CBD is the second most abundant compound in the cannabis sativa plant, and many studies suggest that it may indirectly benefit sleep. In fact, CBD, which does not cause the “high” intoxicating psychoactive drug associated with delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can help people with various sleep disorders, such as insomnia and restless legs syndrome, as well as other conditions that they are known to have a negative impact. sleep, according to research.
For example, CBD can help people relax by relieving anxiety and pain, two factors that can make it difficult for someone to fall asleep or fall asleep, says Dr. Strachan.
The hypothalamus plays a role in several sleep-related functions, including regulating body temperature and synchronizing sleep patterns. CBD can help people with insomnia because it works with the hypothalamus to regulate stress, says Dr. Whitelocke. “Insomnia is the result of a hyperactive stress reaction that is spilling over into a rest period when we are not trying to process a conscious trauma,” he adds. “CBD can suppress this deregulated cycle of stress hormone overactivation and equalize the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness by counteracting hormones.”
In a study examining the effects of cannabis on insomnia, researchers found that CBD reduced the symptoms of insomnia more effectively than delta-9 THC, which is the plant’s most abundant active constituent. of cannabis sativa which has an intoxicating psychoactive effect.
Circadian rhythm disorders
Circadian rhythm disorders, also known as sleep-wake disorders, occur when the body’s internal clock, which dictates when you fall asleep and when you wake up, is not aligned with your surroundings. Circadian rhythm disorders can develop when there are changes in sleep habits, often due to travel or work, or as a byproduct of an illness, aging, or genetics.
CBD can improve both the quality and quantity of sleep by ensuring that the body progresses through the normal stages of sleep and REM sleep without undue interruption, which would help people with circadian rhythm disorders, says Dr. Whitelock. “The action of CBD on cannabinoid receptors initiates a cascade of events that culminates in a more natural moment of sleep relative to the daytime rhythm of night and day,” he explains. However, more research is needed.
CBD can be especially helpful for people like nurses who suffer from circadian rhythm disorders due to shift work, where sleep windows change depending on a person’s work schedule.
Many studies have found that CBD is a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Although more research is needed, studies link the use of CBD to improved sleep due to its ability to decrease anxiety.
“The well-established role of CBD in reducing anxiety, without causing stony lethargy that can accompany THC products, makes it an ideal tool for calming intrusive thoughts before bedtime,” says Dr. Whitelocke. More specifically, CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors of the limbic system, a set of brain regions that are known to play a role in many important functions, such as emotion regulation, memory storage, sexual arousal, smell (or our sense of smell). and the formation of learning patterns. When the limbic system is out of balance, such as when intrusive memory causes anxiety and insomnia, CBD activates ECS to help suppress that memory and, as a result, facilitate sleep. “By restoring hormonal balance,” says Dr. Whitelocke, “CBD acts as the great equalizer.”
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Restless legs syndrome
CBD can treat restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological condition that can affect the quality and quantity of sleep causing an unpleasant and uncontrollable desire to move your legs. Early research suggests that CBD may reduce the frequency of abnormal nerve features that lead to involuntary muscle contractions, which is a characteristic symptom of RLS, says Dr. Whitelocke. “For a person who is prone to waking up as a result of limb movement during sleep, this can be a great benefit,” he says.
Many preliminary findings linking CBD use and improvement in RLS symptoms are based on self-reported patient experiences, and further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of CBD as a method of RLS treatment.
Studies show that CBD has promising potential for pain relief. Researchers find that by applying CBD oil products to painful areas, study participants report that reduced pain and swelling are often associated with inflammation.
Dr. Whitelocke says that for people who cannot tolerate the intoxicating effects of THC, CBD, ingested or used topically, offers an alternative to analgesia (or pain relief). “When it comes to sleep, having proper pain control is crucial to being able to relax both body and mind without worrying about the addictive or toxic effects of other painkillers,” he says.