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CBD Oil for Sleep — How Does It Work?

Sleep problems are a common issue, experienced by as many as 16 million adults in the UK, with a third (31%) saying that they suffer from chronic insomnia. Unsurprisingly, the high prevalence of sleep issues has caused people to look into different treatments, home remedies and alternative therapies to help them sleep more quickly and soundly. 

By now, you may have heard about the benefits of using CBD oil for sleep. But how does it work? More importantly, is CBD an effective solution for sleep problems?

CBD Explained in Less Than 100 Words

Cannabidiol — CBD for short — is one of the 144 naturally occurring cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, or what we commonly refer to as hemp. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) — a network of receptors, cannabinoids and enzymes responsible for maintaining homeostasis or stability in the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another example of a cannabinoid — one that creates the “high” we associate with marijuana. But unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. Instead, it offers promising benefits for managing chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy and sleep problems.

Research on CBD and Insomnia

While the science is still inconclusive, early experiments show promising links between CBD and improved sleep quality.

The Link between CBD and Lower Cortisol Levels

A study found an inverse relationship between CBD and cortisol, also known as the body’s stress hormone. Cortisol levels are normally at their highest in the morning, hence why we’re most alert during the day. However, we also know that many people with insomnia tend to have high levels of cortisol at night. Researchers found that a 300mg to 600mg dose of CBD oil could decrease cortisol levels, which suggests that CBD could be used as a natural sleep aid. 

CBD and Sleep Duration

In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers found that small doses of CBD increased the duration of sleep in rats. In the experiment, researchers gave CBD to a group of adult male Wistar rats in 2.5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg and 40 mg/kg doses. They found that the rats that received 10mg/kg and 40mg/kg doses of CBD slept longer than rats that received a placebo. These findings are consistent with those from another study published in the journal Pharmaceuticals, which found that a 160mg dose of CBD led to longer sleep in humans compared to a placebo group.

Is It Safe to Take CBD Oil for Sleep?

A review of the use of CBD for epilepsy, depression and mental disorders found that CBD offers a better side-effect profile than conventional drug treatments. However, consumers should still be careful about where they buy their CBD products. 

For starters, any retailer that sells CBD as medicine without a proper license should be seen as a red flag. The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) prohibits CBD oils and other products from being sold or marketed as medicine without proper licensing. It’s for this reason that the vast majority of stockists and brands in the UK sell CBD as health supplements and topicals. 

If you do plan to take CBD oils or topicals as a sleep aid, be sure to talk to your doctor first. In fact, before taking any supplements or medication of any kind, it’s best to consult a doctor’s opinion to protect yourself from any unwanted side effects. A doctor is best equipped to help you treat your insomnia and determine whether supplements like CBD can improve your sleep. At Nutrivive, we provide a variety of CBD products, ranging from oils to topicals.