The cannabis plant produces hundreds of therapeutically beneficial compounds known as phytocannabinoids. Two of the most-studied phytocannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All marijuana compounds contain some medicinal value. However, CBD gets the most credit for its ability to treat a wide range of infections, including pain, nausea, seizures, anxiety, insomnia, etc.
In this post, we shall narrow down our focus to the role of CBD in boosting sleep quality and duration.
CBD Can Relive Pain
Pain can adversely affect your sleep quality and duration. With aching muscles and tender joints, it’s not only challenging to fall asleep, but it’s even harder to stay asleep for extended durations. So, pain management is one of the most effective ways of boosting sleep quality. And that’s where CBD comes in.
According to Frontiers in Pharmacology research, cannabidiol might relieve pain, which consequently helps to reduce the aches and discomfort experienced during sleep.
CBD May Regulate the Sleep-Wake Cycle.
All mammals have a complex cell-signaling mechanism known as the endocannabinoid system, whose core function regulates the body’s sleep-wake homeostasis and circadian rhythms. The endocannabinoid system contains a series of cannabinoids, receptors, and chemicals that work synergistically to regulate your homeostatic sleep drive. The system reminds your body to sleep after specific durations. Moreover, it can also regulate sleep duration and intensity.
Studies have shown that CBD might boost the endocannabinoid system by binding indirectly to specific receptors and enhancing the body’s access to its cannabinoids. It’s an intricate mechanism that results in relief from a host of medical conditions, including sleep disorders like insomnia.
The best part is that CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system without triggering mind-altering effects. That’s because the substance interacts with receptors located furthest from your brain and central nervous system. You can also purchase CBD vape pens to help you sleep without worrying about experiencing any psychedelic effects.
CBD May Reduce Anxiety
Going to bed with an anxious mind is one of the surest ways to have a restless sleep. And a restless sleep translates to low daytime productivity. But how much you try, it’s nearly impossible to lead a stress-free life. Fortunately, you can consume CBD before bedtime to reduce those racing thoughts or butterflies in your tummy.
When CBD enters the body, the substance can reduce stress and anxiety by increasing how the brain signals ‘happiness’ hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
In one study investigating the anxiolytic properties of cannabidiol, researchers administered CBD to 72 subjects. Forty-seven of these patients had anxiety, whereas the remaining 25 also experienced insomnia. At the end of the study, 79.2% of the participants reported reduced anxiety levels, while 66.7% reported improved sleep quality.
CBD Can Shorten Sleep Latency
Sleep latency refers to the average time it takes to drift from a state of complete wakefulness to deep sleep. Now, numerous factors may lengthen sleep latency, including pain and anxiety. Since CBD is effective against both pain and anxiety, the substance can therefore shorten sleep latency. But cannabidiol doesn’t just reduce your sleep latency. Once you fall asleep, CBD may also increase sleep duration, ensuring that you wake up feeling fresh and reenergized.
CBD Can Reduce or Eliminate REM Sleep
There are two fundamental sleep stages, namely, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is further subdivided into three different phases, including:
Stage 1, where you start to drift from wakefulness to sleep
Stage 2, which is a period of light sleep before you eventually transition into a deep sleep
Stage 3, which is the stage of non-REM sleep when you’re deepest asleep
Every sleep stage is associated with certain neuronal functions and brain waves. You can experience all three non-REM sleep and REM sleep several times in a cyclic pattern on a typical night. However, researchers have established that REM sleep is deeper and more intense toward morning hours.
REM sleep is characterized by rapid, involuntary eye movements behind closed eyelids. The stage is also marked by heightened brain activity, elevated heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Most of the dreaming occurs during this stage. By reducing REM sleep, CBD can lower the frequency and vividness of your dreams. In turn, you spend the better part of your sleep at stage 3 non-REM sleep, which is the most comfortable sleep phase.
CBD may Treat RBD
The nightmares during REM sleep may affect sleep quality, especially among people with post-traumatic stress disorder. However, they’re not the only problem that comes with REM sleep. There’s also a sleep disorder known as REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is a medical condition where a person acts out their dreams.
For instance, if you’re dreaming of preparing a sumptuous dinner, RBD might cause you to actually move from the bedroom to the kitchen and even attempt to light up the cooker. As comical as it may sound, RBD can deny you quality sleep, in addition to increasing your risks of physical injury.
CBD has proven to be one of the most effective RBD treatments. According to a 2014 research study by the University of São Paulo, Brazil, researchers established improved RBD symptoms among patients with Parkinson’s disease.
CBD is one of the best natural remedies against insomnia and other sleep disorders. The substance treats insomnia by addressing some of its core triggers and symptoms, thereby ensuring a good night’s sleep.