What Is CBD?
CBD is one of two main active compounds that come from the cannabis plant. In general, CBD products contain little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for the “high” that cannabis produces. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause intoxication or alter a person’s mental state. CBD products are increasingly popular and widely available in a variety of forms, including: Oil, oral sprays, vape liquid, liquid suspensions, pills or capsules, powder, edible products, including gummies and teas, and topical creams, gels, ointments, and cosmetics. Smokable products are also becoming more common.
Benefits of CBD for Sleep
Current evidence is limited, but the following benefits of CBD might contribute to better sleep: stress reduction, pain relief, longer sleep, and decreased REM sleep. Stress reduction is important since anxiety can cause resting troubles, and some research suggests that CBD might help aliviate anxiety and reduce its effects on rest quality. Pain relief can also help improve sleep since it can disrupt restful sleep. CBD might help reduce this pain and discomfort, in turn bolstering better sleep. Longer sleep may be seen in doses of 25 milligrams (mg) or more. Decreased REM sleep is important since it occurs when the body and mind dream. REM sleep is importance for alertness and memory. Because of its sedative effects, CBD might promote less REM sleep, which could be beneficial for people who deal with nightmares.
Potential Risks of Using CBD for Sleep
CBD is largely considered safe, but some research has linked it with possible side effects, such as minor side effects like nausea, diarrhea, changes in appetite, changes in weight, and fatigue. It may also interact with certain medications, potentially leading to side effects. Be sure to inform your doctor that you’re taking CBD if you’re considering its use in conjunction with other medications. Long-term health effects of using CBD are largely unknown, so it’s currently not recommended for use in pregnant women and children. Finally, sourcing and purity of CBD products is also important. Make sure to source CBD products from reputable suppliers who can provide lab results. There are reports of tainted and mislabeled CBD products on the market, so purchasing products from reputable sources is key.
Consult a Healthcare Professional
Consult a healthcare professional before taking or using CBD if you are pregnant or nursing, taking any other medication, or have an underlying health condition. CBD may interfere with certain medications, and its safety during pregnancy is unknown. A healthcare professional can help you understand potential risks and determine if CBD is right for you.
How to Use CBD for Sleep
Different methods of taking CBD have different onset and duration times, so consider these factors when using CBD for sleep. Be sure to start with the lowest dose possible and adjust the dose as needed. Consuming CBD as an sleep aid in the following ways: Eating a CBD-infused snack or drink, applying CBD topically, vaporizing, taking a CBD oil tincture, and taking CBD as a pill or capsule. Finally, keep in mind that it may take time for CBD to build up in the body, so it’s important to be patient and allow yourself to adjust to whatever dosage you’re taking.
Using CBD for sleep may help reduce anxiety, alleviate pain, promote longer sleep, and reduce REM sleep. Consult a healthcare professional before using CBD for sleep to ensure safety and proper dosing. CBD is generally considered safe, but more research is needed into its long-term health effects.