Sometime in the last few years, CBD oil became the “next big thing" in health and wellness. In the early days, you might have seen a CBD-infused cocktail at a bar in Los Angeles. Now, everywhere you go, someone mentions it.
As it turns out, CBD oil has far greater uses than as an accent for quirky cocktails. The recent proliferation of CBD products on the market tout this magic compound as a potent pain reliever, effective treatment for side effects of menstruation, natural ailment for anxiety – and, yes, a potent sleep aid. We’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s start with the basics.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, an oil-type extract from the cannabis plant. Even though CBD comes from marijuana plants, it can be separated from its chemical compound cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the compound that gets people "high" from smoking or eating marijuana, and why CBD is slightly controversial for those who don't understand what it is.
CBD only contains trace amounts of THC. THC directly affects brain receptors, which causes the psychoactive state known as "getting high." CBD on the other hand, indirectly influences your brain's receptors, which is why it doesn’t get you high.
CBD has many of the same side effects of THC. After all, they're cousins. This is why CBD is associated with many of the same benefits as THC, such as relaxation and anxiety relief – but without the psychoactive effects.
But will it help me sleep?
While there isn't much actual science on whether CBD makes an excellent sleep aid, recent studies do support using CBD oil for insomnia. The FDA recently approved the first cannabis-based medicine, Epidiolex, for the treatment of epilepsy. With the CBD industry set to top $22 billion by 2022, more science and research on the efficacy of CBD is bound to be on the horizon.
Scientists are just beginning to dive into and understand the link between CBD and sleep. Certainly, CBD’s calming, anti-inflammatory properties work to naturally promote a deeper sleep without the hangover-like symptoms of medicinal sleep aids like Lunesta, Ambien, or even over-the-counter Benadryl.
What else should I know?
Currently, there is little regulation on the CBD industry. So be sure to do your research before buying any products. Many studies prove CBD is a harmless supplement, but like any medication, it can react with certain drugs. So check with your physician if you are on any other daily medications before testing out CBD for sleep. In some cases, CBD is shown to increase brain stimulation and prevent daytime drowsiness, which is why it's best to test how your body will react if you're looking to use it for better sleep.
By most accounts, CBD is an incredibly subtle compound. So much so that many wonder after taking it if it is working at all. Since sleep is so precious, with few natural alternatives out there, one can see why CBD is the one product everyone is talking about.