Will CBD Help Me Sleep?

Chief Smoke 'n Brew

Trouble sleeping is one of the most common reasons people look for CBD products. Studies show 50-70 million adults in the US have some sleep disorder, ranging from insomnia to narcolepsy to snoring. Adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and 35% of adults report getting less than that on a nightly basis.

There are a number of common sleep remedies on the market: calming tea, melatonin supplements, all the way up to serious over-the-counter drugs specific to diagnosed conditions. So, should we actually be putting CBD among their ranks? The answer is complicated.

Studying CBD and Sleep

Right off the bat, we should say that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved a CBD-based drug, tincture, or supplement for use in combating sleep disorders. As such, it is illegal for any CBD product to make any health-related claims regarding their product. If you find a product stating it is a sleep aid, just know that their claim is unverified and hasn’t been approved for that use by any regulatory body.

That being said, there have been some lab studies conducted on humans and animals focused on sleep disorders. Like most CBD studies, there have only been a few and there is not a scientific consensus on the effects CBD has on sleep. Unlike some of the other questions we’ve explored before, sleep-related studies often give us contradictory answers.

What the Research Shows

A  number of studies conducted 2004-2008 show CBD actually appeared to have “alerting properties.” These findings are backed up by a lights on/lights off test conducted on animals that showed CBD had an alerting effect when lights were on, and researchers couldn’t detect any effects at all when the lights were off.

Here’s where things get complicated: one study found that CBD actually improvedsleep for insomniacs. Another study found that CBD reduced REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) events in patients with Parkinson’s. Another test conducted on rats suggested CBD increases total sleep time.

So Does CBD Help Sleep Disorders?

The tension here is pretty clear: many studies suggest CBD woke up subjects and kept them alert, while others say it helped them sleep better and longer. How could this discrepancy exist?

One theory put forward by CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medical Cannabis suggests that the issue has to do with the endocannabinoid system. This system works as a “thermostat” for the body’s functions—when indicators like your body’s temperature, hunger, or levels of exhaustion get out of whack, the endocannabinoid system helps bring your body back to a comfortable medium state. Going by this logic, it is possible that CBD could increase alertness in some test subjects while calming others, even when administered at the same dose and same time of day.

Again, this is just a thought, and not a definitive statement. What the evidence available to us does say for certain is that “what effect does CBD have on sleep” is a question worth asking.

We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know what we find out. Until then, be sure to visit your local Smoke N Brew to check out a wide variety of CBD products including tinctures, salves, and more.

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