By Emily Ledger
Cannabis and the plant-derived cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), are finding increasing popularity among people suffering from insomnia. According to a number of recent studies, CBD may be an effective option for relieving the sleep condition.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder, which causes people to have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Experts often link the disorder to stress and anxiety levels. Increases in stress and anxiety can often lead to restlessness and lack of sleep – characteristics of insomnia. The condition can lead to a number of disruptions to everyday life.
It is estimated that only a third of people in the UK are classified as “good sleepers”. The UK’s Mental Health Foundation also found that a third of people in the UK possibly have Chronic Insomnia.
How can CBD help?
Studies from all around the world have supported links between CBD intake and lowering Anxiety levels. This has led to its consideration as a possible Insomnia treatment.
CBD has been compared to more traditional sources of combating sleeping problems, such as Melatonin. However, some believe that CBD may be more effective, as Melatonin simply signals to the body that it is time to sleep but has no effect on factors that may prevent sleep.
The anecdotal links between cannabis and sleep have been well established over decades of popular use. In addition, there is an increasing body of clinical trials and studies in this area to support this theory.
Is there any Evidence?
Due to the complicated legislation surrounding the legality of CBD, a comprehensive evaluation of the substance has been prevented. However, recent studies have yielded promising results.
Studies which emphasise the possible usefulness of using cannabidiol to combat sleep deprivation include a large case series carried out on 72 adults known to suffer from anxiety or poor sleep. Over two thirds (67%) of participants experienced improved sleep over the duration of the study.
In a study of 147 US adults, which measured the amount of sleep after the consumption of cannabis, 79% recorded an increase in sleep. Although these results may support the theory that CBD is useful in inducing more sound sleep, it is important to draw the distinction between cannabis and CBD use. The patients in this study were given medicinal cannabis, which supplies more cannabinoids, including THC.
CBD has also been reported to decrease Insomnia in people suffering from chronic pain.
Are there any Side Effects?
Even though the current studies are yielding promising results, research of CBD is still in its infancy. It is also crucial to recognise that everyone is different, and effectiveness may vary from person to person.
Some people have even reported being less likely to sleep after taking CBD. The variations in results can be down to the levels of chemicals in individuals’ ECS’s as well as differences in dosage.
Some users may experience more general side effects related to CBD.