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What is CBD Oil, and how can it improve my sleep?

*Nothing in this article constitutes medical advice. Seek the guidance of a physician if you have any questions.*

CBD oil is the oil from a cannabis plant. According to Medical News Today, “in June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, for treating two types of epilepsy”. In recent times, scholars have started analyzing the health benefits of using marijuana and CBD. The Sleep Association found that “CBD has been found to have potential health benefits for symptoms like insomnia”. To fully understand how CBD oil helps one sleep better, it is essential to grasp the role of cannabinoids in the human body.

What are Cannabinoids, and How Do They Work?

In layman’s terms, cannabinoids refer to the chemicals that act in tandem with the human body’s endocannabinoid system. The actions of those chemicals trigger cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). These receptors impact many different processes in the body. According to Fullspectrum, “Cannabinoids can be found naturally within the Cannabis sativa plant, and they have been the subject of a great deal of research from scientific and medical communities”. The most famous cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive part of cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) has grown in popularity but lacks the psychoactive component like THC. In other words, THC is a cannabinoid that will make a person feel high, but CBD lacks that effect. Although most people only discuss THC and CBD, more than 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis give a range of impressive results.

What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system in all mammals made up of endocannabinoids, receptors for those endocannabinoids, and enzymes. The ECS regulates body functions such as appetite, memory, mood, pain sensation, reproduction, and sleep.

The ECS helps the human body reach and achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis can be thought of as an equilibrium point of the body where biological systems are well-regulated. For example, when homeostasis is completed, the blood sugar levels are normal, and the blood pressure is ideal.  Experts have discovered that the endocannabinoid system is essential for maintaining specific body functions, such as mood, appetite, and sleep. It is important to note that the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and central nervous system. CB1 and CB2 are the two primary receptors.

The Endocannabinoid System and Sleep

Cannabinoids attach to CB1 and CB2, which impacts the body in different ways. These receptors how they may affect sleep. Some studies indicate that CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle. CBD  may also decrease anxiety and pain, which can interfere with getting a quality night of sleep. By reducing specific symptoms, it can be the catalyst for a good night of sleep.

Forms of CBD

As mentioned before, CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant. The process is not as simple as it sounds because CBD can be taken from either the marijuana or hemp plant. Both are strains of the Cannabis sativa plant, but they are harvested in different ways. Hemp has less THC than marijuana because it comes from the seeds and stalks of the plant. Because the CBD oil may vary in THC content, restrictions depend on the state in which it is sold. For example, in some places, CBD oil must have all THC removed.

On the other hand, in states where marijuana is legal, CBD oil containing THC may be sold. The law in different states dictates whether a person needs a doctor’s prescription for CBD oil. CBD oil can be ingested in various ways, like being placed under the tongue. It may also be infused in different products such as:

  • Edibles: Different types of edibles infused with CBD oil like gummy worms, cakes, and brownies. Edibles typically put the amount of THC that is in the edible on the label in milligrams.
  • Vaporing: CBD oil can be used in a vaporizer or vape pen. Once the temperature extract heats up, it creates a vapor that is inhaled.
  • Tinctures: CBD also comes in tinctures, and a few drops of the liquid can be added to drinks.

A recent study published in 2019  hypothesized whether CBD would improve sleep quality by reducing anxiety. This study involved 72 individuals, with 47 people experiencing anxiety and 25 having troubled sleeping. Each person was given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in a capsule every day. During the first month, 79.2 percent of the patients said they felt lower anxiety levels, and 66.7 percent recorded a better sleep.

Another issue that causes people to get less sleep is pain, and CBD oil can help. Another study in 2018 found significant evidence supporting the claim that CBD eases pain. Experts conducting the study noted that by reducing chronic pain, CBD could improve sleep. CBD oil is available in different concentrations and potencies. Scholars agree that more research is needed on the subject to pinpoint CBD oil’s correct dosage for adequate sleep.

The Top Six Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil

  1. Pain Reliever – Recent studies have shown that CBD oil reduces chronic pain by impeding endocannabinoid receptor activity, getting rid of inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.
  2. Reduces Anxiety and Depression – CBD oil is a highly effective treatment for depression and anxiety. More people turn to CBD oil and other natural therapies because they lack the unpleasant side effects of prescription.
  3. Reduces Cancer Related Symptoms – CBD may help reduce side effects of cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting, and pain.
  4. Reduces Acne– CBD oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties and reduces sebum production.
  5. May Have Neuroprotective properties – Researchers believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders.
  6. Could Benefit Heart Health – Recent studies have found that CBD oil has several benefits, like improving the heart and circulatory system and lowering high blood pressure.

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