Can CBD really help with insomnia?

An insomnia woman on bed

CBD is taking the world by storm and with a long list of conditions, ailments, and diseases that can all be treated, it’s hardly a surprise. 

Among those conditions in the list of those can apparently be benefitted sits insomnia and with approximately 1 in 4 American’s suffering each year – a cure (or prevention) can’t come soon enough. 

Insomnia is famed for being particularly difficult to treat and although many sufferers will only witness short bouts of the condition (in times of high stress or anxiety), others will face the condition for long periods of time. 

It’s this group that finds the most difficulty coping with the lack of sleep and, with a potential for the hemp-based compound to assist, there’s some excitement surrounding its ability. 

So, what exactly does the research say and how can CBD be used to treat insomnia?

What are the main causes of insomnia? 

To really dig deep down and investigate just how well CBD can treat insomnia, it’s important to first view what actually causes the condition. 

Well, put simply, there are many reasons that insomnia suffers just can’t get to sleep at night, including just some of the following: 

  • Mental health disorders (such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD)
  • Medication (which affects the sleep-wake cycle) 
  • Physical conditions (such as chronic pain)
  • Caffeine intake (especially later in the day)
  • Environmental factors (room temperature, comfort, etc.)

So can the hemp-based CBD help to prevent the cause and alleviate the symptoms surrounding insomnia? 

What does the research say? 

When looking at the research, it’s clear that there’s not a huge amount in the way of studies and even less in the way of FDA approved medicines surrounding CBD. 

However, recent research (2021), investigating whether CBD could be used to improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety found positive results. The study, consisting of 72 subjects found that those experiencing anxiety (47) and those experiencing poor sleep (25) found the majority of patients noting improved symptoms within the first month. 

In fact, 79.2 percent of patients reported lower anxiety level and a further 66.7 percent of patients reported better sleep in a short time tested. During the study, patients were given just 25mg of CBD in capsule form, showing even in lower doses that the compound is effective in its purpose. 

Similarly, research from 2018 surrounding the effects of CBD on the sleep cycle in Parkinson’s disease patients found further benefits to the compound. The study, concerning 4 patients, led to findings of improved symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder, a disorder often responsible for both poor sleep and nightmares, naturally leading to an interest in an insomnia-based application. 

In terms of discomfort prevention, there are a number of different pain reduction studies, however, there are very few better than the 2018 review in Frontiers in Pharmacology. It was noted that there is a wide array of evidence surrounding the reduction in pain when using CBD and, with chronic pain often a cause of insomnia, supplementation can be used to prevent the condition.  

How does CBD work to improve sleep 

As of current, there is a lack of research surrounding whether or not CBD works to improve the quality of sleep. 

The main focus of insomnia treatment is concerned with the prevention rather than the cure, working on the aforementioned causes of insomnia, rather than a sleep aid. However, as researchers continue to investigate the properties of CBD, it’s expected that we’ll find more answers and more uses in the very near future. 

How to use CBD to treat insomnia 

Unlike many different drugs or alternative medicines, CBD has a number of different ways in which it can be administered.

Although most people using the compound will have their preferred method of CBD administration, the following are all available to choose from:

  • Vape concentrates
  • Oils and tinctures
  • Pills and capsules
  • Edibles, like gummies

There’s plenty of easy ways to get CBD into your body. 

CBD dosage to treat insomnia

When it comes to dosages, the recommended amount will differ according to a number of different variables: 

  • Bodyweight
  • Condition targeted 
  • Individual body chemistry
  • CBD concentration in the chosen product

It’s very difficult to give a one-size-fits-all value surrounding exactly how much CBD should be prescribed due to these factors. For example, according to Healthcare Weekly, if one 135 lbs individual is using CBD to treat ADHD, the required dosage will be drastically different from a 240 lbs individual using the compound to treat insomnia. 

However, the majority of tests and studies carried out around the compound will see dosages between 20 mg and 1,500 mg of CBD per day. If you’re looking to get started with a CBD trial, it’s advised to start will a small dosage (e.g. 20 mg), upping by 5 mg per week until symptoms are treated sufficiently. 

As a general rule, humans are effective at withstanding any negative effects of “too much” CBD and the compound is often regarded as safe, despite the lack of FDA approval. However, the following side effects are often seen if a dosage is recognized as “too high:”

  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Appetite changes 
  • Weight changes 

Following the identification of any of these symptoms, it’s best to lower the dosage of CBD to view the effects. 

The takeaway

Although we’re all still waiting on more research to come in surrounding the effects that CBD has on all conditions (excluding epilepsy), a premature conclusion that the compound can have great benefits surrounding CBD exists. 

If you’re looking to include CBD in your daily (or nightly) routine, there’s a number of different ways in which it can be administered including vapes, oils, pills, and capsules. Recommended dosages will vary on a person-to-person basis, but as a general rule, sticking to 20 mg of CBD per day and upping by 5 mg per week until the target condition is sufficiently treated. 

Ultimately, it’s always a good idea to visit your doctor or healthcare professional before opting to include CBD in your routine. By talking to a professional, any questions surrounding CBD use (e.g. can CBD be used during pregnancy) can all be answered, leaving confidence in your usage.  

If you notice any of the aforementioned side effects, it’s best to lower the current dosage to view the impacts of side effects. 

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