Humans are unable to function at peak emotional, physical, and mental levels with a lack of a goodnight’s sleep. Insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and other ailments, can cause the person to seek over the counter prescription pharmaceuticals for relief. Consequently, options like cannabis are being explored for natural sleep aid.
A sizable uptick was prompted by the insurgence of CBD, in the number of preclinical and clinical studies that were focusing CBD’s value in the treatment of a whole host of disorders. However, studies focusing on CBD and sleep specifically are limited.
Although THC has shown to have a sedative effect and reduces the time needed to fall asleep, the harmonized interaction between cannabis compounds might carry over to sleep.
While THC is a sedative, it has other useful sleep properties as well such as causing catalepsy. According to Dr. Dustin Sulak, the proven effectiveness of CBD might be the sole reduction of anxiety which allows relaxation and the continuation of the person’s natural sleep mechanism.
CBD has reported giving either a stimulating or calming effect, depending on the consumer, which raises ambiguity. Although little, but research indicates that higher doses of CBD cause a calming effect, while lower doss cause a stimulating effect. CBD had reported giving hypnotic-like effects in a 1977 animal study. However, the little research that has been performed, proves that the effectiveness of CBD is dependent on the person’s presence or absence of a normal sleep rhythm or sleep disorder.
CBD and Rem Sleep
Certain sleep anomalies that occur during REM sleep, have been found to be helped by CBD. Non-rapid eye moment (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep are the two types of sleep. NREM sleep is progressed through a 90-minute cycle, which eventually leads up to a REM sleep, where dreaming occurs along with an increase in brain wave activity. Furthermore, memory is solidified in REM sleep.
Limb muscles temporarily paralyze during normal REM sleep, so that a person is unable to act out his dreams. People are able to flail and act out vivid and violent dreams, in Parkinson’s disease and REM behavior disorder. Doses of CBD ranging from 75 to 300 mg were shown to help such patients, according to a preliminary study. Sleep cycles are not altered and people seem to keep awake by low-dose CBD formulations. However, the benefits for circadian rhythm disorders and narcolepsy could be proven in the near future as it may help people stay awake during daylight hours.
Should CBD be used for sleep?
The effect of CBD is highly individualized due to the uniqueness of every individual’s body. Sulak explained how a person’s negative response to THC, would cause him to be reluctant in using CBD on the same person. Some patients have shown high sensitivity to THC, along with impairment in the morning. Sulak recommends CBD stains that contain high levels of mycrene.
According to Sulak, although CBD may prove beneficial for people with sleep disturbances, pragmatically designed clinical trials are still important, with a recommended algorithm type approach.
Sulak ensures the safety of CBD, hence claiming higher doses of 100 to 200 mg of CBD to be safe as well if lower doses of 10 to 50 mg prove ineffective.
A 2018 study, that wasn’t initially aimed at CBD’s effects on sleep, still demonstrated the safety of CBD at higher doses of 1500mg to 6000mg. Furthermore, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine had concluded in a 2017 report that despite the lack of specific CBD sleep studies, moderate evidence exists for the support of CBD to be proven effective to improve short-term sleep conditions.