulating sleep cycles. 

Endocannabinoids are compounds produced within the body and are similar in their chemical structure to CBD and THC found in the cannabis plant. For instance, Anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arahidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the two common endocannabinoids identified in the human body. AEA is a high-affinity and is a partial agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors. 2-AG is similar to AEA but has a moderate-affinity and is a full agonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

CB1 and CB2 receptors are abbreviations for cannabinoid receptor 1 and cannabinoid receptor 2. These are two receptors within the ECS that interact with other receptors in the brain and body. 

CB 1 and CB2 receptors:

  • CB1 receptors – found in the brain and central nervous system.
  • CB2 receptors – found in peripheral organs, especially in cells associated with the immune system.

 

CBD binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the same way as endocannabinoids present in ECS. Thus, CBD can modulate physiological processes, such as reducing anxiety, alleviating pain, and minimizing stress. In turn, all these could have a deep impact on improving one’s sleep quality, modulating the sleep/wake cycle, and fighting against sleep disorders.

Studies on CBD and Sleep


According to a study, Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series CBD is beneficial for individuals suffering from anxiety-related disorders and sleep.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates various body processes like the immune system, metabolism, etc. This hormone also helps in coordinating sleep cycles. For instance, individuals with insomnia have high levels of cortisol during the latter parts of the day when cortisol levels start dropping. Usually, levels of Cortisol can be found to be at their peak during the day time. This study concluded that a high dosage of CBD could decrease cortisol levels and, in turn, help individuals with sleep disorders sleep better.  

Another study investigating CBD in humans showed that oral CBD has potential therapeutic effects in individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, insomnia, and epilepsy.

A 2019 study published by Permanente Journal observed 72 adults with poor sleep and anxiety over a period of time. At the end of the study, it was shown that the participants’ anxiety levels lessened consistently over time (79.2%), while sleep scores fluctuated but showed promise, with most people saying they had less trouble falling asleep.

REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD)


RBD symptoms:

A patient with this condition typically acts out dreams. RBD is closely associated with nightmares and poor sleep. A 2014 case report suggested that CBD could aid the control of RBD. 

CBD can also assist with grogginess:

Cannabidiol may be a powerful wakeful agent for humans and animals alike. A 2014 study demonstrated that this compound is raising pharmacological properties as a wake-inducing agent. 

 

Other ingredients you might want to consider

 

  1. Melatonin: The main job of melatonin is the regulation of day and night cycles or the wake and sleep cycles. Darkness makes the body produce more of the compound, signaling that the body should start getting ready to sleep. Some people have low levels of certain compounds, and adding them as supplements can help improve sleep.
  2. Lavender: Aromatherapy is popular for relaxation and sleep. The oil can be great at improving the quality of sleep, even in people with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Aromatherapy done using lavender can increase slow and deep wave sleep. It can improve the quality of sleep and can lower anxiety.
  3. Lemon balm: Lemon balm can be combined with valerian to relieve restlessness and sleep disorders, including insomnia. A combination of the two improved symptoms to a large degree, but more research is needed to verify further.
  4. CBN: CBN can be used as a sedative or a sleep aid. It is a cannabinoid that has been seen to be helpful in the regulation of our immune system. It can also relieve inflammation and pain resulting from conditions like Crohn’s disease and arthritis.

 

How to choose the right CBD product for Sleep


It is essential to learn and better understand how to read different CBD oil and product labels to pick the best one for your good night’s sleep. This can help you solidify that you are buying a high-quality CBD product option at the end of the day.

Labels

CBD labels can be very specific or extremely broad. Since CBD is not yet regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), companies can call their products “CBD Oils” and only have a minor trace of CBD present.

  • Different Oils: MCT oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil. A CBD product should specify which carrier oil is present.
  • Flavorings: CBD products with certain ingredients can help achieve particular flavors, with terpenes and flavonoids, for example.
  • Other ingredients:A good CBD for sleep should specify all the ingredients used.
  • Manufacturing:The label should specify if the CBD is locally grown or organic.
  • Dosage:A quality label should inform you of the amount of CBD present per serving and in the bottle.

 

Reports: How to read them  

When you begin to shop for CBD, you need to ensure it is third party tested and has certificates of analysis (CoA) available. 

This means that independent lab tests have been performed on the company’s products, helping guarantee that the product you are buying indeed contains the things it claims. Some companies sell CBD products, but they do not have CBD; it may have hemp seed oil or sunflower seed oil.

To avoid such scams, you need to read the lab report. The reports can:

  • Tell you more about the CBD content: It should indicate how much CBD is present within the title.
  • Presence of other cannabinoids: If you are purchasing a broad-spectrum CBD product, the report needs to confirm the presence of other cannabinoids, if there are any.
  • Terpenes and flavonoids: Some reports will specify the presence of these compounds, which is a good thing
  • Residual solvent analysis: This shows the extraction process used in the creation of the products. Some companies have products that do not have THC making them develop CBD using heavy chemicals. It is always good to choose natural products.
  • Pesticides, molds, and heavy metals: Some lab tests cover this as well. It is wise to choose a CBD product that does not have any of the harmful toxins.

 

Recommended CBD Brands for Sleep


1. Nanocraft CBD

With a taste of relaxing lavender, a blend of passionflower, a touch of melatonin, and a dream of CBN, this calming blend is the perfect way to prepare your mind and body for deep, restorative sleep. Using state of the art ‘NanoTechnology’ to make CBD more bioavailable, Nanocraft supplements superior product quality with an unparalleled buying experience and top-notch customer support. Their product catalog is comprehensive, prices affordable, and test results are first-rate.

2. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web has been one of the few companies to have transcended the niche CBD vertical and achieve mainstream coverage, becoming a household name in the process. Frequently referred to as the “World’s most trusted hemp extract,” the company offers a range of medical-grade CBD products.

3. Elixinol

With their own industrial hemp grown out of Colorado and numerous locations in Europe, Elixnor offers a range of CBD products from oil tinctures and liposomes to protein powders and whole food hemp and can be called a pioneer.

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014579306008155
  3. https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article-abstract/20/10/891/2725997
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4023456/

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