Getting the Rest You Need: Can CBD Be Used to Treat Insomnia?

Getting the Rest You Need: Can CBD Be Used to Treat Insomnia?

Insomnia is one of the most common disorders that is widely overlooked. People who suffer from insomnia may experience difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. The lack of sleep, in the long run, can lead to drowsiness and lack of productivity during the daytime. Low energy and a bad mood are often the results of a lack of restful sleep. With so many options of treating insomnia on the market, CBD emerges as a natural alternative that is both effective and free of unpleasant side effects.


Insomnia is a condition that can be characterized by:

  • Difficulty sleeping or finding a comfortable sleeping position
  • Waking up suddenly during the night without being able to fall back to sleep
  • Feeling tired in the morning
  • Lack of focus throughout the day
  • Sleepiness during the day accompanied by a low mood or even depression

Insomnia is often a condition that accompanies other disorders ranging from health problems to anxiety. In fact, the most common cause of insomnia is stress and anxiety experienced at certain points of life.

Conventional Insomnia Treatment

The conventional method of treating insomnia is to take prescription pills. This is what is usually given to patients from their doctors. The sleeping pill can help out but only in the short term. Sleeping pills are in essence sedatives and should be taken with caution as they have potentially many side effects.

While there are different types of sleeping pills, most of them are habit-forming and should not be taken more than a certain number of days. Side effects of most sleeping pills include appetite change, dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, impairment, mental fog, stomach pain, shaking in the body, and other unusual symptoms that can overweight the positives of taking the pills.

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is a compound that is derived from the marijuana or hemp plant. It is classified as an endocannabinoid — a molecule that reacts with the endocannabinoid system of the body. The endocannabinoid system, much like the hardware of a computer, regulates main physiological and cognitive functions including appetite, fertility, sensory perception, memory, and many other important functions. CBD is an endocannabinoid that naturally interacts with this system like the natural endocannabinoids produced by the human body. That is the way in which CBD instills its therapeutic effect on the body for which it is used more and more in treating health concerns.

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How does CBD help insomnia?

Besides all the health concerns that CBD is used to treat, insomnia is one of the candidates for this type of treatment. In its essence, insomnia is usually a result of something else. In most cases, stress, anxiety, and a rough patch in life tend to be the biggest culprits for tossing and turning at night. While everyone knows the chilled feeling associated with the recreational use of marijuana, CBD oil is specially extracted to serve this sedative and calming purpose. Unlike other compounds extracted from the recreational use of marijuana, CBD does not possess a psychedelic effect. It actually makes one very alert and focused.

The main benefits of using CBD oil for insomnia is that it significantly lowers and treats anxiety, stress, and pain. Thinking about it honestly, it is mostly these three things that keep us awake during the night.

Interestingly, sleep aid is one of the contradictory benefits of CBD oil since it is also known to make one more alert. In fact, CBD has shown to affect the same receptors that caffeine interacts with. We all know how caffeine can wake us up in the morning, so why does CBD affect sleep in such a way?

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD is classified as a ‘phytocannabinoid’. This is because it mimics or is similar to the natural endocannabinoids that the body produces. Phytocannabinoids naturally interact with the endocannabinoid system as any other natural endocannabinoid would. This is a sort of replacement therapy for people who have a lack of naturally produced endocannabinoids. Because this system controls many of our important functions such as our mood, pain, and inflammation, having a lack of endocannabinoids can make those things go out of balance.

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Specifically for sleep, CBD works by interacting with receptors, chemicals, and proteins in the brain that are responsible for controlling the anxiety levels. It also impacts receptors in the brain that are responsible for the sleeping and waking cycles.

Effects of CBD on Sleep

The sedative effect of CBD helps to increase the amount of sleep during the night without interactions, makes falling asleep easier, and improves the quality of sleep. The overall improvement of sleep comes from the increasing of the third phase of sleep known as the ‘deep sleep’ part of our slumber. CBD is also helpful in decreasing the REM phase of sleep. The REM (rapid eye movement) part of our sleep is the one that is accompanied by a lighter sleep and more dreaming.

When there are more deep sleep and less dreaming, the person feels more refreshed in the morning, has an improved memory during the day, and has a decreased instance of anxiety and depression that can be a result of poor sleep. By increasing alertness during the day, full spectrum CBD additionally helps one exert their energy while they are awake and recuperate at night instead of feeling drowsy during the day and staying awake during the night. In essence, CBD balances out the sleep-wake cycle in the way that it is biologically meant to be.

Concluding Thoughts

CBD is naturally used to relieve anxiety and depression that may contribute to poor sleep quality and end the vicious cycle of poor sleep and daytime fatigue. Unlike conventional sleeping pills, CBD oil is not addictive and does not have the unwanted side effects of these pills. Further studies need to be carried out on humans as most are studies done on mice, but the experience of thousands of people and the demand for this oil for people with sleeping products proves its effects.

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