CBD is one of the fastest growing trends in America, but it’s also surrounded by a lot of confusion. Many people still associate CBD with weed because both marijuana and CBD are derived from the hemp plant. However, CBD contains little to no THC (less than 0.3%) and provides a plethora of health benefits, all while keeping the user from “getting high.” In addition to helping with anxiety, depression, stress, and muscle pain, CBD is also used for sleep benefits. In this article, we’ll be going over how CBD is derived, how CBD works in your body, and ultimately, how CBD is useful for sleep. Let’s begin!
What Is CBD?
Before you can truly appreciate CBD, you have to understand what it is, and how it gets to the form you use it (capsules, edibles, creams, tinctures, etc.). Let’s start with the basics.
The hemp plant contains hundreds of unique compounds, including ones that have been closely studied over the course of several decades for their therapeutic properties. CBD has been used all the way back in the ‘60s, as an alternative to marijuana. Over 80 different types of cannabinoids have been discovered and are in use today. You may have heard the term cannabinoids before: these are the elements that are used in sleep aids, pain and inflammation reducers, anxiety relievers, and even revolutionary treatments like cancer and Parkinson’s disease. These cannabis compounds are the elements used in supplements that make CBD products easy to use and enjoy. CBD is readily accessible across the US, legal for everyday use, and you don’t need a prescription to acquire them. However, you should exercise caution when traveling with certain types of CBD (like hemp flowers), as they resemble marijuana and can cause issues if you are ever stopped by the authorities in your area.
CBD can be made organically (extracted from the hemp plant) or synthetically. Most companies opt for the organic approach (as it is more widely receptive), but both forms contains excellent health benefits. You can read which CBD type is in your particular product by simply checking the label. There are even forums and blogs dedicated to different types of CBD products and which ones work best.
How Does CBD Work?
Naturally, with a product that is derived directly from the cannabis plant, there is quite a bit of fear and questioning as to how CBD differs from marijuana and how CBD reacts with your body. The most important difference is that CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Without this mind-altering chemical, you can enjoy all of the benefits of the hemp plant without worrying about “getting high.” But how does CBD work within your body? We’re still learning about how CBD products work as pain and inflammation reducer, stress and anxiety relievers, and so much more. But what we are able to understand is how CBD reacts with your brain. CBD interacts with your brain’s proteins, receptors, and various chemicals. These interactions thusly react with your body’s hormones, transmitters, and other cell functions to help regulate your body’s natural functions, such as managing pain, sleep regulation, and much more. Some CBD products are designed to target certain aspects, such as brain memory, sleep aids, and overall focus.
Cannabinoids are also naturally produced by our bodies, in the endocannabinoid system. These cannabinoids help regulate our mood swings, pain levels, overall appetite, and other cognitive functions. When you use any form of CBD, our body uses these added CBD supplements for paint management, anxiety and depression reduction, and of course, relaxation which can promote more restful sleep! As scientists continue to do research on the long-term effects and benefits of CBD, we’ll learn more about how CBD helps our bodies and everyday functions.
How Is CBD Useful For Sleep?
If you suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia, these things may restrict you from getting a restful night’s sleep. CBD has been used to not only reduce anxiety, but to help reduce insomnia. For those struggling with insomnia caused by chronic pain, CBD can be used to help alleviate said chronic pain. When taken in small quantities, CBD has also been used to promote daytime alertness and reduce sleepiness, thus allowing you to perform your daily activities. Once you’re able to function regularly throughout the day without feeling tired and sleepy, you will feel tired at the end of the day and be able to fall asleep normally.
CBD is especially helpful for people who suffer REM behavior disorder, specifically those with Parkinson’s disease. In regular REM, known as rapid eye movement, the body descends into a deep sleep called REM sleep. In order to prevent the body from acting out during dream cycles, the body becomes paralyzed. This also helps to prevent injury to the dreamer’s body, their sleeping partners, and surrounding objects. Unfortunately with REM behavior disorder, the paralysis is absent in the dreamer. The dreamer will be able to flail about, which can cause the person to violently awaken, injure themselves or their sleeping partner, and disrupts an otherwise restful sleep. In the past, cannabis has been known to help people with Parkinson’s to relax, reduce pain, and generally improve the overall sleep quality. But if you’re not keen on having THC course through your body, you can try the hemp plant’s alternative: CBD!
Lastly, CBD has been a game changer for people with PTSD, especially military veterans. Cannabis is widely known to help people with PTSD because of its relaxing and calming qualities. However, in the military, drugs are forbidden without a prescription. This rule is enforced with random drug tests that limit the use of marijuana, which contains the psychoactive element THC. Since CBD is still derived from the hemp plant (same as marijuana), but contains less than 0.3% of THC, it is safe to use without worrying about failing any random drug tests. For military veterans, both active and retired, suffering from PTSD, CBD offers the same calming and relaxing qualities as its psychoactive counterpart, without worrying about “getting high” or interfering with work responsibilities. PTSD can rob you of sleep and relaxation, which is why CBD is a crucial supplement that can effectively help you. By allowing you to relax, reducing pain caused by PTSD, and improving your mental health, CBD is a great tool that can be used for improving the quality of your sleep.
There is still much we don’t know about CBD. For that reason, it’s highly advisable to consult your healthcare professional before you start taking CBD, especially if you currently take medication or suffer from certain illnesses. In general, 10mg-600mg have been used for treatment of sleep disorders, anxiety, and PTSD, but you should start off slowly to see how CBD affects your body. If you think that CBD could make a beneficial difference in your life, we’re happy to suggest some of our favorite CBD products (including tinctures, creams, edibles, or capsules) and how we use them. You can always reach out to us via email about any questions or concerns you have, and no matter how you use CBD, make sure it’s the right way for you!