Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining the physical and mental health of a person. Insomnia and other sleep disorders are widespread in individuals; many who are also dealing with mental health issues. According to a National Sleep Foundation report, people with sleep disorders find it very difficult to fall and remain asleep. Statistical data show that around 50 to 70 million U.S adults experience symptoms of sleep disorders. These disorders can be of various types with multiple symptoms, which include trouble having a sound sleep, difficulty in falling asleep, sleepwalking, talking in sleep, teeth grinding, restless legs, and many others.
CBD is now emerging to be an effective solution for many sleep and anxiety problems. This herbal extract has analgesic properties that relieve chronic pain and anxiety, making this cannabinoid the right choice after a stressful day. Stress affects the sleep cycle and makes it difficult to sleep. A study conducted at the Canadian Force Health Services Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre specified CBD’s use in alleviating nightmares in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sleep Disorders That CBD Can Treat
Researches have indicated CBD to be effective in providing better, longer, and more restful sleep. An article published in 2018 on “effectiveness of Raw, cannabis flower in treating insomnia” indicated that CBD consumption is linked to improved insomnia symptoms. In this study, data were submitted by 409 people with insomnia through an app. The results reported an average of 4.5 point reduction on a scale from 0 to 10 in the severity of symptoms after consuming marijuana.
The study also indicated a higher amount of cannabidiol (CBD) was associated with more symptom relief. Both CBD and THC have shown to be effective in improving the quality of sleep.
CBD is also non-addictive with fewer side effects; therefore, it is being considered a better choice and a safer option than sleeping pills and opioid treatments. CBD is effective against the following sleep disorders.
Sleep apnea is a severe disorder that affects the breathing of a person while he is asleep. A person with sleep apnea may experience breathing cessation for up to 30 seconds. This disorder affects the body’s oxygen flow and makes it very difficult for the person to stay asleep. CBD can reduce symptoms of sleep apnea for a short span without causing any side effects.
It is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences excessive sleep. The individual feels sleepy during the day, even after having a quality nap. According to this 2014 study, CBD can provide relief from this disorder as a study has shown that certain strains of medical marijuana boost alertness and regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Insomnia involves difficulty in falling asleep, and it is the most common sleep disorder observed in people. A person who has insomnia stays up all night and experiences anxiety, drowsiness, depression, and trouble focusing. Insomnia can be acute – in which sleep is disturbed due to life circumstances, or it can be chronic insomnia – that occurs three nights per week or more. Studies have shown cannabidiol to be effective in inducing sleep and reducing insomnia.
Restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome also known as Willlis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that increases the urge to move legs faster. Symptoms can occur at any time; however, they are much more common in the later hours of the day and evening. It is estimated up to 7-10% of those in the US have RLS, and the desire for moving legs usually occurs while you are sitting or in a resting position. A study published in sleep medicine showed that CBD effectively treats symptoms in patients with RLS.
REM sleep behavior disorder
Individuals with Rapid eye movement (REM) disorder move, walk and even talk while sleeping. They suffer from unpleasant dreams involving being chased or attacked. The person can make noises during sleep, including shouting, crying, and speaking.
According to some research, CBD has proven to treat the symptoms associated with this disorder effectively. A 2008 study indicated smoked cannabis and oral administration of cannabidiol to reduce the amount of REM sleep each night and increase the period of sleep in stage 4, which is the deepest level of sleep out of 5 stages. Chronic administration of cannabidiol was also found to facilitate falling asleep at night.
There is no doubt that CBD helps with sleep disorders and promotes sound sleep, but the latest studies have shown it to be useful mainly for short-term use. A very recent 2019 study concluded that cannabidiol is not as effective in treating chronic sleep disorders as it is possible its frequent use can build up the body’s tolerance.
The researches and clinical trials have shown several results, both in favor of cannabidiol and against it. CBD derived from some marijuana strains have been very efficient in promoting calm and alertness to the body, including Indica and hybrid strains.
Further research is required to understand the potential of CBD in treating sleep disorders. Investigations will also help find ways to increase cannabidiol’s effectiveness and make it safe and effective for long-term use. For those seeking to try an alternative to the traditional benzodiazepine and hypnotic drugs usually prescribed for sleep issues, a full-spectrum CBD product is a good stating ground.