We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is best for your health. However when you are busier than normal, getting enough sleep often isn’t a priority. Or perhaps you are finding it difficult to fall or stay asleep due to extra stress. Either way, you are likely not feeling great if you lack sleep. Melatonin, magnesium and lavender are all popular recommendations for those who need help to relax or stay asleep, and recently CBD has started trending as a sleep aid. However, can CBD help with stress and sleep issues? Let’s dive in and discover more...
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. It will not cause a “high” and instead binds with natural endocannabinoids in your body. The primary benefit of CBD is with the anandamide endocannabinoid, also known as the ‘bliss molecule.’ CBD enables anandamide to stay in your system longer, helping to stabilize emotions, decrease stress levels and prevent inflammation. These reactions can also help to decrease anxiety and depression.
CBD is available in many forms, including but limited to; oils, balms, and edibles. When ingesting CBD, the effects will be delayed as it may take up to 90 minutes before it reaches your bloodstream. Topical products work much faster however they are generally used to target joint or muscle pain, not as a sleep aid.
Unfortunately CBD is not a one size fits all solution. Some people may not react well, or at all to CBD use. Each person will be different, especially as reactions may vary depending on any other medications or supplements in use.
Dosage amounts often have the largest effect on how you feel. One study has shown that smaller doses can cause the user to feel energized and alert whereas larger doses made the user relax. As such you should always discuss CBD usage with your doctor or a health professional before starting.
There is no clinical evidence that CBD causes drowsiness and therefore can not be classed as a traditional sleep aid. That being said, it can be used to help diminish anxiety, which can be an effective sleep aid for those feeling overwhelmed or stressed. For some individuals CBD can also bind to the 5-HT1a serotonin receptors, which can then block anxiety and depression causing the user to experience instant ‘sleepiness.’
Part of getting a healthy amount of sleep is having an evening routine that helps you body relax. These are some behavioural strategies you can incorporate with or without CBD to help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Set up a sleep schedule. Aim to be in bed by a certain time and set your alarm to wake you up. You should also try to avoid hitting snooze.
- Less screen time before attempting to sleep. This will help your body to wind down.
- Have outlets for stress and anxiety. This could be journaling, exercising, listening to music, or anything else that allows your mind to relax.
The above tips can help you train your brain to slow down, therefore making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep.
The answer is, yes, CBD can help with stress and sleep by helping you to relax and therefore fall asleep faster. Stress is also reduced as CBD can help to reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. Many scientific studies support the use of CBD to help those with short-term sleep issues. However until more research is done, CBD will not be classified as a sleep aid like melatonin.