CBD for Sleep & Insomnia

While losing sleep may not seem very life-changing to someone who hasn’t experienced it, sleep deprivations affect the everyday function of millions of people. It can diminish breathing and exacerbate depression and anxiety. With the drawbacks of prescription sleep medications reported by insomniatic patients, many in search of alternatives to synthetic medications as an all-natural treatment for their insomnia may find that CBD oil offers the help that can return them to glory of the life that they once had. The cannabis plant has been recognized medicinally for thousands of years, with the first documented therapeutic benefit dated in 2737 BCE. In 1839 CE, O’Shaughnessy published a study touting the medical benefits of CBD, especially as an anesthesia. In the late 1800s, Queen Victoria used CBD to relieve the pain from menstrual cramps. It’s been recognized by society and major historical figures as a medicinally sound treatment until modern medicine began its ascent and determined that it wasn’t beneficial due to lack of scientific evidence.  After decades of the government having deemed the use of cannabis in any form illegal, hundreds of clinical studies have presented information recognizing the plethora of benefits of CBD oil for an immeasurable amount of debilitating illnesses, from insomnia to cancer.

What exactly is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder affecting millions around the world who have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep. Many causes have been cited as to why people experience insomnia, ranging from physical to mental. Studies have shown that up to 50% of people around the world suffer from the devastating effects of insomnia.

Sometimes it is temporary and others it is a chronic condition for which an individual may have tried multiple solutions. Three types of insomnia exist:

  • Acute insomnia – this is short-term, persisting for several weeks.
  • Transient insomnia – up to three nights of symptoms.
  • Chronic insomnia – this can last for months or even years. This is the category that usually results from a more serious, primary condition.

Some of the causes that are recognized include:

  • Hormonal shifts during menstruation, menopause, or pregnancy.
  • Psychological issues – bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Medical conditions – chronic pain, acid-reflux (GERD). Sleep apnea, congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s Disease, and so many more.
  • Disruptions in sleep pattern – jet lag, extreme temperatures, too much noise, change in job shift
  • Medications – ACE inhibitors, alpha blockers, statins, corticosteroids, glucosamine/chondroitin, and more
  • Miscellaneous reasons – snoring bedmate, genetic conditions, overactive mind

How does sleep deprivation affect the human body?

Insomnia is when someone consistently cannot fall asleep or stay asleep. The results can shatter the life that it affects. While sleep deprivation is an underlying condition to many illnesses, it can actually be the cause of many symptoms that mask the original disease. Not only does it present itself in the obvious, but others as well:

  • Fatigue after a good night’s sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Lack of concentration
  • Tension headaches
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Social ineptness

There are repercussions to even these symptoms. Approximately 20% of non-alcohol related traffic accident injuries result from drivers being sleepy. it is a problem that not only affects the patient, but it also involves the innocent people surrounding them.

What are the drawbacks of prescription sleep medications?

With sleep deprivation being such an overwhelming problem, the medical community has discovered a variety of solutions. Everyone is different and treatments have differing results in each person. Doctors have been known to rely on antidepressants, antihistamines, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). One of the most popular remedies is a sleeping pill. Whether it’s over the counter (OTC) or prescription, they can have more harmful side effects than even the insomnia. Many patients have found that their reaction to sleeping pills can include muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, impaired vision, and worst of all, sleepwalking and hallucinogenic experiences. Those who find that they cannot tolerate synthetic medications often find themselves searching for alternatives to those very prescription medications that were meant to help them.

How does CBD oil help physically?

One of the most all-natural treatments that have proven itself in study after study is the usage of cannabis, or CBD oil. Mammals have many systems that work together to keep their bodies functioning optimally. One of the most recently discovered is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and it is responsible for homeostasis. It consists of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that bind the CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout the body. They are concentrated in the vertebrate, brain, and central nervous system. It helps to regulate many processes in the body, from the immune response and appetite to metabolism and memory. Cannabinoids, or CBD, enter a system that is diseased to bind to the receptors and modulate the sleep cycle. CBD that binds to CB1 receptors help to decrease wakefulness and increase REM. Furthermore, the cannabinoid anandamide may act as a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep by increasing level of sleep-inducing adenosine.

Choosing the right CBD oil for sleep issues and insomnia.

Choosing a CBD oil that is clean and organic is key to not causing further injury to the cells of a body already experiencing problems. How to determine what company can provide that is dependent upon several factors:

  • The soil in which the plant was grown must be clean and without toxins, such as pesticides or other chemicals. The hemp plant possesses the unique feature of being able to clean the soil of harmful substances. Using hemp after it was in unhealthy ground means that person will ingesting everything it absorbed.
  • Products that combine CBD with melatonin or GABA may be more effective than CBD alone.
  • The extraction method used can add unwanted chemicals, such as butane, propane, and isopropyl. Using the olive oil or CO2, carbon dioxide, are two of the safest methods.
  • Transparency of a company’s third-party testing results.

Plenty of research has shown the astounding positive effects of using cannabis as a solution to insomnia. Numerous CBD oil users reported that they fell asleep faster and felt refreshed in the morning when they awoke. This was an increase in the amount of sleep than those who took a placebo in that study. Consumers who chose to use clean, organic CBD oil as an all-natural alternative to prescription medications, regardless of the cause, found that they had reduced anxiety and a sense of calm. In addition to physically alleviating sleep deprivation, CBD oil has been reported to reduce stress and depression while easing chronic pain and nausea, which will also contribute to solving insomnia. With the drawbacks of prescriptions medications including overdose and death, CBD oil poses a few minor side effects to those getting used to it with the most common being fatigue. One solution seems to outweigh them all, so giving it a try may be a life-changing event.

References:

  1. https://medium.com/cbd-origin/the-history-of-cbd-a-brief-overview-68545c05ccc9#:~:text=The%20first%20discovery%20of%20an,when%20British%20chemist%20Robert%20S.&text=Two%20years%20later%2C%20American%20chemist,discovery%20of%20Tetrahydrocannabinol%20(THC).
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7028792/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51644654_The_Emerging_Role_of_the_Endocannabinoid_System_in_the_Sleep-Wake_Cycle_Modulation#:~:text=THC%20exerts%20its%20effects%20on,)(8).%20…
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9155
  5. https://www.floridarehab.com/drugs/sleeping-pills/addiction/
  6. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences

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